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Robin Rice: How Do We Make Consciousness Useful in the World?


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Finola Howard:                 Recording. Okay. Hello everyone. I’m Finola Howard, and this is How Great Marketing Works. And today, we have another wonderful inspiring entrepreneur for you all to listen to and speak with through me, I suppose. And I want to introduce you to this inspiring entrepreneur and her name is Robin Rice.

Finola Howard:                 And Robin, I have come across a few years ago, and I would best describe Robin as … This is how she puts it on her LinkedIn profile, because there’s so much more to Robin and you’ll discover that very shortly. But she would describe herself as an executive level thinking partner to leaders and top executives around the world.

Finola Howard:                 Now, I know a little bit more about Robin, because I know she’s also involved in social change projects that she has pioneered that are wonderfully, simple and deep in their impact.

Finola Howard:                 She’s also the creator of an amazing masterclass called the Significant Year, and I want to talk about that with you, and the importance of the masterclass. But let’s first meet Robin. So, hey, Robin, how are you?

Robin Rice:                        Hey. Thanks for having me.

Finola Howard:                 Yeah, I’m delighted to have you. I think the first thing I’d love to say is how we came in contact with each other, because that’s a really interesting story, because we know each other a long time now.

Robin Rice:                        We do, and full disclosure, we are really good friends now.

Finola Howard:                 Really good friends now.

Robin Rice:                        Like you’re one of my deepest friends now. Yeah.

Finola Howard:                 The same for me. So, there’s our caveat.

Robin Rice:                        I hope it’s not one sided.

Finola Howard:                 No. Mutual. So, how did we meet? It’s a good story.

Robin Rice:                        On LinkedIn. I remember I was looking for someone to do some marketing for me. Or maybe I wasn’t even looking, but I was seeing people on there or something, and your picture was on there and I was …

Robin Rice:                        In that way when you know soulful things, I was like, “Her. Her. I don’t know about her.” And I just remember knowing that I had to connect with you and that I wanted to work with you. I didn’t know we’d be such good friends over so many years. And you worked on so many things with me now.

Finola Howard:                 And it’s been a pleasure. I love what you said. And this is one of the things that I love about you is this amazing way with words and with language, because I think, also … I mean it’s too small to talk of you as a coach, or a mentor, or a thinking partner.

Robin Rice:                        Yay, I’m glad that’s true.

Finola Howard:                 Yeah. I hope I know this. I know this from the work that we do, and I know this from the work that you do, and the changes, and the impacts that you have had on so many people. And you’ve had this impact on people at very high level and a very focused way, one-to-one with these leaders and change makers in the world, because there is a very definite recurring theme here, which is about changing the world.

Finola Howard:                 And one of the things that I like about you, of the many things that I like about you is that you have this level of working with somebody at these change makers across the world. You have this level of being able to work with changing the world yourself in these social change projects, which are very … They just deliver to a specific target audience. It’s perfectly marketed. And then this other level of inspiring and teaching and guiding people on how to become a change maker themselves. This is a very deep work.

Robin Rice:                        Well, it’s important. I mean, I can’t do it all myself. You can change the world, but not by yourself.

Finola Howard:                 Yeah. I love that.

Robin Rice:                        I mean, I think change is … As a little girl, I saw the world in very challenging times. I didn’t have an easy childhood and I looked at this world and I just said, “Look, either we have to make it better or I don’t even want to be here.”

Finola Howard:                 Tell us about your story, because it’s an important story, but it’s not the only story. I mean, I think when you share your story, your kind of founding story or your background story, it’s not all of who you are, but it’s probably a very informative starting point to show how you’ve reached the depth that you have.

Robin Rice:                        Yeah. Well, it would take a long time to tell that story.

Finola Howard:                 Yeah, of course.

Robin Rice:                        I’m trying to write an autobiography of some kind to tell that story.

Finola Howard:                 And you know what I forgot, Robin? I’m sorry. You’re a published author.

Robin Rice:                        Yes. Actually, people often forget this part. It’s so funny. It’s like, “Oh, and by the way, there’s like seven books.” And they’re like, “Oh, did you read?” Thankfully, I have to say, but yeah.

Robin Rice:                        I think for me, life was difficult. Lots of lives are difficult in the early stages. I had a particularly heavy dose of loss as a child, like repeated, very, very significant losses. So, I was dealing with the bigger questions from even five years old, which you would think a five year old isn’t looking at that, but I was.

Robin Rice:                        I remember looking at that and feeling like, “This doesn’t make sense. Death doesn’t make sense. The way people handle Death doesn’t make sense. How can this being that I love be gone?” And so, I didn’t have the luxury of happy go lucky. It just wasn’t built into my life.

Robin Rice:                        Again, it was very, very challenging on so many fronts. For me, I had a very powerful awakening experience at age 35. And so, I can honestly say, very honestly that if you’d asked me on any given week other than maybe a few spectacular weeks, like when my kids were born, would you rather have lived this year or this week or not lived it? I would have said I would rather not have lived, which is a pretty strong language.

Robin Rice:                        And then after this awakening experience, which I did not look for, did not know what it was, didn’t know it existed in the world, this greater consciousness that occurred at that time. I’ve never had a week like that since. Like never.

Finola Howard:                 Let’s discuss this.

Finola Howard:                 Let’s discuss this really quickly, because it’s important. This whole concept of awakening. But let’s put it in the context of its relevance to … Let’s call it the real world – that’s up for grabs, but let’s call it the real world.

Finola Howard:                 Because I want to be very clear about how we have this discussion, because too often, this area of awakening is kind of shoved to the side yet deeply so many people know it to be an important part. And some people don’t use it, but I’d like not for it to be relegated to the side.

Finola Howard:                 I think it’s something that is a tangible tool. You will express it much better than me, but it’s something very tangible that can be used to help us in life to navigate it, and something that’s been untapped. Yeah. I’m not so articulate here :).

Robin Rice:                        I think there’s a lot of ways to talk about it. One of the things is I don’t care if someone else is on board with any particular language or whatever. It doesn’t matter to me. There are levels of consciousness in every person, levels of maturity of consciousness or whatever.

Robin Rice:                        I think one of the bigger challenges that a lot of people have is that the experience is so close to what you would call a spiritual experience that it gets relegated to spirituality and spirituality is relegated to not the real world.

Robin Rice:                        But consciousness isn’t … It can have a spiritual interpretation, but it’s a thing in and of itself. Just consciousness is a thing in of itself. You can be politically woke. You can be conscious of your body. You can be conscious of your … Your education is a kind of consciousness of how do we approach life. Do we approach it academically? Do we approach it with a multi sensory awareness? There’s just all kinds of consciousnesses out there.

Robin Rice:                        So for me, this was a more sudden stroke of consciousness that came on, and then I had to figure out, “Well, how do I be in the world with this? How do I do this? How do I make this work?” Because I’m really pragmatic, right? I’m super grounded. I’m like, “If it doesn’t work in this world, it can’t be very useful.” It’s nice, but can it work in this world?

Robin Rice:                        So, I’ve spent really every year since 22 or so years since saying, “How do we make this actually valuable to the experience that we’re in right now? How do I deal with this person who’s here, who’s got a life, who’s got desires, who’s got all those things and has an interesting perspective from a consciousness standpoint?”

Robin Rice:                        And then that’s what I work with my clients and those people that work with me and my groups and that sort of thing too is really want to bring you to a higher level of consciousness, which means thinking about your thinking. If you only take it that far, think about your thinking. Think about how you think. Because if you don’t think about how you think, you’re not conscious. You’re just thinking.

Robin Rice:                        You’re a machine. You’re a pre-programmed 57-year-old machine that has lots of experiences that thinks you’re independently doing things, but most of the things you’re doing are cultural and most of the things you’re doing are the way that you did it before. We know a lot about neuroplasticity now. We know we can learn, but we got to start with this. So, I don’t know if that’s all over place.

Finola Howard:                 I think it’s a really great way to explain it, because thinking about you’re thinking is being conscious. This idea that there are many types of consciousness. I think that’s really useful. I was going to interrupt at one point and say, “That’s really brave.” But in fact, it just makes sense. We’re not even in the realms of bravery.

Robin Rice:                        Yeah, not at all. It just is. Consciousness just is and you have more and more of it or more and more access to it or however you want to put it. But in my particular case, I don’t know why I got a big dose of it at a particular age, a particular moment, but it changed the rest of my life.

Robin Rice:                        And now, I know that the more conscious you are, the more smart you are, if you will, with yourself. The smarter you are in the world. And I particularly like working with super smart people. That’s not the only people I work with, but I do happen to enjoy working with super smart people, because super smart people are very often super dumb about themselves. Right?

Robin Rice:                        They put all of their chips on the outward educational, creative genius aspect and then they’ll get around to themselves later.

Finola Howard:                 Do you think that’s changing? Because you know that in the tech industry, they have moved. All of those tech superstars have moved in their thinking. They’ve changed their thinking. And I suppose when they get older too, they’re totally moving their thinking towards …

Finola Howard:                 I’m actually watching the Bill Gates Kind of … He’s on Netflix at the moment, which is very interesting. So, he’s flipped his thinking as he got older and historically, even Cornell, all of the guys, the steel industry, all of that time, they all flipped their thinking as they get older. But that’s kind of happening sooner now.

Robin Rice:                        Yes. I mean, that’s a maturity that happens. It’s built in to our growth process. People think you graduate college and then you actually are just going to be you for the rest of your life. And in fact, your older years are incredibly shaping years.

Robin Rice:                        We are missing such an opportunity in the world because these older years are … Your self consciousness drops, which means consciousness itself can come in more. Your worry, your anxiety hopefully is dropping. You don’t care whether you’re wearing lipstick or not. Like I said, you were wearing beautiful lipstick. I’m like, “This is lipstick but …” Whatever, but it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter.

Robin Rice:                        I am not my lipstick. I am not my clothes. I am not any of those things. If I had to wear something different today, I could care less. I just don’t care. I try not to show up in a sweatshirt for something professional, but I don’t really care of myself.

Robin Rice:                        But the point is, is that as you grow older, these things naturally drop away and we have very little Cultural language and knowledge of this, that we’re going to grow. So, of course, you’re going to change positions based on how you’ve grown and what you’ve learned and why shouldn’t you change positions.

Robin Rice:                        If you do your research on the whole Silicon Valley, it all started out with drugs. I mean, really, that’s what … We got Silicon Valley by people who are on drugs. So, everybody has an internal experience. Every single person has an internal experience.

Finola Howard:                 Do you think consciousness is required? Is this level of consciousness required at a younger age now because of the world we live in?

Robin Rice:                        Absolutely. You have a whole world as your neighborhood. And our brains and our psyches and all of this are not adapted yet to handle. We have a natural biological built-in desire to protect our family, to care about our neighborhood, to see a wrong and right it. All of those kinds of things.

Robin Rice:                        Well now, you’re seeing the wrong in 54 different places before you even get out of your morning news. And so, the beings that we are, are not prepared for this. And I personally believe consciousness is really our only answer to that. The only evolutionary leap that we can take is going to be a leap in consciousness.

Finola Howard:                 I love that. Tell us a little about the work that you do. And I know you can’t say much, but tell us a little bit about what it would be like to work with you at that top level, that one to one level as a leader or top exec? What’s that like? What’s that like to work? And how does that show itself?

Robin Rice:                        Another big question, because I don’t have anything scripted. The very first thing I’m going to do is I’m going to peer very deeply into the constructs that you have about yourself. I’m going to go in and I’m going to say, “Where did you put yourself together really well? And where didn’t you? Where did you miss a beat? Or where did you skip a grade? Or where Did something go off that’s now showing up as a problem in your life?”

Robin Rice:                        People don’t come to me when everything is hunky dory. And truthfully, no one’s life is hunky dory. That’s just an image. And everybody has the same challenges and the same problems just at a different scale. You want to scale your business, well scale your problems.

Robin Rice:                        Everyone has ways in which they’ve adapted and coped with life and all of that sort of thing. And everyone has limits in their thinking because they’re just one person, and they’re looking out. So, having someone think with you and say, “Well, what about this?”

Robin Rice:                        Or, what I like to do is challenge the premise of the question. So someone come in with a question and says, “Why can’t I X, Y, Z? Before we go into why can’t I X, Y, Z, I’m like, “Why are you asking about X, Y, Z? X, Y, Z isn’t important. Really? Is it? Oh, to you, it is. Okay. So, this is really important to you, this X, Y, Z.:

Robin Rice:                        Let’s look at why that’s important before we go try to solve it, because people are smart. People are really smart. We’re emotionally savvy, we’re psychologically savvy these days, we’re smart people. If you haven’t answered a problem that you’ve had in your life for a long time, you don’t have the right question, for sure. You do not have the right question.

Robin Rice:                        So, if we don’t go and look at the question and go behind the question … And it sounds like psychology, and I suppose to some degree as we all are psychologically savvy, that’s in there. But I’m just actually really interested in your brain synapses and how did you get from A to B to C, and is that working? Because You wouldn’t come to me if it wasn’t working. Or if it was working, right? You’re coming to me because something is not working, and I’m going to …

Robin Rice:                        So, if you work with me, one of the things I’m going to do is I’m going to lend you my confidence that we can fix this. We can change this, we can shift this, we can grow this. And that’s one of the things that I absolutely know, because I’ve worked with so many people over the years. And I don’t know how I’m going to help you, but I know that if we both feel it, I can and I will.

Finola Howard:                 Do your clients come with a specific task or question or objective in mind?

Robin Rice:                        Sometimes. Sometimes there’s 10 objectives. All they know is that they are at a place in their life that this isn’t working anymore. And I specifically chose in this case. Now, I work with a lot of different levels of influencer, whatever. But in the main work, the Rainmaker work, I work with leaders and people who are influencers, because I figured that’s the best way I can get … I can change the world most if I’m changing influencers.

Robin Rice:                        But they are coming very often with problems that because they haven’t been able … They’re smart. They haven’t been able to solve them for a long period of time. They’ve talked to a lot of people over the years. They are actually pretty much hopeless. They’re like, “Yeah, well, you can work with other people. And I hear that you do, but you can’t actually help me.”

Robin Rice:                        Because we convince ourselves that we’re not actually helpable in certain areas. Again, you don’t come unless you’re sort of defeated. And so when you’re defeated, I have to look at why you’re defeated before we even look at solutions.

Finola Howard:                 Yeah.

Finola Howard:                 At that level …

Robin Rice:                        Rambler. Sorry.

Finola Howard:                 No. I love it. Let me just say it bluntly, who would admit that they were defeated? Or am I naïve in asking that question?

Robin Rice:                        No, not in public.

Finola Howard:                 Yeah.

Robin Rice:                        Right? They’re not going to admit that in public, especially if they’re a public figure.

Finola Howard:                 Even picking up the phone, at that level, …

Robin Rice:                        No one is going to call me and say, “Robin, come help. I’m defeated.” Right? But something inside of them doesn’t believe that anything is actually going to change, because it hasn’t changed for so long. Right? And that’s the kind of work that I do is I work with people for whom the answer hasn’t come for a long time, or they’re in a totally new place, and they just don’t know how to handle it.

Robin Rice:                        I work with women a lot, who are in the public eye. For example, one of the things that comes up all the time is, “I’m a nice person, but I have to say no by email 200 times a day. And maybe I have to even become impersonal and have an assistant say no on my behalf.” And they’re saying no not just to someone they actually don’t want to have lunch with, but their grandmother’s best friend who happens to be in town. “Oh my god, how do I say no to her?” But there’s 54 grandmother’s best friends in a given week.

Robin Rice:                        So, how do you handle a new level of you, a new identity of you? And identity is a big piece of consciousness. Are we conscious of our working identity versus our public identity? And how do they converse with each other, if you will?

Finola Howard:                 Yeah, it’s interesting.

Robin Rice:                        But there is in each of us, every one of us some part of our lives where at some point, we’re going to feel defeated. And so …

Finola Howard:                 I have to ask this question.

Robin Rice:                        Yeah.

Finola Howard:                 We always have to ask this. I think you’ve already answered, but I’ll ask anyway. When someone chooses you, why are you different to other people? Because you are very clearly different to others.

Robin Rice:                        Yeah. Well, that’s where that consciousness piece comes in.

Finola Howard:                 Yeah.

Robin Rice:                        I don’t know why I was shaped the way that I was. Life shaped me. The consciousness that came upon shaped me. But what it did was it allowed me … I was very clear. So, I have this massive consciousness experience, and the very first thing that I’m saying in my head …

Robin Rice:                        Well, the very first thing is, “Took you long enough. I can’t believe you let me sleep for 35 years.” And I’m like, “Who is saying that to who are you saying it to?” I was watching this kind of thing. But then the other thing I said was, “I am not going to be good.” I’m not wearing white robes. I’m not doing the whole save you thing. I’m not doing a guru thing. I’m just not doing any of that stuff, because I knew it wasn’t what was needed in the world.

Robin Rice:                        So, you have the benefit of my having had that experience and the natural unusual gifts that come with it, which we get really woo-woo when we start talking about those. But the clarity of sight that I have is really what’s different. I have a clarity of sight that’s very penetrating and very quick. Usually, almost always on target, but I’m willing to be wrong. And if I am wrong, we explore that, because I’m not perfect by far.

Finola Howard:                 I’m glad to hear it. What a relief. And so my next … Let’s talk about clarity of sight. And what I’d like to talk about clarity of sight is the social change projects, three I’m thinking of at the moment. You have two very strong, very impactful social change projects.

Finola Howard:                 One was called Stop The Beauty Madness. The second one was called Your Holiday Mom, and the third one is the one you’re going to bring out and we’ll talk about it in a second. The thing I love about these social change projects is that you have had that clarity of sight to focus in, down to something that seems so small, such a small idea, but it’s an enormous idea simultaneously.

Finola Howard:                 It’s a small idea in that it’s capable of being actioned and having impact. And it’s a huge idea, because it’s capable of impact. You know what I mean? That it will make a difference. And I’d love you to talk about those two. And then in a moment, let’s talk about the one that’s coming, which is called …

Robin Rice:                        Whoa, don’t bring it out there yet. We’re not launched. We will talk about it in abstract.

Finola Howard:                 We can talk about it in abstract. I’ll let you lead the way on that.

Robin Rice:                        Yeah, sure. Thank you for letting me talk over you.

Finola Howard:                 Okay, forgive me for that.

Robin Rice:                        No, we didn’t rehearse any of this.

Finola Howard:                 It’s so exciting. It’s so exciting. So let’s talk about the first two.

Robin Rice:                        Yeah.

Finola Howard:                 Stop The Beauty Madness and Your Holiday Mom. And the thing that I’d like you to talk about, one is describe the idea really quickly. I think would be of interest to entrepreneurs out there, and also social entrepreneurs out there is this idea that you can take this big passion project that you have and make it actionable, simply. Like, for example, Your Holiday Mom costs $11.

Robin Rice:                        Yeah, a year. The URL might have gone up to 16 now, but big deal, right?

Robin Rice:                        Yeah. So, I’m very strategic in the design of the social change. I am going for viral from the very first thought. I’m going for viral, and I know that the way … And viral is different levels and different things. There are certain viral that are just way out of the league of what I’ve done. But what I’ve done by myself and with a group is actually pretty big numbers.

Robin Rice:                        So, Stop The Beauty Madness ended up being covered in 30 magazines, major magazines, or in major magazines of 30 different countries. And we stopped counting at 30, so it was actually more than that, which was just astounding for something that I and a handful of people who are supporting me and working with me and helping me get it out there. It’s just amazing to me.

Robin Rice:                        So, I like to say nobody pays me and nobody stops me. So, if you don’t pay me, you can’t stop me from doing whatever I want. And so, I look at it and I say, “You know what? I’m really sick of the beauty standards, because I’m suffering from them.” It’s not just the world is suffering and I have this opinion. It’s like no, we’re all suffering and we’re getting it wrong because it’s cultural. It’s not just me.

Robin Rice:                        If every woman feels ugly, then you’ve got a culture problem, not a personal ugly problem. I feel this way, and I feel it passionately, which I did growing up and I have at different times in my life. If I feel that passionately, then it’s gotten into my system. It’s gotten into my psyche.

Robin Rice:                        So, what I did with Stop The Beauty Madness was I put about 25 ads together, and I used stock photos and it was so successful, I had to pay a whole lot more money for them. And even The Today Show couldn’t pay the fees of putting it on. They wanted more money for the success of that, so even though we filmed it, it never actually went out.

Robin Rice:                        But the idea was I wanted to talk about the truth and I wanted to see it in a big way. So, I got focus groups, and I said, “Okay, well, what’s this sub group’s experience? What’s it like to be young, old, fat, thin? What’s it like to be white, black, Asian? What is it like in this whole thing? What is the message that’s going to come out of this?”

Robin Rice:                        So, we had really striking, in your face ads, really in your face ads. And so you think you’re going to see a typical beauty ad because of the stock photo that I chose, and then you see something like a super, super, super thin woman for example, and it says, “My boyfriend says I gained a few pounds. I just love how he’s always looking out for me.”

Robin Rice:                        And every woman knows how painful that is. You have an elderly woman who’s absolutely stunning and it says, “Old isn’t ugly, it’s invisible.” Because that is the experience of the older woman. You are literally on the street no longer acknowledged and seen as you walk down the street anymore.

Robin Rice:                        And I’ve even experienced that, and I’m not that old yet, especially when I was in Silicon Valley. So, all of these things came together and I just put them out there. It was how I designed the group around it in the pre-phase that is what actually creates the viral part.

Robin Rice:                        So, this becomes our project. I bring in a focus group. I’ve done that with my latest one for your holiday mom. Moms write letters to LGBTQ youth every Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. We just write a letter posted on a blog. The blog is what costs the $11 or $16.

Robin Rice:                        We have volunteers that edit and make sure that it’s in the right tone and all of that sort of thing. The day that the mom’s letter is posted, she’s on there to respond to the comments and the comments are heart wrenching. I think we had something like 30,000 interactions in our first 40 days, something like that. And now, we’re in our seventh year. And every year, we save lives. We know that because they actually write that in the comments. “I was going to kill myself tonight, but I found this site.”

Robin Rice:                        And all I did was take this very basic human need, which all of us have, which is a mom’s love, and say, “If your mom doesn’t love you, can’t accept you, I will. Here’s what it’s like to sit at our table. We’ve got Hanukkah or we’ve got Christmas, or we’ve got whatever. Sorry, you have to sit next to crazy Uncle Joe, but someone does every year. It’s your turn.”

Robin Rice:                        And we make it very, very visual and central from a standpoint if you can smell the cookies, you can smell the turkey, whatever it is, and you experience what it’s like if I were bringing you into my home and sitting new. You and I are going to go for a walk down the lane. We’re going to talk about your life and I’m going to tell you I think you’re amazing.

Robin Rice:                        And that virtual experience, that sensory experience actually changes us. It changes the sense that maybe my mom doesn’t love me or can’t accept me right now, but someone does. And so these very fundamental … You asked why is it a small thing. It’s a small thing because it’s very specific in one area, one message, one thought, but I make sure it’s a universal thought. And that’s what allows it to have big impact.

Robin Rice:                        If every single one of us has some kind of experience with rejection from our mothers, say, regardless of even if you’re … Lots of people are part of Your Holiday Mom that aren’t young people, that aren’t LGBTQ even. They’re like, “I just miss my mom because she died several years ago,” or whatever.

Robin Rice:                        So, those things all come together. This very specific focus, this very specific message, but a universal message. Again, I’m really long-winded with you. Sorry if …

Finola Howard:                 No, you’re not, because it’s so powerful, Robin. Yeah. It’s so powerful. It is very narrowly focused. That’s this grounded nature that you have, and it’s heart wrenching. Yeah, it’s absolutely heart wrenching.

Robin Rice:                        It is.

Finola Howard:                 And simultaneously, thank God, thank whatever. That you’ve had this ability to see consciously clearly what could make a difference.

Robin Rice:                        Yeah, it’s the cultural message every time for me. To me, it’s like, “Where has culture got this wrong? Where has society got this wrong? Where is there a hurt?” A very deep and powerful hurt that is actually shaping us that could be somehow relieved.

Robin Rice:                        And then from there, we can deal with the details and we can deal with how are we going to express this and that’s a matter of creativity. I mean, the other thing I would say is that’s a component of all of them is it’s so fundamental that it’s obvious once you see it. But because of our culture, we don’t see it until … We see it in ourselves, but we don’t see it collectively.

Robin Rice:                        So, I want to look at it and say, “How is this collectively an issue?” And if it’s collectively an issue, maybe you’re not as screwed up as you think. And that gives us some relief, like, “Oh, wow. This isn’t just me. It’s not just me that feels ugly.”

Robin Rice:                        And I’m not even rational about whether I’m ugly or not. I have absolutely no idea. But even if I did, it wouldn’t be universal of what people thought what I looked like, unless I’m talking about culture as a whole and that’s where the problem is.

Robin Rice:                        That’s where we go with these. And the new one, I am not going to put the name out there just yet, sorry about that, but we’re tackling loneliness as a direct core. Talk about something universal. They’re now saying three and four Americans are … It seems to be in the more wealthy countries, especially at the moment because we don’t need each other anymore. We think we don’t need each other anymore.

Robin Rice:                        We think that there’s this … We can afford to live alone as a financial decision. But as an emotional and a psychological decision, we can’t afford to be alone all the time. We will deteriorate. We were not made to be alone all the time. And many, many people are very alone. They’re alone at work. Sometimes, they’re alone in their own families. They might have people around them, but they don’t feel understood.

Robin Rice:                        And so this concept of loneliness … Again, I’ve taken one tiny little thing that we’re going to work with that has a universal message, and we’re going to put it out there. I’ve already got a focus group. I’ve got about 100 people. They’re helping me choose the logo. They’re helping me choose the music. That’s coming up next.

Robin Rice:                        They’re helping me do some pieces around it. So that, one, I’m not in a vacuum where I can make a big mistake as I have before. And two, I get people who feel like it’s not just my project, it’s our project. In our project, we have 100 people wanting to share our project and take ownership and I want them to take ownership. I want them to feel like I was a part of this, I supported this early on, and now look where it’s going, and share it that way. And that’s the inherent viral factor.

Finola Howard:                 We would share it too.

Robin Rice:                        Yay.

Finola Howard:                 So, you will have to come back and talk about when it’s ready.

Robin Rice:                        I will.

Finola Howard:                 Because it’s so very interesting. So, I love that. I love that you can make this difference by how you see things. Just one other thing I want to talk to you about today. That is your reach in terms of …

Finola Howard:                 There’s already a significant reach here with your leader, your clients that are leaders and change makers, and then with the social change projects, but you also do have a great resource for everybody called bewhoyouare.com, which is an academy of great learning.

Robin Rice:                        I’ll be who you are.

Finola Howard:                 But you have a particular masterclass. Now, masterclasses are very interesting to me, because by the very name masterclass, it’s up a level, pushing forward, growth of great interest and great popularity with many online course creators.

Finola Howard:                 But this one is a little bit different. It’s a year-long program and it’s called a significant year. And I know you’ve one rolling out now at the moment, but it will start in January. But, let’s talk about The Significant Year and I have a complete disclaimer here, because I’m on the current Significant Year.

Robin Rice:                        Which is amazing. Finola, finally took one of my courses.

Finola Howard:                 I’ve taken lots of your courses.

Robin Rice:                        Well, one of my live courses.

Finola Howard:                 So, this is really powerful and I wanted to share it. And in fact, in my own group, I’ve shared some stuff yesterday about it, because there’s a point when you grow, because I’m always very interested in growth, right? And there’s a point when you can reach stasis, that you can get stuck, or you can get …

Finola Howard:                 You’re kind of just … Or you’re stretching. It’s this piece where you kind of need to ask for help. You need to have to be in a place to help move you to the next stage. And I am lucky enough to be accepted, because you have to apply for this course.

Finola Howard:                 It’s a masterclass and it’s called A Significant Year. It’s for makers. I’m going to let you talk about it in a second. But the thing that attracted me to it was that it was consistent. It would be powerful, I would be around people who are at the top of their game, that we would support each other. And that we had work to do, but we had work to do for a specific objective.

Finola Howard:                 And the thing that I think that you add that’s quite interesting is I might come saying, “I want to write a book.” Or, I might come … Particularly for me, I came saying I want to scale, and part of that is a book. But the other part that Robin adds to this quite uniquely is an essence based change.

Finola Howard:                 And I think that’s very interesting, because that’s the piece, that stuff that’s so … And I think you’re amazing at unlocking that. And I advocate this strongly. Let’s talk about this, because this is a unique way of doing a masterclass.

Robin Rice:                        Yeah. There’s several components to it. You have what I call 6×6, which is this inner inquiry that goes deeper and deeper into what ends up being 12 themes over the course of 36 weeks. So, you have deep learning that goes on with that, and that’s lesson-based.

Robin Rice:                        And then we have our one-on-ones. We have six of those over the course of the time. And then we have the group calls, which people love and end up going over time most of the time because you’re supporting each other.

Robin Rice:                        So, first of all, I think because you’re about marketing and business and that sort of thing, I think it’s interesting to look at the whole piece. So you can go to bewhoyouare.com and take Training Your Inner Warrior for free. We’ve now had more than 15,000 people take it. It’s one of my best courses ever, and I wanted to make it available to anyone, and I didn’t want to have to wait to convince you to fork over your $299.

Robin Rice:                        And because of that, we’ve been able to give away, I don’t know, maybe like $3 million worth of the course or something, which again, it actually sold for that. So, those aren’t just inflated numbers.

Robin Rice:                        So, you have that free and then you have my Rainmaker, which is pricey. And I say this slightly tongue in cheek, but it’s actually kind of a reality is that people who have a lot of money that pay me for the one-on-one work, because we’re going to do really deep work, we’re going to do really powerful work, we’re going to make major transformation. You need to be invested in that. So, that’s not inexpensive.

Robin Rice:                        However, that also helps me pay for all my social change projects. So, it’s not just my lifestyle. That’s my funding model. But what I didn’t like was that there wasn’t anything in between. In between is the significant year and it’s not inexpensive, but it’s also totally workable. And actually, this is the very first time in a long time that I’m allowing payments, experimenting with that for people.

Robin Rice:                        But the idea is, is that we are now more and more a freelance-based society, we are entrepreneurs, we have every tool available to us to create things. We can create our own website, we can write our own books, we can do anything. You can make anything these days. The maker instinct inside of us is very happy.

Robin Rice:                        But it’s also very overwhelming, because you’ve got to learn all of these different things that you need to do. And you have to learn by trial and error, and who do you trust and all those things. And since I’ve done so many of those things, I’ve published books, I’ve published websites, I’ve built lots of websites, built social change projects, done all of those things, I knew I could bring that to a group setting and offer that.

Robin Rice:                        But more important than that, because I don’t want to be the guru, is that I can bring together a group of people. And this is one of my superpowers. Over the years, people have always said, “I love your class, but I really love who you brought to the table.”

Robin Rice:                        And by the way, not everybody is top-top. That will intimidate them to think, “Oh, well, I can’t join this.” If you’re smart, if you’re doing it, or if you want to be doing it, if you’re ready to do it, if you’re going to write a book, if you’re going to start a business, you’re going to upscale your business, you’re going to do whatever.

Robin Rice:                        As long as you actually have some success behind you in some form, and you’re smart, and you’re really, really ready, then you can join us also if you’re a woman. Because this is a woman’s group in particular. I like a particular feel for this for women entrepreneurs that women can be in that environment.

Finola Howard:                 Can I ask you why?

Robin Rice:                        Not politically correct to answer.

Finola Howard:                 But it’s useful…

Robin Rice:                        Trust me, I love men. I think men are amazing, but men process very differently than women, and women share differently when men are in the room. That shouldn’t be true, and isn’t always true, but when we do that essence-based change and we work with something very deep and personal inside of us, it’s just, in my experience, women tend to share more and more authentically when they’re not. They’re afraid to be judged, really is what it is.

Finola Howard:                 Yeah, but I think it’s really important to state that. I think it’s okay. I think it’s always okay to have a group just for women. But I think it’s also really important that we say why.

Robin Rice:                        Yeah. We’ll rail against a group just for men, but we won’t … So, we do have to say why in some ways, but there’s a lot of reasons.

Finola Howard:                 I mean, I was involved with a women’s initiative several years ago, pre-Facebook, pre-social media, and I was contacted by the Employment Equality Legislation here in Ireland of why men weren’t allowed. So, I think it’s okay. It’s important to say it.

Robin Rice:                        Yeah. And keep in mind, I have a transgender adult son, and I also know that many people are not in the bodies that they feel comfortable with. So, for me, regardless, if you have an interest in approaching it from the feminine, then I would consider, very, very much consider bringing someone in who was in a male body who had this way of thinking.

Robin Rice:                        But this is really capitalizing on a way of thinking that women seem to already have intuitively gotten, and we don’t have to start with education 101, if you will, on that particular piece. So, it’s a judgment call, but it’s you know a very particular approach. Those are my reasons. They may or may not get me in trouble, but those are my reasons.

Finola Howard:                 I think it shouldn’t get you into trouble.

Robin Rice:                        Yeah. I also think I want more women to be successful in the world. I just want to support that process. As a woman, I do understand that better. I understand. I’m not cutthroat. I’m not a cutthroat person. I’m never going to be a cutthroat person. It’s not how I’m interested in being out there.

Robin Rice:                        Not to say that all men are cutthroat, but there’s a culture of cutthroat that I know women are backing away from business because they have rejected that. And I hear that at all levels. Even the very top levels. They’re like, “I just don’t want that next promotion, because I know where I’m going and I don’t want to go there.”

Robin Rice:                        We have to work on that. Maybe that’s the issue they come with is like, “I don’t want the next level. I don’t want to scale, and here’s why I don’t want to scale. I don’t want to be whatever.”

Finola Howard:                 Or, here’s conflict with my scale, because I can share this very openly here. That was one of my things, my own conflict as a woman or as a person or as Finola with scale. And it’s very interesting. I find the dynamic of the women there powerful.

Robin Rice:                        Yeah.

Finola Howard:                 There is a sense of allowing, and what I mean by allowing is that we have space to be our messy selves, and then we have space to be simultaneously our professional selves, because there are many dimensions. This is also true for men anyway, the different dimensions of the human being.

Finola Howard:                 When I reflect on it, and I spoke to one of the people on the group during the week, and we talked about how some of us are really strong here, and then we’re crap over here.

Robin Rice:                        Right.

Finola Howard:                 A really strong there where we’re crap … You know what I mean? But we just accept it of all of us, and together we rise. You know that kind of idea?

Robin Rice:                        Yeah, it’s true of all of us. I mean, the image is that we have to have everything together on every level and nobody does. If you allocate all of your resources to becoming an engineer, and none of them to becoming a psychologist, you’re going to have an imbalance in what you know. That’s just how it works.

Robin Rice:                        And by no means am I in the gender question here. I’m just saying this is just a fact of life. If you are particularly rewarded for a particular gift and skill that you’ve put out there all over the years, and now your life journey is saying to you, “Okay, we’re going to back away from that one and work on some remedial stuff that you got kind of missed.” That’s really threatening. That’s really scary.

Robin Rice:                        And so you approach it with compassion like everybody’s stuff is worthy of compassion, and I have true compassion for the stuff and as you also know. Then I’m very logical. And I’m like, “Okay, and here, and here, and here is how you’re going to go about changing that. The fact that it’s coming up tells me you’re ready to change it. So, here’s how we’re going to do it.”

Robin Rice:                        I have this constant thing where people say to me, “Yes, Robin, but how? I know I’m supposed to grow. I know I’m supposed to change. I know I’m supposed to evolve, but how?” And that how is managing our brain synapses. That how is managing our habits. That how is getting past fears. I mean, there’s lots of things that are the how, and then just thinking differently.

Robin Rice:                        Again, if you had the right problem in your head, you probably would have solved it by now. So, you need someone to help you get the right problem, so you can go about solving it.

Finola Howard:                 Yeah, but it even comes back. None of us are islands. We need to know when to ask for help.

Robin Rice:                        Yeah. And by the way, back to the male, female thing. I just want to say that the only one I’m doing that with is the significant year. Rainmakers, lots of them are men and Training Your Inner Warrior, lots of people are men that take that. I love men. I think they’re great. They’re awesome.

Finola Howard:                 I know you do. I know. I just think it’s worth sharing that it is that kind of group, because we need it.

Robin Rice:                        Yeah. And look, when you sign up with me, I … I don’t reject people easily. If you’ve signed up, you’re probably interested, so you’re probably really along the way. You might not be quite ready or there might be some things that make it so that we … I know I can’t deliver for you, but the main criteria that I have when someone applies is at the end of the year, can you look back and say, “Wow, that was a magical, major movement year for me in my work, in myself, in my essence, and all of those things.” And if I don’t think I can say that, I’m not going to have you waste your money.

Finola Howard:                 Yeah. I also like very clearly that you bring us to that every week.

Robin Rice:                        Every week. Yeah. Okay.

Finola Howard:                 Will you have a significant year if you do this? Will you have a significant year when you reflect on this? And I like that you definitely ground us and bring us back to the accomplishment of stuff. Yes, we’re doing essence-base worked as well, and I suppose we should clarify what is essence-based work?

Robin Rice:                        Yeah. So, it’s less tangible, but it’s fundamental. It’s some essence inside of us. So, you have something that’s inside. Maybe it’s a particular fear of failure, or maybe it’s an anxiety. We don’t do therapy. I’m not a therapist.

Robin Rice:                        So, people will have therapists as well and hopefully take some of this stuff to them. On the tangible level, we can say, “Okay, I’m going to scale my business by X. I’m going to write this book. I’m going to …” It is project-based.

Robin Rice:                        You’ve got to choose a project as part of the year. You don’t have to know what it is when you start, but we’re going to work on it all year, because I want you to have something in your hands when we’re done. But along that way, that’s how I figure out where you’re breaking down inside your head. Like why you’re not writing a book, why you’re not doing these things. Figuring those things out.

Robin Rice:                        And so then the essence is, “Okay. Why am I always only comfortable to a certain level of success?” Or I want to be comfortable with everyone in my family knowing what I really do, which is I’m a healer or something that is fundamental to the bigger picture, but you haven’t been able to make real movement with. Now, when I work with my Rainmakers, we take on 8, 10, 12 of those. In the class, we take on one.

Finola Howard:                 I recommend it. Robinrice.com.

Robin Rice:                        Thank you. Thank you. It’s really fun as well. It’s really fun. Everybody is like, “These are my significant friends, and can we have a WhatsApp group?” And all those things.

Finola Howard:                 All those things. I want to ask you one final question. And that is think about the audience here. So, the audience is entrepreneurs and business owners. And if you were to give them three pieces of advice to walk away from this with, what would those three pieces of advice be?

Robin Rice:                        Wow. See, now, you’re asking me to be very general, not specific, because I don’t …

Finola Howard:                 Don’t go specific.

Robin Rice:                        And there’s three. I don’t know. When you become an entrepreneur, you get to decide which 12 hours a day you want to work, but you still work 12 hours day. And you have to love what you’re doing for that 12 hours or you’re wasting your life.

Robin Rice:                        So, that would be one thing I would say is you don’t have to find your passion. I think that’s a catch phrase these days that’s very dangerous, because there are lots of days when I’m not passionate about whatever it is that’s on the docket for the day. They’re the things that go with the things that make me passionate, right? Although you can design yourself to be much more like that.

Robin Rice:                        The second thing I would say is … I had it, now it’s gone. There’s something in me that just wants to say it’s okay if it’s hard. The world is selling you easy, and fast, and quick, and all of those things. It’s okay if it’s hard. Hard is part of life. If you’re going to climb a mountain, there are going to be moments when it’s hard and you still want to climb the mountain, great. You’ve chosen to climb the mountain.

Finola Howard:                 Good one.

Robin Rice:                        And the other thing is … This is just my basic philosophy. Over-deliver. Under-promise, over-deliver. I think what everyone who hires you wants to hear regardless of what they’re hiring you for is, “I gotcha boo. I gotcha. I gotcha, and I care, and I’m good at this, so you don’t have to be. Just let me hold you through it and make it happen.” And that’s not an easy thing, especially for entrepreneurs to do. But to just let somebody hold you.

Robin Rice:                        If you hire someone, trust them to do a good job as best as possible. Don’t hire the wrong people when your intuition says, “I’m giving you a lot more than three.” Sorry.

Finola Howard:                 Oh, good. I love it.

Robin Rice:                        Yeah, but over-deliver from a standpoint of … That doesn’t mean break your back and become a slave. What it means is be so good at your job that when you’re done, they can point to what you did, and you can say, “Yeah, you said you were delivering that and you did. And if you can’t do that, get better at your job.”

Finola Howard:                 Great. Great way to end this. Thank you, Robin Rice.

Robin Rice:                        Thank you. I love you, Finola.

Finola Howard:                 Love you too. And ladies and gentlemen, for our inspiring entrepreneurs today, this was Robin Rice. Thank you for your time.