EP10 Life by Design with Liz Hartke

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"I work on my faith because I don't want the weight of having to do it all on my own, without GOD. My husband and I put a lot of work into our relationship with GOD, we don't always want to, but its one of our main priorities in life.” - Liz Harke (paraphrased)

You’re in for a treat today!  Liz is a dear friend of mine, someone I would even call my best female friend.  Her and her husband Michael and their family have become such close friends with our family over the last few years and its just been amazing.  In this episode we dive deep into who Liz is, what makes her tick, why she does what she does and most importantly the #1 man in her life!

In this episode with my best female friend and daily inspiration we talk about how Liz has created an incredible business through Beachbody while staying true to her values and putting her faith and her family first.


  • How Liz has spoken the truth in my life [04:13]
  • Liz knowing she wanted more and taking action on her dreams [05:52]
  • When Liz realized that she was responsible for taking her life in the direction of her dreams, rather than just dealing with the cards she had been dealt [08:25]
  • Taking the leap of faith and having the courage to end a “good” relationship to be open to a relationship that makes you better and helps you grow [11:37]
  • The importance of being challenged in your relationships and your life [13:00]
  • Building a business that gives Liz the freedom of time to spend with her growing family and not lose any forward progress or income [16:35]
  • The paradigm shift from viewing money as the primary goal or commodity in your life to viewing time and the freedom of time as the primary commodity [20:32]
  • How Liz grew her Beachbody business to the huge success it is today [21:46]
  • Staying grounded and humble despite huge financial success [28:06]
  • Liz and Michael’s crazy winter and how they handled together [35:44]
  • The power of financial freedom in Liz’s life [38:00]
  • How you can reconnect with your faith to greatly improve your life [42:10]
  • The incredible power of a spiritual mentor and faith retreats [45:13]
  • How you can connect with Liz  [46:50]
  • What Liz is listening to and reading [48:02]
  • How to work on improving yourself through selecting books for the areas that you want to work on [50:03]

Show Transcript

You’re listening to The Business of Life podcast. Practical advice for creating the life you love to live. Here’s your host, Keith Callahan.


KC: Alright, welcome to The Business of Life Episode number 10. Special episode today, we have probably my best female friend. I shouldn’t say probably, I would say definitely my best female friend, Liz Hartke is going to be on with us today and we met through Beachbody. So, we both work together with Beachbody and it’s just been an amazing, amazing friendship that’s developed and her and her husband, Michael, just had their first baby. I’m going back now and doing the introduction for her. But, when we recorded the episode she was, hadn’t had the baby yet. I wanted to get it in before she had the baby. So, they just had their first baby, Jack, and one of the things that I love about Liz is she really embodies and embraces everything that the business of life is about. So, really her whole entire purpose with her business is to make sure it is supporting the life and the lifestyle that she wants to live to be able to do what she wants, when she wants, with who she wants and that really is her family and her close friends. As always, if you want to get the information from this episode, the show notes from this episode and you want to make sure you get them without trying to run back to our website after, just send a text message to 38470 and then in the body of that message, just type in LIZ, L-I-Z. So, send a text message to 38470 and then type in LIZ and we’ll make sure you get the show notes for everything that we talk about or you can always go to our website, KeithCallahan.com/episode10



KC: Alright, so I am here with my best female friend, Elizabeth Hartge. Elizabeth, are you there?


EH: I’m here.


KC: Alright, so yeah, I was writing the introduction and I did the formal introduction prior to you and I jumping on but I was thinking about it and I was thinking about my best female friend and also the woman who’s kind of a pain in the but sometimes and I want to tell the story of that but it’s great to have you here.


EH: I’m flattered to be on. Not so flattered by the pain in the butt comment but I’m thrilled and honored and couldn’t be happier to be chatting with you, Keith.


KC: Well, I have to expand on the pain in the butt comment. So, Liz and I have, we met through work and we work together and she was one of those people that we know each other really well, have gotten to know each other really well and she’s the type of person that’s able to speak truth into my life and I think it was about a year ago, maybe a little bit more than a year ago. You guys probably saw that ice bucket challenge that was going around, right, and Liz did a post on Facebook and tagged me to do the ice bucket challenge and I forget what my lame ass excuse was but I had these excuses why I couldn’t do it and I just wrote ‘No’ on the post to Liz and then you sent me a private message and I was like, “Yeah, I have too much going on and we just donated all this money to this and this and this.” And, you kind of called me out on it and you were 100% right. So, I remember I was trying to sleep that night and I was like, “Man, I got to do this ice bucket challenge.” So, it was like 11 o’clock at night and I made my video of myself dumping a bucket of ice over my head in my basement.


EH: Yeah, I remember it well.


KC: But, yeah, you know, it’s awesome to have someone like you in my life. Sometimes, people can not speak truth into your life and when we’re going about and we’re creating the type of people that we want to surround ourselves with, that’s definitely it so I appreciate that.


EH: Well, it’s I’ve felt the same way since we’ve connected and there have been many times where you’ve set my path straight so I’m grateful to have you to do that for me too.


KC: Geez, we don’t sound like the fun-est people to be around. So, I want to just really dive in and the piece that I wanted to start off with was, it was just a few short years ago that you were living a different life than you’re living right now. So, you’re married now. You’re an entrepreneur now. You’re about to literally any day have your new baby and if we take a look back about 3 years ago, you were in a relationship not with your current husband, you had a good job and then you had a life that if most people would look at it, you have the American dream, right, like you have a great relationship. You have a job that you had just gotten out of college and it’s supporting you but there is something deep inside you that was, that knew that you wanted a little bit more. That, knew you wanted to create a different life. So, I was wondering if you could just share a little bit about that process and how it all unfolded for you.


EH: Yeah, absolutely. For me, it wasn’t, you know, I didn’t hit rock bottom or something, Thank God, tragic didn’t happen in my life that kind of shifted me to pursue more in my life. It was basically this feeling inside that I’ve had for decades, you know, for a long time since I was a little kid that I knew I was born for more and I would be in school and I’d be daydreaming about what I want to be, creating or doing and then I’d be in this job after college and thinking about I had that entrepreneurial spirit where I wanted to get out there and build something and create something of my own and give back to people and have a career path that was fulfilling and enlightening and really challenging and pushing me but I wasn’t pursuing it as far as my  actions and I would sit in my cubicle every day and just wondered, you know, whether it’d be kind of daydreaming about the things I wanted to be doing or just beating myself up for saying, you know, “Why are you acting like you’re stuck?” And, I kept convincing myself that I couldn’t go for more and these were just the cards I was dealt and I just settled into that life and I remember driving into work one day and it was beautiful out and I’m such a sun junkie. Whenever the sun’s out, you know, going into an office, that’s like torture to me. And, I remember it was early in the morning and the sun was coming up and I pull over to the side of the road and I just was so upset with myself that I was going into this job again to do something I didn’t believe in, to be undervalued and just not be on the path to where I wanted to go and I realized that all this time I kept thinking, “Okay, so I’m going to, time is going to take care of this, eventually I’ll be doing what I want to be doing.” What I didn’t realize was that if I don’t make a change, if don’t change direction, I’m going to stay on the same path for the rest of my life. So, it took kind of, like I said, it wasn’t a rock bottom moment but it was my rock bottom moment where I said, “Oh, I have to actually do something about this. I have to make a real change. I have to do something different and from that moment on it was all about creating the life I wanted and focusing on building that and not wasting any more time doing something that I didn’t believe in.


KC: So, what about with, you know, your husband, Michael, now. So, you were in a relationship and you and I, I don’t know if I’ve ever gotten like the full story. So, I’m personally curious too but you were in a relationship that there was nothing wrong with it and you had  mentioned to me that he was a really good guy but that’s a very hard thing for most people to even comprehend that  you’re in a good relationship but it wasn’t exactly what you wanted. So, how did you know that it wasn’t exactly what you wanted and, you know, tell us a little bit about Michael and like how that happened and what the difference was.


EH: Yeah, absolutely, that was such a turning point in my life because you’re right, I was in a great relationship as far as how it looked on paper, you know, there was a lot of respect there, incredibly kind guy, you know, great family, had dreams and ambitions of his own. It was the same thing as the job that I was describing. It was, there was just a feeling something was missing. I just, I knew in my heart that this was not God’s plan for me and that I was not fulfilled fully and I also wasn’t challenged. You know, things were good but there was never that element of let’s be better and let’s grow and it kind of was the same thing, like nothing happened, nothing dramatic happened in our relationship that broke us up. It was just a conversation where we both kind of said, “Hey, I just, I think it’s time that we let each other go because I think we’re holding each other back. We’re not helping each other become better people.” And, thankfully, as scared as I was to be, you know, alone and blah, blah, blah. You know, you have all these fears go through your head where it’s just easier to stay put because it’s less scary and it’s more secure. I knew that I had to walk away and s soon as I did, in a short amount of time my now husband, Michael, crosses my path in the most obscure way, you know, he’s from the Midwest, I’m from the East Coast. There was no reason we ever even should have met but we did and it was such a light bulb moment once I actually got to know Michael in the first couple of months that, “Oh, this is it. This is God’s plan for me. This is why I had to be brave and courageous and step away from something that was comfortable and easy and secure because I knew there was more out there for me.” And, Michael has helped me and pushed me to grow into and continues to push me to grow into the best possible person I can be and it’s hard. My last relationship was easier. I coasted through it. It was fine. There was never a friction or, you know, this feeling of like, “I need to work harder.” I work really hard with Michael but I am so happy, so fulfilled and so confident in what he and I have that it’s just a no brainer for me now, that I’m so grateful that I took that leap of faith.


KC: Yeah, can you expand a little bit on when you, so you used the word challenged and I think that’s an awesome word to describe. So, you had this relationship that you were not challenged in and some of us listening might be like, “Well, why would you want to get into a relationship that challenges you when you have this easy relationship, right? So, explain a little bit about what you mean by that and what that piece meant to you.


EH: Sure. I think it’s almost like this level of complacency, like you get into, we do it all the time like where you get comfortable and it’s not just in a relationship. It can be in a job or in parenting or in anything where you find something that works and you’re in the groove and you just kind of go through the motions. But, at least for me, I mean I can’t speak for everyone but I know that I need to be continually stretched. Otherwise, I have this feeling there’s no other way to describe it, this thing inside me that’s saying, “Elizabeth, like you’re not growing, you’re not pushing for more. There’s something that you should be doing to become a better person.” Whether it’s like putting others first or giving back or whatever it is and in that relationship before, there was no challenge. You know, if I said something, there wasn’t push back. It was like, “Okay, we’ll do that.” And, if he said something it was the same thing and it left me feeling, you know, more alone in the relationship than when I got out of it because I knew it wasn’t the right thing. But, I held on to it because there was nothing wrong, you know, it was nice to have a companion and someone that cared about you and you get into your mid-twenties and you want to stay in a relationship because you’re going down that path towards getting married and having a family. So, it’s like this. For me, being challenged means growing and becoming better.


KC: Yeah, I know exactly what you mean because for me it’s almost like if I’m not being challenged like I don’t feel like I’m staying in the same spot. I feel like I’m like not growing like I’m shrinking, like I’m becoming a little bit less and a little bit less and it’s you kind of have to be acutely aware of that in all areas of your life, right? It’s like to give it the food analogy. If you’re eating something unhealthy and you do it for a day, it’s not a big deal and 2 days and 3 days like that’s not a big deal but when you add that up over a year, it turns into a big deal, right, and I kind of feel that way if I’m not being challenged. Like, for a day or 2 it’s not a big deal but if it goes an entire year. It’s not even that I haven’t grown it’s that I’ve kind of shrunk. Does that make sense?


EH: Definitely, you almost feel like you’re less of who you’re meant to be and I can totally relate to that because I went through that. It was a couple of years of that and finally getting to the point where I’m like, “Wow, I’m not even who I’m meant to be anymore.”


KC: So, I want to switch gears and I want to talk a little bit about the life that you created and freedom of time. So, and I think a great way to lead into this is your husband went to school. He has studied his butt off to become an actuary and for anybody that doesn’t know what actuaries do or the amount of studying, it’s insane. It’s because I’ve been there to witness it with you guys firsthand. But, the reason he had done that, gone into that career is because he wanted to find a career path that gave him a bunch of time to take off, that challenged him and pushed him to become like really challenged him professionally and I’m using his words here. One of the most important things to him was, it was sort of a high level professional career that it’s like a 9 to 5. It’s not like the path of a doctor or an attorney where you have to put in these insane hours. So, you can do your hours and then you can come home and be with your family and one of the things that he and I were talking about recently is he’s watched your career path and he loves what he does, loves everything about it but the one thing that he’s really been looking at is the amount of freedom of time where a 9 to 5 is great but when you create your own business that you literally make up the hours, it’s sort of a whole different level. So, I introduced that sort of with Michael’s story but I was wondering if you could just share with everyone listening the importance when you’re trying to create a life for yourself and for you in particular the importance of creating a business that has, I’m making this into a loaded question, that has passive income that then gives you freedom of time.


EH: Yeah, this has been a hot topic in our house lately because like you said, Michael’s passionate about what he does and he’s good at it. Actually, I shouldn’t say he’s passionate about it. He’s good at it. He’s very committed to it. He’s loyal to his company and his company is loyal to him. So, there are a lot of factors that a lot of people don’t have in the corporate world so he’s grateful for that. He’s also on that path to finish these exams for actuarial science and he’s one of those people that’s like once he commits he’s in it. But, he’s seeing what I’ve built and now that we’re having our baby any day really, he’s seeing that what we’ve built and what I’ve built through this business and what he’s helped me build is allowing me to step away to be with our child and put 100% focus into my family and still have something that’s going to continue to generate income at a high growing pace and still be but my focus can be on my family and I don’t have to ask permission for that. I don’t have to feel guilty about that and I don’t have to worry about that. I don’t have to step away and say, “I hope I come back to a business that’s still functioning.” I can be confident in walking away saying, “I can’t wait to come back and see how much this has grown.”


KC: Yup.


EH: And, I think it’s hard for him to see that and think about the fact that he’s going to take some time off with the baby. But then, he has to go back to work and every time after that that he wants to be home with us and just kind of care free, he has to ask permission for it and he has to put in for it and he has to calculate to see if he has enough time to be able to do that. So, it’s that level of freedom. It’s not what he’s doing. He like what he does. He’ll do it every day and be perfectly happy but it’s that element of, you know, “I kind of want to be able to just do this how I want to do it”, you know, and having that passive income allows you to do that.


KC: For me, like I’m laying out the map, right, so the first thing I want to learn is I want to learn what I want in life and then once I’d learned that I’ve realized that I need time, right, like income’s great. You can have a job that even if you’re making a million dollars a year, that’s great. But, how great is it when you can’t do anything when you have to be at work all the time. So, for me like I laid it out and I understood that having a business, having a career that allows you to and I don’t know of any other way except for entrepreneurship that allows you to really create your life. So, now that you look at it, if you were to weigh out the two things and someone wants to say, “We’ll take your income away” or “We’ll lower your income and we’ll give you more freedom of time” or “We’ll lower your freedom of time and we’ll increase your income”, I know the answer to this but how would you look at those 2 things?


EH: I mean to me time is priceless so I would take the time over the income any day because that is something you can’t get back and that’s something that you can’t, you know, it’s just I don’t know, money’s never going to fill what time can fulfill and I think that’s what Michael’s starting to see or he’s always seen that. He’s always had this level head about things like that. But, I know that certain companies are starting to actually, corporate companies are trying to keep people because they’re seeing young people come in and we value the time more than the money a lot of us. And so, they’re starting to say, “Hey, we’ll cut your salary a little bit but we’ll give you an extra week of vacation. Do you want that?” And, that’s what they’re doing to try to keep them around because that’s what’s valuable to people. They want that ability to so what they want when they want with who they want.


KC: For everybody listening, the piece to really get here, if you haven’t gotten it it’s, it really is, it’s a paradigm shift in understanding that like when you look at your life, you look at the type of life that you want to design. The number one commodity is freedom of time and you can have that. Like, you absolutely can have that. It’s just putting that as a priority when you’re designing your life. So, there’s sort of 2 pieces to it. So, there’s the freedom of time that you just talked about but then when you were going through and you were saying about how you’re about to have the baby and you can have this time off and then you also mentioned that not only is your business going to be okay. It’s going to continue to grow and because of the systems you’ve built, because of the nature of the business we’re in. So, the type of business we’re in with Beachbody, if you could share a little bit about how that is built and then because that’s another thing that if I’m listening to this and I’m hearing about this stuff for the first time like how is your business going to grow when you’re not there? I was wondering if you could just share a little bit about that.


EH: Sure. So, for me when I first came into this business, it was everyone has the same concerns like, you know, is this going to be pushing product or sales or something like that and I knew that that’s not what I wanted. I was looking for that fulfilling element of my life that was missing in my career at that time and it clicked quickly that you build something long term, lucrative and exponentially growing, not by selling and not by, you know, promoting products. You build it by doing exactly what we’re talking about which is designing a life and then teaching others how to do that too and by doing that, you know, I’m designing, you designed your life, Keith, and that inspired me and I said, “Okay, I want that. Like, I mean he has the freedom of time. He’s home with his kids and his wife and he’s happy and he’s fulfilled and he’s helping other people. How do I build that?” So then, I started to do it. And then, I inspired somebody and shared that path with them and it’s the reason that you can step away is because once you’ve built that, once you’ve helped enough people see that their dreams are not daydreams they’re actually available to them and through this opportunity they can achieve them and then teach them and hold their hand and guide them and believe in them and show them how to do that. When you have people doing that, your business structure continues to grow and it’s flourishing because people are inspired by that. People want a piece of that. People want, you know, it’s not about the product. It’s not about weight loss. It’s so much deeper than that because everyone has different dreams and they all start to realize, “Oh, I get it now. This can be the vehicle for me to get to those dreams.” And, when you have a team of people that are working together and inspiring more people and more people and that’s why you can take that time and step away and it’s still going to grow because that’s not going anywhere, it’s too deep, it’s too real. People are too committed and too damn happy with what they’ve been given and they’re excited to give that gift to more people that I have the luxury now 3 years in to say, “Great job team. I’m here to support you. I believe in you but I just had a baby. I need some time with my family.” And, not only are they going to keep doing it but they’re people who are now leaders, you know, they’re in my role and they’ve stepped up. So, it’s this beautiful thing like you come in as this new little fish in a big pond and then you develop into a leader and you’re leading people. And then, you start to see those people you’re leading step up and that allows you to step back and let them lead and let your business continue to grow.


KC: It’s so amazing because, you know, as we’re talking I’m realizing like this is the culmination of your 3 years of work. Like, it really is because now you’re at that point where it’s your first time that you’re really going to step away from your business and everything that you did over the last 3 years, it all led up to this point. I mean the wedding was awesome. You guys bought a house that was great. But, those are all things that people can do without having a business that provides them passive income but all the work you did, all the sweat, all the tears, all the personal growth like now it’s all being realized when you get to take that time off and you get to have the time off, you get to get paid and then even deeper than that your business is going to grow during that whole time period. It’s just awesome.


EH: Yeah, it’s just been such a blessing and such a shock that it could do this and I totally get while so many people are like, you know, totally put up their guard when they hear about it because I never knew anything about this. I never, they don’t teach you this in college. They don’t teach you this in high school. In fact, they, you know, it’s almost like taboo to talk about a business like this when in reality it’s, there’s nothing better. It’s allowed me to grow as a person. Like I said, I like being challenged. I’ve changed so much. I have so much more peace in my life. But then, to step into an entrepreneurial world that I’ve been craving for so long and allowing me to build something that’s unique to me and create a gift that I can give to other people. I mean it’s just the opportunity’s endless but the gifts from it are endless too.


KC: So awesome. I want to switch gears and want to touch base now on how you guys have handled your success. So, you guys have started recently to come into a lot more money than you used to earn, you know, earning a lot more than anyone in your family has earned and it’s you come from  family of attorneys and accountants and, you know, high paying jobs. You guys are coming into very, I’m trying to figure out the best way to word this, you guys are making a lot of money. Let’s just put it that way, right, I think that’s the simplest way to put it and a lot of times I’ve watched, especially in this industry that we’re in and I’ve watched a lot of people who they come into this type of money and they buy a huge house. They buy the new fancy cars. They buy this. They buy that. They start spending thousands of dollars on clothes and all of that stuff and you guys have done a really good job where you haven’t gotten new cars. You bought a house that is well below your means, well below what the bank would approve you for and what is it that has kept you and Michael grounded knowing that, you know, it’s tempting right? Like, it’s tempting to buy the things that you can afford to buy because the car company will give you the big loan. The mortgage company will give you the big loan. So, what is it that’s kept you guys grounded and not doing those things?


EH: You know, I have to give credit to our parents because both come from conservative backgrounds and 2 major things that were instilled in both of us, thankfully since childhood, have been integrity and humility and that’s something we want for our children. So, yes, it most definitely is tempting even though sometimes it’s so funny, like I’ll go to like a discount store, you know, target or Marshall’s and I’m looking at a price tag for a pair of jeans that’s like 30 bucks, I’m like, “I don’t want to pay 30 bucks for jeans.” I got an old mindset of like, “I can find this cheaper.” So you, I mean you stick to your roots in some capacity if you’re conscious of it, but it helps to kind of have that upbringing that taught me that. But, I know people that didn’t have that upbringing and they still have integrity and they still have humility. So, it’s just kind of making a decision as to what you really, who you want to be and for us it’s easy. You kind of say, “Who do I want to be for my children?” And then, you embody that and it’s not always easy but it also kind of helps to watch people go off the deep end and like spend all this money and do the crazy stuff and be like, “Gosh they, you know, they look ridiculous or that’s just not what I want or I don’t think that represents who I am. And so, those pieces have been hugely important for us and then, you know, holding each other accountable to them has been really big because sometimes one of us might get a little more excited about something, the other one reigns the other one in. But then, our faith is huge, you know, being that piece of humility but in our faith and staying connected to our community and seeing the need out there and realizing that this opportunity isn’t about making us richer. It’s about giving us more to give to others and that reality has been so empowering and so exciting to us. You know, we’ve lived in the same small house for the next 50 years if it meant the income that we’re growing we can give in a higher capacity to people who need it and I think being connected to your faith really helps with that. So, I think those are the pieces that have really shown us the path that we want to be on. And, you know, it’s different for everyone. We’re not here to judge what other people do. Although I do sometimes worry about how other people will handle their success because you just see that they’re not planning and we’ve been working with a financial adviser because our income has grown so quickly. It’s like “Holy crap, what do we do with all this? It’s like we don’t know.” So, we want to make sure that we’re making very smart business decisions and financial decisions. So, we’ve, you know, we’ve put a little bit of our money to funnel into a financial adviser that we trust. So, I always recommend that to people that are, you know, just stepping into this new level of income and instead of spending it or just banking it, figure out what you really should be doing with it that’s smart for your future.


KC: Yeah and I kind of feel like if I could sum all of that up, I think the biggest thing is you’re not, you’re not falling prey to the “Keeping up with the Joneses”, you’re not falling prey to this massive marketing machine out there where there’s just these, the new car, the new house, the new this, the new that. It’s kind of a game that you can never win at. You know, you get the new car and it’s good for 6 months and but then you want something newer, you want something better and so you’re really, you guys are staying away from that but you’re doing it just like you said through accountability, like holding each other accountable. But, even before that, like you decide how you want to live your life and from what I heard from you it’s easiest way to do that is who you want to be for your children, right? A lot of people miss that piece and it’s not the piece of what you want to have, it’s the piece of who you want to be. So, I really want to highlight that. So, you guys are you’re deciding first who you want to be and an easy way to do that is who do you want to be for your children, right? And then, like you said, you and Michael are holding each other accountable. You’re using your faith to keep you on that path, to keep you making decisions that aren’t always the easiest ones. You guys are doing it to help give to others and then that financial adviser piece too. So, for everybody listening, write that stuff down. We’ll also have it in the show notes but that’s a really good structure. I want to expand on this a little bit more Liz because I know for myself, I went through a little bit of this. Once this happens, everything’s going to be okay. I did come from rough times and I came from bankruptcy. I came from being broke and it was like, “Okay, once we get to this level, everything’s going to be okay.” Or, “Once this happens everything’s going to be okay.” But, the truth of the matter is, is that I really understand now, somebody could take all the money away and we’ll be okay because it’s not what you get, it’s who you become. So, it’s a really important piece for, again for everybody listening, the stuff will never fulfill you, the new car, the new house, the new wardrobe, the new this, the new that, it’ll just leave you wanting more and more and more but when you focus on building a human being building character, that’s really where the long term wealth and when I’m saying wealth, wealth in the sense of like wealth of life comes from. I appreciate you sharing all of that, Liz.


EH: My pleasure. It’s nice to kind of think about it. It’s easy to even though you’re doing the things that you want to be doing and building the life you want to be building, it’s easy to kind of just get in a routine even if you’re doing stuff that challenges you. So, it’s nice to kind of be asked those questions and then really be conscious of your decisions so it’s a nice little recap for me too.


KC: So, I want to ask you, we were talking about this beautiful life that the Hartges have and there’s a part of it that wasn’t so beautiful over the last couple of months with you guys just bought this new house and we had this insane winter here. Sometimes the word insane can be overused. It’s not overused in this part because it was. It was just a winter of huge storms and tons of snow and you guys got in your beautiful new house. You had these really, really bad ice storms caused a ton of damage to the house and that would’ve knocked a lot of people off. From an outsider’s standpoint, the 2 things that I see that would’ve really totally floored people are the piece that your house was literally unlivable like you guys had to go and live in a hotel for a certain period of time. So, there’s that one piece and then there’s the financial piece of it as well and you guys handled it in the stride and I was wondering if you could just share that experience and just keeping those 2 pieces in mind, the piece that like how you guys were able to handle it working together and then also like the financial piece of it as well.


EH: Yeah, sure. That’s been a big thing for us. So, we moved into this house and we were living in the city before and we wanted to get into the suburbs before we had a baby and we were kind of eager to get settled in the winter so that we had plenty of time to kind of nest and settle before the baby comes. But then of course, within a week we have this damage and we ended up, we waited a little bit to see how the damage played out and then had to move into this hotel as they fixed our house and this was a brand new construction. So, you know, we’re thinking in our minds, “Oh, we’re buying brand new, like, well, we won’t have issues.” So, we really weren’t expecting it. And then, moving back in months later and then trying to do all the things we did the first time, you know, because they totally moved everything out of our house, unpacking and you know when you’re 8 months pregnant, it’s a little bit tougher than when you’re 5 months pregnant.


KC: Yeah.


EH: So, anyway, it was stressful but we realized, we’re sitting down one night talking about it and kind of going through the things we have to do and, “Okay, we need to call this person and this person to fix this.” And, I don’t remember if Michael looked at me or I looked at him but it kind of clicked for both of us that like even though we have all these things going on and all these stresses and a baby coming, not a single ounce of stress is stemming from something financial and that was like shocking to us because this was a huge, I mean they had all brand new hardwood floors put in on all the levels. They had to repaint everything terra drywall, put new ceilings and I mean this was no small project and it never was like “Okay, well if we want to fix that we better not buy that piece of furniture to put in the baby’s room” or “We can’t go see your family now because the money we would spend on those tickets has to go into these floors.” There wasn’t that financial sacrifice which we were so grateful for because we see other people even in our neighborhood who aren’t even fixing these major issues in their home, you know, roofs collapsing because they can’t afford it.


KC: Yeah.


EH: So, that piece of it was like a huge light bulb moment for us while I look at what we’ve built. We’ve built something that allows us to, sure stress a little bit, but about stuff that really is trivial like it’s going to get fixed. We’re going to be fine and none of it is going to be a financial burden on us, thank God. So, that element was huge and it was a huge eye opening moment for us to be grateful for what we have. And, the other piece of it was funny because we’d tell people about the problems that we were having in the house, you know, just kind of sharing the story and they’d be like, “Oh my gosh, how are you dealing?” And, we would just kind of laugh, it’s like stuff happens, this is life and you know what, maybe this is exactly what we needed before a baby to remind us that stuff doesn’t matter and it was like a perspective piece for us that we probably needed or a little kick in the pants with, you know, we have been focused, you’re moving to a new home, you want to make it nice, you want to furnish it, you want to get the nice things. Maybe we started to shift our focus too much to the things and not, you know, focusing on each other before the baby or on our faith or whatever it is, on other people and it really helped kind of reign us in and say, “Alright, yeah, you got to fix this stuff. It’s important, it’s your but it doesn’t hold a candle to what you’re building as far as your relationships and all of that.” So, it was like this element of perspective that we needed. And, for the record, 2 days after we moved back in, floor is totally redone, hardwood throughout the house.


KC: Hold on, are you going to throw Michael under the bus on our podcast episode?


EH: No, I’m not going to throw him under the bus. Our fridge starts making a funny noise and we wake up in the morning and overnight our icemaker broke in our new fridge and leaked all over our brand new hardwood floor. It was like right after we had moved back in and buckled all the floors in the kitchen. So, we were like, honestly Michael tells me about it, he went downstairs for first and I’m like, “Okay, so the floors are buckled?” And, he’s like, “Yeah”. I’m like, “And the icemaker’s broken?” He was like, “Yeah.” “So, we have no ice?” “Yeah.” I’m like, “Okay, we need to get the icemaker fixed.” When you’re 9 months pregnant, all you want to do is chew ice. I didn’t even care about the floors anymore. I just wanted my bags of ice. So, we’ve been dealing with that too, you know, it was another thing to be like, “Hey, just another subtle reminder, stuff doesn’t matter. This kind of thing is going to happen.” So, I don’t know. It was just, it kind of, it was a full circle moment for us, helped us become more grateful, I think.


KC: And, I love that story and Michael, you’re probably going to listen to this and I have to apologize because I’m going to throw you under the bus. The best part about that whole story for everybody listening was, Liz, who again is 9 months pregnant, the night before said to Michael that she thinks the ice machine’s acting up and he told her that she was being crazy. So, listen to your 9-month pregnant wife if she mentions something to you.


EH: We’re not as crazy as you may think we are. We have that whole mother’s intuition going.


KC: Oh, that’s so great. Well, I want to get into a couple of quick questions before we wrap up. But before that, I want to ask you a personal question on something that I know is really important to you and it’s about faith. For somebody that maybe listening in especially in our culture, in the United States and today’s society, the younger generations, we’ve sort of moved away from faith, away from organized religion, away from spirituality, whatever you want to call it and I was wondering if you could share a little bit about what your relationship with God has done for your life. And then, the second part to that question is for somebody that is sort of lost in that realm, what would you recommend them to do? How would you recommend them to start?


EH: Sure. For us, faith in our marriage and in our lives is non-negotiable. However, that doesn’t mean that we don’t struggle with it, distance ourselves from it, have a really hard time staying on top of it or staying connected but we know it’s what we want. So, our eyes are always set on God and on our faith but just like everyone else, you know, we veer off and just like everything else, it’s a conscious decision, like you have, it takes work. You don’t just say, “Hey, I want to have a faith that’s strong” and then it just kind of happens and everything’s like rosy and perfect. It requires your saying, “I’m willing to make sacrifices. I’m willing to work with this.” Just like a job or a career you’re building or, you know, a relationship that you have and, I think, for us, having that level of faith, the reason it’s non-negotiable is because we’ve come to the realization that we don’t want the pressure of the world on us, that we have to try and do it on our own because I know I’m not strong enough. I know that there are things, when I have this beautiful little baby, that I’ll want to control and I’ll want to protect and they are out of my control and I know that I have to surrender that to God and be able to have the faith that he’s going to take care of us. So, for me it’s an element of peace and that sense of security like “I’m loved, I’m taken care of and I’m only going to worry about the things that are mine to worry about and everything else, you know, I’m giving to Him.” And, before that, I think it’s the difference between, you see it all the time, between surviving. Like, you can survive without faith but can you really thrive without it? And, you might have like little peaks in your life where you’re really happy but you’re always going to come down from them because something in life is going to happen that’s going to derail you or throw you off your name and you’re going to have to figure it out on your own when you don’t have that level of connection or that level of faith and we’re not survival people, Michael and I, like we, I’ve already told you like I like to be challenged. We want more. We want more energy to be able to give to others and that’s thriving to us and to do that we have to be honed in on our faith. So, how do you do that? Sometimes, it’s not as simple as just like going back to your church or taking up a bible or picking up a study tool for your faith. It requires more. Maybe you need to go talk to someone that’s going to give you some spiritual direction. I always think that’s a great first step because, you know, it’ s someone that can put you in the right direction, someone that can say based on what you’ve said, “This is what I think would be a good start for you.”


KC: Yeah, so really like a spiritual mentor.


EH: Exactly. And, you know, books are awesome, but again, you’re kind of doing it on your own a little bit. It helps to have that guidance and someone to put their arm around your shoulder and say, “Yeah, that’s a great idea. Try this.” And so, that’s an important piece. I am a strong believer in like faith retreats and those are very powerful. And, people from all walks of life come into them, they have no faith at all, they’re, you know, flying high in heaven and their minds are already where they need to be. It doesn’t matter where you are in the spectrum, something like that that’s a little more structures and allows you to step away from the worldly things and step into the faith things for a weekend or whatever it is and disconnect from all the crap that’s been like bugging you down. I feel like that’s a really powerful first step for a lot of people.


KC: Yeah, I totally agree and, you know, you and I have different faiths, different spiritual paths but the one thing they do have in common is an annual or a biannual retreat like that. Liz, so if I’m listening and I know that you do a lot mentoring. You do a lot of one-on-one work with Beachbody and then even for stuff with this spirituality and with your faith, how would somebody get in contact with you if they had questions or if they wanted to talk about working with you?


EH: Sure. I’m crappy at responding to e-mails in a timely fashion. I tend to be a little quicker on Facebook and I do most things from my like page these days so it’s just, you know, the Facebook website /ElizabethHartge (www.facebook.com/ElizabethHartke) and that will connect you to my page and you can send me a private message and that’s how I’ve been connecting with people. It’s just a little bit more instant for me. I’m fairly terrible at organizing my e-mail. So, I will respond to e-mails. My e-mail is elizgemmell@dropthecookie.com. Just be patient with me, that’s all.


KC: Alright and we’ll have links to all those in the show notes. So, if you’re listening, you can always jump over to the show notes to get the spelling for all of that and the exact links. So, thank you Liz. And, before we exit, real quick, are there any books that you recommend people? What are you reading right now or anything that are like your go to books that you would recommend people check out?


EH: Sure. So, I am a pretty inconsistent reader. I’m just, I wouldn’t say I’m ADD but I do like to be like moving around and doing stuff. So, sitting down with a long book is not my style so what I’ve been doing, I love John Maxwell. I love his message and his depth and his level of, the way he ties his beliefs into his leadership and I’ve been using the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership Workbook and it’s broken down into the 21 different laws that he thinks are so important to becoming a leader and a better person. But, they’re short chapters and what it does is he gives like a little blurb and then asks a few questions where you can kind of interact with what he’s talking about and that’s just been awesome. It’s, you know, a short exercise and sometimes when I read something even if it’s powerful to me, I still lose a lot of it, you know, it doesn’t stay with me and I find when I’m writing something down or taking a note or answering a question, I’m just so much more engaged that I remember it and it’s more powerful to me. So, that’s one that I would recommend to anyone and I think really any John Maxwell is so solid but this workbook has been pretty amazing in my opinion. And then, other books, I don’t know it just depend, I always tell people when they’re seeking, think about what you need most in your life and choose a book based on that because someone can recommend something great. But, if you’re not struggling with entrepreneurship, you’re struggling with your faith and you pick up a book on entrepreneurship it’s not going to address the issue. So, really make sure that you’re thinking about, “Okay, what are my hardships right now? What is holding me back?” And, find something that is going to address that exact issue in your life and read something based on that.


KC: That’s awesome and the piece that I want to highlight from what you just mentioned, Liz, is there’s 2 things that I took from that was find something that you are looking to improve in your life and get a book with that. But, the second piece that I really wanted to just put an exclamation point with is when you talked about John Maxwell’s book, the reason that you’re gaining so much value from it is you’re actually engaging and implementing. So, regardless of whatever book you’re looking, you get or whatever part of your life you’re looking to improve, you get the good book, the most important thing is taking action and implementing those things in the book and, you know, there’s a lot of people who have these goals, “If I’m going to read 50 books this year and this and that.” I honestly don’t think that’s the right approach. I think that you’re better of reading a couple but doing something with those books, so. And, a perfect example of that is the John Maxwell book, Liz, because I know that you gifted that. You had a retreat that I got to go on with you and you gifted that to a bunch of the women who you work with. It wasn’t just a read it. It’s been a doing it, becoming it, making it a part of you type book. Is that sort of accurate?


EH: Yeah, yeah, it’s almost like a little book club that we’ve had going. We just connect once a week on a video chat and talk about the chapter of that week and that I cannot get over how impactful it’s been for all of us and there are about 20 of us that have been connecting or even a little bit more. And, everyone is taking such value from this content, even a short chapter that just touches on one concept. And then, like you said, they’re applying it. They’re applying it to their business. They’re applying it to their personal life and they’re feeling that shift into a new leadership role and it’s been really cool to watch and to experience it myself.


KC: Awesome. Well, this has been so great to have you on, Liz, and I know that there were just tons of nuggets in here, tons of things that you shared and I would just want to wrap up, say that I love you, I love my Michael and I cannot wait to meet the new baby sometime soon.


EH: Yeah, Keith, we feel the same way. We’re so grateful to have you in our lives and Keith has just been such a valued friend and, you know, piece of our family since we’ve met him and we love you and Amy and the kids and we can’t wait for you to come visit the new little nugget. So, thank you for having me on this. It’s been an awesome experience. I will gladly chat with you anytime.


KC: Alright. So, I hope you enjoyed that episode as much as I did and if you want to get the show notes to it, you can always send a text message to get them. So, the text message for this episode is 38470 and then just type the word LIZ into the content. So, send a text to 38470 and then LIZ in the content and we’ll make sure that you get the show notes for everything that we talked about and I highly recommend it because until I started doing this with podcasts, every time I would listen and say, “Oh my God, that was good. This was good. That was great. I’m going to go check out the website and the show notes when I get home and I would always forget. So, we made it nice and easy for you. But, if you do want to go to the website, just go to KeithCallahan.com/episode10 and that’s where you find the information for this episode. Alright, ‘til next time.


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