If you could be anyone in the world, who would you be? I believe that we can change our personality and so in this episode we discuss our role models and who we want future Sam and Emma to be.

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00:52 – The importance of breaking isolation
01:34 – Foundational brand questions
03:52 – What traits would you like to have?
07:29 – How would Emma like to be more like Michelle Obama?
09:57 – Sam’s bar story
11:38 – How Sam and Emma met
14:02 – The 3-second rule
16:15 – Haggling thoughts
19:00 – Behaving in accordance with future you


SAM: Hello and welcome back to another episode of lazy entrepreneur I’m your host Sam Priestley and once again we’re joined by my lovely co-host and wife Emma Priestly.

EMMA: Hello.

SAM: So Emma went to the Girls Tribe meetup which is, they have local chapters around of female entrepreneurs or people who want to quit their job and it’s just a chance to meet other people we’ve got similar goals and be networking and then there is also normally a talk about something.

EMMA: Yeah and one of the main things is to break isolation because when you’re freelancing or working for yourself, you don’t tend to have that much of a social life in a network. You’re not in a big office with lots of people, you tend to be working at home on your own so the idea is to meet other people that can go for coffee with you in the day and have lots in common with.

SAM: Yeah and really that’s something we should probably do a whole episode on. The loneliness of entrepreneurship. Yeah so the one you went to last week was the talk was done by a company called See Magic and what they got you to do was quite management consultancy type thing where you look for a bunch of stuff about your brand, you can build your brand vision, link your brand to a celebrity, all this kind of stuff. Like decide what it is you want your brand to be like so here’s a little booklet they made you here. The first one was, in one sentence, what do you do? Write your story. Why do you exist? What are your values? What’s most important to you? Who are your audience? Create a portrait of that person. What’s your tone of voice? And who is the a celebrity persona. So we’ve seen this sort of stuff before when it comes to building a business and deciding what it is your business wants to be like. It got me thinking that we are kind of brands ourselves.

EMMA: Yeah.

SAM: And I believe that who you are as a person can change and you can mold it and so wouldn’t it be interesting to apply some of this sort of stuff to ourselves? Decide who it is we want to be, what is it about ourselves we want to change and then how we change it? How could we be more like that?

EMMA: What big questions.

SAM: Yeah I know. This could go terribly wrong but we could try and do something on there and I answer some of these questions because I’ve got this idea that you can fake it til you make it and that if you act like someone who’s confident, extroverted, you’ll eventually become confident and extroverted. That we’re not stuck in the person we are now. We can learn, we can change ourselves, we can become better, we can become kinder, more empathic. And likewise we could become harsher and more confident and on feeling and better at conflict and all that kind of stuff. Therefore I think it’s quite important to decide you know what traits you want and then and then work towards it. And as a video game fan myself, I quite like this idea because that’s what you do when you’re playing a video game. You build your character up, you put points into intelligence and agility or strength or personality traits.

EMMA: So you’re trying to gamify your life.

SAM: Of course.

EMMA: That’s very you isn’t it.

SAM: So let’s have a go at it. Let’s start with the last one. If you could be anyone in the world, doesn’t need to be a real person, could be an amalgamation of a few other people, who would it be? If you could create yourself, what would you create? Should we start with what traits would you like to have?

EMMA: I think it’s such a hard question. I think it’s easier to answer who you watch right? So coming like quickfire coming to mind are two people. One is probably Michele Obama, because she’s very successful and she’s a real advocate for women and I think she’s got a great story and people really respect her and I think she’s using her platform for good.

SAM: Okay so what is it about her that’s different to you?

EMMA: I think she’s a very polished role model for women around the world.

SAM: She’s very polished isn’t she. She dresses well, speaks well.

EMMA: She’s got that professional. She looks the part whatever she’s doing, whether it’s a suit or whether it’s dressed down, and she always uses kind of speaking opportunities, social media, books, whatever it is to tell her stories and make it personal to empower women and I think she does a very good job of it. So I’m not saying I want to be the president’s wife, ex-presidents wife. I’m saying I really like that professional polish with a good cause.

SAM: Yeah.

EMMA: Not just, I’m on social media and I’m doing business because I want to make money. But I want to help people.

SAM: So there’s something about the good cause that you like.

EMMA: And having having morals, and having a clear message and sticking to it.

SAM: Yeah, yeah.

EMMA: I couldn’t tell you exactly what that was for me. But I really admire that about her.

SAM: So it’s some sort of like strength of character there. When I think of Michelle Obama, I think someone who’s quite strong, unwavering. You imagine she does well in interviews. She doesn’t doesn’t fall into the trap of peer pressure and being trying to just be matey with whoever she’s talking to. She’s very confident in herself.

EMMA: I also feel she’d be amazing it like negotiating and conflict. I feel like, I don’t know that.

SAM: It almost doesn’t matter what she’s really like. It’s more like what your image of her is. So what do you think about her would make her good at conflict.

EMMA: From the things you’ve just said, I think she’s confident and strong and firm.

SAM: So when have you been in a situation where you feel like Michelle Obama would have done better than you? Do you know I mean?

EMMA: Yeah.

SAM: It’s almost like you know those wristbands WWJD. So often Christians wear wristbands, what would Jesus do? And it’s just like a reminder that in the situation, what would this role model do?

EMMA: Yeah.

SAM: If they were here. And I think that’s quite a helpful way of thinking about this. It’s like, in each situation what would this person that I wanted to become more like would do in that situation.

EMMA: I suppose for me, I’ve been very lucky with a lot of opportunities in my life. Looking back, decisions I made for which jobs to go for, and what jobs I got and starting business with you and doing supper clubs, I don’t look back and think well I made these mistakes, I wish I’d done things differently. So it’s quite hard to answer.

SAM: Yeah, you’re probably a little bit less self-critical than I am.

EMMA: Yeah I think maybe the question is, how would I like to be more like her.

SAM: Yeah.

EMMA: So in the future, would I like to do speaking things, would I like to do mentoring. Like it’s more there.

SAM: Yes so you’re coming at the angle of stuff to to achieve in your life. Like stuff you can do rather than personality traits. Which is good as well because it’s giving yourself a role model of what can be achieved and so you know that if you’re if you have been a bit lazy or whatever that you could be doing more.

EMMA: How about you?

SAM: Yeah, well I think loads. I’m not sure I can think of any one person, but I have a few kind of people in my mind. I’m not thinking of celebrities, so they’re more people I’ve met who I like certain combinations of their traits. And often it’s a bit of the grass is greener. It’s looking at the weaknesses in myself that I wish were stronger and then when I see their strengths in other people.

EMMA: You really appreciate it.

SAM: Yeah so let me talk about a couple of like moments that jumped out at me and I thought I wish I was like that. So one of them. When we were starting The Wren Coffee Shop, we were going to look around a venue which was this old church which was being refurbished. We were walking past the person I was with and he says why don’t we just go inside and have a look? And I was like, oh well the landlord isn’t here yet. And it’s just like all the builders in there, I thought there’s no way you just walk onto a building site. He was like, no let’s just go in and so we went in and they showed us around and like that, there’s something about that gumption, that confidence and gumption that I really liked and I know kind of from a logical point of view that is, you know, what’s the worst that could happen if you try and go in there and someone says no. Nothing really. So that kind of confidence to just do something a bit weird and a bit different I really like.

EMMA: Yeah and out of your comfort zone.

SAM: And out of my comfort zone. There’s another one, a similar sort of thing when I was about 20, we went to a restaurant like a bar and there were just no seats available. So the person I was with picked the best group of good-looking women and went over said, “Oh can we come join you?” and I was blown away by that. I was like he’s taking this bad situation where there’s no tables left as a way to to make the most of it.

EMMA: Yeah.

SAM: He’s got a great excuse to go and share a table with them. There’s something about that that really struck me. Like isn’t that awesome? Isn’t that a great trait to have.

EMMA: That would never have even crossed your mind.

SAM: I would have just stood up, I might have decided to go and ask. I probably would have picked the most friendly, the ones who are least likely to say no, as opposed to the people I would most want to sit next to. There’s something about that fear of rejection even though it’s so petty that I don’t like in myself that I would like to emulate. So that guy and that situation which happened ten years ago I did actually for a long time often try and emulate that sort of thing so I would purposely go over and make sure to, in situations where I thought this is a perfect time for that.

EMMA: Yeah.

SAM: And I’ll have a few like mine tricks, that kind of thing. So in a nightclub, I’d look around and see who I wanted to speak to most, then I give myself three seconds to go speak to them and then I just go do it. So a bunch of stuff like that were just so against my kind of introverted and a bit shy personality. I just force myself to do it.

EMMA: Well that’s how we met you came up to me.

SAM: Yeah we didn’t know each other and no one introduced us or anything I just came over and said hello.

EMMA: And the girl that I was with was super. And I was pretty chatty.

SAM: And that kind of personality worked out. I was with a group of friends and you were with a group of friends and for a long time this is what I’d do is we go to something where it’s a group of friends and I would leave them and go off and you can chat to strangers and leave them in their clique talking to each other. It was something that comes quite naturally to you, you’re quite happy to go over and chat to strangers but it’s something I find really difficult.

EMMA: Well it’s interesting in the hostel setting because actually when we were first traveling in South America, I was really not settled, I was all over the place emotionally and actually found it really hard to go up to strangers in the hostel. I’d much rather stay like with you and have a drink can just chill and actually you were the one that was like no you need to go and speak to these people. It’ll make you feel much better and it always did.

SAM: Yeah, and now we’re almost the opposite situation so I was forcing myself into that situation and now when we go to like a networking event or something like that, I’m always one happy in the back and you’re the one going over and chatting to the strangers. And I’m like okay I want to meet so and so and then go introduce myself.

EMMA: You did really well, we went to a wine like retail store opening a couple of weeks ago. That was about 30 people and we spent most of the night apart, you chatting to people you didn’t know.

SAM: There’s something I can do when I force myself to do it, and that is one of the reason I want to talk about it is that is something I used to think about quite a lot and used to force myself to do but I got a bit lazy as per the name of the podcast. I wanted to be that more extroverted confident person, and I became that for a while but now it’s kind of retracted a little bit.

EMMA: Well I think that goes down to having the right opportunities and that goes back to one of the reasons why we’re so excited to go traveling again because actually living in Tunbridge Wells you can just not leave the house, do all your work, not meet anyone and not put yourself in any awkward or out of your comfort zone situations.

SAM: It’s very comfortable isn’t it?

EMMA: Yeah whereas traveling is putting yourself out there every day.

SAM: Yeah.

EMMA: Which we want yeah.

SAM: So that is one thing which I suppose I could put that down as confidence, not having a fear of rejection.

EMMA: And also not overthinking things. I think that three second rule. Just going for it. Not letting yourself build it up in your head.

SAM: I quite like that three second rule in general because it works for most things. I’m really scared of heights, jumping off a high diving board or a forklift. I have my just like, don’t think about it. Like count that in my head. Then you can do it. But when it’s you’re standing at the edge and you’re looking down you’re thinking, well I could just turn around right now. You start boring and overthinking things so there’s like that confident side. I would like to be better at. It’s funny because all the things, all these traits I look at I’m about to talk about are stuff I have addressed in the past, and have got a little bit less. A little bit more lazy at addressing recently. So the other one’s I’m gonna say is fear of conflict. When I say fear of conflict, but not not being comfortable with conflict and avoiding it when necessary. And it’s one of the things, I used to be a volunteer policeman where I did that in order to get better at dealing with conflict and dealing with people who are middle-class friendly and very polite which is everyone I meet in normal life.

EMMA: Do you think that helped?

SAM: It definitely helped, but there’s no magic. But it is just slowly, over years of mentally conditioning yourself and changing your personality until you are the person you want to be.

EMMA: And I think you’re really good in conflict. I think you’re very calm, very logical, you don’t panic. Much better than all my friends.

SAM: Yeah, like when stuff goes wrong, I’m very good and that’s partly because of this. It’s because you’re dealing with stuff going wrong all the time, and so if something bad happens, I’m quite good at just being like, okay, no worries, calm down, chill out. But what I will do in other times is purposely avoid conflict by just agreeing to something or avoiding a situation all together. Like not even conflict, stuff like haggling. I don’t like haggling so I purposely avoid haggling which is something that hopefully will be better when we go traveling is that we’ll be in a situation where you kind of have to haggle for everything.

EMMA: Yeah I hate haggling as well. I was terrible at it in Morocco. I went last October and my friend Lydia had to do all the haggling cuz I just I just couldn’t do it. And I think it’s practice.

SAM: It’s practice and it’s just being okay with arguing with people, yes that little bit conflict whereas I want to just be, I want to be saying yes to people rather than no. Yeah so those are kind of the strong traits I’d like. That confidence, I quite like that kind of military officer look, you know. Straight spine. Good posture. Which is funny cause I do jiu jitsu which is all about curling the spine.

EMMA: If there is anyone on TV that has really good posture, you always point it out and I always think they look like a dancer. The way they hold their shoulders and straight back, it’s very unusual.

SAM: Yeah it is. And that resonates like strength and control over your your body and your circumstances which I really like. And, you know, military officer that’s good in conflict that’s good at leadership. Tend to be a role model, telling people what to do. Not changing your mind easily and all that kind of stuff. That’s also balanced by my desire to be very empathic and understanding and to really get what is going on in other people’s minds.

EMMA: What a tall ask.

SAM: It is a tall ask because if you don’t have much empathy, it’s quite easy to not worry about what people think. If you got loads of empathy, it’s really easy to relate to people and to understand people and to all that kind of stuff. But it’s a lot harder to then tell them no or tell them the stuff they don’t want to hear, so it’s that kind of balance I’m looking for, and I’m not sure I met anyone who’s got that balance really well, but that is what I’d like to work for. So I mean it’s quite useful because I can now build the person I want to be, which will be hopefully a mixture of a few different people. And then just get used to in situations, being like if future Sam was here, what would he do? And then doing it. Give myself three seconds to just do it. Because the answer is always simple isn’t it. It’s not going to be, I think sometimes when you take yourself out of a situation, it’s a lot easier to know what to do. Like when a friend tells you about their relationship problems, there’s normally a really simple answer but because they’re so in the thick of it, they don’t want to to do that. I think that would be the same here. They walk into a networking event. If future Sam was here, what would he do? Well he would pick someone who he would really want to talk to and you’d go over, interrupt the conversation and introduce himself. Someone’s not performing, someone you’ve hired is not performing, what would future Sam do? I suppose something that we’ve kind of touched on but haven’t really spoke about is the idea of being a role model. Being something that people look up to. I once read a book called the seven Habits of Highly Effective People. I don’t remember anything about it, apart from that in one bit, the guy said that he was best man at six weddings or seven weddings and I was like, that’s who I want to be. You are that person that everyone calls on. Which means I need to get better at maintaining, building and being in relationships.

EMMA: Yeah.

SAM: So let’s bring this back down to the final question. Who do you want to be and how do you become that. And the answer to how you become it is, create this persona of future you and then ask yourself what would they do in this situation. And then do it. And it’ll be really uncomfortable at first, and then eventually it will be in your nature. alright well thanks for listening if you have any feedback please email me at hello at San precede calm and that’s about it any final words on us hey goodbye