EP63 Part I – Interview with Stacy McKenna
Part I –Today’s interview is with Stacy McKenna. Stacy is a Transformational Coach, Writer, Speaker and Publisher. We dive into her first mentor, Dr. Eli Goldratt, a movie she is producing – Skipping Joy, her work as a Keynote Speaker and Transformational Coach, the importance of commitments, Faith, her book recommendation, her favorite movies and so much more!
[0:00:12.9] KC: Welcome to The Business of Life Podcast. My name is Keith Callahan. Your host and today we have on Stacy McKenna and really excited for you guys to hear the conversation that Stacy and I had. We broke this up into two episodes, that’s the way we’ve been doing most of the interviews lately, it’s just ben gotten much better feedback and it’s easier to digest that way.
So Stacy and I jumped in and talked about a bunch of different things. We talk about the work that she does as a writer, speaker and transformational coach, also producer. We talk about the movie that she is in the middle of right now producing the movie Skipping Joy. Talk about one of her earlier mentors in life, Dr. Eli Goldrat — I think I’m pronouncing that last name right — and his theory of constraint. Really cool theory, really popular guy in the business world.
So we talk a lot about that, the work that she did with him, we talk about commitment, the importance of committing to things and being all in, talk about books, faith, movies, she’s a movie buff. So much awesome stuff and as always, I screen the guest before they come on the show very heavily. Stacy and I talked for about 45 minutes yesterday from the time that I’m recording this before we jumped on and hit it right off and we dove into some good stuff for you.
One other thing, I just want to give you a quick heads up, the audio on my side, I didn’t turn my microphone on. You’re going to be listening to the audio directly from the computer, not horrible but not the normal audio that we always have. All right, let’s go ahead and get Stacy on.
[0:02:04.2] KC: Welcome to the Business of Life. My name is Keith Callahan, your host and excited for today’s guest Stacy McKenna. Stacy, welcome to the show.
[0:02:16.2] SM: Hi there, thank you for having me.
[0:02:18.8] KC: I’m really excited, I know that it’s always cool when guests, like how guests
come and Patty had — or I shouldn’t say introduced. She was like, “You have to reach out to
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Stacy, you guys have to connect and get on the show,” and we connected yesterday and we wound up chatting for like 45 minutes and then we were like heck, let’s just do it tomorrow and here we are.
[0:02:43.4] SM: Yeah, that’s awesome. Like I love those connections when you’re just like, “Let’s just do this, let’s stop talking about it,” and it was so fast.
[0:02:49.2] KC: Yup. I’m pulling up your beautiful new website here and you’re working as a transformational coach, writer, speaker, producer and I want to hear all about that but the thing that I’m most interested in is I want to hear about Skipping Joy. Is that the name of it? The documentary film? Or Skipping for Joy?
[0:03:15.4] SM: Skipping Joy. Yeah, I’d love to. That came out of left field so I love that. I would love to tell you about the film. It’s a documentary, we are in the midst of editing right now. So anybody who has ever made a documentary knows all the joys of that. We hope to have this released, we will definitely have it released this year, we were hoping to have it early spring.
It might be late spring, it might be summer, depending on what comes up because like life, when you make a documentary, you never know what you’re going to get, you never know what’s coming at you and you’re sort of, you know, as you’re filming and creating the film because it’s not scripted, you’re on this journey and you kind of know where you’re going. But it’s amazing just like life how it evolves and never really looks like you thought it was going to.
[0:04:06.2] KC: So you guys are in the middle of filming it right now?
[0:04:08.8] SM: No, we’re in the editing process. So we’re done filming, at least, again, you never know when you actually are in the editing room and you’re cutting things, we might go back and go, “Oh man, we totally, we need this, there’s a gap here with the story line.”
[0:04:24.1] KC: Yeah.
[0:04:25.2] SM: So Skipping Joy, the title in of itself is sort of a metaphor for life, what are we
choosing to skip in our lives? So even though the sizzle rail which is like a little teaser, the thing © 2016 The Business of Life 2
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that becomes before the official trailer. People are like, “Oh it’s a movie about skipping.” Yeah, there’s lots of skipping like little cuts throughout the film that are fun and joyous but it’s really not about skipping at all.
The tag line, yeah, the tag line for the film is “Who were you before the world told you who you should be?” It’s a journey to just look at what would life look like if we chose to be who we really are, if we chose to come, show up in the world powerfully, if we chose courage and authenticity and vulnerability rather than what most of us are choosing, which is what we’ve been conditioned to choose?
[0:05:16.6] KC: I love it, all this time I was like wow. This is like a really — you guys did a documentary just on skipping and I was so curious about it and yeah, now I hear the deeper meaning behind it.
[0:05:31.4] SM: You know what? It’s a great question that we use in so many of the interviews and most of the interviews, if not all, I don’t remember because I didn’t do them all. We’d ask the doctor or the professor or the actor or whoever it is and say, “When was the last time you skipped?” It’s funny, so much emotion came from that. Some people thankfully said, “I was just skipping the other day with my kids. Like I skip all the time with my kids,” and you can see, they’re joyous people.
And then most people, there is emotion, they’re like my goodness, I have no idea. It’s that thing because it connects us back to who we really are which is that child in all of us who wants to play and deserves to play rather than have the heaviness of life. We asked all the people we interviewed in this film to skip with us at the end of the interview and it’s so funny how they’re serious about the interview and they want to get their message out. It was just so lovely to see all these adults just in complete freedom, fully expressed skipping.
[0:06:41.4] KC: I love it. You know Louise Hay right? [0:06:42.3] SM: I do.
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[0:06:44.3] KC: One of her huge things is trampoline jumping and I wonder if, and it’s because of the — I think it’s the lymph’s and it puts you in this good mood and it’s that same up and down motion with skipping too, we just don’t need trampoline.
[0:06:58.7] SM: That’s right, that’s right. It’s really hard to skip. I mean I welcome all the people who listen to your podcast to try it out, skip around your kitchen and try not to smile. I don’t want to say it’s impossible but you’re really pushing it if you’re not smiling while you’re skipping and it’s like, “Why do we stop,” right? That’s what came out that some people are like, “Well, I was too old for that,” or, “They said that that wasn’t cool anymore,” and think about that, it’s ridiculous.
[0:07:31.4] KC: I love it, If we go to either your website which is Stacy R McKenna and I’ll include this on the show notes so you guys don’t have to write it down, especially if you’re driving down the road. If you go to your about section there’s a link to it or if you can also go to Unlikely Hero Productions.
[0:08:03.9] SM: Yup.
[0:08:04.5] KC: Yeah, I’m going to check that out.
[0:08:06.2] SM: It’s also in the firefly features where it supports some writing and there’s the sizzle reel actually to the film is there and even though it’s a YouTube thing but it gives you information of where to check it out. Thank you.
[0:08:18.6] KC: Gotcha. It’s so funny how — I have this series of questions that I want to ask but I’m going totally off script here. What does a producer do on the movie set, what’s the difference between the producer, the director, the writer and then there’s one more person, right?
[0:08:43.9] SM: Well, it depends on the kind of film. So with the director — like the writers of the film, they would do a lot of the interviewing questions for documentaries, so it’s not a scripted film. So a scripted film like a regular movie that you would see, somebody wrote it or it’s adapted from a book or something else, a play.
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There’s the actual script. In a documentary, you’re not scripted, you’re interviewing people or you’re going on this journey and it’s just being filmed and kind of like life, it’s just happening and you’re catching it on film. Of course, while you’re doing the film, you come up with an idea while you’re doing the film, a documentary I should say, you start to see things, like you have an idea.
But then until you get someone like really is a writer and knows how to tell a story and there’s a structure. We follow the Hero’s Journey, which is in writing, most stories are about a hero’s journey. We use that as a back bone and we have this — it’s funny that you brought this up, there’s an amazing woman that I will, when we’re off when the show is done recording, I want to tell you all about.
Her name is Sherrie and she’s from Massachusetts as well near Boston and she has what a gift. She came on as part of our project and really tightened up the story but she has a film before this and she’s working on several others but she’s so talented, she’s a professor. She also has a house on the cape. What a powerhouse. But anyway, I digress. I really want to talk to you about her because I think she might be someone you might be interested in having a conversation with as well.
[0:10:28.6] KC: All right, that’s like, will that be called in movie speak, that’s like a teaser for an upcoming episode?
[0:10:38.9] SM: That’s the sizzle reel yes. It’s so funny, I was just speaking with her last night and I was like, it just made the connection and then you’re going down this path so there it is. The difference is, obviously people have different — there’s definitions of this, but I think that they’re sort of lose. So the executive producer is really what I initially signed up for on this project which is basically to fund the film.
There’s two of us that do that and then as I said, I just want to learn and it was one of those things that was organic that I got more and more involved. You’re involved with the interviews and you’re involved with — you’re there for the interviews, you’re there with the camera guys, you’re behind the scenes, you’re saying, “More of this, do this.” And then there’s the director
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who is really running the show and saying this is what I want it to look like or more of this or whatever.
But the cool thing about our team is that we all ended up with credits as directors, producers, two of the writers, Sherrie is one of them, they did more of the writing than others. But we all really came up with questions for the people that we were interviewing. It was weird, we really didn’t sign up for that and then just it became a true blue collaboration because it just got more exciting and reach of us had different skill sets and we just were like, we got to practice those and put them in motion.
[0:12:07.5] KC: On a traditional film, the producer is the person that kind of like funds, they fund the whole project, they bring the project to life?
[0:12:18.4] SM: That would be the executive producer.
[0:12:20.1] KC: Okay.
[0:12:20.8] SM: As a producer, I remember when we did this satellite program in Europe years ago that has nothing to do with this film. The producer was really the one that was like in the — they have a room with all the screens and they’re like, “Move the camera here, take it there, do this, cut that.” And the producer was really just, it’s like the project manager basically of the project.
[0:12:41.4] KC: Okay, then in that same lingo, what would the director be then?
[0:12:46.4] SM: The director is usually the one with the vision and the one that’s like, “This is
the way its’ going.” Do you know what I mean? The producer’s making it happen. [0:12:57.3] KC: Got you. I’ve always been so curious about that.
[0:13:00.3] SM: Yeah, I think, you know what? Again, this is my first film so I bet you someone that’s been doing film for years would say, “That’s not so correct but it might look different on different sets but the director is really the one that has the final say, really drives the film and
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because it’s their vision, it’s their idea, it’s their vision and it’s like, “Okay,“ All the other people, it’s not that they’re less important, because it doesn’t happen unless all those other people are working together.
[0:13:29.7] KC: Got you. Let’s do a little jumping around here. [0:13:34.9] SM: Sure.
[0:13:35.7] KC: You were working when you were sort of right out of school as a fashion buyer, right?
[0:13:43.9] SM: I was.
[0:13:45.7] KC: And now you’re doing a lot of public speaking, writing and a lot of transformational coaching for professional, for people that — for personal lives, professional lives. How did that transition happen from where you were to where you are?
[0:14:06.0] SM: Yes, that’s a great question. There’s a huge gap, which was I would say was my career up until now, this stuff that I do now, this juicy, wonderful stuff is sort of new, it’s in the last five years. So in between fashion buying, coming right out of school it was a great job, I loved what I did and I lived in Manhattan. I had the pleasure of like again, I’m 47 years old. The chunk of my career thus far was working with Dr. Eli Goldrat who has since passed.
He is a famous physicist, he’s an Israeli, he’s written I don’t even know how many books, 14 plus international best sellers. He kind of created the genre of a business novel. He was one of the highest paid consultants in the world. He was the creator of the theory of constraints which basically is, there was so many business management processes out there, especially in the 80’s, Can Ban and TQM and whatever and he came with this process and basically said, the theory of constraint, so if you looked at a chain, you said, “How do we determine the strength of a chain?”
Most people would be like, whatever they say but it’s really by the weakest link, you’re only as strong as your weakest link. Something like TQM would be improve marketing, improve sales,
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improve production, improve whatever it is. Improve, improve, improve, and then the whole chain improves. And Dr. Goldrat’s theory was you’re only as, you know, the system, you have to focus on the constraint. Wherever the constraint is, that’s where all the work, that’s where your focus is. Until that link is strengthened, until that constraint gets strengthened then there’s no improvement. Everything gets subordinated to that.
So he came up with all sorts of processes, all sorts of books and everything but working with him to date, it could change, he is by far my biggest mentor. I had the pleasure of traveling the world, meeting heads of companies that I couldn’t believe I was in the same room with. My boss was truly a genius, an amazing mentor. I mean he would always be like, he’d talk in goals, his best seller is called The Goal. It’s not a word that I like to use these days but he’s like, “What’s your goal? What’s your goal in life?”
He was a visionary, he truly was. So I was behind the scenes for so much of his stuff. Looking back now, everything that I was learning led me up to this point. He was like the show man, he was the one making insane money just to show up for an hour and speak all over the world and I was behind the scenes booking the contracts, making sure the production that goes on behind someone like that is incredible as you can imagine.
[0:16:53.3] KC: Yeah.
[0:16:54.1] SM: He had me, he had a personal assistant and he had me who was — I was the international public relations director. So anything he did, anywhere he went, went through me and I just learned so much. He just defied everything. Like, “No, I don’t want power point and I don’t want this,” and he would just get up and blow audiences away.
It’s sort of how I am. I don’t think that I’m better, I just feel like if I speak from my heart and if I don’t make it about me and I just am generous and give to the audience then I will do a great job. It’s not about pleasing everybody, it’s about connecting even if I only connect with one person then I’ve done something.
He was like that, put the teleprompter, he just wanted a lavaliere microphone and he would use, remember that overhead projectors, “We have to put that on the computer,” and he’s like, “Get
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the hell out of here.” You know, he’s like, “Give me the overhead projector,” I don’t even know if they make those anymore? and he have like a magic marker because his knowledge was so vast and he was so generous with his knowledge that that was him on stage. I have, still to day, it’s very rare if I see a speaker that even comes close to him. Never mind the mind behind it. It was such a privilege, I had such a colorful career for sure.
[0:18:16.0] KC: With his theory of constraints and the weakest link and the work that you’re doing now, what are your thoughts on like — are you incorporating that into your work? And let me kind of elaborate on the question. If you’re working with someone in a consulting capacity, are you looking for that — I call it in my words “the piece that’s going to take someone out”.
We’re all fine and dandy when everything’s going good but then when it gets tough, what’s the piece that’s going to take you out? Because until we fix that, you’re going to keep repeating the same thing. With the people you’re consulting with, are you looking for that piece as well?
[0:18:58.6] SM: No. That’s a really good question, do I use all my learning up until this point for whatever I do? Absolutely. When someone comes to me and I don’t’ say that I’m a consultant, I don’t want to be a consultant, I’ve never been a consultant. Do I have this knowledge in my back pocket? Absolutely.
It’s funny, the work that he did, it’s so beautiful, it’s such a gorgeous piece of knowledge, all of it. But I always thought that not that it wasn’t enough, I just always thought that there was something missing at least when I was working for him towards the end. It’s more of that spiritual side.
He used to always say, he’d ask these big CEO’s of these big companies and say, “What’s your biggest asset?” They would be talking about no numbers. He’d be like, “Really? Let me tell you something, your biggest assets are your people. If you don’t’ get that, you’re never going to have a system that thrives.” So that part of the conversation, that’s more of my work.
Having people really realize what makes them just shine, what do they like to do? So many people are in careers and they hate it or their gifts aren’t being utilized but they don’t have the
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courage to speak up and say, “I am so misaligned with what I want to do to where,” — and they don’t have the courage to leave. They’re miserable.
It’s more of that, I’m more on the human side of things rather than the business consulting, can I go in there and go, this is where your system screwed up? Absolutely. I’m really more about that, when we build better people, people who are really truly when the system is only going to work as good as the people are going to be open to each other.
So it’s really about building connection with it, really about elevating the system but the system being the actual organization which is built of people rather than going in and going, “Okay, these measurements are wrong or let’s move this around on the production floor.” I’m not interested in that.
[0:21:10.0] KC: With the work that you’re doing, you’re really identifying two things. I just want to make sure I understand this fully.
[0:21:17.1] SM: Yeah sure.
[0:21:17.6] KC: Within an organization, you’re looking for the right people in the right place and
supporting them as well? Then as they’re also, like you do the individual work as well?
[0:21:30.3] SM: Yes. If someone like an organization would hire me or a team of coaches that I work with, we would go in and do some workshops and experiential workshops which all that means is the experiential just means you’re learning by experiencing it. So it’s that kind of learning that gets really stuck in your bones because you don’t forget it.
You’re like, “Oh, that happened.” Rather than, “Yes, someone said that, it was on the screen, I remember that bullet point that bullet point.” That you’re going to forget. We put two in situations that you’re actually experiencing, having an experience okay?
We’d go in and then after that, the company basically hires you, it’s like a contract where you’re coaching the people. It is more one on one or you’re coaching a group of people. It could be executives, it could be admin, it could be whatever, it doesn’t matter and it’s really about, really
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having people getting clear on what it is they want to create because most of the time we just go into our jobs and we go on automatic and this is what needs to be done. Even in life, this is my, to do list and no one ever pauses and reflects. :What am I even doing? What do we even want to do?”
[0:22:44.4] KC: Can you elaborate on that piece a little bit more? The identifying what it is that you want to create in your life and how you’re working with people? I guess, both how you’re working with people in that capacity and I think that so many people don’t even realize that that’s an option for them.
[0:23:06.9] SM: Right. So I’m not really clear on the question. [0:23:10.6] KC: I don’t think I am either but I want to talk about it.
[0:23:13.0] SM: I’ll take a stab at it. I love that you said that. Not too many people realize that that’s an option. So anyone listening today, I want you to just, if you hear one thing on this interview is you always have a choice especially, we live in this country and I know this could be going all over the world but in most developed countries, we have choices and in some countries they don’t, especially women, right?
So we always have a choice and again, it goes back to the film, “What are we choosing to skip in our lives?” We’re choosing it, we may have been conditioned where it’s like, “Oh we’ve got to be like this or like that,” or, “This is what I was taught that I should do,” or, “This is what I went to school for.” Sometimes people, if I could put another bullet point on my website or anything, the transformational coach, the speaker, the writer, producer, I’m an interrupter of bullshit, to bullshit.
[0:24:04.6] KC: I love it.
[0:24:05.2] SM: Right? Let me interrupt that, you do have a choice, what are you choosing? Your life is your responsibility and that shouldn’t sound hard or heavy. That should sound like freedom okay? I guess how you do that is really, people say, “I don’t even know,” I can’t tell you to come to work with me on one on one and they’re like, “I don’t even know what I want.”
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Of course they do, it’s just been so shelved or so squished down and it might take a few sessions to actually get there but I promise you, all the answers are within you, it’s not outside yourself. That’s the basis of my work, it’s really going inward. All those wonderful things, ways of being, courage and vulnerability and joy and passion. Those are choices. Those are choices.
[0:25:04.3] KC: I love it. When we’re diving in a little deeper now, the people that you’re working with, I’m curious, so there’s certain people that — I think that everybody listening for the most part can understand that, “Yeah, if I really slow down and if I can identify that big, beautiful, bold dream that I’ve always wanted to live, it gets a little scary though.” From the people that you’ve seen that have — we’ve gotten to the point of identifying it but then actually bringing it to life, what are the commonalities with the people that have brought it to life?
[0:25:04.3] SM: The commonalities — that’s a great question. The commonalities, well first of all like you said, some people don’t even know the answers to the question or they don’t know how. One of the slippery slopes is that people may know and then they’re like how and they’re like, “Oh my god, that’s just too crazy or that’s too much,” right? Then there’s people who don’t believe they don’t know, it’s really about taking a time, keep asking the question, “What is it that you want, what do you need? What is it that you want?”
Keep asking it, it will come to you. Sometimes you’re so afraid but then it will come out. So then once you’re clear because it is within you, you’ve always known. Once you’re clear, it’s about having a vision that’s tangible so you know what you’re talking about, you know what you’re going for. It’s not in a box, it’s sort of expansive because I promise you, the universe, god, source, spirit, whatever you want to call it is going to canned up something so much more gorgeous than you could have ever imagined.
That I know to be true. The difference is I think with people that actually have their dreams or their vision realized are the difference of the people that live in their commitments. So our feelings are like a pendulum, they’re constantly going back and forth, back and forth.. Came out of yoga, you feel so amazing, someone cuts you off, you’re like, “What?” Whatever.
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You get this shitty news and it’s like up, down, all around. We’re human beings, we’re constantly reacting to things right? I don’t know about you Keith, the little bit I do know about you, you actually do take care of yourself. You actually are about health and wellbeing, you have a very strong spiritual practice. Does that take commitment?
[END OF INTERVIEW]
[0:27:35.4] KC: All right, we are going to cut out there and then we’re going to pick up this conversation next Wednesday. See you next Wednesday for the second half of Stacy McKenna.
[0:27:49.4] KC: Today’s episode is brought to you by our sister podcast, All About Beachbody Coaching. So All About Beachbody Coaching really allows us to do this podcast without having all those annoying commercials in the beginning for you. So All About Beachbody Coaching, the Beachbody business that Amy and I run, actually funds this podcast.
So yes, it does cost money to run this podcast, we do not charge you anything, we don’t throw in commercials or anything like that, it really is, it’s funded by our business and by our other podcast, All About Beachbody Coaching. And for me, I’m just eternally grateful for this opportunity because it’s allowed me to really create the life that I love to live.
It’s given me the opportunity to do what I want, when I want, with who I want, and even deeper than that, it’s allowed me to help others to create the same for themselves. It’s allowed me to help hundreds of other people become part time or full time Beachbody coaches, to leave that corporate 9 to 5 job and create passive income in their lives.
And really there’s nothing like that. It’s cool when you have success, it’s so much more rewarding when you help others. So I mention this or a few reasons, the first reason is, that’s actually the way that I work with people and mentor people. I don’t do anything outside of Beachbody coaching because I know that it’s such a powerful life changing tool.
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So if you’re curious about working with me, interested in working one-on-one, interested in creating the type of life that you wanna live, I suggest swinging over there. The other reason is, even if somebody’s just curious, like you’ve heard about Beachbody, you know there’s a lot of Beachbody coaches out there. Maybe some of them you get a little annoyed with.
It really dives into what this business is really about, which is life transformation. So if you’re just curious, swing over there. And then the other piece is, if you’re really considering becoming a Beachbody coach, I highly, highly recommend you listen to that first.
Alright, much love guys. Again, that is the All About Beachbody Coaching Podcast, our sister podcast.
[0:30:15.4] KC: Hey, Keith here, and today I have a free gift for you. Listen this free gift is a list of the 12 most influential books that I’ve ever read. These are the books that have helped me to create the mindset, learn the philosophies, learn the skills to really create this big, beautiful, life that we’re living now.
I read a crazy amount of books, I really do. I’ve probably read thousands of books and these are the top 12 books that – they’re the ones that I go to, they’re the ones that I work with over, and over, and over again. They are highlighted, outlined, dog-eared. And I put this list together for you because I want it to be a shortcut.
I don’t want you to have to – you don’t have to go out and read the thousands and thousands of books. These are the 12 that I highly recommend. I have a detailed review for each book, explaining why I recommend them, why I like them, when I worked with them in my life, what part of my life they helped me to improve.
So I put this together for you, and made it super each for you to get this list. All you have to do is send a text to the number 33444 and then in the body of that text, type in “12books” with no space. So that’s the number “12books”. Again, send the text message to the number, address it
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to 33444 and then type in “12books” as the message and just send that. And that’ll get you setup to receive those top 12 most influential books that have had the biggest impact on my life.
[0:32:19] ANNOUNCER: Thank you for listening to the Business of Life Podcast. Apply what you learned today and you’ll be one step closer to creating the life you love to live.
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