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Entrepreneur, thought leader, influencer: meet Tina Dietz, business coach and mentor, as she reminds us of the importance of creative freedom, fun and play

There’s something to be said for studying the habits and processes of great writers and artists and how they kept their creative juices flowing over time. There’s a lot of burnout happening in the field of writing right now, especially among Indie authors trying to manage both their writing and their business. Tina is a mentor and coach, and she’s my kind of crazy. With a focus on values as well as mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing, Tina guides us to be the best we can be. She’s also damned funny at times. We chat about being in the writing game for the long haul and how it’s got to be about pacing ourselves as our energies change as we grow and mature as writers. Self-care is at the top of the list, being flexible with our schedules and putting thought into those high priority creative endeavours to actually get the work done. We chat about how 80% of our results come from 20% of our efforts – it’s Tina’s job to help us focus on the 20% – and how the transitions in our lives open us up to new potentialities. And we just wouldn’t be creatives if we didn’t delve, just a little, in the fear factor that has derailed every one of us at some time or another. You can find out more about Tina and her work here.

Read Full Transcript

Tina Dietz
Duration: [00:49:35]
Melinda: Welcome to another episode of Writer on the Road. This morning I'm talking to a beautiful lady from Florida and her name is Tina Dietz. Welcome Tina!
Tina Dietz: Thank you, thanks for having me Melinda.
Melinda: Tina is the owner and founder of a business called Start Something Creative Biz Solutions. That's only one of the things that Tina does. If we tried to get into her background we'd be here for a week and a half, this is one amazingly interesting woman. So what I want to start with today Tina is a little video that I was just watching on Facebook and for everyone who's listening I've stuck it up on my Facebook live. We'll go into the background later but first of all I want you to tell me all about Secret Entrepreneurial Confessions please.
Tina Dietz: One of the things about me is everything that I try to do I really try to do it, to have as much fun with it as possible. Simply because of like you said I've got this very checkered background and I'm always interested in doing new things. I did a Facebook live last week, it was actually my first one and I threw myself into it and decided to kind of stretch myself across my kitchen table and talk about secret entrepreneurial confessions because so many of us who are out there are, we do the same kinds of things, we have this little things that we do or don't do and we're kind of like woo nobody knows but we all do the same things. So I was just having some fun and connecting with my audience. I had no idea I was going to end up with so many people laughing so hard at themselves and each other about all these goofy things we do.
Melinda: It's amazing, some of things that were on there this morning and this is why we skipped straight to it, it was all about how we feel about our paychecks, our cubical nightmares and what was it, dressing up in capri pants and why so many offices have the color gray. Now I've been a bit of a nomad throughout my working career and I've worked an awful lot of jobs, probably not as many as you Tina but the word gray really go to me because that's one word that I know that store through the place as well.
Tina Dietz: Isn't it terrible? All the cubicles are gray why would you do that to people, that's disturbing.
Melinda: Tina used to live in Costa Rica, she's from somewhere snowy, I did write it down but I've forgotten and now she's in beautiful Florida, thriving in her business and she has a team working for her. Tina would you like to take us very quickly through how you got to a position where you can live to whatever country you wish, take your team with you and have a thriving business?
Tina Dietz: One of the things I do with folks and have for many years on the business coaching and strategy side of my business is we do these five years strategic business plans. In a nutshell what those are very concise documents that connect this ideal day, this lifestyle, this outcomes that you really want to have five years in the future and it connects the dots between that and where you are today in this very moment. The whys and wherefores of why you would want to create something like that I think we can talk about a little bit later.
But basically what happened was I did one of these for myself and my family. In that five year goal one of the things was that we wanted to live a mobile lifestyle for several reasons, we wanted to live lighter, we wanted to focus more on time with each other and having experiences rather than having stuff and we wanted to bring our children up as global citizens and show them more of the world and have the sense of freedom and fun and play in our daily lives not just when went on vacation.
Three years into that five year plan we had decided to sell our home and live simpler and live lighter because homes can be a big drag on your time, energy and money and my husband was working for corporate at the time, my business was already completely mobile, that's how I had designed it. And he got a call basically saying hey we know you work from home but we've lifted the restriction on where you can live so we looked at each other and said well why don't we just move to Costa Rica because that was in our five year goal.
We ended up being able to reach our goal two years earlier and because we had had this on a plan I basically made one phone call to a contact I had made in Costa Rica and in 45 minutes I was looking at apartments on the beach and talking with schools about my kids and we had a glorious time and I'm still involved in developing a community for entrepreneurs and thought leaders and coaches and trainers down there right now.
Melinda: You can see why I've got Tina on this morning everybody, all those words are wonderful words, entrepreneurial, thought leaders, influencers, all the things that I picked up in my conference last week that we all want to know about. As indie writers and as indie businesses Tina I notice you had on your website or on your beautiful website craft your vision, create your plan, build your systems and establish your tribe.
Tina Dietz: It's kind of the steps we go through and the things that we need to be thinking about at a high level because we get so lost in the details or we get lost in what we call the tactics, all the different ways we can get things done that we can lose sight of what the next large goal ought to be for us to have something that is sustainable in our lives.
A lot of what I have brought to the table having been an entrepreneur basically since birth and growing up inside of a fourth generation entrepreneur family is I want to make sure or at least attempt to impart things or different ways of doing things or getting things done in a creative way that allows people to feel both self-expressed in what they’re doing as well as avoiding some of the common mistakes and short cutting the learning curve that we always seem to be constantly in one way or another.
Melinda: That learning curve is really, really interesting. I've been a life-long learner and now I've wondered into this new realm of audio which we'll talk about shortly. The learning curve never stops does it?
Tina Dietz: No, it doesn't. You just got to learn how to ride it.
Melinda: One of the things or the main thing that Tina does is, what it is, business development lifestyle design expert and coach. I found a little quote somewhere on Tina's website there from a lady "I had a consultation with Tina and I'm still reaping the benefits." Okay so if I'm your new customer what are you going to do with me?
Tina Dietz: We have the technology, we can rebuild you, no. Well meeting people where they're at, some of the key things, even before I get on the phone with people many times I will send them a series of questions so that I can get a sense of who you are, where you're at and what's important to you. You can really learn a lot by how somebody responds to an initial set of questions, if there's resistance, if they're one word answers or if they're many page answers to a single question. It gives a lot of insight into somebody’s inner workings.
That's really important especially when I'm looking at delving in with somebody and their business because regardless of the type of program that I'm doing whether we're publishing an audiobook or we're doing a full-on business coaching soup to nuts it's, I need to fell a resonance with my client, I need to feel that at least on the level of our values that we can have some synchronicity because if I'm coming in having these high, high values, important values of freedom and creativity and loyalty which are three of my core values and the person across from me is really looking at things from a strictly analytical dollar bill fence and isn't kind of looking at the mental, emotional, spiritual aspects of what they're doing for me personally that's going to be a disconnect because that's just kind of how I operate, it's a very holistic model of doing business because it's not just about the bottom line, it's about the lifestyle and how you're going to be feeling while you're running your business so that you can continue to do and not end up flat on your back in a hospital after working 80 hour weeks for ten years straight.
Melinda: That's a very interesting one because in some of the stuff I listen to online at the moment it's talking about authors burning out, just pushing themselves too hard for too long and not having anything left to give, filling their creative wells. So those things that you talk about, your values, your mental, emotional and spiritual, I think they're becoming more topical now do you think?
Tina Dietz: It's always been, well in the circles that I run in they've always been important and I think that it's becoming more widely accepted because with all the tools that we have at hand and we have so many there is this temptation to do as much as we can as quickly as we can. In some of the writing podcasts and some of the writing colleagues that I have there seems to be many times a large value on how many words do you write in a day, what's your level of production.
There's something to be said for that if we look at the habits and the processes of great writers or great artists throughout history, most of them had these really interesting routines or really interesting habits that kind of kept their creative juices flowing. But at the same time there comes a point where is it more important to be replenishing the creative juices and that well and the self-expression and all the things that go into it or is it more important to be simply pumping out words or content. Yeah, it's a question we all end up having to ask ourselves at one time or another.
Melinda: I think there's a, it seems to be easing off a little bit now but a whole lot of young people and young entrepreneurial types jumped on the bandwagon and started talking about this churning out books in thirty days and I constantly rant about it here on my podcast about you can't produce, you can't produce at your creative best if you're taking a template, filling a few boxes, calling it a book, putting it up there and becoming a multimillionaire. Unfortunately a lot of these young guys did, they did exactly that so now they're putting it out as a recipe for the rest of us. I just wonder if that can be a fulfilling life at the end of the day when it comes to creativity.
Tina Dietz: No, I think that that is born out of immaturity and short sidedness and I would rant right along with you about that. I think to get people kind of over the hump, you know there's that old saying about writing your first novel in the fiction world where it's like you have to almost get it over with just so you can get on to the real work or something like that, I'm paraphrasing.
I think that if somebody wants to be a writer or be an author and write a book, especially a non-fiction book it might be a great exercise to somebody to write a book in thirty day using a template, simply to get it out of the way. But I don't know that I would actually recommend that anybody publish it at least not without doing some kind of focus group or market research on it to make sure it's not crap.
Melinda: It is wonderful and it's great to see a lot more people picking up the entrepreneurial lifestyle and it's wonderful to see more and more people out there. But to say that it's easy is just an insanity.
Tina Dietz: It is, it is. Oh my goodness, you're going to get me started on that!
Melinda: The one thing we really look forward today is getting Tina started. As I said I've watched her Facebook live, there's something else about singing in a New York subway.
Tina Dietz: You've done your homework! Yeah I have been known to break out into song at random, in random places. One of those happened to be the New York subway. There was no, there were very few there I think it was about 2 o'clock in the morning on Thanksgiving, American Thanksgiving and there was no really there but a friend of mine had some choice commentary about that. I think it may have, it was show tunes, some kind of show tunes who knows what I busted into at the time. But yup, that's something you can expect from me and if you ever meet me at a conference I have a tendency to organize the spontaneous karaoke events that I call transformational karaoke because I believe that karaoke is a transformational self-expression tool.
Melinda: I just came back from a conference and not only were they out karaoke-ing at 3:30 in the morning they were putting pictures up on our Facebook group and I went oh my gosh I know you're going to turn up at 8 o'clock at the conference there and be professional but they had such a wonderful time. I'm guessing it's part of the process that you need to go to when you go to conferences. I think that was up until 9 o'clock that was my big concession. But I'll get better I promise! I'll go to more conferences.
Tina Dietz: It is one of those things, it sounds like my kind of conference.
Melinda: Now one of the things I noticed on your website was "freedom, fun and play" now we've been talking to you for the last fifteen minutes, I've noticed those words, you live and breathe those words. You've got husband, two beautiful daughters I think they were--
Tina Dietz: A daughter and a son.
Melinda: Okay, one beautiful daughter, sorry son!
Tina Dietz: That's alright he's pretty--
Melinda: He's going to kill me! Alright.
Tina Dietz: Nah, it's good.
Melinda: You're obviously a high achiever as well, I notice you call yourself an academic nerd. How do you fit it all in?
Tina Dietz: I don't, you can't possibly fit it all in at the same time, it's got to be about pacing and especially as I'm in this space of being over forty now and have been there for a while. Your energy does change, you become, I've found more and more as I have grown and matured, we'll used matured instead of aged there strategically, that I have a higher need for down time, for processing time, for even alone time and I'm a huge extrovert. I think that's just part of the process. We grow as we grow.
It's just and we don't even necessarily know how it's going to happen and sometimes I resist it but when I surrender to it and I actually give myself an experiment, I'm a big experimenter with what might work, what I might change, how I might shift things around then that creates more freedom and more and higher performance as well. But having a team is extremely important, having a flexible schedule for me is very important having structures around my self-care is very important as well which could always be better and I'm always tweaking.
Melinda: Self-care I love that one. I translate that to go to the beach more often. Just not happening at the moment unfortunately. You talk about surrounding yourself with a team, can you tell us a little bit more about who you've got, or not people but the kind of people you bring on board to support you in your business because I know as indie writers we tend to think we can do it all but it's just impossible.
Tina Dietz: I've been in that rabbit hole many times myself thinking I could do it all. It's us, people who are smart, those of us who are smart who are very capable, who can handle a lot and we go well I should just do it myself. You come to a point where it's just not a good idea, even though we can do it we don't necessarily, we shouldn't necessarily be doing it ourselves. One because it’s huge energetic drain that we need to be putting in through those high priority creative endeavors into actually getting the work out.
Then I have built a team very slowly because I had some experiences that were incredibly not satisfying with trying to hire agencies or working with people who said they could deliver who were very "high level" and what I found out that is that I was really paying for their name or really paying for their brand, I wasn't actually paying for the work. Some people have a high need to do that, they need, they feel a need to be with a guru, "guru-level" person in order to feel like they're doing something worthwhile.
I on the other hand, coming from family business and coming from more of a let's get this done attitude prefer to work mostly with freelancers or small company. What I tend to do to bring somebody on board is to hire folks for small tasks, see how we work together and then kind of let it grow from there because I am so highly tuned to relationships, relationships are so important to me, I've had a lot of people tell me that I'm kind of like an Italian grandmother in training. I'm just, that's my personality that I have to have that relationship and to me communications being returned quickly, people asking good questions and then retaining that information, people being proactive in what they're doing and those things are all really important to me.
So it takes time, you do have to filter through people but that's why I having people doing smaller tasks and then expanding their responsibilities works way better than saying hey I want you to run all of this because that usually means that we're trying to abdicate responsibility for something by shoving it off onto someone else who should "know what they're doing" and that usually will bite you in the butt every time.
Melinda: Starting small. I've got myself someone who transcribes my podcast notes and I notice with some of the newer podcasters and I noticed it a bit at the conference as well people are really reluctant to transcribe those podcast notes and I know it's a very little part of what you're talking about but I go through those things with a fine tooth comb and it helps me develop my story like I had Park Howell on here the other week and we talk about the story arc of everything that we do and even as the podcaster we have to develop the story. Without checking the small details, starting small, getting people in to help us it just would not be possible.
Tina Dietz: Yes, exactly. You are just brilliant for utilizing those transcriptions because most folks think that transcriptions are generally only good for putting on their website so they get really good search engine optimization but you're doing exactly the right thing, you're taking that and moving it and twisting it and pulling things out and you can have an endless wealth of media mentions or social media posts or articles pulled from a single transcription if you really are willing to take the time to do it.
Melinda: Tina, therein is where I fall down because I still didn't get that right, there in is where I fall down because, English teacher, because it's a time thing and I'm very big into exclusives on my little show and my exclusive is that I'm developing a little booklet for podcasters because we hear a lot about sound and we hear a lot about the technical stuff but we don't hear a whole lot about the story and notice in every transcription that I go through I cross out all my ums, I cross all my years, I cross out all my lousy transitions, I cross out my dumb questions and I look at a clean script and I think gee I wished I'd done that in the first place and I think we can learn a lot. So I'm just putting together a little how to booklet for all podcasters because I know it's a huge worry for us how long should a podcast go, what should we ask and all those sorts of things. Have you noticed that in your business world?
Tina Dietz: The worry part or the detail part?
Melinda: The detail and the worry.
Tina Dietz: Oh yeah.
Melinda: People just aren't quite sure once they get behind that mike what they should do.
Tina Dietz: I was talking with someone yesterday, it was kind of an interesting conversation because she asked me to be on her show which hadn't launched yet and she's an absolute dear, she's such an expert in what she does, she's lovely but this is her first podcast. I was kind of taken aback at her work flow for the podcast and we had some technical difficulties, we finally said you know what why don't we just have a connection call right now and we'll record the interview another time.
In the course of the conversation what I found out is that she had been basically swindled out of a number of thousands of dollars by someone claiming to be an expert to show her what to do on podcasting and because she didn't have another resource and this person presented themselves so well they had decided to work with this person. Now it's created some difficulty for them.
If something is worth doing it's worth doing well and we get very kind of jacked up about this idea that we have to be making a certain amount of money or we have to be getting a certain number of downloads or we have to be writing a certain number of words by a certain time. That kind of, it's not fatalistic I'll call it finalistic, finalistic thinking, I just made a new word, is where the fear is. When we make discussions out of fear we tend to make discussions we wouldn't normally make if we were in a space of creativity and freedom and or fun, play and ease. That is where decision making and our attitude when we're making decisions becomes so important.
Melinda: We talk about, when you're talking the lady about why we podcast and relationships and all those kinds of things, look if you make a lot of money out of podcasting you're a famous person, but I feel it's more about our relationships and getting yourself out there, putting yourself out there and leveraging your podcast and your audio and all the other things that you do to build your brand.
Tina Dietz: I agree.
Melinda: That's the end of that conversation.
Tina Dietz: There you go, that's it, that's the real value in it. I think that one of the things I love about your show in particular Melinda is that you really get that the show is your show, this is your platform to talk about the things that interest you and you can bring on other people to support that. This is your house. So for myself as a guest I feel much honored to be brought into the conversation and my job is to actually add to the conversation you have already started.
Melinda: That's interesting as well Tina because it's my party and I do what I want to. But that sort of comes I think from being a little bit older and sitting back and just plucking off as you said the people that I want to play with in my paddock today. I had Park Howell on and look he is just the most amazing man and I'm trying to link up here in Australia for a conference and the thing that struck me most and first and last and everywhere in between is he completely took over my podcast show and I said to him Park can I have my podcast show back please because he's just an amazing man and he's just such an amazing raconteur I found myself sitting back in my chair and listening.
Tina Dietz: That can happen too and sometimes that's fine because you end up with something amazing and then just run with it. But so many people think as hosts that it's all about the guest and they don’t make it theirs and make it their unique voice and their unique self-expression because people really come for the topic but they stay for the host.
Melinda: I go through little phases where I go oh I talk to long, I chat to long, I prater too long and I think well people can come and go as they want, that's their choice. With your Facebook live I notice it went for twenty minutes. Now I do my Facebook lives and I try to keep them very, very brief especially when I'm advertising my podcast.
But a couple of times there I've just started chatting, I've sat in my chair and I've had a lovely chat and I've thought I quite like this and it's like having a conversation and if people don't want to listen they don't have to. But people always listen, people always come back later and talk to you provided you're one of them and that's one of the biggest thing that came out in the podcast and I guess I'm talking about this everybody who's listening because we start our indie businesses for the freedom and the fun but if we lose ourselves in the transition then we may as well go back to the gray cubicles.
Tina Dietz: No, no.
Melinda: The 80/20 rule. Tell us what your definition of the 80/20 rule is because I keep getting bogged down in the 80%.
Tina Dietz: We all do it at one time or another. So the 80/20 rule is also called Pareto's principle and it was basically a rule of economics that was developed I believe by an Italian dude named Pareto. It basically says that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. This can be applied across the board to business, to agriculture, to pretty much anything. So the idea is that if we can identify that 20% that gives us the most benefits or most results depending on what we're looking at then we should focus our efforts on duplicating that 20% and reducing or eliminating those things in the 80%.
So this becomes very obvious when we look at things like meetings. In the beginning of my business as I was building a local coaching practice or regional coaching practice I was spending a lot of time in coffee houses having meetings with people after networking events. As much as I love coffee and I love hanging out with people it was an enormous amount of time and running around to do that. So and it wasn't, it was producing a certain number of results but not what was producing me the most results. What was producing me the most results is still what produces me the most results today which is speaking engagements of various kinds whether it's online or on a stage and then having one on one conversations with people not in a coffee shop but over the phone because I do work internationally.
Well as soon as I started getting real with people and saying hey I would love to meet you for coffee but we're both really busy people and wouldn't it be nice if we either used Skype or just grabbed a phone call and just pretended we were face-to-face, would that be adequate for you? A lot of people were relieved, as relieved as I was to not have to go get yet another cup of coffee at yet another coffee house and spend the time going to and from and it just created a lot more time freedom to shift that and that's one of the reasons why I do have an online business even though I probably travel every other month.
Melinda: As Indie authors I think you're the ultimate extrovert and you talk about your favorite times are when you're on stage and when you're talking and when you're with people. As indie's a lot of us our favorite time is being in our offices and our studies and hiding away. So it's finding that balance, I would suggest that we spend far more time than we actually need to on the business side of things because we're not as confident at that as we are at the writing side of things. So as you said get things done as efficiently as you can, stop racing around the world doing things you think you should be doing and it's okay to do things over the phone nowadays because that seems to be the most efficient way of doing it.
Tina Dietz: Absolutely and especially for folks who are creative entrepreneurs who are writers and all of that. Again we can kind of get stuck in the technology of things when really what we need most are relationships and the more we build relationships and nurture those relationships the more those relationships are then available to us at our fingertips when for example we are launching a new book because it's those people and that word of mouth which is the thing you can never replace that make your marketing and make your book promotion that much easier and that much more stratifying at the same time.
Melinda: If that's the one take away that I've taken away from this whole last few months Tina is relationship building. I've met and kept some wonderful friends in this in the last few months and plus from a business perspective there's mentors and people that I can contact and I think I count you as one of those now. If I'm stuck I can call you and say help something's gone pear shaped here. You used the wonderful expression on that I cut it down and I can't find where you-- oh soup to nuts. I thought I've got to write that up on the board when I go to school today.
Tina Dietz: That's an oldie but a goodie.
Melinda: Soup to nuts, I love it. Alright one of the things you have on your website front and center on one of your websites was "worry is a misuse of imagination."
Tina Dietz: It's my Facebook profile picture, yes. One of them, my cover photo.
Melinda: Talk to us about that because I know worry and fear and all those kinds of things are something that paralyze us but obviously it's not a problem for you and half the time it's not a problem for me.
Tina Dietz: Actually it's kind of the opposite. It's something that I've spent a great deal of time around and training around because I actually was diagnosed a number of years ago with post-traumatic stress disorder and an anxiety disorder. So as much as I have this lightness and sense of humor and all these other things, what your seeing is the result of many hours, many years and many thousands of dollars of work because otherwise I was going to end up in a very dark place and I just was not willing to live there for the rest of my life.
So a lot of the time that I took in my twenties and even in my early thirties, even today rather than growing a career and focusing on money I spent a lot of time focusing on my personal development and on healing. That was the journey I needed to be on so that I could grow myself into a place where I had the ability to go out and help as many people as possible. So that's what I've decided my purpose was and took on doing. So that reminder of worries and misuse of imagination reminds me as much as me as anybody else who sees it that I could be using my inner resources for other things rather than worrying. So it's actually a reminder and a display to help me change tracks when I need to.
Melinda: Isn't it amazing everybody we listen to this beautiful woman speak, she's obviously articulate, intelligent, all the things that I adore, she's out there, she's extraverted, she's giving us everything that we need and give, give, give then underneath you discover that you're as really as the rest of us Tina that you have suffered that major trauma and that it is very easy to tip from disperse to success. So everyone out there if you're looking at other people and thinking wow I wish I could be like them you'll most likely find that perhaps you are underneath.
Tina Dietz: We're so much the same and that's offering each other compassion is I think one of the greatest gifts we can give each other and ourselves.
Melinda: So one of the things that I've been following on my podcast and it's working fairly well is that I have everybody, as you said I just think what am I interested in, where do I want to go with this and quite often people will come with me because it's not that tried and true track of churning out the same old stuff time after time. I find more and more and I did it with you today and I feel a bit guilty about it, I skip over all the background stuff because it seems to be this formulaic thing okay let's start at the beginning, go to the middle and get to the end. But we know as story tellers the most interesting part is the here and now and the action scenes.
You've shown me that today Tina with some of the conversation we had right back at the beginning of our chat and everybody I'll get hold of those transcription notes and I'll highlight the story arc of this because the most exciting thing about Tina is that she sings in American subways and literally does Facebook lives lying flat on tables. We know that you're an amazing women because it just comes out in your talk and your business advice is filtered all through this story. I think that's a lesson that we can all take away start in the middle of the action. But I've got one more thing and I've got a thousand more things actually, the energy of transition. You've obviously made some changes in your life and you go from here, there and backwards again. Tell us about that energy of transition.
Tina Dietz: It's very powerful, it's really been a theme throughout my entire life and through a lot of the work that I've done. I began my career coming out of school actually as therapist specializing in working with teenagers and my particular favorite was working with international populations. One of the reasons I was so attracted to that wonderful group of humans is that they are in incredible amounts of transition, just gobs of it physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, it just goes on and on.
So for me taking a look at that potential energy, that raw being that's just all there is really powerful it's like the clay. Transition is like the clay that we can use to mold what's next for us. So there's a lot of juiciness in there. The hazard of course is that transition can feel like it's derailing us from one place to another or actually interrupting energy rather than adding to the creative energy of it.
Sometimes I think of it, and when we're in a place of transition and I actually just went through this recently myself. I described to a, I think it was my chiropractor at the time because I feel like I'm molting like a bird, right like a snake sheds it's skin or like a bird sheds it's feathers they go through this period that just feels and quite honestly looks ugly, but it's a necessary process that requires extra nurturing for us, extra compassion from us.
I remember at one point even looking up what is the proper care and feeding for a molting bird and the description of that looked like the perfect recipe for me to take care of myself, so I kind of decided to take that on and it also brought some humor to the situation which I always particularly find helpful.
So that is the thing about transition is that it doesn't necessarily look good, it doesn't necessarily look good, it doesn't necessarily feel good but that's why we need these visions that we need to be putting into place that are a little further out into the future so that we can see okay I can see where this would be worth it to go through it so that you can stay the course through the awkward bits.
Melinda: Change does seem awkward at times, I've got to admit. My daughters and I have just gone through this amazing change and it's very, very nice you talk about feeling and nurturing as you lose your feathers and rebuild yourself but coming out the end of that transition is a really exciting time.
Tina Dietz: Oh very exciting.
Melinda: It opens up to new opportunities I think and I guess that's where you come in with your business, helping people build, once they've made the decision they're going to pivot or they're going to go through a transition period and they're going to come out the other side that's where you step in with your crafting your vision, creating a plan, building the systems and establishing your tribe and helping people grow. So I'm guessing you work with people from all walks of life, do you come across a lot of middle-aged women, well I used to be middle-aged I've passed that now, coming out the other side of that one, who find themselves in a situation where they go wow I can actually nurture my creative self now, Tina what am I going to do with that?
Tina Dietz: To a certain extent yes, I am actually been finding that women are coming to this earlier and earlier. So I've had this kind of even split of women are at the place where you were just saying, their children have either launched or they're into that teenage side of things if they are moms, most of them happen to be, or they are in their early thirties or just about to turn thirty and in this place of transition where they've kind of come to this place where it's like wait a minute this is not my life, this is not what I said I was going to do, this is not how I wanted to feel. I'm not willing to continue going on like this, I need something else.
So it's two very distinct places that I tend to find that women in particular are attracted to this type of work, to go through this transition and many times I work with folks who are about to transition, they know they're going to transition and they're not exactly sure what that path would be and they have this deep need to have some sort of internal safety about that. That is what the five year strategic vision plan actually creates both neurologically as well as strategically is this sense of okay I can see how this fits together now my brain can actually calm down enough to take action without feeling like I'm going to fly apart at the seams.
Melinda: I love that one, our five year strategic plan everybody, watch this space. I will think about it, it's beyond my imagination to be honest, starting the podcast, getting my writing business back up and running, having the caravan and traveling around Australia, there are so many wonderful things for everyone out there, if you're thinking of making a change and you're thinking of getting out there and doing it even I think you talked Tina earlier about how you guys stripped down that you lived the mobile life and you got rid of a lot of your material possessions. It's a little hobby horse of mine, I encourage every one of us to get out there and do it, but fear does stop an awful lot of people Tina.
Tina Dietz: Absolutely.
Melinda: I'm guessing from your standpoint you have had your moments of doubt when you've been taking your children from one spot to another but I'm guessing you don't regret it.
Tina Dietz: No, not at all. It so much does depend on your own personality and the personality and needs of your kids as well. If our children had been completely freaked out about the situation we probably wouldn't have done it, I wouldn't have forced the issue with them, but we were very excited about it, we had them, we kind of did the things that we do with the which is let's go online and look up things about Costa Rica and what are the things we want to see and we found some level books that they were at they were at reading wise at the time and they got very excited about it.
So it was a good adventure for them and they didn't, my kids just slid right into it, it never ceases to amaze me how quickly they just kind of integrated and it was just their reality, this is what they were doing. The other families we met along the way had very similar experiences, there's ups and downs of course it's parenting, there's always ups and downs. But we kind of have this global network now of folks and families in different countries. That's a really wonderful thing to be able to draw on and also for our kids to have met and develop relationships with kids from different walks of life.
Melinda: I remember my girls when we were traveling around the place they'd get to a new school and the first thing they'd say to their new friends is wow how many schools have you been to. The kids would just look at them in amazement, what are you talking about? In the end Sam and, my daughters worked out Mummy doesn't everybody live like us? I said well actually, no. Now I'll go upstairs they're actually part of a global network.
One of the things with my online teenage novel writers course is that I'm launching this week and I want to tap into your global network and I want to say to your young people out there come aboard with us, write your novels, be entrepreneurial because I know there are kids out there who would thrive on that very experience and with Facebook live and Skype and everything now I can actually walk with my kids all over the world just as you said.
Tina Dietz: I'm so glad because it's so brilliant and so needed for those young people to have that creative mentoring.
Melinda: I might have to speak to you about, I might have to have a one on one consultation where you can help me market this thing, I'm thinking how am going to get word out there. I'm doing a Facebook live course everybody, not Facebook live, Facebook advertising with Mark Dawson, I am going to open up the modules and I am going to work out how to advertise this course, but Tina if you could just put a message to your global network and say look go and buy Mel's course so she doesn't have to go to school anymore that would be great.
Tina Dietz: Alrighty, well perfect.
Melinda: Finishing off now because I've got to get ready for school, the start of something movement, that's my final question for you, it's got me intrigued.
Tina Dietz: The Start Something movement, I had said I never like to have a small vision, it's just kind of how I'm wired and my original vision when I was developing how I wanted to leave the world, the legacy I wanted to leave because I had started a number of businesses prior to becoming a coach and had some success but I would get bored and I would start to lose energy around it and I had a wonderful mentor who said that Tina if you really want to have something that gets you what you want, gets you out of bed in the morning, you need to create something that's going to be big enough that you can't possibly do it all yourself and you might not be able to finish in your lifetime, you need to create at that level.
I was really irritated by that answer but then a couple of weeks later I kind of woke up from a half-waking dream where I had this vision of people out in the world working and being very satisfied in what they did and very fulfilled in their contribution and using their unique gifts to the max and then bringing that home to their families. I woke up with these cheers on my cheeks thinking my god that would change the planet that would complete change the planet if children grew up inside of this context that you can do what you love and the money will follow not as a concept but as their daily reality that they were being demonstrated.
That is where my coaching practice was born and this mission that I had of ten thousand thriving businesses which then involved of this idea of the start something movement which is basically the idea that all of us who are creative and out to leave the world a better place, make our mark and live well are connected by this common idea and we are the thimble fulls of water that working together really create a tsunami of change.
Melinda: That is beautifully said, I love that tsunami of change, working together. You're an inspirational woman, I love talking to you, I certainly didn't know what to expect Tina and I have had, we've been trying to get this chat together for a while now, I just didn't expect to be as moved as I am by what you say. Look thank you, I really appreciate it from my perspective and everybody out there I'm sure you've listened just as avidly as I have, the Start of Something movement, I wish we had have put that at the forefront of our podcast so to make sure that everybody hears it.
Thank you Tina I appreciate everything that you've chatted with me about today, there's so much more everybody, there's, I've been humming and haring whether to bring in the whole audiobook thing and the digital revolution and talking about how audiobooks are just taking over the world and audio sound, we've run out of time Tina as I knew that we would so I stayed away from that topic altogether but Tina is also a voice artist and a voice over artist, she has her own audio business I think is that correct?
Tina Dietz: I actually work with non-fiction authors to get their audiobooks created and published internationally.
Melinda: We want to talk about that another time, getting our non-fiction books audio-recorded and out there internationally. This woman is now at the top of my networking and mentoring list and I'm actually let you go for the next ten hours.
Tina Dietz: would today!
Melinda: Melinda Hammond, Brisbane, Australia the center of my own universe. Tina thank you very much, I am sure we'll talk again and hopefully it'll be about those non-fiction books flying out into the world with our newly transitioned, we can't be a molting bird anymore we've got to be a bird with lots of colors feathers. Have you got any suggestions?
Tina Dietz: Is that a trick question through the last hour?
Melinda: No, I'm thinking something exotic. Actually all I can think off--
Tina Dietz: Birds of Paradise.
Melinda: I'm thinking of Dumbledore's phoenix.
Tina Dietz: Oh the phoenix, yes!
Melinda: I thought that's not appropriate, we're adults. Alright now you're call to action and where we can find you?
Tina Dietz: You know if you Google Tina Dietz D-I-E-T-Z you will find me, I am there. My main website is Start Something Creative Biz Solutions which is a really long url so if you want something snappy to remember easily you can just go to and that'll be a great place for us to connect and if you are interested in the audiobooks you can go directly to and download an audiobook production checklist that I have there for you, that could get you started on that conversation. Either way I'll look forward to connecting with everyone and Melinda you are a fabulous host, thank you for asking such awesome questions I really appreciate starting in the middle.
Melinda: I do worry about that. Alright, thank you and it's see you next time from Writer on the Road and Tina Dietz. Bye for now!

About the author, Melinda

I'm an authorpreneur, English teacher and podcaster who dreams of a life on the road full of adventures and handsome heroes, whilst making squizillions of dollars in book sales to pay for my chocolate fix. In the real world, I write novels and non-fiction, and offer my expert advice via online courses (as soon as I make them) and writing retreats (as soon as I organise them).

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