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147. Leading with Intention & Courage with Catherine Bell

As we get ready to begin a new year, are you wondering how you can you can lead with more intention and courage?

Our guest, Catherine Bell, is a thought-leader and prime example for women who lead with intention and courage. As the founder of two very successful companies - Blue Era and The Awakened Company, a bestselling author, an executive coach, and an inspiring leader, Catherine is making waves in the corporate world. In our conversation, she shares actionable insights on self-awareness, risk-taking, and the importance of staying true to one's vision.


About Catherine:

Catherine Bell headshot
Catherine R. Bell

Catherine Bell loves to help people, relationships, teams, and organizations thrive! Catherine helps organizations create healthy corporate cultures through executive coaching, team strategy sessions, team facilitation, speaking, and online webinars. She is an award-winning Profit 500 Founder, serial entrepreneur and best-selling author. Catherine has an MBA from the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University, a sociology degree from Western University, is certified in the Enneagram, and is a yoga instructor. She was a Jarislowsky Co-Fellow at the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary. Catherine has recently co-founded a mindfulness app, Awakenly, which uses the Enneagram to ground people into presence and transform their realities.


Teri Schmidt [00:00:00]:

As we get ready to begin a new year, are you wondering how you can lead with more intention and courage? Welcome to this episode of the Strong Leaders Serve podcast where we talk with Catherine Bell, a thought leader and prime example for women who lead with intention and courage. Catherine is the founder of 2 very successful companies, Blue Era and The Awakened Company. A best selling author, executive coach, and inspiring leader, Catherine is making waves in the corporate world. In our conversation, she shares actionable insights on self awareness, risk taking, and the importance of staying true to one's vision. So let's get into it. I'm Terry Schmidt, your host and a leadership coach dedicated to helping you grow. I believe that leadership is all about courageously using your talents to make a way for others to courageously use theirs. And this is the Strong Leaders Serve podcast.

Teri Schmidt [00:01:12]:

Welcome, Catherine. Thank you so much for coming on the Strong Leaders Serve podcast. I'm looking forward to our conversation today.

Catherine Bell [00:01:19]:

Thank you so much for having me, Teri. It's a real joy to be with you and to be with everybody who's listening to us.

Teri Schmidt [00:01:27]:

Yeah. Isn't that the beauty of podcast?

Catherine Bell [00:01:29]:

It is. And what a gift it is to actually have people receive what it is we are saying and, hopefully, to use it. Because, ultimately, it's about what are all the small things we can do every day to help create a better world For humanity and the planet. So thank you listeners. Bring this to life.

Teri Schmidt [00:01:50]:

Yes. Yes. Exactly. Well, why don't we get right into it then? I I'd like to start just by giving those who are listening a sense of who you are and, you know, how you lead today and what your journey was to get to the point where you are today.

Catherine Bell [00:02:07]:

What a great question. I am somebody who Likes to stir the pot for the better, that likes to have an empowered world where humanity where people feel empowered, where people feel empowered for the planet as well. I'm an executive coach. I'm a creator. I help organizations with corporate culture. I do these amazing webinars on the Enneagram. I have a big video on demand library. I am a a leader, best selling author.

Catherine Bell [00:02:42]:

I also teach at business school. And, You know, my journey is not a linear one. Mhmm. I'm a mother. I'm somebody who started a fund to help female entrepreneurs who are in poverty start their own business. For me, we are all here to be creative instruments. And so for me, just tapping into and feeling into and having creativity run through me and guide my life has been hugely, hugely important and, you know, offering a number of of courses upcoming on the Enneagram and spirituality and leadership and how do we lead better and how do we be better humans. Because, ultimately, I think we're actually all here to serve.

Teri Schmidt [00:03:29]:


Catherine Bell [00:03:30]:

And serve can be you know, I have made so many dinners for my family, And that has been just so important to provide good nutrition to human beings. So serve is every day in the smallest and biggest of ways, and to honor that and to honor humanity and to honor all the people who are caring and loving themselves and others.

Teri Schmidt [00:03:56]:

I love the, creative nature to everything you just said and the fact that we are all creators. And we talk a lot of it on strong leaders serve about our definition of leadership, and that is to courageously use your talents to make a way for others to courageously use theirs. And I think your your comment about, you know, you can serve by making dinner every night to to bring nutrition to people. That that is leadership right there as well and has a creative element. I don't know if you can be a leader without having that creative element to it. What do you think about that?

Catherine Bell [00:04:34]:

So the way I define leadership is it is a future end state embodied. Leaders, I feel, really embody inspiration, consider people as individuals. And I'm leaning on right now the work of Basenovolio and transformational leadership and idealized influence and intellectual stimulation. Ultimately, it's about how do we inspire and motivate and Bring out the best in in the other. And I don't think we can do that without the creative creative impetus, that creative juice that is all around us. And it's almost like, Terry, our context is continually giving us clues as to which direction to pursue, and are we paying attention? Are we awake enough? Are we aware enough to pay attention To the clues to open up portals to new ways of being. So for example, I was just meeting with a CEO, And they're like, I'm getting all these subtle clues to do this. I'm like, well, then follow it.

Teri Schmidt [00:05:40]:


Catherine Bell [00:05:40]:

So follow those kind of secret clues that all of us have. Mhmm. And when we do that, it is true that magic happens. And when we voice it and I think our intention, Terry, we don't give enough importance to what we're putting into our heads. So for example, we have 80,000 thoughts a day.

Teri Schmidt [00:06:02]:


Catherine Bell [00:06:03]:

80% are repeating, 95% are negative. This is the norm according to the National Science Foundation. So how do we supplant our intentions with positive intention Yeah. Rather than negative intentions. So in other words, let's talk about this new let's riff off this dinner thing. So what nutrition are we giving our brains? What nutrition are we giving our hearts? And what nutrition are we giving our bodies and to really pay attention then to the atmosphere that's created as a result of our intention.

Teri Schmidt [00:06:36]:

Yeah. A couple things that came to mind as you were talking about that in the corporate world that did a lot with data and helping people to use data. And I I think, if we can begin to see everything that is in our environment as data and, you know, those those feelings inside of us us data for for making decisions moving forward. I think just that presence and awareness that I I know you work a lot with and talk a lot about, is critical to helping us to then create in the way that is best for us to create in.

Catherine Bell [00:07:12]:

I teach a lot on mindfulness in organizations, so I I'm gonna invite you to feel your feet on the floor right now. Everybody listening. Feel your feet on the floor right now. Just take a deep breath, relax your shoulders, and just Let life be. Because when we let life be, then we can allow the context, The outer to affect us Mhmm. And to inform us in new ways and paying attention yet with our inner alignment that are you know, our bodies were present, our hearts were open, and our our head is positive intention. And with that, we can send out ripples of positive effect just By actually just being just being. And the best leaders, I think, are emergent.

Catherine Bell [00:07:58]:

And the other day, somebody asked me, you know, Kath, I have this definition of management. There's 2 definitions. I said, okay. Tell me what the definitions are. Mhmm. But one is command and control, And the other is you empower other people, which is right. And my answer, can you get what guess what my answer was?

Teri Schmidt [00:08:17]:

Neither or both.

Catherine Bell [00:08:20]:

Yeah. It it my answer is it depends.

Teri Schmidt [00:08:23]:

Right. Exactly.

Catherine Bell [00:08:24]:

It depends in the moment for what is needed and what is asking what that moment is asking for. If there's a fire in our houses, for example, and we've got kids at home, I and young children command and control. We're getting our families out of there. Right? Like Yeah. Absolutely. Whereas, If we are oh goodness. I'll share this with you. You know, one of my biggest mistakes as a leader was in one of my former companies around our vision.

Catherine Bell [00:08:55]:

And I'll tell you the story of it. Mhmm. Because it's like something I don't want other leaders to I don't want them to make my mistake. So imagine this. We're sitting around a boardroom table. Our team is full, so the boardroom is full. And I'm like, okay, team. Here's our vision.

Catherine Bell [00:09:14]:

And, like, I thought everyone was excited and And then a consultant came in from Europe to help us because nobody else in North America was doing what we're doing. Mhmm. Mhmm. And he asked the team, What's your vision? And, Terry, no one raised their hand. I totally cried myself to sleep that night.

Teri Schmidt [00:09:36]:

I can imagine.

Catherine Bell [00:09:37]:

Like, okay. This is a redo. And that's the other thing as leaders. Like, how do we be kind and compassionate with ourselves to, like, say, I need a redo on this. So what we did instead, our time with this very expensive consultant from Europe, We created vision together. Mhmm. And, you know, 5 to 7 words so everybody can remember it. And in the creating it together, Then everybody remembered our why.

Catherine Bell [00:10:03]:

And what I learned though from that is, like, who I am really as a leader really sets the stage for the why. So I actually think it's a time of who we are as leaders ahead of the why. Well, everyone's talking about why. Yeah. That's great. However, We need to talk about who we are before we get to the why. Mhmm. And so that's tools like mindfulness, the Enneagram, having personal intention.

Catherine Bell [00:10:27]:

That's where that comes into play. Because unless we get to, again, business research, the more self aware we are, the higher performing we are. So how do we Increase our self awareness so that we can get to the why.

Teri Schmidt [00:10:40]:

Yeah. And it's not just a onetime thing either. Our our leadership development model as ground, grow, give. And I talk about it as being like a spiral staircase where you are you know, you're moving up, but you're continually going through those 3 phases over and over again. And sometimes you get to know who you are through the action and reflection, as opposed to figuring it all out, and then you're ready to go for the rest of your career.

Catherine Bell [00:11:08]:

I like that analogy that you used of a spiral staircase. I mean, that's a beautiful analogy, and it's reminding me of, I saw the spiral staircase, and was it in Albuquerque? It's beautiful, the spiral staircase, and, it is like that. It's And it's not linear. So I like that it's a spiral because that's I think that that's a beautiful, metaphor.

Teri Schmidt [00:11:33]:

Mhmm. Well, let's let's talk about how this has played out a little bit in your life because you've founded 2 very successful companies. A lot of our listeners our women who are at the beginning of their leadership journey, maybe in their 1st leadership role or in that mid level manager role. And I'd love to take what we just talked about about, you know, being present to what's around you, trusting some of your instincts to make decisions, hanging on that creative nature. How has that shaped your journey through your time with founding Blue Era and now The Awakened company. Tell me more a little a little bit more about that.

Catherine Bell [00:12:14]:

Number 1 is I'd say be willing to take risks. Number 2, this is a mistake I've made. Don't give yourself away. So what do I mean by that? Don't give yourself away. So women often give themselves away, Give their ideas away, give their and don't own it for themselves because they think it's an easier route to get it through to somebody else. And so just don't please no more of this and no more of the imposter syndrome. The majority of women still feel like They're imposters. I think it's time for us as women to take our seat to Really contribute because you know how I spoke of transformational leadership earlier in terms of individualized consideration, intellectual stimulation, idealized inference, And inspirational motivation.

Catherine Bell [00:13:07]:

Anyway, there's 4. Women actually display those characteristics more than men.

Teri Schmidt [00:13:11]:


Catherine Bell [00:13:12]:

And they all begin with the letter I, yet leadership has very little to do with the I. It has to do with uplifting the other, and women are very good at uplifting another person. And I would also say it's time now for us to uplift ourselves, for us to take and claim our seat at the table and don't play by the rules anymore. It hasn't worked. It's not serving humanity. It's not serving the planet. To kinda dust off the patriarchal structures that we've all been brought into And, take our seat boldly Mhmm. Confidently.

Catherine Bell [00:13:52]:

The imposter syndrome thing, yeah, I've totally felt that I'd be lying if I said that I haven't. I have. Who am I to do this? Even though, like, look at the stuff I built. Mhmm. Why do I like, It's because we're brought up in a system where, for example, at Blueair, when I was interviewing people, women would continually underrate themselves where men would Continually overrate themselves. And how do we be humble and confident? I'd say, like, how do we Bring both to the table of, the humility and the confidence versus the humility. So I had to rate anytime a woman would speak, I'd have to kind of overcompensate. Anytime, at any degree, a man, I'd have to underplay.

Catherine Bell [00:14:37]:

Mhmm. And it's it's and the research supports that. So how do we kind of bring the humility and the confidence? Yeah. So please listen, receive, create. We don't have to follow the same rules anymore. Those are done. Absolutely done. So it's time to For the sake of humanity and our planet, because women, according to research, display more of the characteristics of transformational leadership, We need to take our seats.

Catherine Bell [00:15:10]:

And in a way that like, I had 2 kids. Mhmm. So, please, I would also say I worked too hard. Please remember to take care of yourself because if you're not taking care of yourself, you can't really take care of very much.

Teri Schmidt [00:15:24]:

Just like everything in nature, just like our bodies, you need the period of rest.

Catherine Bell [00:15:29]:

Yes. And you might wanna consider doing things like energy management. Like, am I a green light today, yellow light, red light, and then really honoring that energy because we all only have so much energy. So to pay attention to our own energy and how we want to use it more deliberately in a way that we're not giving ourselves away. Is that something systemic that I've seen in my career? Yeah. And please, women listening, please own your power and own your love and own your wisdom because You are so needed.

Teri Schmidt [00:16:01]:

Yeah. We we talk a lot about that. I would love to if you're willing to share either a Dori from your journey or maybe a client that you've worked with, in terms of that, you know, not giving yourself away, either a time you were tempted to and resisted that or a time that you look back on and you think, I did kinda give myself away there, and and this is how I would have done it differently.

Catherine Bell [00:16:28]:

Yeah. What a great question. I'll respond in 2 ways. So first, For Blue Era. So it was building up this amazing executive search for men. It was called Blue Era because we believed When you look at the Earth, it's blue, and we believe the next era was all about taking care of and nurturing the Earth. Mhmm. And we wanted to do things radically differently.

Catherine Bell [00:16:49]:

We won awards for best culture, profit 20 in Alberta, profit 200, I think, in Canada. And we did it by doing things radically differently, by taking care of people, by just kinda honoring humanity, which is what I think needs to be brought back into our worlds is is humanity and into our organization. So another just data point. 2 thirds focus on corporate culture, 1 third on financial success. Anyway, but back to the story of Blue Era. So it was going really, really well, and then all of a sudden, I had, like, had a lightning bolt hit me in the top of my head. And I was like, what is this about? And it's like, you're you have to write this book called The Awakening Company. It took me over 7 years to write, And it just iterated and iterated and iterated, and that was a moment where I didn't give myself away.

Catherine Bell [00:17:39]:

I listened to that whisper. I listen to that whisper. Now let me tell you where I do give myself away, where or where I have given myself away. Mhmm. I have given myself away when I have an idea, like, a really good idea, and I know It will be very hard for me to personally get it through to society, so I will give my ideas away to people To implement. And it's completely wrong action. It's it's not honoring me. It's not honoring future generations.

Catherine Bell [00:18:18]:

And so and I think a lot of people do that because they know kind of kinda here's a way I can Get get what I need done. Uh-huh. Whether it's kind of going for that lunch with that 1 person who you know you could influence, and then they'll go and do it. But you're really the mastermind behind it.

Teri Schmidt [00:18:36]:


Catherine Bell [00:18:36]:

And I think a lot that happens to a lot of women, and it's time for that to stop.

Teri Schmidt [00:18:42]:

That's interesting. I'm I'm wondering if you can think back on an example when that happened to you and kinda play out the 2 paths. So what how would it have looked differently if you didn't take that or use that strategy or or give yourself away with one of your ideas?

Catherine Bell [00:19:02]:

It would I think the pathway, it would have been more challenging in the beginning. It's almost like the hero's journey. More challenging in the beginning and more fruitful at the end And and more empowering for everybody had I implemented it myself.

Teri Schmidt [00:19:23]:

You know,

Catherine Bell [00:19:24]:

this is a very tender Mhmm. Tender topic, and it's important we talk about tender topics now and real topics, and no longer can they be brushed under the rug. We've got to unearth this stuff so that it can be healed for our future generations and so that Mhmm. You know, young women don't have to go through it. And what I'm finding so Richly wonderful is that so many people now are not willing to do things as status quo. And that is incredibly, incredibly amazing. And my perspective is everybody is a leader. Every single person is a leader.

Catherine Bell [00:20:09]:

So for those listening, how are you developing your self awareness? Do you have a personal aim? Are you cultivating healthy relationships? Are you in a healthy corporate culture? These are very, very, very important questions and also for people to perceive themselves as leaders because the moment we don't the moment we don't perceive ourselves As leaders, it's actually our behavior. The research gets worse. So for everybody kind of to say, I am a leader. I'm here no matter what Level or whatever you are in in an organization. It's so important.

Teri Schmidt [00:20:45]:

Wholeheartedly agree with that. I wanna talk a little bit about taking this to a higher level in terms of the organizational level because I know a company does wonderful work with businesses. And you just mentioned that stat of the the 1 third focus on financial and the 2 thirds on culture. I'd love to hear a little bit more about that, particularly in our current environment because I feel like and through conversations I've heard, there's so much focus on just, you know, let's get the tasks done. Let's get the projects complete so that we can survive the next round of layoffs. I'm curious if you what your experience has been in the last couple years working with companies. You know? How do you take the process of your steps of energizing, sustaining, and regenerating. How are companies receiving that, and how do you help them 2 receive that in this environment where people are so concerned about productivity, efficiency, etcetera.

Catherine Bell [00:21:52]:

Interestingly, the majority of CEOs, when they are meeting with me around corporate culture, they say, you know, Kath, I want you to take me From 0 and use the word me, not us or we. Me from 0 to $1,000,000,000 like you did with that other company over there. And I'm like, interesting. You've got the wrong mantra. You've got the wrong focus. You've got the wrong energetically, I think organizations are a force for good. Organizations are here to solve the world's greatest challenges. So the focus needs to become what problems are we solving.

Catherine Bell [00:22:32]:

And in Awakened Companies perspective. We're bringing humanity back into work. So what does it mean by energize? And here's some just some questions I have for everybody. Do you know your vision? Most leaders, when I ask them, they go, me me me me me me me me me me me. And then I asked the CFO or COO, Totally different answer. So number 1, vision. Like, do you know your vision? Are you celebrating your successes? Do you have a clear road map? And these are all based on the archetypes of the Enneagram, by the way. So it's the 8, 7, and 3.

Catherine Bell [00:23:08]:

So getting behind your vision, are you celebrating, do you have metrics for success? And then are you operating at the 3 different levels on the individual level, relationship level, and team level. So it's almost you can picture our matrix. Then when you think of the next column, if you were to move a column over To sustain, and the sustain has to do with, are we living our values, which is 1 on the Enneagram? Are we connected, which is the 2 in the Enneagram? And do we have the structures clear? I e, do we know who is reporting to who? Do we know? Often, people don't know

Teri Schmidt [00:23:43]:


Catherine Bell [00:23:43]:

What their jobs really are. So are those are the structures in place? And then regenerate, which is the 459, which is Are we being innovative? Are we allowing space for creativity? Is it peaceful? Are we doing things differently so that we can allow that creative force to come in and then organizing around in a very emergent way. I see organizations as like organisms. And are we like an organism, and is our plan emergent, alive? Is it clearly articulated? Are we measuring things? Are we seeing how our relationships are doing? Are we seeing how humans are doing in our organization? How are we affecting the planet? So I see very much organizations as kind of a big organism. And the organisms we all need, we all sleep at night. You know, we all need pauses. Are we do we have deliberate pauses? Like, for example, at Blueaira, we had something Look. We did unlimited vacation.

Catherine Bell [00:24:46]:

I was doing mindfulness in 2008, and we're doing unlimited vacation then too. So now to me, the next evolution in terms of business and organization is really this Emergent organism, and are we using the collective field to help our organizations. So are we using, for example there's something called InnoCentre where you can go and put your problem on inner center, and it you can solve for it with anybody in the world. You say, we have a problem, and what's Super interesting. This is back to the creativity. I think it's over 70% of those who solve the problem are Not related directly related to that field. So, you know, how are we using the the power of the collective? And that would be something that would fall under the regeneration phase. You know? Like, using the power of the collective to solve the problems that we face.

Catherine Bell [00:25:48]:

And what I'm finding is people are, you know, people are still struggling with the online, offline, and I think good leadership is good leadership. So are we uplifting another person? Are we doing setting the context so that they can do the best work that they can do?

Teri Schmidt [00:26:02]:

Mhmm. Yeah. Whatever that looks like.

Catherine Bell [00:26:04]:

Whatever that looks like. If we give people control, meaning, and a sense of belonging, that's what people are looking for ahead of salary, creating that whole meaning in the vision setting. You know, I looked at a 1000 leaders, and the least area of focus was on relationships. So that's a real portal, I think, to make corporate culture stronger, the glue of corporate culture stronger. So and we all have relationship banks. We need 5 times as many positive things to everyone withdrawal or negative. So every leader here, Catch people in the act of doing amazing things and say something. I was recently at an event with 3 university presidents, and one of the presidents said, One of the most powerful things I did was at the end of each evening, I wrote thank you notes, 5 thank you notes.

Teri Schmidt [00:26:55]:


Catherine Bell [00:26:55]:

So, like, How are we thanking people? How are we also thanking the universe and thanking, you know, the perhaps the things that aren't seen? I think that's very, very, very important. So relationships in that whole corporate culture setting, very, very, very key. And even our like and it translates to our relationships at home too.

Teri Schmidt [00:27:18]:

Yeah. I agree. Do you find that the leaders that you're working with, Are they able to take that longer term vision? Because I think culture is is a long term play as opposed to short term. You know, we need to solve this crisis here, this crisis here. Get this done. Get this out the door. I don't care what it does to the people, which I'm I'm seeing a little bit of both from, you know, leaders that are out in the public of that's that's where we are today. And if you don't wanna play in that game of, you know, we just need to get it out of the door and you need to work hard and you need to give up the rest of your life, them, just go find somewhere else to work, and then, you know, you do have the leaders that I would say are much wiser that are focused on kind of the long term culture play or those that I'm guessing would be more receptive to the data point that you gave of the the 1 third versus the 2 thirds.

Teri Schmidt [00:28:14]:

What are you what are you seeing in your work?

Catherine Bell [00:28:17]:

The planet is burning up.

Teri Schmidt [00:28:20]:


Catherine Bell [00:28:21]:

And I do think it's our relentless pursuit more. So the question is, to me, is how much is enough?

Teri Schmidt [00:28:29]:


Catherine Bell [00:28:30]:

And, also, I don't think We also think about the long play long term play of our lives as leaders. In ancient Egypt, there's this story called the weighing of the heart. And what it is is at the end of our lives, our hearts are put on a scale. And Matt is our heart As light as a feather by the way we've lived, or is it heavy? And The invitation with that story. And if it's heavy, you either get recycled or you you you get thrown into the jackal. And I don't think we pay enough attention to the importance of how we live And the implications of how we live. And I've been contemplating this a lot lately as what makes a good life.

Teri Schmidt [00:29:27]:


Catherine Bell [00:29:28]:

And if making a good life to you, to somebody is just the continual do, like, if that's what makes a good life, then have at it. If what makes a good life is time for me like, I have kids. I have a family. I love to windsurf. I love to bike ride. I love to the active. What I love to volunteer. I love to work.

Catherine Bell [00:29:50]:

Mhmm. What makes a good life for me is that harmony. I don't believe in work, life balance. I don't think that's real. For me, it's like, how do I live the harmony? How do we all live the song that we're meant to sing? Because Benjamin Disraeli said, you know, most people die with their music locked up inside them, and I don't wanna be one of those. And I don't wanna be a person who, When my heart is weighed at the end of my life, that it's heavy.

Teri Schmidt [00:30:16]:

Such beautiful imagery you're bringing forth. Thank you for that. I'm gonna be thinking about those well after our conversation.

Catherine Bell [00:30:23]:

Oh, well, Terry, I have a bit of a surprise. I have a poetry book coming out. You can probably Oh. That's that in my speech that's Uh-huh. You know, the closet poet that I didn't want anyone to know about. You're the 1st podcast I've ever mentioned.

Teri Schmidt [00:30:40]:

I'm honored. Can't wait for that to come out and get a chance to read it. Our theme here at Strong Leaders Serve is bringing, making our workplaces more compassionate and just through our leadership. If you were to be sitting across from a woman who is, you know, either in that kind of 1st leadership position or maybe the 2nd or the 3rd. What would be your advice to her for how she could go about doing that from the place that she is right now.

Catherine Bell [00:31:13]:

What a great question. Number 1, have a clear intention and a clear aim for your your personal self. Like, so how develop a cult an intention and aim, know your core values, be willing to risk, know the transformational leadership model. We have a great YouTube video which describes it.

Teri Schmidt [00:31:35]:

Oh, great. We'll link that.

Catherine Bell [00:31:37]:

So Mhmm. Because leadership can be trained, and people don't know that. And don't let people's gunk get stuck to you. Mhmm. Just don't, like, stay true to your intention, your aim, your positivity, and don't let the gunk. Well, learn from it. Mhmm. Do not let it get stuck to you because and accept where wherever it is that you are, just accept and learn.

Catherine Bell [00:32:07]:

Accept and learn. Accept and learn. Accept and learn. And I would also say, let your life be guided by your intention And be willing to to risk. Like, for example, with Blue Era, you know, I started on my credit card, which in retrospect was ridiculous. This is the highest interest rates possible and with a a waking company. Like, our executive search firm was booming, and I'm like, I gotta follow this Trail. And I'm so glad I did.

Catherine Bell [00:32:37]:

I'm so glad I did. We and now I've got there's another business I've started called Awakenly, which is an app, which I'm literally building up the side of my desk. So it's like, how do we follow the threads? Follow the threads. Follow the whispers. Follow the quiet voice. And when society may not tell you to believe in you, Know that the universe has your back.

Teri Schmidt [00:33:01]:

That's beautiful. And I love the imagery of the thread too because I think it goes along with what you were talking about, personal aim, intention. Once you know that, you're better able to know what you should listen to inside yourself and in in the environment.

Catherine Bell [00:33:20]:

And how do we get quiet enough to listen in a society filled with noise, our social media, our television, our the Internet. And I really think it's important to have a grounding practice. Mhmm. Something where you can just rest and come back to yourself because I know, like, I remember the days when I was would come home from work, drive my kids soccer and then make dinner. And then it'd be 9 o'clock at night, and I'd be working.

Teri Schmidt [00:33:49]:


Catherine Bell [00:33:50]:

And at the same time, I was cultivating a space for silence. And having that space, I was actually more productive. And what's super interesting about mindfulness is I do believe it's a superpower. If we pause, meditate, Kinda let everything settle. It allows for new creative ideas to come through, new possibilities to come through.

Teri Schmidt [00:34:17]:

Get off that hamster wheel for a little bit.

Catherine Bell [00:34:20]:

Yes. And the hamster wheel, we also have to think about what is it that We really wanna do. Mhmm. That we really wanna be doing. So recently, I've been kinda teasing out. I I'm looking at very deliberately who I will and will not work with so that I can allow more space

Teri Schmidt [00:34:37]:


Catherine Bell [00:34:38]:

In in my life at this time. And I would invite everybody everybody to do that too because there's some things we should say no to. I think no is a word that's not used often enough. Mhmm. Just like known or not right now. Maybe later. You know? Right. Right.

Catherine Bell [00:34:57]:

It may not be a fit right now.

Teri Schmidt [00:34:59]:

Agreed. Well, I love this time and could keep talking for a long time. But I want to come to a close with a question that we ask all of our guests, and that is, what does strong leaders serve mean to you?

Catherine Bell [00:35:12]:

It's such a beautiful question. To be vulnerable, to be affected is strength. Mhmm. How do we redefine strength so that we can allow more of the receptivity to allow us to serve the thread that we are speaking about earlier. And everybody has threads, and everybody has unique threads for them.

Teri Schmidt [00:35:37]:


Catherine Bell [00:35:38]:

And when we're in service To the universe, to what is being called for, to what our really, it's our souls, what our souls are asking for. Mhmm. Vulnerable to that is strong leaders serving.

Teri Schmidt [00:35:54]:

Beautifully put. Well, thank you so much, Catherine. If there are people who want to learn more about you, about the great webinars that The Awaken Company has going on, about the coaching you do. Where's the best place for them to go?

Catherine Bell [00:36:08]:

So go to the awaken Go under events For all of our webinars that are upcoming, and go under contact us for newsletter. We provide our newsletters. We spend so much time on them, and we really provide action items for people so that it's meaningful. So sign up to our newsletter. And we're on Instagram and Facebook, and I'm on LinkedIn and Twitter. So you can find us on most socials under the Awakened Company or Awakened company. So come and play with us and join us and get a copy of the book, Hi, Puppy, and get a copy of of The Awakened Company.

Catherine Bell [00:36:48]:

And let me know what you think because it was rereleased after 7 years, and most business books don't survive 6 months. So Yeah. Come play with us on social media, come play with us on our webinars and, sign up for our newsletter.

Teri Schmidt [00:37:02]:

Oh, excellent. Well, we will make sure that all gets LinkedIn the show notes so it's easy to find for everyone. Thank you again for taking time out of your busy day and the important work that you do all day every day, to be with us today. I really appreciate it.

Catherine Bell [00:37:18]:

It's been an honor, Terry, and thank you for your great questions and your bright light, and thank you for being of service to the community.

Teri Schmidt [00:37:31]:

I hope you enjoyed that and will find more ways to lead with intention this week. And until next time, lead with this quote by Alan Cohen in mind: When your intention is clear, so is the way.


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