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Now displaying: January, 2022
Jan 31, 2022

More About Osman Ahmed:

Dr Osman Ahmed is a Physiotherapist at University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust (Poole, United Kingdom) and a Visiting Senior Lecturer at the University of Portsmouth (United Kingdom). He trained as a Physiotherapist at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, before undertaking his Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Physiotherapy and subsequently his PhD at the University of Otago, New Zealand. He is employed by the Football Association (FA) in England to work as a Physiotherapist with their elite disability squads and has been a member of the Team GB medical staff at both the 2008 Beijing and 2016 Paralympic Games. He teaches on the FA’s Advanced Trauma Medical Management course and has recently been appointed the Para Football Classification Lead at the FA.

His PhD was focused on sports concussion and Facebook, and since then he has both published and presented widely (primarily on concussion in sport and technology in healthcare). He holds several governance roles within Para Sports federations including Medical & Sports Science Director at the International Federation of Cerebral Palsy Football, Medical Unit Co-Lead at the Para Football Foundation, and Medical Committee member of the International Blind Sport Association. He is a Co-Chair of the Concussion in Para Sport Group, and a Board Member of the Concussion in Sport Group.

Osman holds Associate Editor positions at the British Journal of Sports Medicine and at BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine and sits on the Institutional Ethics committee of World Rugby as an external member. He is also a Scientific Committee board member of the Isokinetic Football Medicine Conference.

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Read the Full Transcript Here:

00:03

Hey, Jasmine, welcome back to the podcast. I'm so happy to have you on and so happy to see you again.

 

00:09

Hi, Karen. Thanks for having me. Really good to be back.

 

00:11

Yes. And so Osman and I both at the International look, Olympic Committee conference in Monaco, a couple of weeks ago, we actually did a talk together. So for the first part of this interview, we'll talk a little bit about we spoke about what we spoke about, and and then get into some of your big takeaways from the conference. And then of course, some of your upcoming projects, papers and all that kind of fun stuff. So why don't I give the microphone back to you, and tell the audience what our talk was, and kind of what we spoke about it IOC? So go ahead.

 

00:52

Thanks so much, Karen, I probably first thing to say is that we've Omicron raging around the world in the week before Christmas, it feels a bit surreal to think back to what was less than a month ago when we're actually out in Monaco presenting together. So the world has changed very quickly. Hopefully, it changes just as quickly back to the nice, stable world that we were getting towards before then. So I have to see what happens in the coming weeks. But yeah, it was great to present together it was something I think that we've both been speaking about for a while in our respective areas about how clinicians can engage with the mainstream media and social media for injury prevention, and athlete welfare, and just generally for spreading positive public health messages to our patients and clients. And so how we did it, for those of you that weren't in the room, we started off by looking at some different examples of how the mainstream media discusses different injuries and issues. And we took the lens of sport concussion, because that's an area that I'm fairly familiar with. And I've got a bit of an interest in from a research perspective. So I talk through some of the different examples of how concussion had been discussed in the mainstream media starting way, way back with Charlie Chaplin, hitting people over the head, progressing through to the movie concussion, more recently with Will Smith, and also touching upon some South Park episodes, the office and new girl. So other examples of concussion being in the mainstream media. And we had a bit of a brainstorming session, really, it was a nice interactive workshop that we did to everybody. That wasn't a room there. Thank you for contributing so much. He made it a lot of fun and asked a lot of questions and stimulated a lot of discussion between the group. And yeah, I mean, it was quite a nice flowing dialogue between everybody there. And there was some really good examples that people in the crowd shared in terms of their experiences with either engaging in the mainstream media or seeing some negative examples, and some less than perfect discussions and injury representations and illness and medical representations, either in TV shows or in news reports and things like that. So yeah, I mean, session was pretty good. I thought I'm obviously I was one of the CO presenters. But yeah, that was a fun session to be part of. And then obviously, from your angle, Karen, it was really good to hear your thoughts in terms of how clinicians can engage with the media, coming up with some really practical tips for people that would be interested in doing that in terms of how to pitch to journalists, sort of things that you should do when you're reaching out to journalists, and some good examples of how clinicians have worked and engage with journalists in order to get positive, evidence based, accurate, scientifically valid information out to places like the Washington Post and New York Times and kind of upmarket newspapers in that regard. So yeah, it was a fun session to be part of and had some nice feedback afterwards, which was made it worthwhile. And yeah, it was a pleasure to be part of it.

 

03:51

Yeah, I really enjoyed the discussion within the workshop from with the participants, because a lot of the workshops and we know, we go to all these conferences, and it's usually the person up on stage speaking, and there's not a lot of interaction during the talk, except for maybe someone gets up and asks a question, they sit back down. But what I really loved is that, like you said, people were sharing their experience with maybe being in the media, or really asking the question of like, hey, is this movie concussion? Was this positive or negative? And it was interesting that people had a lot of different views on what they believed as was as positive was this negative? You know, I think we can all agree on some of the things like Charlie Chaplin hitting someone on the head or, or a head injury being the butt of the joke. We can all agree that's not great. You know, that would be a maybe a not so great representation of that. But with the movie concussion, I think they it brought a lot more conversation to the group. I don't know what do you think? Yeah,

 

04:58

absolutely. I think the noise thing about the topic that we discussed as it's something that everybody's got an opinion on. I mean, arguably, you don't even need to be a clinician to have an opinion on how injuries represented in the mainstream media. But certainly, I've seen lots of workshops and conferences and sessions where I'm not particularly ofay, or knowledgeable about the area that's been speaking about. And I probably wouldn't feel that comfortable in terms of sticking my hand up and joining into discussion in front of lots of other people. But because it was a mainstream topic about the mainstream media, there was lots of people that felt comfortable to do that. So yeah, it was great from that regard.

 

05:34

Yeah. And I think it gave people some tools moving forward, to maybe reach out to a journalist or to maybe even reach out to say, hey, this article wasn't the best. And do you think you can? Like, I'd be happy to contribute to give you a little bit more evidence to that. And I think that's something that instead of going on social media and complaining about an article or a video, instead, why don't we empower therapists and researchers with the tools, they need to reach out to the journalists to say, Hey, I appreciate you, including physio, therapist, researcher XYZ. But what they shared is probably the not not the most accurate or evidence based. And I'd be happy to give you some resources or speak to you or write a and an article follow up article.

 

06:31

Plenty, absolutely. And I think we're completely on the same page here. I mean, it's so easy to read something that you disagree with, get angry about it. So you may it's about a coffee time, and then maybe sharing a whatsapp link to your friends and laugh at it, it's a little bit more challenging, but a lot more productive to actually reach out to those people. And like you say, do something constructive, take control of the narrative, as we kept saying, so who is controlling the narrative, we can control the narrative. And that's a good way of controlling that narrative is by reaching out to those people, and suggested some of the things that you said there. So putting some evidence based links in talking about proper scientific evidence, correcting in a nice, gentle way, some of the inaccurate information that may have been shared in the article, there are really, really good things to do. I think so. Hopefully, if people in the audience doing that, and anybody listening, that's picking up between the lines of what we're saying here can do that as well. That'd be great.

 

07:24

Yeah, and it's easy. It doesn't cost any money. It just costs a little bit of your time. And I mean, like, a tiny bit of your time.

 

07:32

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, time is money to a lot of people work, especially if you work in private practice. I don't, but I'm sure a lot of people listening here well, but yeah, well, it doesn't really take that long, just drop a quick email or a note to a journalist, to tee up some potentially better ways of reporting on what they've reported on, maybe serve as a link for any future articles. I think it was one thing that we both touched on that, I think is a really nice way of sort of crossing that divide. And bridging that gap is by getting in contact with a journalist or newspaper and saying, Look, I'm a clinician, I work locally, if you've got any pieces that you're putting out about a health related issue or a medical condition, or if you want to check anything with me for accuracy, drop me a quick email, send me a quick text message or WhatsApp. And I'll get back to you about that. And then you're then in a position not to create content for the newspaper, you're not writing their article is not a freelancer for them. But what you are doing is kind of member checking and fact checking and steering the journalists towards more medically accurate correct reporting. So yeah, I think that was a key take home for for me and hopefully, for anybody listening today as well.

 

08:35

Yeah. And I think that's, that's a great take home from our talk. So from and also a nice transition into what were your other big takeaways and take homes, from some of the other sessions you went to? So if you want to maybe describe the session, and then what your biggest take this session, the speakers and your biggest takeaways?

 

09:00

Yep, so the one that definitely made a big impact on me was the session on hashtag metoo. So it's about abuse in sports, intentional abuse in sport, and I came up the topic from different angles. So my mount Joy talks about the Larina SAR case that I'm sure everybody listening will be familiar with, which is horrific. And I suppose, because it's maybe slipped out the media attention for a few months now, I wasn't completely familiar with a lot of the graphic and horrific details relating to it. So that was a real eye opener again, for me in terms of how endemic that was and how that could have been nipped in the bud at several stages earlier from the information that we were given there. And I think the other speakers in this session, we're fantastic as well. So Shree Becca, I'm a big fan of sharees work. I went to most of our sessions IOC in Monaco, and, again, she helped deliver a fantastic session around The similar areas as well. And yet, sir to a lackey, who is based at Yale in the US did a really good session about Ghanaian Paralympians, and the perceptions and abuse that they suffer as well back in the home country, with regards to being disabled, essentially, and being an athlete and the barriers that they face and the challenges they overcome. And I thought one thing that was really nice from yesterday's talk specifically was the fact that she sampled the video interviews, and she wove those into her presentation. So you can actually hear and see the Paralympians talking about those things. So unfortunately, like, you can't transport lots and lots of people to the conference to speak as part of your panel. But yes, I did the next best thing, I think in terms of getting the athlete voices literally embedded into a presentation. And that really did magnify and sort of hammer home the points in a really strong way. So for me, that's something that I've since gone back to some of the sporting federations I work with. So I'm involved with the if CPF, which is the International Federation of cerebral palsy, football, and power Football Foundation. And I've spoken to both of those organizations about this and the resources that were provided in that thought were really helpful, just to make sure that we're on top of all safeguarding issues in our sport, I think, for a lot of people listening, I mean, it might sound like quite a boring thing, and quite a basic thing. But ultimately, it's the most important thing I think we can do is to protect our athletes when they're in our sport, and make sure that we've got the right policies, the right procedures, and the right steps in place to look after them. Because as the Larina SRK, showed, I mean that the impacts of getting those sort of basic steps wrong or underestimating those sort of areas of sport are huge and can have profound and very long lasting effects to the athletes involved today. Yeah, for me, that was that was probably the session that had the biggest impact on me. Again, I'm qualitative in my research background, so I was really pleased to be a part of the session with Eva bahagian, Caroline barley, and Christina farga. I thought all three did a really good job of talking about qualitative research. And I think, looking at other talks as well, during the whole conference series, there's a lot more awareness. Now, I think that with athletes and with patients, generally, we don't just need numbers, we don't just need hard cold quantitative analysis, which undoubtedly, is very, very valuable in terms of what we're doing with our athletes and patients, we also need some context to that. And I do feel quite strongly that a lot of that context does come from qualitative research and listening to our players listening to athletes, getting that extra depth to their experiences to either layer on top of the quantitative data or to stand alone and just be independent data that we look at and say this data has got numbers, it's got words, but these are the patient's words. And these are what the patients and players think. And we're going to look at that data, we're going to analyze it, and we're going to respect that data, we're going to act on that data. So Alan McCall, I was in Alan session as well. And he's at Arsenal Football Club, and they do a lot of work there with readiness and return to play. And they collect a lot of data as part of that. But it's really pleasing for me to see some of those high profile as Alan, talking there about the importance of quantitative data and listening to play as the qualitative sorry. Data are listening to players and getting that information as well. So yeah, I mean, I wouldn't call it a revolution in terms of qualitative research. In sports medicine, I think it's a gradual evolution. I think, as we evolve and move through the 2020s as we are, I think there's going to be a greater appreciation, really of the power that qualitative research can bring. And we're going to see a lot more of it, hopefully.

 

13:43

Yeah. And in comparing IOC 2017 to this one, I don't know that there was much talk of qualitative data in any in any of the talks in 2017.

 

13:58

I can't remember why for dinner last week.

 

14:03

I don't. I don't I don't believe there was. And so I think there is this definite shift in thinking that, hey, if we want to keep our players safe and healthy, and reduce injuries, then we have to listen to them. And we have to incorporate this qualitative data into how we as clinicians, because you and I are clinicians, how we work with our patients, you know, it's a little more than, Oh, you just have to listen to them. Because I think you have to listen, and you also have to understand what their words mean.

 

14:43

Oh, yeah. Listening processing, as well. So you're not just a set of ears, you've got something between your ears as well. And that's the thing that you have to use to process it and then also, act on it. I mean, it's not just a case of listening and processing you need to be Some actions off the back of that change that results from that. So, yeah, completely agree.

 

15:05

Yeah. Because like you said, from the me to talk with Margo and Sheree, and policies and procedures, yes, of course we need to have those in place. But if you're not listening to your players, you can have all the policies and procedures you want. If the Larry Nasser case says anything, right, they had a lot of policies and procedures in place and USA Gymnastics. Yeah. But they weren't listening to the countless girls and women who are abused by this man over many, many years. Because they did speak some of them did tell people, nobody listened.

 

15:42

Again, it's the acting management if you're listening, maybe process maybe haven't. But is the acting that needs Yeah, as well. And that's a key part of it.

 

15:51

Yeah. And I think placing that that athlete in the center. In that case, in particular, it wasn't about the athlete, it was about all the money and all of the prestige that comes with those athletes in your program. So you don't want to blow up the program, they apparent from looking from from an outsider perspective, it's like they didn't want to blow up the program to help save the girls.

 

16:17

Nine. I mean, in an ideal world, nobody should go to an international sports medicine conference and listen to a talk about that scale of abuse. But I mean, if if there is a positive about sitting in a session like that, so that you can spread the word about it. Take action to make sure that never happens again, in any sport ever. Exactly. Absolutely. abomination that happened.

 

16:38

Exactly. Exactly. And, you know, one of my biggest takeaways from the whole event is that context is, is everything. If you're not taking, whether it's quantitative data, qualitative data, exercises, application to the, into the clinic, if you're not looking at the context, around the person in front of you, then I feel like it's all for naught. And the other thing, my other big takeaway is like, I don't really know anything. So those are my two big takeaways.

 

17:11

I think that's always a good thing. If you go to a conference and come away realizing how little you know, I think you've been to a good conference. Generally, I think there's always so many clever people that you listen to and learn from. I went through a cardiology session as well as on absolutely not expert at all. But you go into sessions like that, and you learn a little bit and hopefully take stuff back. And you can apply some of it to your practice. And yeah, it's good that you felt that way. So I did as well.

 

17:38

wasn't just me, then. Yeah, I left. Oh, I'm the worst.

 

17:42

How do I not know anything? What am I doing in this job? It really spiraled down on the plane ride home.

 

17:49

Yeah, so any Junior clinicians or researchers listening, trust us. We're old in the tooth, myself and Karen. So if we feel like this, our stage of our career, then don't ever worry that if you're a new grad, and you don't know everything about everything, but there's something wrong with you, because it really is not, because you get to the end of your career, and there's still a lot of things you don't know, more things you don't know, at the end of your career than you did at the start of the career. So yeah, yes, definitely. Definitely a message I want to share.

 

18:14

Yeah. Excellent. Anything else from the conference that was for you? You know, a big takeaway from any part of it. Or do you think we covered it all?

 

18:27

For me, it was just how lovely and nice it was to actually see people face to face again, it just been such a rubbish. 1819 months leading up to that conference had been postponed two times. It was just lovely to actually get to a place. See people do want to give a lot of thanks to the people that hosted the conference. But the organization was next level in terms of how well run it was. Our safe, everybody felt everybody had masks on. I think we were talking about how good it was in terms of the COVID checks going into the venue, everything like that. So although there were, I think, seven 800 people there, there's a lot of people there. It never felt unsafe. And everybody there was glad to be there. And I think everybody seems to have a good time.

 

19:10

Yeah. And that's what Sheree and I spoke a cup of Sri Becker knights a couple days ago. And we said, you know, the thing that was so great was that everyone there, it felt like, people were there to support each other, and to support sessions and support individuals and, and maybe it's because there hasn't been like, a larger conference like this in quite some time. But it did feel like very inclusive and supportive, and that's kind of the vibe I got and Sheree said the same thing. It sounds like you might have felt the same. So maybe that an NF three is it's it's, it's true then.

 

19:52

Well, I'm a qualitative researcher, so I'll take those quotes and agree with those quotes. Yeah, I think it was just it was a nice nice yeah. place to be I think for a lot of people that first time they've left their country since COVID. It certainly was for me. And me too. Yeah, I think it'd be nice if that's the that's the vibe going forwards if we do go to a concert and can support each other's research, and there's not academic snobbery, or thankfully, I've not really been to any conferences that have been like that. But I'm aware that every now and again, there can be that element of needle two speeches and feedback and those sort of things. So hopefully, it will stays nice and constructive and supportive and positive objectives.

 

20:36

Agreed. Now, what do you have coming up? What do you have going on any new projects in the pipeline papers? If you can give us a preview? Obviously, can't give it all the way. But if you can give us a preview as to what you're working on, for 2022 and beyond?

 

20:55

Oh, okay. Well aware, a few different hats. So one of the hats that I wear is at the BDSM, the British Journal sports medicine. So I think it was announced on social media a little while ago that we're having the first BDSM Live, which is a in person, conference day that's being held in Brighton in the UK in May 2022. So we're quite excited about that. I'm hosting that with Fiona Wilson from Ireland. So it'd be really great to co chair the day with her. And that's certainly something I'm looking forward to. I am also off to the IPF spt. So the International Federation Sports Physical Therapy conference in Denmark in August, where I'm presenting a session with yourself again, Karen, so great to see you there. And again, that's following up on some of the BDSM work that I've done in terms of patient voices and athlete engagement. So I'm really looking forward to that one as well. A lot of 2021 was involved with the concussion and parasport group that I'm a member of so working with international colleagues are involved in Paris sports main concussion. So we released our position statement last year. And hopefully off the back of that there's going to be a lot more studies that take place in 2022. So one of the co authors, in fact, the lead author, Dr. Richard Wheeler, who's very passionate about the area, he's currently doing study looking at the perceptions of blind footballers towards concussion. And so he's done a lot of data collection from that. So I'll be working with him and the other co authors on that paper in the new year, which is exciting. And I'm also looking forward to working with Dr. Mark Murali in Australia, who's a digital health physiotherapist might be one of the best ways to describe him. He's very involved in the tech side of what we do is a professional physiotherapy and physical therapy. And he's got a grant that's been accepted on physio, digital health capabilities, and a model related to that. So I'm going to be working with him looking at that and looking at the digital side of physiotherapy as well. So got plenty of things to keep you busy. And I'm looking forward to hopefully a better year than last year.

 

23:05

Yes, well, you certainly have a lot to to keep you busy as well. And I should also say that you also work to your clinician.

 

23:14

Yeah, so my full time day job is at University Hospital, still on the south coast of England, and I'm a full time clinician, I also work part time for the Football Association as a clinician with their elite power football squad. So that's disability football. And in the new year, I'm also going to be starting a part time role there is the power classification lead for the elite disability football program. So looking after the classifications across all the athletes, power football, sports, I'm looking forward to that role as well.

 

23:44

Nice. And obviously, you'll eat and sleep at some point in between.

 

23:51

If you ask my wife, there's a lot of eating, and we missed out on those too.

 

23:56

Good and a little bit of relaxing and a little bit of fun, right?

 

24:00

Definitely. Always got time for fun. Excellent. Well,

 

24:03

before we wrap things up, where can people find you if they want to join some of the things you're doing? They want to have more information, they just want to say hi, where can they find you?

 

24:14

Yep, so probably the easiest way to get ahold of me is on Twitter and my handles, Osman H. Ahmed. And I think you'll probably share the link in the podcast. So that's probably the best way to find me and I'm pretty responsive on there if people do want to get in touch. Certainly if you're interested in concussion in disability sports, or want to talk more about our work that we've done with the mainstream media and how we can engage with them, then I'd love to hear from you.

 

24:39

Excellent. And yes, that will I will have that link at podcast at healthy wealthy, smart calm in the show notes in this under this episode. And finally, I think I've asked you this question before, but I'll ask it again because maybe you have new advice, but what advice would you give to your younger self knowing where you are now in your life and in your career?

 

25:03

For a couple of things really, don't take yourself too seriously. I think that's probably a key thing for any young clinicians that certainly when I was working in university, there was a lot of people that were really stressed and anxious to make a mark in the profession. And obviously, that is good. And that's commendable when you want to keep that about you. But also, I think, being relaxed in terms of the way that you do that, and doing it in a collegiate way, I think is probably a really good way to progress your career. I like to think I did that. So that that's less advice to me and more advice to other people. forced myself when I was younger. I'm not really sure to be honest, I'm, I'm pretty happy with the decisions I've made through my life so far. So yeah, probably. I don't know. Pass. Sorry, Karen,

 

25:52

know that the piece of advice that you gave, don't take yourself too seriously, is perfect. It's perfect. And I think that a lot of people will enter into we're both physio therapists into physiotherapy or healthcare. And kind of like you said, they really want to move their career forward. And so I think it's important to remember Yes, you want to move your career forward, but your underlying Why should be to improve the health of everyone to improve the health of your community, your population that you see, versus getting best of XYZ, or award for this and award for that. I did this look at how great I am. But instead, how are you really impacting your community through your work?

 

26:38

Absolutely. So keeping everything patient centered. I think that's basically what you're saying there. I think probably the other thing as well is your career is a marathon. It's not a sprint. So you don't have to achieve all of your career goals by the age of 30. spacings out and don't be afraid to reinvent yourself if you find you're in a career or a job that you're not massively enjoying. It's a big profession out there. You're not wedded to one job for your career or your life. There's other places that your career can take you with a degree in the skills that you've got.

 

27:11

Perfect. That is great advice. Well, thank you so much for coming on to the podcast again.

 

27:16

I really appreciate it and look forward to seeing you again in person in August. So thank you so much for coming on. Thank you, Karen. And everyone. Thanks so much for listening today. Have a great couple of days and stay healthy, wealthy and smart.

Jan 24, 2022

In this episode, Founder of Taylor Insurance and Financial Services, Eszylfie Taylor, talks about balancing and prioritizing the mind, body, and money.

Today, Eszylfie talks about wearing many hats, how yoga has changed his life, and his work on Mind Body Money. How is short-term gratification hindering our progress?

Hear about how Eszylfie fits so much into his life, how he picks himself up after a failure, and get his valuable advice for 2022, all on today’s episode of The Healthy, Wealthy & Smart Podcast.

 

Key Takeaways

  • “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
  • “Only something good comes from being bold. Either you’re going to get something you didn’t have, or you’re going to continue not having what you didn’t have anyway.”
  • “Pay yourself first.”
  • “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it with amazing accuracy.”
  • “You have to give up smaller short-term instant gratification things for the long-term greater thing.”
  • “Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship.”
  • “Those who think they can do something and those who think they cannot do something are both right.”
  • “The most successful people in life are those who can endure the most pain.”
  • “No one is on their deathbed wishing they had more money.”
  • “Never give up. You never know how close you are to your dreams.”
  • “The road to walk a mile begins with a single step.”

 

More about Eszylfie Taylor

Eszylfie Taylor is the president and founder of Taylor Insurance and Financial Services, and serves as financial advisor to individuals, business owners, and high net worth families. Over the past decade, he has been widely recognized as one of the most accomplished producers in the industry, receiving the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) award, “Agent of the Year: Los Angeles" in 2010-2012. Additionally, Mr. Taylor is a 15-time "Million Dollar Round Table" qualifier, the last four of which he has been a "Top of the Table” producer, ranking him in the top 1% of all producers worldwide, and was the recipient of the 2015 Top Four Under Forty Award by Advisor Today Magazine.

Mr. Taylor began his career at age 22 with New York Life Insurance Company, where he soon ascended to the Chairman's Council, reaching the ranking of #1 Broker in Los Angeles (2006-2013), and #1 Agent for the Company's African-American market (2006-2013). In 2007, he began building his own firm, Taylor Insurance and Financial Services.

Mr. Taylor currently sits on the board of three non-profit organizations dedicated to business empowerment, children's health, and social services.

He is the founder of the non-profit, Futures Stars Camp, which provides basketball training and life coaching skills (www.futurestarscamp.org) for kids. In addition to his passion for business, Eszylfie loves being a hands-on dad.

Eszylfie holds a Bachelor’s Degree (magna cum laude) in Business Management from Concordia University. He has also earned the Series 6, 63, 65, and 7 licenses, and a Life and Health Insurance license.

 

Suggested Keywords

Healthy, Wealthy, Smart, Finance, Financial Freedom, Success, Perseverance, Yoga, Mind Body Money, Long-Term Goals, Consistency, Resilience,

 

To learn more, follow Eszylfie at:

Website:          https://www.mindbodymoney.com

                        https://www.taylormethod.com

                        https://www.futurestarscamp.org

Instagram:       @EszylfieTaylor

LinkedIn:         Eszylfie Taylor

 

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Read the Full Transcript Here: 

00:02

Hi, Eszylfie welcome to the podcast. I'm happy to have you on.

 

00:07

Thank you for having me.

 

00:08

And I'm excited to talk about you and your journey and all the different hats that you wear in your, in your professional and in your personal life. So let's break all of this down. So you are a financial advisor. You're a yoga instructor, you're an entrepreneur, and you're a girl, dad, and I have a soft spot for I'm one of three girls, you've got three girls, I totally I get it. So if we can, let's first talk about how does all that happen in one life? How do you put that all together?

 

00:43

Yeah, I think, for me, when I was graduating college, I made a promise to myself that I would never look back at my life and say, what if what if I did this? Or what if I try this? And what if I went here? I just say I just say yes. Right? And as as as a result of that I'm a huge failure, probably arguably, the biggest failure you've ever met in your life. And that's also why I succeed, right? So I would rather try something and fail miserably might fall flat on my face and say, Okay, that wasn't for me and check the box, then just wish or assume. Right? And because, you know, again, I think I didn't want to be a grizzled old man sitting on my porch one day thinking of all the things that I could have done with my life that I should have done with my life and then look back with regret, no, no, no regrets?

 

01:32

And how do you pick yourself up after each one of those failures? Because, I mean, maybe my skin's a little bit thinner. But I would just I don't know that I would have the fortitude to continue to pick myself up and move forward again. So how do you do that?

 

01:48

I think for me, you know, sports sports played a big role in helping me create grit. You know, I have a nonprofit that I founded called future stars. And then I teach kids and I'm actually doing a camp right now for kids. And, and I told the kids today, I said, you miss 100% of the shots, you don't take this 100% of the shots you don't take. So my contention is, is I just tell myself, I tell others to be bold, right? Because only something good comes from being bold. Either you're going to get something you've never had, or continue, which you didn't have what you didn't have anyway, right? You're going to get something you didn't have or continue not to have what you didn't have anyway. So what do you lose? To your point? It's really just ego. Right? That's, that's right. Right. And so I'd rather hear or know, or face rejection and say, Okay, well, I didn't have it anyway. So what have I lost? That, you know, nothing, right? Yeah, I look at it, you know, it's, it's only it's only greed, right? It's only only upside.

 

02:50

And so you've so you say you've had all these failures, okay, I believe that, but you're also incredibly successful in multiple areas of your life, one of those being a financial advisor. So talk about how you got into the financial advising game, and then we'll maybe get since we're in the beginning of a new year is 2020, to maybe get a couple piece of pieces of advice from you, on how to set yourself up for success from a financial standpoint. But first, let's talk about how you became a financial advisor. And we'll take it from there.

 

03:29

Yeah, I started my career fresh out of college, I'm in the business which is unique, right, so the average financial advisors probably a 55, six year old white male, right, so I'm anything but that I had one simple, you know, modest dream coming out of college that was to become a millionaire by the time I was 25. Right. So 22 I figured what three years is that's that sample time, right? It's reasonable, you know, by three years, that's, you know, that's, that's that should happen. Um, and, you know, I was at a job fair at my university and you know, I'm going from from booth to booth and all the companies are kind of telling me the same thing. I'm gonna make somewhere between 4050 grand a year, and I'm scratching my head and I'm like, okay, like, I'm not the smartest guy in the world. But that doesn't add up, right? Like I get to a million bucks that way and so you know, by by chance, uh, you know, I found my way into this world of financial services and what drew me to the industry was that it was an industry as a field where I was paid for my work I work ethic and aptitude not my age or tenure. Right and so at the end of the day, I was gonna eat what I kill right I was gonna I was gonna I was gonna make as much money I was going to have as big an impact in the community in the world as I worked tap right and so you know, it's funny against the against the better advice of my father who told me no, you know, get go work for someone else get a job right? Go get a paycheck on the first and the 15th and I just like i Dad, I think, I don't know I like You know, I can't even tell you how I'm gonna do it. But I just believe doing it this way me being in control of my fate is just a better way to go. And 20 years later, you know, here I am.

 

05:12

And I, I can totally relate with the just get a job and get the paycheck. And because I remember leaving college, I thought I would get a job and a hospital or a clinic and I would work there until I retired. Right, because sometimes those worlds aren't open for you right away, and you have to kind of really forge your path. Now you were very successful, as are are very successful as a financial advisor. And then you moved into becoming an entrepreneur, starting your own brokerage. So we'll get to that in a second. But before we do, let's give people a little bit of advice for their financial success in 2022. What's your best advice for us?

 

05:55

Yeah, I mean, one of the guiding principles of creating financial security is the idea of paying yourself first, right? And, you know, tell people you if you work for a company, right, and and and they didn't pay you, would you continue to go to work? Virtually everyone says, Well, no, rather not go to work, have a good day. But my contention is, you get your paycheck, and you pay rent, and you pay your car lease, and you pay your credit card, and you pay your cell phone bill, right, and you don't put any money away, right? No money in savings investments for you, you just work for free, because none of that money went to create wealth for you. Right. So the the one thing that I would tell people is to pay yourself first. And this really comes first and foremost with creating a budget. Right? You have to have a plan, right? I would say if you aim at nothing, you'll hit it with amazing accuracy. Right? So you have a certain amount of money coming in. Okay, so if I make five grand a month, okay, well, what are your bills? My bills are three grand a month. Okay. That that gap between your income and your expenses? That's called your discretionary income? That's do I make dinner at home tonight? Or do I go to that steak house? That's do I, you know, do I go on vacation? Right, you know, to to Hawaii? Or do I just go camping, you know, down down down the road, right. And so those are your choices, right? Those are your choices. But I always tell people pay yourself first. And the reason and I wanted to drive home the importance of this, you want to get to the point where you can live off of interest, you want to get to the point where you've saved, you've accumulated so much money, that the yield the earnings from your money covers all of your expenses. That to me is retirement. It's not about being 65 or 67, or 70. It's the point at which you remove the half twos from the equation, you do things because you want to do them not because you have to do them. And the more money you put away, right, the longer it's working, the greater rate of return you're earning than the faster you get to that point, right. And so I don't care where it is, it could be a savings account to start. It can be a brokerage account, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, insurances, whatever, right? But something you must pay yourself first. Right? And that's, that's the first guiding, no first guiding principle.

 

08:10

And I love that I started doing that a couple of years ago has changed my life. Yeah. And it's like, it's so I feel like I have like less worry and less burden on my shoulders. Does that make sense?

 

08:23

Well, it does make perfect sense. And the challenge is, is people go oh, well, you know, I, my lifestyle will be, you know, be interrupted. And no, it won't, right. And if you think about this, and I love breaking down, and this is maybe a challenge that the listeners can can join in on, take the amount of money you're looking to save on a monthly basis, and break it down to the day makes it even more palatable. So you think about it. If I go, Hey, I want to save, you know, I want to save $1,000 a month. That's my target. Right? So what's that roughly about $33? A day. Right? So you get a lunch every day, Karen, you had to take me to lunch, right? Would that change your life? Would your life suffer? We just ended a living change? Probably not right? You're ready to retire? If I said you have $2 million in your retirement account. Would that help you with that? Would that change your life? I probably wouldn't hurt.

 

09:19

Yeah, it would be good. I'd be I be okay with that.

 

09:22

Right. And that is what you're giving up. So it's like we have to give up smaller short term instant gratification things for the long term greater good.

 

09:31

Yeah. And I think that's that mental shift is so important because we live in a world now where instant gratification is everything right? And so how do you counsel your clients who are used to an instant gratification world to be like, Hey, listen, this is going to come to you but you have to wait. Well,

 

09:50

I think the principle of saving and investing or paying yourself first doesn't mean you can't have fun. It doesn't mean you can't enjoy the fruits of your labor and I think people tend to, you know, live in these extremes, right? Like either save everything you must, you know, not spend don't have any fun like your life is over right? Or, or like, we only live once I'm gonna spend it all right and, and the reality of is there's a balance, you know in the middle, right? And so what I'm saying pay yourself first in that example if I make five grand a month and I have $3,000 a month of expenses, and I decide I'm gonna put away $500 Well, there's still 1500 bucks to go to the movies to go to dinner to go buy that, you know that handbag to go buy those shoes. You want it right, like, but you made yourself first.

 

10:36

Yeah, yeah, I love it. Like I said, that mentality has just changed and shifted everything for me. So hopefully, the listeners will take that and hold on to it through 2020. Now, like I said, you wear a lot of different hats. So financial advisors, one new or very successful financial advisor working for someone else. Right? And then you kind of made a shift, you kind of reached the point where, oh, I feel like I've got all this stuff. But I'm not sure that I'm happy in the place where I'm at. Is that right? Yeah, I

 

11:12

think, you know, for me, I realized I draw the analogy, I felt like I was a shark in a fish tank. Right. Like I had, I had outgrown, you know, the system that I was in. And in order to continue to to flourish, I needed to swim in larger waters, right? I believe in life, you know, you're green and you're Brown, you're growing and you're dying, you're getting better, you're getting worse, there's no staying the same, right? And so for me, I'm always looking to grow, I'm always looking to get better. I'm always looking to be pushed, and challenging. So you know, what better thing than, you know, leaving a 13 year career, you know, and multi multimillion dollar practice than to go out break out on your own and try to build something bigger. So that's exactly what I did.

 

11:57

And again, not easy. Now, was this around the same time that you started getting into yoga and becoming a yoga practitioner? And how did that change? What you do as a financial advisor and even as a dad and as a person? Kind of connecting that mind and body?

 

12:18

Yeah, I think it was somewhat around the same time I've been been practicing yoga for about 14 1415 years and and I've been independent now my own brokerage about 910 years and I think what yoga taught me not only what it did for me physically, but it I was very idealistic visit undermanned, right, this will happen, this lab, this will happen, right? I was very rigid, right? This, this, this. And what yoga taught me is it taught me to detach myself from outcomes. It taught me to detach myself from outcomes and to just focus on process. Right. And so there's a little Mater that I that I shared in the listeners can can take part in this as well. And you got a challenge in your life. Right? You got an issue in your life, you ask yourself questions, three questions. Do you have a problem? No. Okay. Don't worry about it. Right? No problem doesn't worry about. Do you have a problem? Yes. Can you do something about it? Yes. Okay. Don't worry about it. Do you ever problem? Yes. Can you do something about it? No. Oh, great. Don't worry about it. Which basically means all paths lead to not worrying about it. Right? So I believe that everything happens for a reason. And it's exact, perfect timing, even the crappy stuff. Right? Even the stuff you're like, This isn't fun. This hurts. Right? And, and, and, and one of the things that yoga has taught me is this just changes my mantras. I mean, even teaching it right, I have all these intentions and things that I that I that I share with with my students and that I have to also live by I can't say it not believe it or not live with it, right. And even this past week, my watch for classes that ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship. Right? And so through adversity through challenges, that is where we that is where we grow, that's where we get product progress, that is where grit is developed. And so for me, Yoga has softened me in so many ways. And let me accept things right, except that sometimes I will get exactly what I want. And sometimes the door will be slammed in my face and it's okay because if a door gets slammed in my face it was supposed to get now now the challenge is in the big so do you need me Sophie, every time you get rejected, you just accept it like know what I mean by trusting the processes. If I have done what is required of me, if I have done everything that I can do, then I can detach myself from the outcome. I don't mean that I'm sitting at home flipping TV. going like, I'm going to make a million dollars this year. Are you working today? Like no, but it's coming to me I'm manifesting. There's two keys to success in life. Number one, you have to believe that's the first part, those that think they can do something and those that didn't, they could not do something about usually right, then the second piece, then you have to do the work. Right. So what I always had was a tremendous work ethic that I always had. But what was flawed, flawed, or what was underdeveloped, if you will, was that mindset that, that that that positivity, that manifestation? That that, okay, this, this is what will happen, okay? This is what I want to happen, okay, and then go out and do the work.

 

15:38

Yeah. And boy, that second parts, the tricky bit, right, having to do the work. That's the hard part. And I know, and then, what I see a lot, and you probably see this on social media is people will say, Oh, I put it on my vision board, and it just happened. Or I manifested it, and it just happened. And then you're sitting there like, what, like, if that work is

 

16:02

because people people typically aren't posting their losses, right, people are posting their wins, you know, and the reality of it is, is that, you know, you take any anyone in any any arena sports, entertainment business, right there, they're all failures, all of them. They just were too stubborn to stay down. Right. And that's, that's the difference. I've come to believe that the most successful people in life are simply those who can endure the most pain, who can endure the most rejection who can in you know, indoor, and I think that's how I became successful in my business. I think, I think that I coined the phrase at the time when I was new advisor, I put in the phrase, tactical persistence, right? I'm going to be persistent tactfully. I think, in the first couple years of my career, people ultimately just did business with me, because I like, if I don't buy something from this guy, I think he's ever going away. Like, I don't think he is ever. Right. And so, you know, I was just there, they're there. And they're like, fine, right? I mean, you've developed a relationship and people know, right, then he's not going anywhere. He's gonna be here. Right. And, and, and, and I think I think that's, that's, that's important. I mean, anyone, uh, any one of the listeners, you know, of this program can tell you what is the easiest way to put off a salesperson or a telemarketer the easiest way to um, one simple phrase, call me later. And 99.9% of the time, they will not and you're off the hook. You don't even have to reject it. You did. So call me later because they didn't follow through. Right? Right. They didn't follow up. So you didn't have to actually, you know, say no, even right. And so, that's the thing for me, like, No, I'm gonna follow up and I'm gonna follow through and I'm gonna do everything that is required of me. Right. And if you ultimately type he's not right or my services are right then. Okay. Right. But I will not fail because I didn't do what was required. That will happen.

 

17:52

Yeah, yeah. That makes perfect sense. And, you know, speaking of tactful persistence, the other hat that you were is a dad to three girls, so I can only imagine tactful persistence comes in handy. So how has all of this your experience in business, your experience in yoga, your experience in life? How does that come together when it comes to raising three, three gals?

 

18:17

Yeah, um, you know, I, when I was a younger man, I used to pray to God that he'd sent girls to hang all over me. And he took me literally and it's like, here you go, here's three of them. Right? So be careful what you ask for my kid. I've got these three girls. And this is a prime example of you don't always get what you want, but you get exactly what you need. Right? me growing up as an athlete, I was a force for Letterman. In high school, I went on to play college basketball. You know, I recently got inducted into the Hall of Fame in my high school for sports. Right? So of course, I want Boys, boys continue to legacy and go on. And then I get three tall girls, two beautiful girls like oh, man, like God, why? But you know, just, I'm a different man. I'm a different father because I have these three girls. And I think, you know, my, my role and the one thing that I say is like as as a as a man, right of girl, Dad, if you will, I'm the first man they fall in love with. So it's my responsibility to show them, you know, respect and true love and chivalry, because that's where they're going to carry on in their relationships as they get older. And so I think, you know, I feel very blessed. Although, they are sisters and they're they're all flesh of my flesh and blood of my blood. There are three completely different people that represent three completely different sets of challenges and, and, and things to deal with. But I've been blessed because they're good girls, right? And I wish I could say it was because I'm such a great dad. But, um, you know, I think that they're they're just inherently they've got good sweet spirits, which is, which is a blessing to have. And then I'm just doing the best I can to guide them. I think we all can attest to this being as we get older, we become adults, we look back at our parents, and we realize every one of us has said this at some point, like, wait a minute, our parents didn't know what the heck they were doing. Right. Like, and some of us even called our parents out, right? Like, you were just winging it. They're like, Yeah, you know, and so I feel like, you know, I feel like, we're just all doing the best we can, you know, and that's, I'm doing the best we can as much as I feel like, you know, I'm doing all the things from I can from my, my daughters, I'm sure they'll tell you. Yeah, but he didn't do this, or this or this, but, but what they will definitely say is that, you know, I'm president and that I'm, I'm, I'm, I'm consistent, I'm a consistent, you know, consistent force in their life. Right. And that's, you know, that's the most important thing to me. I don't need them to always like me, I don't I don't need them to always agree with me, but I do need them to, to respect and honor Me and then with the love that we have, you know that that's something that you know, is so special, and then I feel blessed to be there for their father. Yeah.

 

21:20

Amazing. And you're putting all of this together, your financial advisor role your entrepreneur role, your community mindedness, your girl, Dad, your yoga, into mind, body money. So what is it? And what can we expect?

 

21:42

Yeah, Mind Body money is a docu series that I created. I have actually filmed all of season one, I'm in the process of talking to a variety of networks now to get it placed on on national television COMM And q1 Next year, so stay tuned. I've also created an app that's on the App Store mind dot body dot money that's on the app store as well. But the idea is that how do we become the best versions of ourselves? And we become the best versions of ourselves balancing those three areas in that order. Mind. Body, money, right? Mindset first manifestation, manifestation. Every day when people ask me how I'm doing I Thomas, the best day of my life, I say that every single day. Now, does that mean that everything is going well in my life at all times? Nope. But that's what I say. I'm manifesting positivity. Right. But health alone is so important. We're getting one body, right? Never no one's ever on their deathbed wishing they had more money. Right? So you got to take care of yourself. And then money, good stewardship of your money, right? Money can't buy you happiness, but it can pay your bills. So I can do a lot of stuff by hand. And so typically, what I find is people are unequally yoked right you might have the money hungry driven person and And admittedly, I was that person coming out of school, I want to be a million dollars. I want to, you know, you know, have a nice house nice car and buy stuff, right? But lacks substance lacked connectivity. Oh, right. And, and, and when I got all this stuff, what I realized, like, oh, an empty because it's not about the stuff. It's not about money. Right? It's about connections about love. Okay, and then you got the other people that understand spirituality? No, it's about mindset and in spirituality, and, and peace. And that's great that you feel like that you want to go on this yoga retreat. But I got a question for you. How do you pay your bills? Right. And so it's that it's the balance between those three areas. And that's what the show features different athletes, celebrities, entertainers, all the way down to your common men and women, and how the journey in life, right, you know, is navigating those three areas. And the one thing that I'll tell you, between all of the people, there is always a story of failure. There's always a story of doubt, or uncertainty that they all press through. And that's the one thing that I say common thread, like the most successful people, right that I've met in my life all can tell you a story where they were down and out or they didn't know what's gonna happen next, but they persevered, right? There's a, there's a, there's a little meme that I that I share when I'm doing my my talks and it has it's a photo of a goldmine that you can envision this in a person with a with a with a pitchfork, and they're digging in, they're digging, and they've dug like a 10 foot ditch and they get frustrated, and they turn around like, like I'm finished right? And they were only one foot away from actually hitting goal but they're like I've done so much And then the mantra here is don't don't ever give up. You never know how close you are, to, to your, to your goals to your dream. So So you swing away, you swing away until you get it. Right. And maybe maybe you'll get there in a week, they will take a year, they will take 10 years, right? Maybe Maybe it's not meant for you. Right. But But again, right, don't leave this earth wondering what if?

 

25:25

And out of all of the episodes that you've done and the people that you've met through mind body money? Is there a particular story that sticks out for you that you can share with the audience?

 

25:40

Yeah, there's two stories that come to mind. Actually, I'll share first one guest we had was on the show was Jordan sparks. She was the youngest American, I

 

25:51

love her. She's great.

 

25:52

She's awesome. Just as lovely. Off off screen as she is on screen. She shared with me so she goes on American Idol. She comes here to actually to Pasadena where I live, she cheats. She auditions at the Rose Bowl and gets cut. She didn't even make it to go see Simon and all those guys, right? She gets cut, right? And she says she remembers walking out, you know, through the parking lot with all these girls. And at the time, she was young. I think she was like 17 or so. But at the time, she said she remember seeing all these older girls and older by but I mean like 2526 year olds, I thought, Oh, my life is over. This is my only chance to make it big. And I'm done. And she thought to herself like, no, like, I'll come back don't get another way for me. So she goes back, she lives in Arizona. So she goes to a regional regional competition in in in Phoenix and wins, right and wins. And the prize for winning was a chance to go to the next city, which was in Seattle, and try again, audition again. And on that second audition, she gets picked up and then ultimately wins

 

26:58

the show. Amazing.

 

27:00

And so that story is when we're like wow, you know, like, wow, you know that what level of perseverance and just believe that like not this, isn't it? And how many of us would have faced that rejection or or stumbled in the live live? Yes, it wasn't in the cards for me. Right? But again, as long as you have breath in your body, keep pushing. Right. The other story I'll share is I had David Hasselhoff he was on my radio show my Ask the Experts radio show. And we're interviewing him. And David Hasselhoff was one of the principals of one of the first billion dollar TV franchises Baywatch, right? Um, I personally think that Knight Rider was cooler but for the for you. Gen Xers with me. But anyway, but but the US, you know, first building our franchise Baywatch, right, and we're talking about that. And again, what a lot of people don't know is that they watched initially was cancelled. It was cancelled after the first three episodes. Because yeah, they killed like five people in the first few episodes and and the viewers didn't like it. So the show got canceled. So in an attempt to revitalize the show, because like I need financing, so in little known, but David Hasselhoff in Germany is like he's huge, right? Like he's like, he's like, yeah, he's like, the biggest thing he's Yeah, yeah. Right. So he goes to Germany's like, they'll give you money, right? It goes in Germany. He raises some money. He gets like 1,000,005 to bring back the show, and comes back and does the show, right? Well, what happens is, they run out of money. They run out of money, they can't finish the episode. So like, man, we got 22 minutes of content, we need 25 And we don't have any more money. What can we do? How can we make the episodes longer slomo that is where slomo comes in. Slo Mo was to stretch out the scene so that they can get their minutes so funny that the most iconic part of the show was really a mistake was really because they didn't have money right? So story after story after story like that, that I've heard in my 22 year career most certainly in filming this Docu series is follow doc that like wow, like so many times people put a lay down so many times people could have you know, given a peck Jeff basals worked at McDonald's guys. You have like, like, like so so when somebody next to you when you're when you're working in Starbucks and the barista next to us like I'm going to be a billionaire and all scoff right you never know.

 

29:34

It can happen you never know. I love these like insider stories. I think it's so cool. So as we start to wrap things up, where can people find more about you about mind body money? Maybe see some little clips things like that. Where can where can people go?

 

29:53

Yeah, I'm pretty easy to find. My name is so unique. There's not a lot of me out there. He Sophie Taylor, Mama variety of social media platforms Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, that's at a selfie Taylor s ZYLF ie Taylor at the Sophie Taylor. For the show, we actually have a website, in addition to the social media platform. So we have a website Mind, Body money.com. So mind body money calm, you can also get information on the app store as well. You can download the app, the app store at mine dot body dot money, as well. And so yeah, we're out here we're continuing to push out new content, and, and keep everyone posted on the release of everything. But I'm super excited for what 2022 is going to bring and look forward to sharing. I feel like the bottom line for me is like when do you watch television? And and learn something? When do you watch television and feel better? And that's what I'm going to bring? That's what I'm going to bring to the world?

 

30:56

Well, the world certainly needs it at this point in time. So it sounds perfect to me. And now before we end, I asked everyone this same question. And it's knowing where you are now in your life and your career. What advice would you give to your younger self?

 

31:12

I would remind my younger self, that the road to walk a mile begins with a single step. No shortcuts. No matter how talented you are, no matter how smart you are, no matter how ambitious you are, right hard work is undefeated, you must do the work, right foot in front of the left one step at a time you'll get there. I think one of the biggest reasons that I'm successful today, it's all the slow, boring stuff. All the get rich quick, I'm gonna make a million dollars in a month and change the world all that stuff crashed and burned.

 

31:47

Right? So you mean all the stuff you see on social media?

 

31:51

Yeah, all that stuff crash and burn. It was it's the slow and steady. You know that? That is why you know, is why I'm here. Right. And so that's why I remind my younger self and it's hard, right? It's hard to listen, my long term plan at 22 was 25. Right? That was my long term plan. Right? I love that. Right? I mean, I was like, man, three years, that's 25 years old. Right? And so, you know, I can still couldn't even see past 30 like, well, what is what is that? You know, and, and then you you you blink? Right? You blink and you're like, well, 10 years has gone by 15 years gone by 20 years has gone by, you know and so that's what I would remind myself is just stay the course. Don't get you on the highs don't get too long. The lows the road to walk a mile begins with a single step. Just go.

 

32:37

I love it. Great advice. And Sophie, thank you so much for coming onto the podcast one more time. Where can people find out more about you?

 

32:48

Social media at ie Sophie Taylor, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, at Mind Body money, Instagram as well. And at the mind body money.com site as well as a mind body about money on the App Store.

 

33:03

Perfect. Thank you so much for coming on. I appreciate it. I appreciate you. And I wish you all the best in 2022, including your show.

 

33:13

Awesome. Thank you. Thank you. I'll take all the well wishes and blessings I could get. Thank you very much.

 

33:18

You're welcome. And everyone. Thanks so much for tuning in. Have a great couple of days and stay healthy, wealthy and smart.

Jan 17, 2022

In this episode, Social Justice and Sports Medicine Research Specialist, Sheree Bekker, talks about social justice in sports, medicine, and research.

Today, Sheree talks about the conversations around physiology and injuries, and the different environments that affect the ACL injury cycle. How do clinicians implement the findings in the research?

Hear about Sheree’s qualitative research methods, the importance of recognising the social determinants of injuries, tackling systemic experiences, and get Sheree’s advice to her younger self, all on today’s episode of The Healthy, Wealthy & Smart Podcast.

 

Key Takeaways

  • “We have to recognise the human at the centre of those experiences.”
  • “Gendered language that seems like everyday language in sport can be really harmful to both men and women.”
  • “[Be] cognisant of, and [be] able to have those conversations with athletes, patients, people that you work with all the time about their social conditions of their lives.”
  • “The social conditions of our lives play into our injuries and our rehabilitation.”
  • “It is about not simply seeing rehab as a biomedical issue alone to solve, but thinking about it as socially, politically, and materially oriented is a practice that you might incorporate in your way of thinking.”
  • “Injury prevention, and a contemporary vision for injury prevention, needs to be athlete-centred and human-focused.”
  • “We need to have those uncomfortable conversations about our complex, messy realities.”
  • “Context is everything.”
  • “Sport isn’t neutral. It isn’t apolitical.”
  • “We can start to ask these questions, start to have these conversations. The answers aren’t going to come tomorrow.”
  • “These ripples will take some time.”
  • “Connection is greater than competition.”
  • “Hold on to the power of connecting with people who are at the same career stage and doing work with people who are at the same career stage as you.”

 

More about Sheree Bekker

headshot Dr. Sheree BekkerDr Sheree Bekker (she/her) was born in South Africa, grew up in Botswana, completed her PhD in Australia, and now calls Bath (UK) home.

She is an expert in ‘complexity’ and research that links social justice and (sports) injury prevention. She has a special interest in sex/gender and uses qualitative methods. This underpins her work as an Assistant Professor in Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion in the Department for Health at the University of Bath. At Bath, she is Co-Director of the Centre for Qualitative Research, and a member of the Centre for Health and Injury and Illness Prevention in Sport (CHI2PS), and the Gender and Sexuality Research Group.

Internationally, Sheree is an Early Career Representative for the International Society for Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise, and a founding member of the Qualitative Research in Sports Medicine (QRSMed) special interest group.

In 2020 she was appointed as an Associate Editor of the British Journal of Sports Medicine, and in 2021 she was appointed Qualitative Research Editor of BMJ Open Sport and Exercise Medicine.

She completed a Prize Research Fellowship in Injury Prevention at the University of Bath from 2018-2020, and received the 2019 British Journal of Sports Medicine Editor’s Choice Academy Award for her PhD research.

 

Suggested Keywords

Healthy, Wealthy, Smart, Physiotherapy, Social Justice, Injury, Prevention, Gender, Sexuality, Physiology, Sociology, Environment, Research, Change,

 

Resources:

Anterior cruciate ligament injury: towards a gendered environmental approach

 

To learn more, follow Sheree at:

Website:          https://sites.google.com/view/shereebekker/home

Twitter:            @shereebekker

Instagram:       @sheree_bekker

 

Subscribe to Healthy, Wealthy & Smart:

Website:                      https://podcast.healthywealthysmart.com

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Spotify:                        https://open.spotify.com/show/6ELmKwE4mSZXBB8TiQvp73

SoundCloud:               https://soundcloud.com/healthywealthysmart

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iHeart Radio:               https://www.iheart.com/podcast/263-healthy-wealthy-smart-27628927

 

Read the Full Transcript Here: 

00:02

Hi, Sheree, welcome to the podcast. I'm so excited to have you on. I've been looking forward to this for a long time. So thank you so much for joining.

 

00:12

Thank you for having me. Karen. I am delighted to be talking to you today.

 

00:16

And today we're going to talk about some of now you had a couple of different presentations at the International Olympic Committee meeting in Monaco a few weeks ago, and we're going to talk about a couple of them. But first, I would love for you to tell the audience a little bit more about you, and about the direction of your research and kind of the why behind it. Because I think that's important.

 

00:43

Mm hmm. Yeah, I've actually I have been thinking about this a lot recently, over the course of the pandemic, and thinking about where my research and my work is going and why I'm so interested in in kind of social justice issues in sports injury research in Sport and Exercise medicine. And I guess for me, there are two reasons for that both of them related to my background. First of all, I was born in South Africa. And I grew up in Botswana. And I think, you know, growing up into countries that have interesting pasts, you know, South Africa having post of apartheid and Botswana having been a colonized country, I think I grew up in places where we were used to having difficult conversations about social justice issues on a national level. And I think, you know, that is something that has influenced me definitely in the way that I see the world. The second part for me is I studied human movement science at university. And my program was in a Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. And I didn't realize at the time that most people get their sport and exercise medicine, sports science, human movement, science training, in medical faculties, or in health faculties, whereas mine was very much social sciences and humanities. And I only realized this later that my training in this regard was quite different in terms of the way that I see the work that we do. And so now, I've landed here at the University of Bath, and I'm in a department for health. But once again, I'm back in a Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. So it's been a really, really nice connection for me to come back to these bigger social justice questions, I guess, that I'm interested, you know, in our field. So for me, that's really the why I think of why I do this work.

 

02:42

And, and kind of carrying along those themes of social justice and really taking a quat. Know, a quantitative, qualitative, sorry, qualitative eye, on athletes and on injury, let's talk about your first talk that you gave it at IOC, which is about the athletes voice. So take us through it. And then we'll ask some questions. So I'll, I'll shoot it over to you.

 

03:17

Yeah, so um, my first talk, the first symposium that I was involved in at IOC this year, we had titled The athlete's voice, and those of us who were involved with it, we're really proud to be able to get this topic, this kind of conversation onto the agenda in Monaco. I had so many people comment to me afterwards, that this was the first time that we've been able to have this kind of discussion at this specific conference. And, you know, previous editions, I think, have been very much focused on that biomedical that I was just talking about, given that it's Sport and Exercise medicine. And it was the first time that we've been able to bring athlete voice into this space. And so this symposium in my talk in particular, was really focused on qualitative research. Even though when we pitched the symposium, we kind of decided that we couldn't call it qualitative research, because it wouldn't have been accepted at the time. And, and now, it's amazing to me how far we've come that we can actually talk about qualitative research in these spaces. So what I spoke about, and what I was interested in is, you know, what are the kinds of different knowledges and who are the people that we might listen to in Sport and Exercise medicine and sports injury more broadly, that traditionally we maybe haven't scented and haven't listened to? And I was interested in those kinds of social meanings of injury and of injury prevention and how we might do things differently. So you know, for me, it was that Recognizing the value of alternative perspectives, and working across disciplines and advancing our research and practice in this way. And so that's really what I spoke about was, you know how we might do these things differently by actually listening to the people at the center of our work and listening to athletes themselves. And that was really the focus of that symposium.

 

05:26

And in looking through some of the slides from the symposium, some of the quotes that I'm assuming we're taking from the qualitative work are, gosh, they're kind of heartbreaking. So what do you do with that information once you have it, right? So you're conditioned not to quit, you turn off your emotions, you become a robot as soon as you step onto the field or the pitch or the court. So how do you take that qualitative research? And what do you do with that once you have it?

 

06:01

Yeah, so you know, my talk, the way I kind of structured my talk was to talk about how we generally do injury prevention. And what we generally do is we, you know, figure out what the issue is what the injury problem is, we develop an intervention, and then we implement that in intervention and hope that it works. And, and some, you know, that's the kind of general cycle that we use. And what I decided to do in my talk, which was only a 10 minute talk was to dedicate two of those minutes to a video that I showed, that was just set to music that flashed up all of these quotes from athletes. And there were quotes that I'd collected from a number of different sports, a number of different athletes and spaces over the years, that really speak about their experience in sports and these toxic environments, which is something that I think we tend to kind of put to the side, maybe sometimes and ignore, sometimes in sport, when we put sport up on a pedestal and only think about the good things that happen in sports. And those quotes are also, I guess, a throwback or connection to one of the other talks that I had at IOC, which is not something that I think we'll speak about today, but about safeguarding and recognizing safeguarding as an injury prevention issue. And so we had these, like two minutes of these quotes from athletes. And I think that video really signaled a palpable shift in the room in recognizing what athletes are actually saying, and what their experiences are in sport about needing to, I guess, you know, put their their kind of robot hat on and be this strong person within sport where they can't break down where they can't have injuries or anything like that. Otherwise, they're going to be the team. And just for us to come back and to recognize that humanity in that experience, within sport, I think is really, really important, especially when we're at a conference where we're talking about injury prevention and interventions, we have to recognize the human at the center of those experiences. And so for me, coming back to your question about what do we do with that information? I think that's really powerful information, in terms of how we think about what injury prevention is, and does. And I guess we always focus on bodies, and you know, body parts, the ankle, the knee, the hip, the growing. You know, that's, that's kind of been a big focus of injury prevention. And I think we often forget that injury prevention is and can be so much more than that. And that there are these social factors, or social determinants, that to play into injury and its prevention. So the social aspects of our lives in terms of, you know, abuse that might happen in these spaces, or just being exposed to toxic spaces, you know, how that does actually render us more susceptible to injury, and how that can thwart our injury prevention efforts in these spaces. So for me, it's about integrating both of those two things I think together, and that's what I'm kind of getting at with qualitative research.

 

09:19

And, and that leads me into something else I wanted to talk about, and that is a review from the British Journal of Sports Medicine that you co authored with Joanne Parsons and Stephanie Cohen, anterior cruciate ligament injury towards a gendered environmental approach. And what you just said, triggered in me something in in reading through that article was that there's intrinsic factors and extrinsic factors that can lead to injury and injury prevention programs, if done well, should incorporate both of those. Right but they often concentrate on the biomedical part of the The, whether it be strength training, or landing, or, you know, whatever it may be when we look at a lot of these injury prevention programs, but there are so many contextual issues and extrinsic issues that can impact any of those programs. So I'll kind of let you sort of talk through that a little bit and talk through some of the main points that you found in that paper. But gosh, it really gets you thinking like, Well, wait a second, it could be, like you said, if you are, depending on the environment in which you live, can have a huge impact. And it's, it's more than just, especially when it comes to girls and women, it's more than just oh, it's because you have your period. And that's why this happened. Or if your hips are wider, that's why you got injured, right? So go ahead, I'll throw it over to you. And you can kind of talk through that paper a little bit, and then we'll see what comes up.

 

11:04

Mm hmm. You know, I'm so happy to hear you say that, because I'm so I'm not a clinician, but it has been amazing to me to hear how this paper has resonated with clinicians and people working in this space in terms of your own experiences and what you see and what you hear from the people that you're working with. So yeah, you're absolutely right. I mean, this paper was born out of conversations that Steph and Joanne and I had in terms of how we were frustrated by I guess, the discourse around sports injury, particularly for girls and women, often being blamed on our physiology on our bodies, right. And to us, that seems like a bit of a cop out. And just to say, oh, you know, girls are more susceptible to ACL injury, because they have wider hips, so there's nothing that we can do about it, you know, so that's really pitched us that intrinsic risk factor that girls and women are just inherently weaker, or supposedly more fragile than boys and men, and there's nothing that we can do about it. So we're just going to have to kind of live with those injury breeds. Right. And, and we found that this kind of thinking had really underpins so much of the injury prevention work that we'd seen over the last 10 or 20 years. And we wanted to problematize this a little bit and to think through what those kind of other social and I would say structural determinants of sports injuries are. So I'm starting to talk about this idea of the social determinants of injury. So not just what are those intrinsic things, but actually, what are the what are the other other social modes, I guess, that we might carry that might lead to injury. So in this paper, we speak about how we, as human beings, literally incorporate I think, biologically, the world in which we live. So our societal or ecological circumstances, we incorporate that into our bodies. And so we can start to see how injury might be a biological manifestation of exposure to that kind of social load. So for girls and women, how our gendered experience of the world might render us more susceptible to injury, rather than just positioning ourselves as being more weak, or more fragile. So we were interested in how society makes us and skills in women more weaker, and more fragile. And so in this way, we speak about how you know, from the time that we're babies, girls are not expected to do as much physically we are brought up differently to young boy babies might be when we go through school and play sport in school, we play different kinds of sports, and again, you know, on average, or in general, and girls, goes out, you know, not encouraged to be as active and to do as much with our bodies as boys. And we then go in right to have this kind of that cumulative effect of less exposure to activities and doing things with our bodies. Actually, that is what leads to us being more susceptible to things like ACL injury over time. And this is carried on in the kind of elite sports space as well. So we see how girls and women's sports are devalued in so many ways and how we're not expected to do as much or to perform as well. Or to train as hard I guess, as boys and men So an example of this that actually happened a couple of weeks after we published the paper was the NCAA March Madness. I don't know if you remember, there were those pictures that were tweeted all over social media, about the women's division, only being supplied with one set of teeny, tiny Dunda. Whereas the men's division was given, you know, massive weight room with everything that they needed to be able to train to be able to warm up and do everything that they needed to do in that state. And the first that was just an excellent example of what we're talking about in terms of girls and women being expected to and actually being made, I guess, weaker than boys and men are in exactly the same sports spaces. And so that's kind of a rundown, I guess, of what we wrote about in the paper.

 

15:53

Yeah, and I look back on my career as I was a high school athlete, college athlete, and not once was it, hey, we should go into the gym and train with specific training programs, because it will help to make you stronger, maybe faster, better, less prone to injury, but the boys were always had a training program. You know, they always had a workout program. So I can concur. That is like a lived experience for me as to what training was like, comparing the boys versus girls college straight through or high school straight through to college. And yes, that March Madness thing was maddening. Pun intended. I couldn't you could not believe couldn't believe what we were seeing there. That was that was completely out of bounds. But what I'd like to dive in a little bit deeper to the article, not not having you go through everything line by line. But let's talk about the different environments that you bring up within the article, because I think they're important. And a little more explanation would be great. So throughout this kind of ACL injury paradigm, you come up with four different environments, the pre sport environment, the training environment, the competition environment, and the treatment environment. So would you like to touch on each of those a little bit? Just to explain to the listeners, how that fits into your, into this paper and into the structure of injury prevention?

 

17:31

Yeah, sure. So um, yeah, what we did with this paper was we take we take the the traditional ACL injury cycle, and that a lot of us working in sports injury prevention are aware of, and we overlay what we called gendered environmental factors on top of that, so we wanted to take this this site, call and think through how our gendered experiences and girls and women, again render us more susceptible, and over the course of a lifetime, or a Korean. And so starting with the pre sport environment, you know, that goes back to what I was just saying about girls and boys being girls being socialized differently to boys, when we're growing up. So that kind of life course effect, gender affects over the life course, in terms of what we're expected to do with our bodies. That really starts in that pre sport environment when we're babies and young boys and young girls. And then we track how that works throughout the ACL injury cycle. So moving into the next step, coming back to this NCAA example, you know, what the training environment looks like, and how it might be gendered in ways that we might not even pick up on. So another example here, and this is a practical example that we've given to some sports organizations, since then, is, you know, the kind of gendered language that seems like everyday language and sport that can actually be really harmful to both men and women. So for example, you know, talking about girl push ups, you know, that really does set a precedent for what we think about girls and women in sports spaces. When you say, Oh, you go over there and do some girl push ups, it really does render girls and women as being more weak, you know, weaker and more fragile than boys and men. So those kinds of gendered experience in sports spaces, and you're an example there is really key. But then we also talk about kind of during injury and post injury as well. And this comes more into the kind of rehabilitation space and so on how, again, expectations of girls and women's bodies might play into what we expect when we go through rehabilitation as well and, and how that plays into that ACL injury cycle of recovery, as well. So that's really for So it was overlaying gender, across all of those spaces. And I think that gives us a really powerful way of looking at ACL injury differently and to, to conceptualize what we might do both in injury prevention, but also once injury has happened to help girls and women differently.

 

20:20

And in reading through this paper, and and also going through the slides that you graciously provided on Twitter, of of all of your talks at IOC, as a clinician, it for me, gives me so much more to think about, and really sparked some thoughts in my head as to conversations to have with the patient. So what advice would you give to clinicians, when it comes to synthesizing a lot of this work? And taking it into the clinic, talking with their patient in front of them and then implementing it? Because some people may say, oh, my gosh, I have so much to do. Now, I have to read all of this. Now I have to incorporate this, do you know what I mean? So it can some be somewhat overwhelming. So what advice do you have for clinicians? Yes,

 

21:13

so I really do think and as I said earlier, I think a lot of what we're seeing here is what clinicians are doing all the time anyway, I think, especially people who are already connected to this kind of idea of this social determinants of health. And so I guess, for me, it is really just being cognizant of, and being able to have those conversations with athletes, with patients with people that you work with all the time, about their social conditions of their lives. So not again, not just reducing people down to bodies, but recognizing that people have you know, that the social conditions of our lives play into our injuries and our rehabilitation, and holding space for that, you know, when I'm teaching, that's what I say to my students all the time, but I know that that you know, this, and clinicians know this better than I do. You, you know, it's not just about saying to someone, go away and do these exercises, and come back to me when you know, that person might have a full time job with three kids to look after. And, you know, a lot of other things on their plate as well that that one exercise or exercise program isn't necessarily going to be the silver bullet or the answer to, you know, the way that they need to be dealing with that injury. So I think for me, it's again, that re humanizing and being able to have those those conversations and recognizing those social determinants of injury or recovery, and so on. And so I think for clinicians, it is about not simply seeing rehab as a biomedical issue alone to solve, but thinking about it as socially and politically and materially oriented as a practice that you might incorporate in your way of thinking. That's really it. It doesn't need to be any more than that. We don't need to complicate it. Any more than that.

 

23:10

Yeah. Perfect. Thank you for that. And as we start to wrap things up, is there a, are there any kind of key points that you want to leave the listeners with? Or is there anything that we didn't touch on that you were like, oh, I need I need people to know this. This is really important. Hmm.

 

23:36

Yeah, I think, you know, if we kind of connect the conversations that we've kind of had today with the different points that we've connected to, I think, you know, what I saw in IRC at the IOC conference in Monaco is I really felt especially on day one at that athlete centered symposium that we had, I really felt like a palpable shift in that room. And in the conversations that I've had afterwards, with people I've had so many people come up to me to say that, you know, that it was really inspiring, and it's helped them to be able to go away and have different kinds of conversations, incredibly have different kinds of conversations about the work that we're doing in injury prevention and in Sport and Exercise medicine more broadly. And so I really think that we need to focus on that idea that injury prevention and a contemporary vision for injury prevention needs to be athlete centered and human focused. And I think if we truly committed to this, I think the ways in which we develop our interventions, and the ways in which we might go about our work, more generally in Sport and Exercise medicine, in physiotherapy and so on, it needs to reflect the socio cultural, so meaning those social determinants of injury in cluding the ways in which things like sexism, and misogyny, and racism, and classism, and ableism, and homophobia and transphobia, how that all can and does actually lead to injury. I think those are larger conversations that we need to be having enough field that we've started to have very slowly, but they are difficult conversations to have. And we often cut them out when we only think about injury as a biomedical thing, again, only thinking about bodies. And so for me, I think those are the those are the thing that we now need to get uncomfortable, you know, about, we need to have those uncomfortable conversations about our complex, messy realities, and that we're dealing with that athletes are human beings, that these are our experiences of the world, that sport and exercise medicine needs to reflect that as well. In terms of our composition, we need to reflect the communities that we serve as well. And Tracy Blake talks about that often. And you know, those are the conversations that I'd like to see our field having going forward. And I do think there was a shift in being able to say those things at Monaco this year.

 

26:16

Yeah. And so what I'm hearing is, was the big takeaway for me from Monaco is context is everything. And we can't, we can no longer take that out. And focus, like you said, just on the biomedical aspect of this person in front of us as if they don't have past experiences and emotions and thoughts and fears and concerns. And context is everything. And for clinicians, it sounds like a challenge to start having these conversations at more conferences. I know it's this little kind of bubble of clinicians, but if it can start there, perhaps it can make a ripple out into the wider public and into having these conversations with your athletes and patients and not be afraid to have these difficult conversations, or to ask the probing questions to the person in front of you. Because they're more than just their ACL injury, they're more than just their back pain. So I think challenging clinicians to have these conversations, whether it be one on one like this, or within large groups at conferences, and then take that back to your, to your practice and really start living it and understanding that this can is as important, maybe, in some cases more important than the biomedical injury in front of you.

 

27:41

Oh, I could not agree more with that statement. I mean, something that I've spoken about a lot before is that, you know, sport isn't neutral. It's not a political. And it's the same for the work that we do. It's, you know, for far too long, it's been positioned as a neutral science thing that we do. And I think we're now starting to recognize the context around that, that our values and our principles and people's lives and experiences, you know, as you say, play as much as if not more of a role in their experience of sport, and injury, and rehab, and all of that. So I would agree with you completely, we need to be having more of these conversations, we need to recognize this within our research, we need to recognize this within our practice. And we can't keep going on as if you know, none of so if we can remove all of that from the practice of working with human beings and being human beings as well. You know, all of this is connected for me. And as you know, as we're seeing now, it's for all of us who work in this space, once we start to have these conversations, we can start to ask different questions, we can start to think about things differently. And I think that that's really powerful for the future of our work in this space.

 

28:55

Yeah. And I think it's also important to remember that we can start to ask these questions start to have these conversations that the answers aren't going to come tomorrow. So that instant gratification that has become the world that we are now living in that if it doesn't happen within the next couple of days, that means it's not going to happen, but that these ripples will take some time. Yeah, absolutely.

 

29:19

And, you know, so a lot of my work is in complexity theory. And what I say about that is, you know, there probably are not going to be hard and fast answers here. But it will bring up new considerations and it will bring up I think, I'd like us to move away from this idea that we can solve things, but actually move closer towards the idea that this is an ongoing practice. And that that's always going to be I think, more powerful for me when we see things like injury prevention as a process or a practice. That's not necessarily going to solve things. But that is you know, really To the context in which we live in our lives is an ongoing thing. And I think that's what we brought into the ACL injury cycle. Papers. Well,

 

30:09

yeah, I think it takes away from the clinician as being the MS or Mr. Fix it to, okay, we are layering ourselves into people's lives. And we need to be able to do that in a way that fits the person in front of us as best we can.

 

30:26

Yeah, exactly. Beautifully said exactly. We can't necessarily solve those things for them. But these provide considerations, things that we can do. And yeah, we can move with that.

 

30:39

Yeah, absolutely. Well, Cherie, thank you so much. I mean, we can go on and talk for days on end about this stuff. And perhaps when one of these days we will we'll have a bigger, wider, broader conversation and and make it go on for a couple of hours, because I'm sure it will bring up a lot of questions, maybe some answers, and perhaps some changing of minds when it comes to injury prevention and what our role is as clinicians. So thank you so much, where can people find you?

 

31:13

Thank you, Karen. And I love that I think broader conversations are so helpful in this space. So people can find me on Twitter at Shree Becker, that's probably the best place to find me. I'm always over there and happy to have broader conversations with everybody. So please come and find me on Twitter.

 

31:32

Perfect. And we'll have links to everything, including the paper that we're talking about. From BDSM. We'll have links to everything at the show notes at podcast dot healthy, wealthy, smart, calm. So one question left that I asked everyone and that is knowing where you are now in your life and in your career? What advice would you give to your younger self?

 

31:51

Oh, so that's a really good question. And it's I think it's my Elan series, again, connected to what we saw in Monaco. And something that I've said for many years now is connection is greater than competition. And something that I live in that I feel like I wish I had done earlier is to hold on to the power of connecting with people who are at the same career stage and doing work with people who are at the same career stages as you especially someone who has and is an emerging researcher, or researcher clinician in this space, because I think the exciting new conversations that we're seeing in this space are coming from people who are you know, recently merging, I guess, in these researchers faces and so it's okay to collaborate rather than being in competition with people who are doing great work in your area. So that would be my advice.

 

32:54

I love it. I love it and couldn't agree more. So Sheree, thank you so much for coming on. Thank you again. I appreciate it.

 

33:02

Thank you so much, Karen. And everyone. Thanks

 

33:04

so much for tuning in and listening and have a great couple of days and stay healthy, wealthy and smart.

Jan 10, 2022

In this episode, Founder of the Rizing Tide Foundation, Heidi Jannenga, returns to the podcast to talk about fostering diversity in the physical therapy industry.

Today, Heidi talks about the incredible work being done by the Rizing Tide Foundation, the process of awarding scholarships, and future Rizing Tide developments. Which changes still need to be made in the industry?

Hear about the growing student debt problem, how you can get involved with Rizing Tide, and get Heidi’s advice to her younger self, all on today’s episode of The Healthy, Wealthy & Smart Podcast.

 

Key Takeaways

  • “Almost every single one of them [students] were working full-time jobs at the same time as going to PT school. Some of them, more than one job.”
  • “There’s a huge segment of the folks that answered that survey that have more than $150,000 of debt post-graduation.”
  • “It takes a lot to try to balance the price of education to what we actually are getting paid as clinicians.”
  • “A rising tide raises all boats.”
  • “Be open-minded to a path that you may not have thought that you might go down.”
  • “If something aligns with your vision and values, then go for it.”

 

More about Heidi Jannenga

Dr. Heidi Jannenga, PT, DPT, ATC, is the founder of the Rizing Tide Foundation, which seeks to inspire more diversity and inclusiveness in the physical therapy industry. Each year, Rizing Tide presents scholarships to five promising BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) students who are on the path to earning their Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) or furthering their PT education by pursuing a residency program.

In addition, Heidi is a physical therapist and the co-founder and Chief Clinical Officer of WebPT, a nine-time Inc. 5000 honoree and the leading software solution for physical, occupational, and speech therapists.  As a member of the board and senior management team, Heidi advises on WebPT’s product vision, company culture, branding efforts and internal operations, while advocating for rehab therapists, women leaders, and entrepreneurs on a national and international scale. Since the company launched in 2008, Heidi has guided WebPT through exponential growth. Today, it’s the fastest-growing physical therapy software in the country, employing over 600 people and serving more than 90,000 therapy professionals - equating to an industry-leading 40% market-share.

In 2017, Heidi was honored by Health Data Management as one of the most powerful women in IT, and she was a finalist for EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2018, she was named the Ed Denison Business Leader of the Year at the Arizona Technology Council’s Governor’s Celebration of Innovation. In addition to serving on numerous non-profit leadership boards, Heidi is a proud member of the YPO Scottsdale Chapter and Charter 100 as well as an investor with Golden Seeds, which focuses on women-founded or led organizations.

Heidi is a mother to her 10-year-old daughter Ava and enjoys traveling, hiking, mountain biking and practicing yoga in her spare time.

 

Suggested Keywords

Healthy, Wealthy, Smart, Physiotherapy, Representation, Scholarships, Diversity, Inclusivity, BIPOC, Student Debt, Education, Opportunity,

 

Resources

Higher Education? By Andrew Hacker and Claudia Dreifus.

Apply for a Rizing Tide Scholarship.

 

To learn more, follow Heidi at:

Website:          https://rizing-tide.com

Twitter:            @HeidiJannenga

LinkedIn:         Heidi Jannenga

 

Subscribe to Healthy, Wealthy & Smart:

Website:                      https://podcast.healthywealthysmart.com

Apple Podcasts:          https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/healthy-wealthy-smart/id532717264

Spotify:                        https://open.spotify.com/show/6ELmKwE4mSZXBB8TiQvp73

SoundCloud:               https://soundcloud.com/healthywealthysmart

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iHeart Radio:               https://www.iheart.com/podcast/263-healthy-wealthy-smart-27628927

 

Read the full Transcript Here: 

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

rising tide, scholarship, pt, students, people, heidi, industry, physical therapist, foundation, profession, podcast, scholarship program, year, works, residency programs, physical therapy, pts, residency, crest, education

 

00:07

Welcome to the healthy, wealthy and smart podcast. Each week we interview the best and brightest in physical therapy, wellness and entrepreneurship. We give you cutting edge information you need to live your best life healthy, wealthy and smart. The information in this podcast is for entertainment purposes only and should not be used as personalized medical advice. And now, here's your host, Dr. Karen Litzy.

 

00:35

Hey everybody, welcome back to the podcast. I'm wishing you all a very happy New Year and welcome to the first episode of 2022. We've got a great one in store. But first, a big thank you to Net Health for sponsoring today's podcast episode. So when it comes to boosting your clinics, online visibility, reputation and referrals, Net Health Digital Marketing Solutions has the tools you need to beat the competition. They know you want your clinic to get found get chosen and get five star reviews. So they have a new offer. If you sign up and complete a marketing audit to learn how digital marketing solutions can help your clinic win. They will buy lunch for your office. If you're already using NET Health's private practice EMR, be sure to ask about his new integration, head over to net help.com forward slash li T zy to sign up for your complimentary marketing audit. Okay, on today's episode I'm really excited to have back on the podcast Dr. Heidi J. Nanga. She is the founder of the rising tide Foundation which seeks to inspire more diversity and inclusiveness in the physical therapy industry. Each year rising tide presents scholarships to five promising bipoc students who are on the path to earning their doctorate of physical therapy, or furthering their PT education by pursuing a residency program. In addition, Heidi is a physical therapist and the Co Founder and Chief Clinical Officer of web PT, a nine Time Inc 5000 honoree and the leading software solution for physical occupational speech therapist. As a member of the board and senior management team Heidi advises on web PTS, product vision company culture branding, efforts, and internal operations while advocating for rehab therapist women leaders and entrepreneurs on a national international scale. Since the company launched in 2008, Heidi has guided web PT through exponential growth. Today, it's the fastest growing physical therapy software in the country employing over 700 people serving more than 90,000 therapy professionals, equating to an industry leading 40% market share. In 2017, Heidi was honored by health data management as one of the most powerful women in it. She was a finalist for he wise Entrepreneur of the Year in 2018. She was named Ed Dennison, Business Leader of the Year at the Arizona Technology Council's governor's celebration of innovation. In addition to serving on numerous nonprofit leadership boards, Heidi's a proud member of the YPO Scottsdale chapter and charter 100 as well as an investor with golden seats which focuses on women founded or led organizations. She is also the mother's 10 year old daughter Ava enjoys traveling hiking, mountain biking and practicing yoga in her spare time when that spare time is I don't know. So today we are talking about the rising tide Foundation. And if you are a physical therapist and you are hoping to go into residency or you're in your residency, you must listen to this episode because you can win a scholarship from the rising tide foundation. If you're listening to this today, Monday, you have until Friday in order to to submit an application to the rising tide foundation to get a scholarship for your residency. So get on it people a big thank you to Heidi and everyone enjoyed today's episode. Hey, Heidi, welcome back to the podcast. Happy to have you back on.

 

04:02

Hey, Karen, so great to be here. Thanks so much for having me.

 

04:05

And so today we're going to be talking about a foundation called the rising tide foundation. So what is it and why did you decide to start this foundation?

 

04:19

Well, thanks so much for having me on. And to be able to talk about this because it really is a has been a labor of love. And a true way for me to give back to a profession that has given so much to me. The Rising Tide foundation really started after a few years of us doing the real estate of rehab therapy industry report which you and I have talked about on this podcast, and every year. There doesn't seem to be a change into two major things that we ask the serve the people that we survey, one was what you mentioned student debt, and actually, not that it hasn't changed, it's actually increasing. And that's a big burden, as you can imagine, to an industry. And then second was actually the biggest emphasis, which is the the, the lack of diversity within our profession. And being a person who identifies as a person of color. The fact that we have this lack of diversity has been a real, real issue, that hasn't made much change, despite, you know, the APTA and others sort of bringing attention to the issue. But the percentages as far as what the makeup of our profession looks like, has not changed has not really changed at all, in the last five years that we've been doing that survey. And so that was really the two major impetus behind me starting this foundation, I've been lucky enough to have financial success with web pt. And so had started the rising tide Foundation, not knowing what I wanted to do with the foundation back at the end of 2019. And then with everything that happened through 2020, it just sort of hit me over the head that this is something that I can personally make a difference in, within our profession. And

 

06:39

what exactly does the rising tide foundation do?

 

06:45

It is a scholarship program. So we have two tracks of scholars. We have the crest Scholarship, which is actually geared towards new and new students coming into the profession. And so we provide $14,000 scholarships to three participants, or three scholars, three scholarship winners, that is renewable for the three years PT school, and then we have to serve scholarships, which actually is for physical therapists who are going on to residency programs. And those are $10,000 each, for the one your usual one year program of residency. How, how

 

07:41

are these winners chosen? What give us a peek sort of behind the curtains, if you will, as to how the process works, so that if people listening to this, whether you are a physical therapy student, or you are one of those people like Gosh, I really want to do a residency, but I don't know how I can make it work financially. So how can these folks apply to the program and and like I said, gives a little peek behind the curtain on how it all works?

 

08:12

Sure, well, first and foremost, you have to qualify and so if you go to rising dash tide.com, you will find all of the specific sort of qualifications that are required. So for example, for the crest scholarship, you are either an undergraduate who is applying or an undergraduate who is applying to PT school. So you have will have graduated from an undergraduate with an undergraduate degree going on to DPT program, or you're a PTA that's entering into a PTA Bridge Program, which is there's only a couple of schools that do that. But we are also providing scholarships for any PTA who they want to go on to get their DPT so there is a actual physical, like documentation style application, which you have to fill out as well as writing three short essay that include questions like What inspired you to become a physical therapist? And, you know, what does it mean to be a community member? And then also, you know, we really wanted to dive into the essence of who the scholars are. Because we feel like we want to invest in professionals who who are really going to want to make a difference in the profession. So the last question is talking about sort of a failure that you've experienced in your life and what you've really learned from that training. Did you know dive into a little vulnerability and understanding of who they are at the core of the person. And so you also need some letters of recommendation, and transcripts in the normal sort of thing that you might think about in going through a scholarship. So once you you send all of that information. We have a selection committee, which I'm really, really proud of. I was honored to gather quite a few thought leaders from the industry including a fossa, Joe Badea, Maria Gonzalez seen Sharon Wang is actually not from the industry. We wanted to bring together our selection committee, which I call our Beachcombers, hopefully see that sort of nautical theme here. Wendy HARO, who is a software engineer actually works with me with PT, Moyer Tillery, who is also a PT, and then Jean shamrock rod. And those folks make up our our base comers who were to which our selection committee, so we scour all of the applications that come in for each one of the scholarship programs. And we narrow it down to around 10 finalists, and each of the finalists and have to go through an actual live video interview with the selection committee. And from there, we then get the really tedious and hard, difficult decision to narrow it down to the three winners. We just went through the crash scholarship selection process, and it was absolutely amazing. And, and we we were able to narrow it down. But having been our first process, it was just an incredible experience. And we had so many great applicants that we actually ended up awarding five scholarship winners, three of the full scholar, scholarship cross winners, and then we actually started two new sub winners, which are the what we're calling our rising stars, which actually got $5,000 scholarship towards their tuition and, and fees, they might be paying towards PT school.

 

12:35

That's amazing. And how many people applied for the crest scholarship?

 

12:44

Yeah, you know, Karen, you know, all about startups right in that first, first year, you kind of are working out the kinks, you're trying to figure out the right processes to have in place. And we had a fairly short window of about 60 days, 45 to 60 days that we opened up the application process this year, for our first cohort of crest winners. And our goal was to get 20 applicants. And after a social media polish and the PR, including, you know, me talking on a few podcast, we actually got 40 applicants which I was so so thrilled about. So we doubled the number that we wanted, then, obviously through that process, it's was so great that we couldn't actually just narrow down to three. So we actually awarded five scholarships and I I just wanted to give a shout out to the amazing scholars that did winner that are part of this first first cohort we had three winners from Northwestern University, Ruth Morales Flores is actually a second year students. Ricky Loki, who is a first year in Jackie Hua, who was a first year as well, just phenomenal, phenomenal students. And Alicia lead from Washington, St. Louis University and Tyrrel McGee, from Regis University. So a really broad spectrum of really interesting and thoughtful students who I know are going to make huge impact on the industry moving forward.

 

14:29

And you know, you had mentioned that part of the application process was interviews. So a lot you had the members of the committee interviewing 10 Different students and you're reading through 40 different essays. So what did you learn about the PT education system through hearing from all of these applicants and the eventual winners of the scholarship program?

 

14:59

Well, for First and foremost, as I mentioned, one of the goals and the mission of rising tide is all about improving the diversity of the workforce within our industry. And so, obviously, you know, the number of students that have been accepted to PT school in order to really receive this scholarship and qualify for the scholarship has to be people of color. And so the fact that we were able to get the number of scholarships applications that we did, in such a short period of time, was amazing to me. And, and I attribute a lot of that to the physical therapy, schools really putting diversity as a high priority in terms of their recruiting process of really also trying to change the face of who we are, and to become less homogenous, and more reflective of the society in which we live in. And so that was a real, I want to say, eye opener, but but pleasant surprise, that, you know, despite the fact that we haven't seen the numbers change, that it is something that is a huge priority, and is now after a few years of changing processes, and changing how the recruiting, where they're recruiting from and how they're actually going through the actual student selection process. For example, there are many schools now that are either eliminating, or D prioritizing SAP scores as an entry component, or GRE scores as it goes into graduate school, as a as a component of the process, and putting a higher priority on interview and essays and other things and more more, I guess, tangible areas of interest as they go through the, the selection process for their incoming classes. And so that was a that was really positive for me to really hear that. But it more than that, it was the passion that the students had for the industry. You know, I don't think much has changed in terms of why people get interested in the PT field, most of them had had experiences, whether it was personal or with family members, that really sparked that inspiration to to go into the PT field. Some of the other things that were just amazing about these students is almost every single one of them were working full time jobs, at the same time as going through PT school, some of them more than one job. We heard stories of, you know, students who basically had to decide whether they were going to pay for food, or pay for a book. And so the determination and just the sheer passion around why the and what they're able to do in order to accomplish their goals, was just astounding. And I don't know that, you know, most people understand the sort of path that, you know, underserved populations sometimes have to take in order to accomplish those goals.

 

18:54

Yeah, that's amazing. What a great group that you you got to meet. Now, after talking with these students, aside from the fact that hey, schools are kind of changing the weight of inclusion criteria, what further changes do you think need to be made within the industry? And on that, we'll take a quick break to hear from our sponsor, and be right back with Heidi's answer. When it comes to boosting your clinics, online visibility, reputation and increasing referrals, net Health's Digital Marketing Solutions has the tools you need to beat the competition. They know you want your clinic to get found, get chosen and definitely get those five star reviews on Google. Net Health is a fun new offer. If you sign up and complete a marketing audit to learn how digital marketing solutions can help your clinic win. They will buy lunch for your office. If you're already using Net Health private practice EMR, be sure to ask about its new integration. Head over to net health.com forward slash li tz y to sign up for your complimentary marketing Audit?

 

20:01

Well, we know as, as we you, you started talking about in the beginning of the show is the student debt ratio that pte students are coming out with post graduation. We've seen that time and time again, in our state of rehab therapy industry report, as we surveyed, you know, 1000s, of therapist to understand their biggest woes, as they are navigating through this profession. And, you know, I, there's a huge segment of of the folks that answered that survey that have more than $150,000 of debt post graduation. And that was a 5% increase over what we found those numbers to be in 2018. So just in a few years, that number has grown significantly. And so that's to me, it's just not sustainable. When you compare what the compensation is, for an average, you know, new grad, being somewhere between depending on the type of PT services that you're delivering anywhere from 60 to 90 grand. That's just not commensurate to be able to be able to live and then pay off that debt, which you know, $150,000 in PT school usually means on top of another 100 grand at minimum that you you've accumulated through undergrad. So we're talking a huge, tremendous amount of debt. And so what I know is also happening is looking at shortening the timeframe in which it takes to get a doctorate degree, there are universities and colleges like South College, that are changing the way we think they're trying to change the way we think about PT school, where it doesn't have to be 100% in person that, you know, a large portion of the time spent can be done online. So that cuts down significant amount of debt in terms of having to pay for housing and other things. And it just becomes more accessible to more people, and decreases the cost of the overall educational process. So I really think that the cost of education, rethinking how we do the curriculum, of what truly is necessary to be in person are things that that really need to be looked

 

22:40

  1. Yeah, and when we talk about that sheer amount of, of debt, when I speak about that to other people, I always preface like, you know, like you said, Pts are coming out of school 50 to $90,000. It's not like we work at Goldman Sachs, where in two years you get like $500,000 Bonus, do you know what I mean? And and why law paid off? Right? So it's a little bit different PTS are not usually getting a $500,000 bonus. May I don't want to, I don't want to get yelled at by people on the internet. But I'm pretty sure that doesn't happen often.

 

23:21

No, I don't think that happens very often. As a matter of fact, I think, you know, especially in the times that we're in right now, you know, the the 5%. Five to maybe 10% increase year over year is probably what's on average. So, you know, it's gonna take you a while, especially if you're you're starting out as a new grad in that maybe 60 to 70 range to even get to the, you know, the six digit. Right. And so, yeah, it takes a lot to try to balance the price of education to what we actually are getting paid as, as clinicians.

 

24:05

Yeah. And and if there's a really great book, Heidi, I don't know if you've ever heard of heard of this book, but it's called Higher Education question mark. And it's by Andrew hacker and Claudia Dreyfus. And they talk about the cost of higher education. And what are some of the extraneous things happening on college campuses that aren't going directly to the education of the students, but yet is being reflected in the price of admission. So if people want to learn more about that, I would highly suggest reading that book.

 

24:40

Yeah, absolutely. There's a lot of debate happening right now around higher education and the need for it. You know, I know even within our own profession, there's a lot of question marks around the DPT on whether it was worth it or not. But at the end of the day, we are here we are At level professionals, but we do need to figure out if we are going to continue to grow and have an attract the top talent that we want to continue to have our profession, you know, be recognized as adding, you know, tremendous value to the overall healthcare system. We definitely want to, you know, remain viable and relook and relook at how perhaps we're doing some of the things because I just don't think that the way the path that we're on today is truly sustainable.

 

25:38

Yeah, I agree with that. And now, let's say you're a student out there, or you're going into residency, how can they get more information to apply for upcoming scholarships? And is there are there any scholarship applications that are due soon?

 

25:55

Yes, I mentioned we have the crest scholars, but we also have the search Scholarship Program, which is for residency programs. And that current application process is open right now. And so it will be closing on January 14. So if you are a current resident residency program participant, and would like to apply for the surge scholarship, and you are a person of color, you can apply at res rising dash tie.com. If you go to search scholarship on there and just hit the Apply button, it will take you right to the page in which you can fill out all of the information, upload any documentation that we're requiring. And then we will definitely take a look at the application and put you into the process.

 

26:55

Yeah, so that means if you're listening to that, listening to this podcast today, on the 10th, you have until the end of this week, so get on it if you want money to help you get through your residency, so you've got like you've got five days, so get on it.

 

27:14

And this is an annual annual renewal process. So we will launch a new cohort every year. So if you miss out this year, but you're going through your residency programs, this year, you will get another chance at the end of this year to apply for the scholarship. And definitely any students out there who might be listening or interested in the field of PT, and you are going to be a new grad in this upcoming year of 2022. Or I'm sorry, a new student to PT school this year. And please, please, please think about offsetting some of that student debt through a scholarship program like rising tide.

 

27:55

Excellent. And now what's new with the foundation? What do you have coming up aside from these amazing scholarship opportunities,

 

28:03

while being part of rising tide means you're part of our community. And so one of the really awesome things that we are going to we are doing with our cohort is getting them together annually for sort of rising tide retreat in which we're going to have thought leaders from the industry come together to help be mentors to these students. Each cohort will be building on itself. So as we have this first group of 2021 Slash 2022 go through this year, they will then come back and be be mentors to our next cohort of students that will be coming through so part of the sort of surge and crafts together where you've got, you know, physical therapists going through residency programs will help to be mentors to these up and coming students. And so creating this community of connection, and education is really what we're planning through 2022.

 

29:15

I see what you did there. I like it, I like it. And now let's say you're a physical therapist like me, and you're like, wow, I am loving this rising tide. How can I can I donate to this? Can I be a part of this? What can I do?

 

29:32

Yeah, that's a great question. Karen and I, since launching this this past year in 2021, I just been so honored by the amount of outpouring of support that people have wanted to give to this program, including financial. I mentioned that it was self funded. And you know, We've had many, many years of scholarships that are going to be awarded. But with this outpouring of support of people who wanted to donate financially, I, I went ahead and change the 501 C three status to allow me to have donations. And so in March of 2022, we will be opening up the rising tide foundation to people who want to donate. And my hope is to actually double the number of scholarships that we're going to be able to award in 2022, that we we were able to do in 2021. And so if we can continue to do that every year, so that would mean we would award 10 scholarships in 2022, rather than five for at least the cross scholarship and then four of the search scholars, I think that would be absolutely amazing. And as you can imagine, if we did that year over year, we would be funding almost every PT student in let's say, 20 years.

 

31:05

Exactly. Hey, that's that big blue sky dream, right? The be hag? Yes, yes, the big big dream. And and, and it's a great dream to help future physical therapists not be saddled with the amount of student debt that a lot of students over the past couple of years have, unfortunately, had to deal with. So I think it's a wonderful foundation. And I applaud you for taking the initiative to putting this out into the world. And again, where can people find Oh, you said it a couple times, and we will have a link to it in the show notes. But where can people find more about the scholarship and about rising tide?

 

31:49

Yep, it's www dot rising with a Z r i v i n g dash tide.com. And I'm sure many of you have heard the saying rising, a rising tide raises all boats. And that's really where it came from. It's something that has that thing has really meant a lot to me, in how I perform as a leader, and what I sort of prescribed to as sort of my own personal culture of wanting to help people. And so that's where sort of the name sort of stems from. But yeah, go to rising tide.com. And you can learn all about our foundation and scholarship program, you can sign up for our blog subscription, we have a monthly vlogs, coming out about all kinds of things that has to do with how students can improve sort of how they think about becoming a physical therapist, too, just thought provoking ideas as we go about wanting to sort of change the face of the PC profession.

 

33:05

Perfect. And I'll also add that you're also on Instagram, and on Twitter. So if you go to the website, you can go down to the bottom and click on the little icons, and you can follow rising tide on Instagram and Twitter and LinkedIn as well. That's right. Yeah, perfect. All right. Well, Heidi, as we start to wrap things up, I know, I asked you this before, so you're gonna have to think of something new. What's another piece of advice you would give to your younger self?

 

33:41

Well, I would just say be open minded to a path that you may not have thought that you might go down, go down. I will just say that, you know, starting a nonprofit, and a scholarship program was really not on on my radar. And as things have unfolded, just like starting in that entrepreneurial mindset, like it works in your professional life, as I'm sorry, it works in your personal life, as well as your professional life in terms of finding problems that need to be solved and figuring out a way to do that. And so stay staying really open minded to things that come your way that may not be necessarily what you think, or had planned to do. To find ways to just try to try new things and be open minded to those options and they can take you down path of trim adding tremendous value and to others but also just in, in in to yourself as well.

 

34:58

Yeah, excellent advice. keep your mind open. And if something aligns with with your vision and values, then go for it. Great advice. Heidi, thank you so much for coming on to the podcast today talking about rising tide. And again, if you're going to mention this one more time, if you're going into your residency program, check out rising tide, check out the website. We mentioned it several times, also in the show notes at podcast at healthy, wealthy, smart, calm and apply, because you've got a couple of days if you're listening to this on the 10th of January 2022. You've got until the 14th to apply for the surge scholarship. Is that That's right, right.

 

35:44

That's right. Okay. Well, you got until the 14th until the midnight of the 14th and mentioned that you heard it on rising tide or on the healthy wealthy podcast. And we'll just move you to the top of the stack.

 

35:56

Yes. So So do it. People get on it be a part of the rising tide. Heidi, thank you so much for coming on.

 

36:04

Karen, it's always a pleasure. Thank you so much. Yeah,

 

36:06

of course. And everyone. Thanks so much for listening, have a great couple of days and stay healthy, wealthy and smart. And a big thank you to Dr. Heidi Jenga for coming on the podcast to discuss the rising tide foundation and of course, thank you to Net Health. So again, they have a new offer if you sign up and complete a marketing audit to learn how digital marketing solutions can help your clinic when they will buy lunch for your office. Head over to net health.com forward slash li te zy to sign up for your complimentary marketing audit to get your clinics online visibility, reputation and referrals increasing in 2022

 

36:45

Thank you for listening and please subscribe to the podcast at podcast dot healthy wealthy smart.com And don't forget to follow us on social media

 

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