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Michael Woodward: Becoming Your True Self

Michael Woodward on Sprinting To Success Podcast

Listen to Michael’s story of self-discovery and challenges. His story will encourage you to stop stealing from yourself and  become your best self.

Michael Woodward

Michael Woodward is the host of the jumbleThink Podcast where they focus on the stories of ideas. The passion of jumbleThink is to help people find their big ideas and dreams. Prior to jumbleThink, Michael owned a leading web development company where he and his team built over 450 websites.

Esmie Lawrence Interviews Michael Woodward
Esmie Lawrence Interviews Michael Woodward

 

 

I love sitting down with people and helping them really take a look and say, “Are you doing what you’re created to do?” Now that could be a teacher, that could be an engineer for Boeing, that could be an employee. And a lot of people say, “Oh, if you’re doing that, you’re going to be out on your own.” And that’s not true. It’s finding that sweet spot where you step into life every day and on the hard days you still feel like I am doing what I love to do and I’m so privileged to do what I get to do. And on the great days, you’re in this place of flow where everything’s just firing and you just feel like you’re operating 100%. – Michael Woodward    

 
 
 
 
 
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Show notes: Esmie: Michael, welcome to Sprinting To Success podcast. How are you doing? Michael Woodward: I’m doing so great. I’m excited to chat with Esmie and have a lot of fun along through the episode. Esmie: Oh, I am so excited too for you to be here and thank you so much for agreeing to do this. So I want to just know a little bit more about you. Tell me about how you were as a child. Michael Woodward: Yeah, childhood was interesting for me. I came from a really great family, the parents that were incredible, but around that kindergarten and first grade I ran into some issues. Some struggles along the way. And the biggest one was that the school I went to was saying, “Oh, he’s not paying attention in school.” All of this stuff. And they’re like, “Let’s put him on Redlands and do all the stuff that they’re doing to so many kids today.

Michael Woodward: And my doctor fought it, my parents fought it, and they really sat down and said, “Let’s do a psychological evaluation and see what’s going on here.” What they found is that I just didn’t learn well the way that they were teaching me. So it was a journey of overcoming that obstacle as a child, the normal, I grew up in a suburban kind of setting, so I had a lot… I went to a great school, I had a great circle of friends, but that was one of those weird things that early on it’s impacted my life because I had to figure out how do I learn in a way that works for me? How do I work with a system that isn’t set up to allow me to flourish in the ways that I understand information? Michael Woodward: And how can I set myself up for success? And the school was great, I really works through that and it gave me good systems to help me through that and set me up for success. So that’s one of the earliest struggles in life that I actually remember. Esmie: So what are those systems that helped you back then to learn?

Michael Woodward: I think the first thing is that I don’t test well. I can have all that information and know it and know how to answer the questions. But there’s like this anxiety around sitting down sometimes and actually doing the test. Sometimes I’ll test perfectly fine, sometimes I won’t. And one of the systems I had to learn was to go back and say, “Hey look, can I retake this again?” Not like a day later, but I know that I did poorly, I just need to retake it again. Sit right back down and do perfectly fine or sit down with a teacher and instead of writing down all the answers, just verbally answer through the questions. And so they helped facilitate a safe space for me to come in and say, “Okay, I don’t test well in this area. What’s a way that we can work where I know the information, it’s obvious that I know the information, how can we do it so that I can test successfully?” So that’s one area. Michael Woodward: Another area was that I love learning by interaction. One of my favorite classes in high school was a class that was supposedly beneath my level of education. And it was a field biology classes. And instead of doing academic learning in a classroom, the entire class was doing field work. So we’d go out and look at different ecosystems. We’d go out and run experiments, we’d do observation, we would do experiments in the class. And it wasn’t supposedly an advanced class, but it was a… And I did fine in the advanced version of it, but I found it so much more of a way for me to tangently engage with it because I was doing the work, I wasn’t just trying to consume this data, I was actually experiencing it.

Michael Woodward: And so that was another pivot for me in the learning structures to say how can I move from kind of reading it or just digesting it and experiencing it? Because once I experience it, I understand it. Once I understand it, I can really make sure that I’m versed in the information I need to learn. And so when I approach situations today, I use that same kind of situation to say, “Okay, I’m not understanding this. What can I do to move from trying to learn this from reading it in a book to actually make it an experience?” And how can I engage with it? So getting my hands dirty and solving the problems, if you will. Esmie: Right. You know Michael one of the great things that you learned when you were little is that you know how you learn. A lot of people don’t know how they learn. And so it’s really good that it was pointed out to you and you’re able to adapt that and move on and learn what you need to learn. So that’s one of the good things. So if you go back to high school, what were some of the struggles that you had in high school? Michael Woodward: Yeah, there was a couple of struggles. I actually had a really great school experience at the high school level. Incredible. I went to a phenomenal school that expected you to succeed and then would resource you to succeed. So from an academic standpoint it was great. I can’t really complain. I was involved in the music programs and had great music programs. So it was a lot of fun. I would say that the challenge came from a place of saying what do I believe and what is significant to me. It’s easy to get stuck in the doing especially in high school because there’s all kinds of things you can do, whether it’s sports, whether it’s music, whether it’s extracurricular activities.

Michael Woodward: And there were some decisions I was making that weren’t necessarily bad ones. But I came to a point and I said the people I’m hanging out with here aren’t bad people, but they’re not going to help me really be the best I can be. So getting around the right people who challenged me and pushed me to not accept the status quo but go deeper and expect me to… Expect myself to do better or than what I was kind of skating by on. And so pushing me to do better than what I’ve done. And I think that’s the biggest thing in high school for me was making those decisions. There were some things I gave up, like there was one year of marching band, which I loved marching band, but I just felt like I needed to focus in a different area. Michael Woodward: And so I didn’t do my senior year of marching band. I still played in the jazz bands, I still played in the orchestra, I still played in the symphonic winds bands and all of that kind of stuff. But I stepped back and I said, “I’m going to re-adjust my focus that senior year to do something a little bit different. And that really helped me make some decisions for the next couple of years. I think we get so busy that we’re responding often to situations instead of slowing down and making actual decisions and being proactive versus being responsive to the dilemmas, the obstacles we’re facing. And so my senior year slowing down and saying, “You know what, I could push as hard as I’ve been doing. I could keep doing what I’ve always done. I moved from there and just re-focused my area of focus and it allowed me to make better decisions for the future. Esmie: Right. So what was it then in high school that made you want to become your best self? Like what was it?

Michael Woodward: I think it was a combination of things. One, when it comes to the music aspect, I was super competitive. I wanted to be the best at what I could do against everyone else. And sometimes you’re not competing against other people but you’re competing against yourself. So like one year I tried out for regional bands, which is like statewide kind of music program and I did okay, but I was striving not against other people in that case, but was striving to say I can do better and I can control what I can do to achieve more. And so it pushed me to become a better version of myself in that journey of discovery. And so that’s one area that was challenging me to become better. Michael Woodward: Another area was just by that shift of the people I was hanging out with. There were a lot of people I was hanging out with that were perfectly fine people, but when you get around driven people, it forces you to be driven to. And sometimes that’s good, sometimes that’s bad, but getting around the right tribe or right community that you can actually connect with and say, “These are people that understand what I’m going through, they’re going to challenge me, I’m going to challenge them because I understand them.” And re-evaluating the kind of community that I wanted to be around, the kind of people in school and outside of school.

Michael Woodward: And that was super awesome. It was a lot of fun. It sounds like I was just like focus, focus, focus, do, do, do. But we had a lot of fun too, the people I was hanging out with and it was that balance of finding the right pace for all of us. And so the people around me. And then the school that I went to like I mentioned before, they expected you to succeed. I mean, every year they announced how many students were going on to what kind of college and what your peers were, your friends, you always knew who was going to what school. And it wasn’t like you had to measure up to a certain measuring stick. All they asked is that you do the best that you could do and you find the thing that’s right for you. Michael Woodward: So they wanted you to succeed. And I remember my freshman year of high school, there was this class that every student was required to take. It was like months and months. I don’t remember if it was half a year or a full year, but the class literally went through and said, “What are you good at? What are you passionate about? And how do you get there?” Esmie: Right. Michael Woodward: And so that whole philosophy of like, I want to know where I want to end up,  which is an ancient Hebrew word, which means the end result of our actions. And when you think of the end, then you can start building a roadmap to get you there. If I go, “Hey, I want to go somewhere.” Well, it’s going to be hard to actually get there if I don’t know where that somewhere is. But if I go, “I want to get to Houston, Texas,” now I can say, “Well, how do I get there? I can take a bus, I can take a car, I could take a train.” And all right, and you can go through a process and it’s the same with expecting a certain result or expectation of success, whatever that measure of success is for each individual, you can only get there if you know where you want to go. Michael Woodward: Now, that doesn’t mean you have to be hard-nosed and say, “If I don’t achieve this goal, I’m a failure.” You think of all those people… You are an Olympian, right? Esmie: Right.

Michael Woodward: And not everyone’s going to make the Olympics. Esmie: So true. Michael Woodward: And that may be your goal. That may be your dream. And you can work hard. But if you don’t have a roadmap, you’re definitely not going to get there. But if you have a roadmap, you can do your best and hope that you can reach the goal, the dream, the position you want to achieve. And so from early on, first year, one of the first classes we took, that was the expectation. We expect you to succeed and we want to resource you so you know what success looks like for you. And then we’re going to hold you accountable to that. And we’re going to put… If you need extra help, we’ve got special teachers here to help you if you need that. If you aren’t getting what you need from a specific class, maybe you can move to a different class. And so they worked with you and they had career counselors, they had guidance counselors that wanted to be engaged in your life and really challenge you. And I was very fortunate to be in a school that was like that. Esmie: Right. I really think it’s important that you’re going into an environment that expects you to win. Michael Woodward: Right. Esmie: Because you’ll rise up to meet the expectations of the school or whatever environment you’re in. They say you’re the sum total of the five people that you hang out with. So you hang out with good people and people who are driven and want to succeed then like you just, oh, it’s like a click. And it becomes a pack, and then you rise together and you succeed together. And to have a school that is expecting you to win, I mean you can’t fail. Michael Woodward: Yeah. Well, and I want to step back to earlier in the conversation, we’re talking about learning how we learn and how… Because of my struggle with the learning disability that I specifically had early on, I had to address that issue so that I could succeed at whatever level I could reach. For me the lesson that I would hope that others would get from that is that you are in systems in life, whether it’s business, whether it’s school, whether it’s the community or you around. And there are certain social norms because of the way we do things, we do it this way. So it’s going to be done that way. And if you don’t learn that way, it sets you up for failure. What you really have to do is say, “I’m going to be an advocate for myself.” And because I was so young, I couldn’t be an advocate for myself, my doctor, the psychologist, my parents had to be my advocate.

Michael Woodward: And I think so many times people give up because they either aren’t in a place to advocate for themselves or they don’t know how to do it. And if you’re not able to comprehend something because of the way it’s being taught, that’s not on you, that’s on the system that’s conditioning you towards you’ve got to sit in a classroom and do this. There are other solutions. There’s homeschooling that has so many different philosophies. There’s unlearning, which is like self-guided learning through the process of what you’re passionate about. There’s situations where you can get in and be enrolled with a college and learn through an engineering program where they’re actually doing hands on. There are different ways to augment the school system or your business system so that you can achieve your fullness, but you have to be an advocate for yourself to get to a place because the system’s not typically going to do it for you. Michael Woodward: I was very fortunate to have advocates for me who could fight for me when I didn’t know how to do that. I mean, I was what, six. And so- Esmie: Wow, yes. Michael Woodward: You got to be your own advocate, and if he can’t do that, you’ve got to get around people who can advocate for you and you’ve got to make the system work for you so that you can fulfill the dreams, the ideas, the destiny inside of yourself. Esmie: Right, the potential. Michael Woodward: Yes, exactly. Esmie: So fast forward as an adult, what are some of the challenges, say, maybe in your 20s, 30s, what were some of the challenges because life is a journey and we all have challenges, but how do we overcome those challenges? That’s the key. Michael Woodward: Yeah. Yeah. I have crazy stories. I remember working at a church and I loved working in the church. I worked there for eight years and we worked with the worst of the worst, addicts that were spending their money on drugs instead of on their kids. We were working with youth that had no parents. I was a youth pastor and having youth in my youth group that it was like, “Hey, I’m going home to so-and-so’s house or so-and-so’s house because their parents weren’t there.” Just crazy, crazy stories. Recession hit and a lot of the funding came from construction. That’s how they got their money to fund the church to help these programs that served really broken community in Northern California. They came to us and said, “We love all of you.” I was one of the executive pastors. I was over youth and over music ministry and over conferences and some other things. Michael Woodward: “We just don’t know how we’re going to be able to pay you. We love you.” So the three executive pastors, we got together and said, we’re just going to volunteer. We’re just going to keep doing this, but for me I had obligations like a car payment and things like that. So I had a friend who said, “Come work for me.” And I wish I could say, “Hey, It was real easy.” He didn’t really have a job for me and he was closing down the business basically over the next year. And so I was coming to help close that out. They were shifting some things they did more into web and myself and another guy ended up buying out the company. What most people don’t realize is that yeah, that led to a lot of really good success. We did web development for fortune 100 companies.

Michael Woodward: We’ve made a lot of money. But there was about a year where I was sleeping on the floor and above an organization, a nonprofit, they do ministry. It’s kind of like a church, but it wasn’t exactly a church. It’s a faith-based ministry reaching out to the community. And I volunteered there and they said, “Hey, pay us $150 we’ll give you a room.” And I slept in a sleeping bag on the floor while I did that first year of getting the business up and going. Esmie: So then how do you stay positive? How do you focus on your goals and you’re having a big life when you’re sleeping on the floor? Michael Woodward: Yeah, there’s a couple things. One, you have to be around the right people. It comes back to so much. I think there’s three key areas, identity, understanding who you are and your situations don’t impact your identity. Your identity defines how you overcome your situations. I think a lot of people, they forget who they are when things are horrible and in that their world falls apart and that was an easier situation because I didn’t have any kids at that time. And I wasn’t married so it wasn’t like… I’m in my late twenties, so it wasn’t a big deal. And so just doing the time, putting in the work, building out customers, getting local customers, building out their websites, getting more customers and just building that and continuing to build that. Michael Woodward: And it was a very fun season. But I stayed positive because one, I remembered where I was going and that where I am today wasn’t going to be the end of the story. Two, I was around a lot of really cool people who were able to help give me perspective when I couldn’t see the perspective for myself. And you got to be around the right people. And then the third thing is that I had a vision and a dream that allowed me to know where I was going and that where I was wasn’t the end of that story. So identity is the first part. That vision is the sustaining part and the people around you are really helping sustain that. Michael Woodward: And I wish I could say that that was the last time I struggled. And we built an agency where we had 12 full-time people working for us, building out websites. There were weeks where we were invoicing, 40 or 60 thousand dollars in client work. Esmie: Wow. Michael Woodward: Yeah. And so we made a lot of money. And I wish I could say I made a lot of money. We had a big payroll and other things and we did fine. I mean we had a lot of the things that people would want, like season passes to Disney and all that. So we were doing well but we could have done better if I made other decisions. And then over the course of time, you get comfortable, you get a stagnant and then you see a dip in the business and then you have to reevaluate and regrow and we went through a really hard situation where we lost a really big client and that wasn’t a big deal. We still had other client work and other things coming in. But then we had a client that didn’t pay us in the neighborhood of 65, 70 thousand dollars.

Esmie: Wow. That amazing. So what do you do when you have somebody don’t pay you? That’s a huge amount of money, and somebody to… How does that attack your self esteem, the business? How does it work? Michael Woodward: Yeah, well, I think the first thing that I learned from that is that I didn’t know the full story. And sometimes we look at a person, we judge them, why isn’t this company paying us? They owe us this money. They don’t dispute that they owe us the money. Why aren’t they paying us? How bad are they? They’re horrible people, whatever. And we start judging them and we start judging them through our situation. And I remember I just felt so strongly, I’m a person of faith and I just felt like in my prayer time that God was saying, “Forgive the debt.” So I went to them and I said, “We’re just going to forgive the debt. We’re going to finish this project and we’re going to keep our relationship with you and keep working with you.” Michael Woodward: Come to find out about a year later that the CEO, the main partner of the company had committed suicide. The reason that they didn’t pay us was because when that happens, because of how they’re structured, all their assets were frozen. They didn’t have liquidity and what they were doing and that they were just… Their entire team and everything was trying to survive for several months off of what they had in the reserves on hand. It’s a big company. They were the sixth or seventh largest landowner in agriculture in California. And so their situation impacted a horrible situation for us. We downsized our team significantly. I went back to coding, which I hadn’t done for a while because I was doing client relations and now with people and just doing, the customer relation side of thing and running teams. Michael Woodward: We re-evaluated, we got small again, we got nimble and we’ve just continued to work hard. I wish we could say… That was about three years ago. I wish we could say we’re 100% over it. We’re getting there. We’re really close to being like… We’re on the other side of this, but it’s been a struggle for three years. It’s been hard and there’ve been really good times and you’ve got to keep perspective on what really matters.

Esmie: You got to keep that vision. You got to keep that vision in front of you and saying, “This is where we’re going to be. We’re not there yet, but we’re heading in that direction.” But I am impressed that actually, you forgave the debt. That’s a lot of money, and God putting on your heart to… Spoke to you now, how did you know really how to forgive the debt? When God said that to your heart, initially, your first reaction was what when he said forgive the debt? Michael Woodward: Actually I think peace because at that situation, I was in a place of despair. How am I going to make payroll? How am I going to pay these taxes for payroll? How am I going to pay the rent on this big building that we had just set up. All of this kind of stuff. And I was so worried about everything that I was obliged to take care of. My obligations. I was so worried about what my team was going to think when I sat them down and told some of them, we’re just going to have to let you go, not because we don’t want you here, but because we can’t survive if you’re here. And it has nothing to do with you. It has everything to do with this situation. Michael Woodward: And when we got to the point when my wife and I were talking and said, “Let’s forgive this debt.” And just praying and feeling like that was what God was leading to us to do, it brought us to a place of peace. And it was like those worries, those kinds of things, like I get it, we owed money to other people. They owed money to us. And it was easy to hate them because of the situation they put us in. But what’s even better is being in a place to say… And it’s something we’ve said since we started the business, that if I can’t love my client, then I shouldn’t work for them. Esmie: Bingo. I love that. If I can’t love my clients, ladies and gentlemen, if you’re listening to this, I mean that is awesome. And I mean it shows compassion, empathy. If you can’t love your clients then… Oh, say that again Michael.

Michael Woodward: Yeah, if you don’t love your clients, you shouldn’t be working with them. Esmie: That’s right. Michael Woodward: I just had a guy reach out to us to hire me for a new project for him. And I was making so many different concessions, I can use a good word there. Consensus. I was trying to make the project work. And I was getting to a place where I was like, “We should really be charging this. I’m trying to make it work them.” And I was just like, “This isn’t going to work, I’m going to be bitter at this person.” And it’s better for me to come back and say, “Here are the terms. This is what I need to make this project work, not because I’m not trying to help you, but because it’s what’s fair to both you and me. And if I get this for the project, then I can walk in and not have a heart of bitterness towards this. Now, if you’re not cool with paying that amount, that’s fine too. I’d rather stay friends and be able to serve you and say, you know what, I want what’s best for you.” Michael Woodward: My pastor who did our marriage counseling before we got married, premarital counseling, he said, “If you have people who are saying, I love you more than I love myself, if I’m putting your needs in front of my needs, and if the other person’s doing the same thing, everyone wins.” Esmie: It’s a win-win. Michael Woodward: Yeah. And I think so often we try to make a win-win about manipulating the other person to get what we want. And sometimes doing the right thing really hurts yourself, but in the end it actually frees you through that situation. And forgiving that debt, it’s a great example of it freed me not to be bitter towards them. And I could love them again because I wasn’t viewing them through what they owed me, I was viewing it from what can I do to serve them. Esmie: Right.

Michael Woodward: And it was that change of perspective that allowed me to get the project to the other side for them. Michael Woodward: Wow. And that’s a great way to think. You do it for your clients, you help others. And it’s funny because when you help others, all of a sudden you help yourself because as you said you were at peace. Esmie: Yeah. Michael Woodward: I love that. Esmie: And they’re still clients. Michael Woodward: Oh, all the better. And it’s been four or five years since that happened. And they’re clients. Esmie: That’s so nice. Because I can imagine if you’d just got upset with them and said, “I don’t want to work with you anymore.” You would have lost, right? It would have been a loss for them and a loss for you. Michael Woodward: Yeah. And again, it took me another year, a year and a half till I knew the full story of what had happened. I was judging them through a skewed view, through my bitterness, through my frustration, through my anger. And once I knew the situation and once I had forgiven them, I could view them in compassion. And hope and love and wanting to do the right thing. I recently had a guest on our show and he talks about generosity. And asked this question, I actually thought his answer was horrible. And I won’t knock who it is or anything like that, but there’s a scripture that says, “Faith, hope and love and the greatest of these is love.” Michael Woodward: And there’s another translation that says, “Faith, hope and charity, and the greatest one being charity.” And there is such a big difference between being charitable and being loving. Charity is saying, I’m doing this out of pity, I’m doing this out of wanting to put goodness back on me. Love is saying, I’m laying myself down to serve you. Esmie: Right. Michael Woodward: I am willing to carry your burden through this. And it’s a different perspective and it changes how you view gratitude and thankfulness and through hardship. If you can get to this place of love, hardship becomes much easier because your heart is conditioned both to give and to receive. And I think of people now, and I say they really owe me nothing. We went through a situation where a whole bunch of people came to help us with something we’re working through and they didn’t have to do that. They didn’t owe us a thing, and yet they did it. And it helped us through a season that was really rough financially and through some other things that were going on. Michael Woodward: I think many of us in our culture in America, we feel like people owe us stuff. And the problem is that if you expect people to owe you something when they don’t deliver, you hate them. Esmie: That’s right. You get really upset because I mean… In our culture we need more love. Because when you give with generosity and you give with your heart and expecting nothing, and eventually it will come back to you. Michael Woodward: Yeah.

Esmie: Okay. Not expecting it because it comes back in different ways. Michael Woodward: Yeah. Yeah. Esmie: Right. Michael Woodward: So true. Esmie: So yeah. So you get, it’s like, “Oh, all of a sudden this person did something wonderful for me.” You’re not knowing that you did something maybe great for their grandmother or their auntie or their uncle, or… You never know, but when you give love, it always comes back your direction one way or the other. So Michael, what’s your passion? What are you passionate about? Michael Woodward: I have this podcast and I love doing my podcast. It’s all about ideas and innovation and about story. I love doing it, but the reason I love doing it is because when I talk to people, whether they are faith people, whether there are people that are atheists, a common thread is that they all say something similar when we’re talking about the dreams and ideas they have. When they’re in this place of flow, when they’re like operating at their fullness, they say something to the effect of like, “I feel like I’m doing what I’m created to do.” Which when you have a person of faith, you go, “Oh yeah, that makes sense.” Michael Woodward: When you have an atheist say it, you go, there’s something more here. And so for me, I feel like all of us have a desire to feel like we’re making a difference, that we’re significant, that we matter. My passion is helping people figure out who they are, what they’re created to do, and helping them figure out a way to get there. We do that through the podcast and telling the story of other people. We just had LeVar Burton on of Reading Rainbow. Esmie: Oh, wow, I know who that is. That’s awesome. Reading Rainbow. Michael Woodward: Yeah. Esmie: Yes. Michael Woodward: We just had him on, and to be honest, there’s nothing on the surface special about him other than the fact that he took a risk to step into what he was created to do. Esmie: Right. Michael Woodward: And when he did that, that’s when something magical happened. That’s when he was able to open up doors for children through Reading Rainbow, to spark imagination in adults through his podcast now, through Star Trek and crafting a character that impacted the lives of millions of people. I mean, there’s a reason to Star Trek is one of the most beloved storylines in America.

Esmie: Oh, yes. Michael Woodward: And time and time again, the common thread between these people I talk to, is very simple. They made a choice to step past the fear, past the objections, past the obstacles and into the things that could be. And when you step from that place of accepting the status quo and stepping into an unknown future of what could be, all of a sudden crazy cool things start happening for most people. Esmie: Yes. Michael Woodward: And it’s a hard journey. There are a lot of sacrifices that have to be made in that journey. So when you ask, what do I love to do? What do I love? What am I passionate about? I love sitting down with people and helping them really take a look and say, “Are you doing what you’re created to do?” Now that could be a teacher, that could be an engineer for Boeing, that could be an employee. And a lot of people say, “Oh, if you’re doing that, you’re going to be out on your own.” And that’s not true. It’s finding that sweet spot where you step into life every day and on the hard days you still feel like I am doing what I love to do and I’m so privileged to do what I get to do. And on the great days, you’re in this place of flow where everything’s just firing and you just feel like you’re operating 100%. Michael Woodward: For people, that journey changes and for what’s right in one season it’s going to be wrong in the next and so it’s not you arrive kind of story. It’s a story of evolution of yourself and of the dreams and ideas and purposes you have. And sometimes it’s thinking you have a dream only to find out that the pursuit of that dream led you to something better, led you to a place that you could not have seen when you started. And so that’s what I love to do. I love to sit down with people and say, “Let’s figure this out because… A guy I talked to one time said this, he said, “When you aren’t living in a place of walking in what you’re created to do, you’re not only stealing from yourself, but you’re stealing from everyone around you.” Esmie: Oh, that is such great wisdom. Oh my heavens. Ladies and gentlemen did you hear that? You’re stealing from yourself. God created us to be who we are, to come here and to know that we have power. Power even in our pain. Michael Woodward: Yeah. Esmie: We have power. And so when we accepted… And you said, we step into the fear, and then all of a sudden you step into it because it takes courage, bravery to step in because most people will hide behind fear.

Michael Woodward: Yeah. Esmie: But if you just take a chance of, “I’m going to step in,” and then all of a sudden all of these opportunities come your direction and… Oh my, Michael, I love what you’re saying. I feel inspired, ladies and gentlemen, don’t feel inspired by Michael. Oh my God. I do feel good. So Michael, with all the knowledge and the wisdom you have now, go back and talk to yourself when you’re four or five or six years old, what would you say to yourself? What wisdom would you give yourself? Michael Woodward: Don’t waste time thinking you’re not good enough. Don’t waste time waiting for something better. Don’t waste time worrying about what could happen. Just start moving forward. Start making those decisions. Start stepping into the places that you know you’re created to be. Esmie: Yes. Michael Woodward: And this is the one that I think I’m still struggling with today. It’s the area that I think I’m most trying to work through at a personal level. And it would be… There are going to be people who dislike you because you’re willing to take the uncharted path. Esmie: Right. Michael Woodward: There are going to be people that you feel like you don’t measure up to their expectation, that has less to do with you and everything to do with them. Esmie: Right. Michael Woodward: Don’t let others beat you up. Step forward into who you’re supposed to be. Don’t let others talk you out of the dreams you have. Keep moving forward. Don’t let yourself feel like you’re an imposter. Step into the fullness of what you’re created to do. Those would be the things I would say to myself. Esmie: Oh, nice. Take the path less traveled. Wow. I love that. So Michael, what would you like to share with our audience today? Michael Woodward: Yeah, what are you looking for there? I want to make sure- Esmie: Okay. Anything you want to say, maybe talk about a our course that you’re giving or  your podcast and anything, right, just the… Yeah. Michael Woodward: Yeah. So we’ve been podcasting for three years. We have 290 something episodes now.

Esmie: Wow. Michael Woodward: And I’d love for you to check it out. It’s all about dreamers, makers, innovators and influencers and hearing their stories and hopefully giving people some tips on how to chase their dreams and ideas and make it into reality. You can check that out at jumblethink.com. And we’re doing some cool things in 2020 with Idea Camps, which are all about what we’ve been talking about. It’s wrestling through how do I go from not knowing where to go to actually having a roadmap for the future. So we’re working on that and working on launching that in 2020. Esmie: Oh, nice. Oh, Michael it was so nice talking to you. Awesome conversation today. So to learn more about Michael, go to esmielawrence.com. Michael Woodward: Yeah. This is Michael Woodward, and I’m Sprinting To Success with Esmie Lawrence. Esmie: Thank you. Awesome. Thank you so much, Michael. That was wonderful. Oh.


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