In this episode, get ready to be inspired and motivated in this podcast, centered around goal-setting. Susan shares how to overcome obstacles and stay on track towards your dreams. Say goodbye to “trying” and embrace the mindset of a dedicated training. Consistency is key, and it will lead to incredible results and empowerment on your entrepreneurial journey. Authentically pursue your dreams with unwavering determination and see the training effect in action.
Topics covered in the interview
Embarking on business
Scheduling for training
Susan Sly’s Bio
Susan Sly is a tech investor, co-founder, best-selling author, keynote speaker, entrepreneur and podcast host of Raw and Real Entrepreneurship. She has appeared on CNN, CNBC, Fox, Lifetime Television, The CBN, The Morning Show in Australia and been quoted in MarketWatch, Yahoo Finance, Forbes, and more. Susan is also a member of the Forbes Business Counsel. Susan holds an Advanced Certificate for Executives in Management, Innovation, and Technology from MIT and is the author of 7 books. As a highly acclaimed keynote speaker, Susan has spoken for MIT, NVIDIA, Intel, Lenovo, and shared the stage with Tony Robbins, Jack Canfield, Robert Kiosaki, and more. She has been a featured guest speaker for the National Restaurant Association, Executives Next Practices Institute, Forbes Roundtable, Corenet Global and the Edge AI Summit.
In 2022 Susan was honored to receive the Rosalind Franklin Society Award in Science and nomination for the Rising Star in AI from Venture Beat.
Susan is the Co-CEO, and Co-founder, of RadiusAI – an award-winning artificial intelligence company with offices on three continents.
Susan has completed the Boston Marathon 6X and placed Top 10 in the Pro Division of the Ironman Triathlon in Malaysia. Susan is passionate about philanthropy and has dedicated a significant amount of time and money working to liberate girls from trafficking and invest in education to support women and girls who have survived trauma and abuse both domestically and overseas.
Susan is the mother of four children and resides with her husband in Scottsdale, Arizona. Find out more about Susan at www.susansly.com.
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Susan Sly 00:02
This is Raw and Real Entrepreneurship, the show that brings the no nonsense truth of what is required to start, grow and scale your business. I am your host, Susan Sly.
Susan Sly 00:16
Well, what is up Raw and Real Entrepreneurs, wherever you are in the world, I hope you're having an amazing day. And I just want to give some incredible shout outs. I've been traveling, literally living out of a suitcase for three weeks now. And I have had VCs listening to the show, I have had people that we're doing business with, listen to the show, I've had all sorts of folks listening to the show and saying they love it. What did they love? They love entrepreneurs telling their story. They love tangible advice, not theory, and I'm gonna, I'm gonna step up for a moment.
Susan Sly 00:52
I love when people have aspirations, they say, I want to be a coach, I want to be a speaker, you know what, go earn the right, do something, overcome some challenges, and then get on a stage and speak about it and write a book about it. And all of those things, because right now, we don't need more TikTok advice, I'll just be very candid. What we need is salient advice from people who have been there, done that and literally got the t shirt. So I love that you're sharing what you're getting from the show, if you haven't given a five star review, please go ahead and do that. Especially if you're a longtime listener, we'd love to have that. And my team keeps saying, Susan, people need to hear you, the interviews are great, but they want to hear you riff off about something. So today, I am totally in a space where that is going to happen. I've been thinking a lot about this concept of training versus trying and why people fail. And even in this climate right now, there were some data that came out that Silicon Valley is investing last. We had the SVB bank collapse, I have friends who are raising money for their startups. I have one friend, it's actually a startup I'm invested in. And they're doing almost $2 billion every quarter in transactions, and they're having a challenge raising money. And it's interesting, right? It's such an interesting climate. And so this, this whole concept of who is going to be there at the end of this weird economic cycle, and I look back, and I look at the recession, and the companies that are household names now and verbs, right? Like, you know, we don't, you know, hire a third party car service, we go and we Uber somewhere, right? And we Airbnb places, and we you know, we are going on Instagram, and we're doing reels, those companies were all started during the recession, when it was doom and gloom and the world was, you know, never going to come out of it. And if you had decided that you were gonna listen to the nonsense and not persevere and not look at as a training moment, and you weren't even going to try, then, you know, you, you probably are right now working for someone instead of at the top of your game owning a successful startup. And some of you might be like, well, Susan, you know, it's really hard out there right now. Yeah, it is. But people who train versus try, they don't care when it's hard, because they know the heart makes them stronger. So some of you who've known me for a very long time, love when I do a show just like this. So I'm just gonna get into it. I love you all to pieces and and let's go. So this whole notion of, we set a goal. And I've shared the stage with Tony Robbins with Jack Canfield with the late Jim Rohn. With Mel Robbins with Gary Vee, all these different folks. And the reality is there are a lot of perspectives on goal setting. And this whole concept of, you know, a goal without a plan is just a wish. We've all heard that. And then we've also heard you've got to set goals. And then you know, it's this reality of, do I set goals? Or do I not set goals, and I set goals when I'm going to fail? And I've met many, many people who won't set goals because they're terrified of failing. And which is fascinating to me, because the biggest person they're going to let down if they set a goal and don't make it is themselves. So it's kind of like you know, who cares, right? So, the there are two schools of thought about it. But if we look at this concept of training, versus trying, and we put an athletic bent over it, because some of you will know, some of you don't, that I used to be a former professional athlete before getting diagnosed with progressive MS when I was 27 years old in the year 2000. That if we put this athletic bent over this concept of goal setting, I will tell you that all professional athletes, set some kind of goal, they might not call it a goal, but they set some kind of goal. And that goal isn't necessarily like, oh, this massive goal, like, you know, I'm going to win the Super Bowl, or I'm going to go to the Olympics, those goals are kind of out there on the peripheral, but they set daily goals about how they're going to show up in their training. And I can promise you, my friends, when you start to think about business, like training versus trying, and your big goals are out there, they're, you know, in the distance, they're at the forefront, but they're, they're out there, after a series of daily, smaller goals in terms of how you're gonna show up, you are going to have better results. And the reason being is the average person they try, the average person doesn't train, and they set goals and give up on their goals. And they stop setting goals and they become addicted to failure, that you will be the person who, whether it's two years from now, it's five years from now, it's 10 years from now, you could be living a completely different life. And so, I look at, you know, I do listen to podcasts, and I love podcasts. I love, love, love them. I read two books a month, generally, sometimes it's three books a month, I audio listen to books, I, many of my guests, I will read their books, I run a lot. So I'm listening to books on the you know, while I'm running and so forth. The interesting thing that I've learned about achievers is that they make a decision every single day in terms of how they're going to show up. And they're going to take action, even in the face of adversity, because they know that not every day is a podium day, not every day is the Olympics, not every day is a Super Bowl, not every day is the finals, but every day, how they show up, how they train, gets them closer toward that goal. So I want to jump in. My goal today is to inspire you to show up differently, to stop trying, in fact, I want you to divorce the word try from your vocabulary, because leaders don't try, they train. And I want you to begin to think about your pursuit in entrepreneurship. More in the athletic mindset, even if you've never been an athlete, than you have before we started this show. So what happens to the average person, if they decide to embark in a business is they might watch a YouTube video or Tiktok video or they go to an event and they get all fired up and they see people on stage or like if they can do it, I can do it. Oh my gosh, it's gonna be amazing. And then life happens. Their spouse tells them they're in a cult, or they're never gonna make it and why don't they just have a secure job, or their sister or brother is like, you know, it's your turn to look after mom. And then you know, mom is 83 and has dementia. And you know, you've got that going on. And then you know, there are kids and life and you're exhausted. And it's like, okay, well, you know, I'll start on my business tomorrow or, and then tomorrow, the next day, your boss wants a deliverable. And then there's no time for that. And, you know, the list goes on and on. It's all these excuses. No one is going to rescue you. If you want to be an entrepreneur, no one is going to make the road easier for you. No one is going to change your training conditions every day. It's up to you in how you decide to look at things. In fact, the other day, when I'm recording the show, I am back at home in the Phoenix area. And it was hot. It was, I had been, gotten off an airplane. I was home for three hours, I went and did a hot yoga. So it was already 117 degrees. And I decided to go 124 degrees because why not right? And the next morning, I went out for a run. I didn't even look at the temperature. It's like okay, yeah, I'm running, it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter. So it was the temperature was around 94, I think, when I started, it doesn't matter. Because I know I'm training the condition is just a side effect. That is there. It doesn't, I'm training and it's like, okay, either the conditions are going to make my training easier today, or they're going to make it tougher today. But if they're making it tougher today, that's going to set me up for easier training in the future when the conditions are different. And so I go out for this run. And people say, Well, I couldn't do that. No, you probably couldn't. Because if your mindset is I can't do that or your mindset is, I have all these excuses, then you aren't in the training mindset and you're more like I'm not even going to try, right. So it's not that it's easier for me because I want to dispel that myth. As a 50 year old woman who was diagnosed with MS when she was 27, who you know, is also a mom and is the CEO of a company and you know, has life going on. And my dad is 83. And he's got some health challenges. It's not that it's easier for me. In fact, in some ways, it might even be harder for me than it is for you. But the difference being is that I look at every day like a life resume. And what do I want to put on my life resume today? Do I want to put on it that I ran four and a half miles in 94 degrees, or that I woke up, and I drink some coffee, and I scrolled Instagram and then felt like garbage about myself? It's definitely, I want to put something on my everyday resume. And I got that from David Goggins. And a shout out to David Goggins, who,
Susan Sly 10:46
if you haven't read his books, amazing, in fact, I've read them twice, both of them twice. And he's a former Navy SEAL, he had heart defect, he's done some of the toughest races in the world, he calls himself the toughest man in the world. And I have so much respect for him. And he talks about this everyday resume. So what are you putting on your everyday resume? What results are you putting on there? And so that training effect is something, and I'm going to get into some points to help you get in that training mindset, that training effect is there because when you know your training, and you know that the stronger you become, the fitter you become, the mental acuity that you get from training in tough conditions, sets you up for your podium for your Super Bowl for whatever it is, that begins to make it fun. And you're like, tough conditions, bring them on, it's just going to make me stronger. So when the average person gets motivated, motivation is like a sugar high. So it's like, often that motivation needs to come from some external force. It's like I've had people say, Oh, Susan, can I come spend the day with you? No, you cannot spend the day with me, I do not want you to come spend the day with me. Because if you come spend the day with me, you're probably going to either, you know, have too many opinions that are going to take me out of my game. And you know, my day is set up for me, for Susan Sly. So my day looks like this. This morning, I got up at 4:23. And then I made some black, organic coffee, and I like it super strong. And my husband, God bless Chris, he makes me an espresso. So I make a red ice. I have like this black, strong, organic coffee from this company called Grind Works, which I love. It's, the coffee is actually called Bitches Brew. Anyway, then I have the espresso and I have a massive mug of coffee. And I spend 45 minutes to an hour praying. And I heard Joel Osteen say that you should not ever ask for something for yourself, if you're not willing to pray it for someone else. So I have a big long prayer list. It starts with my family. Then I have friends who are going through health challenges, friends who are going through family challenges, I have friends who are building businesses, and I, the list, you know, I go through everyone and I pray for them. I even pray for my competitors. I'll be very candid. And after I do all that, and I get myself in a really good headspace. Then I go and send messages to all of my kids and my husband, even if I might, Chris and I are fighting, I'm still sending him a love message. Sometimes on those days might not be handwritten and might be like a quote from go to our, you know, Abla, Eloise, or something, but just, you know, something beautiful scripture. And then after I do all that, I go in, and I'm a business owner. So I'm looking at the numbers of the business. And then I go and I clear out any emails and slack messages that have come in overnight. And then I go get my first workout of the day. A lot of days I exercise twice. And some days, it's just once it just depends if I'm traveling or if I'm at home. So that first workout is always done fasted cardio, and I either go for a run or I get on the peloton or I go to Hot Yoga, but there's something and then if Emery is in school, then I take her to school, then I come back and I get suited up for the day. And I'm either working in my office, we are, have a very fast growing company in artificial intelligence. And so I am either in the office, or I'm working from home and then if depending on the day, if I don't have an evening business dinner, and then I'm going and I'm getting my second workout in and that's usually some kind of strength training or it can be an interval workout. And then before I go to bed, I take some time again to pray and to meditate and read the Bible and then and I go to sleep. And then I get up and I start all over again. And that takes a level of discipline. Now if I wasn't training, and I was just trying, then I would let my day run me, Jim Rohn used to say, either you run the day or the day runs you. And so because I know I'm training, and you say, well, Susan, are you training for a marathon? Are you training for a triathlon? No, I'm not training for any of those things. I am training to be the best CEO I can be. I'm training to be the best female technology leader I can be. I'm training to be the best mother I can be. I'm training to be the best wife I can be. And those are a lot of different training modalities. But their consistency is that when I'm rested, when I'm clear, when I eat healthy, when I get my workout in, when I have I, every day, even when I'm traveling, I will get up early to do that. 45 minutes to an hour prayer. When I do all those things, I show up in a stronger way, a more powerful way. And so that's what my day looks like. And, you know, do I do affirmations, I'm a believer in affirmations. However, I don't believe they're the only things I do. When I'm first cognizant of being up, I say, you know, thank you God for another day full of possibilities. And I will say, you know, I'm healthy, I'm wealthy and wise, I'm beautiful and loving, I'm kind, I'm generous then like, out the bed and make the coffee, let's go. But there, it's not something I rely on. And here's the thing I have found. A lot of people who try, we'll try different things, they might try crystals, or they might try like, you know, microdoseor they might try, now I'm gonna get lots of hate mail, I know, they may try all these things. None of those things are going to work. None of them are going to work. Because you know, in all of the things, and I'm just going to be completely bold, that you know, for myself, and you know that you all know, if you've been listening for any length of time that I'm a Christian, that all of those things might give you a little bit of something, but it's not the thing that really is going to fill you. And so for me, I just, my one thing is God, and that's at the forefront of everything I do. And some of you might be a little stuck right now, because you listen to the show, wherever you are in the world. And you're like, Well, I just want to hear the motivation. I'm motivating you. Guess what, if you're going to train, and you're gonna win, and you're going to be successful, and you are going to be that person who books are written about or articles or written about or you're going to change your family legacy, or you're going to be debt free. You are going to be that person who is the first person in your your family line to graduate from university without student loan debt or graduate from university period or pay all your kids tuitions or do whatever it is you're gonna do, you're gonna have to train for it. And training means that on those days that are hard, on those days when the critics show up when you know, people are DMing you all this nasty stuff. I've had death threats. I've had all of it. What are you going to lean on, crystals? No, there's only one thing to lean on. And that is God. And that's the, that's a huge, the biggest part of the training fact I'm just going to be bold there. But I want to talk to you about just for the final few minutes of this show a few tips to help you get to be training and not trying anymore. Because aren't you tired of trying? Aren't you tired of trying to lose the same 10, 20, 30 pounds? Aren't you tired of trying to you know, make your business successful? Aren't you tired of trying to have you know, a healthy marriage? Aren't you tired of trying, trying, trying. Trying is exhausting. Training on the other hand, that is a whole different come from my friends. When you're training, and you feel you finish that day and you're tired, because you are accomplished and you know that you know even though you didn't want to, you made your sales calls, you made your follow up, you just move that ball down the field, that feels so fulfilling. And the scripture says the sleep of a laboring man is sweet or the sleep of the laboring woman is sweet. And that's the thing. Every single day I want to go to bed without feeling a sense of accomplishment when I am sitting there in bed. You know there are days when my training, my life resume for that day was awesome. We accomplished so much. But you know what I always realize is that it wasn't about, it never was about what happened on that day. It was all the days of training when I didn't want to that led to the day that I woke up. I was like, Okay, today is the day, today's the day and by the end of the Day had accomplished something I've been working on. Like, I have some deals that I have been following up on almost every single day, for months. For months, I once had a deal, it took two years of follow up to close that deal. It, and so it was every day was I just like happy and healthy and fulfilled and my life was perfect. And you know, Instagram perfect. And my kids were all healthy and everything was totally fine. And Chris and I were happy. No, there were days that I was following up when Chris and I were fighting, there were days that I was following up when one of the kids was home sick from school, there were days that I was following up when my dad needed me and we were in a pandemic, and he lived in a different country, like, you know, it happens. So let's get you into the training effect. Enough with trying and start to train. So here we go. Number one, is that training mindset. So athletes schedule time to train, they have coaches, and they have very specific workouts that they do at very specific times. Those workouts are designed to prepare the body for very specific athletic events. And so that's the first thing I want to say is you've got to schedule a very specific time for your training. And so training here would be whatever business you're in, you, I don't care what your you know, businesses that you started. A huge part of your business, the lifeblood of your business is new customers coming in, and existing customers reordering. So even now, I have a period of my time, every single day, as even as a CEO, a tech CEO of an AI company, where I am following up, following up, following up, and I'm checking in on existing customers. And that is part of my training day. And again, do I always feel like doing it? No, but I ultimately care. And I want the end result to be that these customers are happy. And I want the end result to be that you know, these customers come in, helps us to grow this business, helps us to succeed. And so every single day, part of my day is scheduled for that. When I was a professional athlete, I you know, for a lot of that period of time, I was working a full time job. And even when I was a Ironman triathlete, there was a part of that time where I was a single mom. So I'm juggling full time job. And being a single mom. And also during that time, I was diagnosed with MS as I mentioned, so my daughter, Avery was three at that time. So diagnosed with MS. 16 weeks later, we lost a business and I ended up living on my brother in law's sofa, a single mom, homeless with no job. And wow, and I still trained. And it was, it was exhausting. It was, I had a lot of symptoms, too. So I was, you know, mental fatigue, I was dropping things, I was in a tremendous amount of pain and neurological issues. And my gosh, training was not easy. But once that time hit, if it was four in the morning, and I knew I had to do a 10 kilometer run, I was out of bed at 3:30. And I was doing the 10 kilometer run because that's how my brain was wired. It's that this time, if you do not schedule time in your day for training, the training doesn't happen. It's not going to happen. And even with my staff, with my kids, I'm like you get your workout in in the morning because we don't know what the rest of the day is going to bring. We could, the other week I had a board meeting, I was on the East Coast and you know, one of the board members like, can we all jump on a call? They were all on the West Coast. At eight o'clock. It was 11 o'clock my time, right? And I said hey, can we do it at our earlier was 10 o'clock, but we didn't finish 11 And you know, that was, that's just the way it is. If you're an executive these things happen, right? So having the time and scheduling it is key for your training. And again, your training in business, customer acquisition, following up, customer retention. That's part of your training. All right. Number two is you make yourself do it. Mel Robbins says that you count to three and you just do it. So you're not going to feel like it, your partner is telling you you're a complete idiot. You're wasting your time. You've got life, you've got kids, you've got stuff going on you make yourself do it regardless. And it isn't this big rah rah, I need to get into like this. You know, I have to you know, find someone to motivate me. Having shared the stage with Tony Robbins, he's like, you know, you own your psychology. And so, there are times like even today, I was listening to Eminem, Lose Yourself like, you know maybe you have a song that puts you in state, maybe it's, for me it's exercise getting into that peak mental state. And then I go, I remember, I was training for the Boston Marathon, and I wasn't feeling super well. And I had to do a 30 kilometer run. And for Boston, you have to qualify. And I remember when I got diagnosed with MS in January, I believe is around 13th of the Year 2000. My first thought wasn't, oh, you know, I'm dying, because they said, you know, this is worse kind of MS. You're gonna be dead in 20 years, in a wheelchair in 10. And my first thought was, I haven't done the Boston Marathon yet. Oh, my gosh, you know, so I like, went to Boston, and you do have to qualify, qualifying times, so forth. And so I'm, I'm training for Boston. And I said to my husband, Chris, I was like, I don't feel like running. And it was minus 22 degrees out, we were living in Canada. And I kitted up, I put on my winter running pants, winter running jacket, and my face mask, and I strapped my running belt, around my waist with some water. And I said, they'd drive me 30 kilometers out one way. So he drives me or he's like, Are you sure, and I'm like, You married me, I think you know, I'm sure. So he drives me 30 kilometers out on the 1000 Islands Parkway, and so drops me under the 1000 Islands Bridge, which is one of the bridges that connects Ontario, Canada and New York State. And he leaves me and the snow is coming down. And then it's turns to ice pellets and my eyelashes keep freezing shut, and I have to take my fingers and warm my eyelashes for my eyelashes to be open. It's hard to breathe, the snow is on the ground. So I've got to go through that. My feet are getting frozen. And I do this 30k run. And by the time I got in the house, I couldn't feel my toes, I couldn't feel my fingers. I'm like, dang, I might lose my toe. But you know, uh, well, it's a, it's a good story. And I made myself do it. And so sometimes in the training effect, you are going to have to make yourself do it. And it isn't going to be easy, but it is going to be worth it. And so whether that is taking yourself to a co workspace if you work from home, because there are a lot of distractions at home, or it is literally having an accountability group. And I've done these before where you all get on Zoom and you're, you know, making your sales calls and doing your things like that. Whatever it is, make yourself do it. And the third and final tip that I am going to give in terms of this training effect is you got to earn your rest. There are a lot of people out there that feel they deserve things like the government needs to do this for me or my boss needs to do this for me. You're never going to be successful with that mindset. Love you. But that's no, there is no prince charming. I grew up on Disney movies. There is no prince charming coming to rescue you from the tower, my friend. It doesn't work like that. You've got to earn your rest. It's not like I deserve this rest. You know, no, you don't. You didn't earn it. You don't deserve it. Athletes don't say I deserve my rest day without having worked their butts off. And I'm just going to share with you what my training schedule was when I was pro triathlete. So here it goes. On Sundays, I started the day with a three hour run. Then I went to the University of Toronto pool when I lived in Toronto and I did to our swim workout with Coach. Then I did a five hour bike and if it was cold, it was on the trainer. If it was snowing. Monday, it was a 20 minute run, an hour swim workout, 20 minute bike, just flushing my legs. Six on Tuesday, it was a 60 minute interval run and a 90 minute interval bike in the afternoon. I was working full time during this by the way, Wednesday was a 30 minute run. And then our long swim at lunch break and then a 30 minute bike in the evening. And then Thursday was a 90 minute interval run, two hour interval, three hour interval bike depending on the season. And then Friday was a 30 minute just cool down run, hour swim, 30 minute bike and then Saturday was my rest day. That's the day I earned my rest. And one of the things I will share with you as an entrepreneur. And again this is, this message is with love. I want you to succeed. I believe in a very, very abundant God. There's a lot of abundance out there for everybody and if this show today is helping you, message me, share it. Tag me on Instagram,, on Twitter, on LinkedIn wherever it is, just a you know, Facebook. I haven't joined Threads yet, I'll get to it but just tag me, share it, give me a five star review because this is not, someone said to me the other day like you're the CEO of an AI company. Why do you still do your show? And I'm like, if this helps one person succeed, change their family legacy and you know, get out of a toxic situation because they had the right mindset, they heard it from a guest, they heard it from me, then it is worth it. And maybe it is you today, maybe you needed to hear it. Maybe you've been playing small. Maybe you're the one who is sitting there trying, trying, trying, and you're not training. And my friend, I want to say to you, yes, you, just you.
Susan Sly 30:29
Start training. And it doesn't matter if you're 10 years old. It doesn't matter if you're nine years old, you can all train. It's never too early. It's never too late. And so with that, I want you to go out there rock your day, God bless you got this. And again, if this show has been helpful, share it. Give me a five star review, I read all your reviews. If you have an idea for a show, go to Susansly.com and send us a message and I will entertain your idea. And with that, I will see you in the next episode of Raw and Real Entrepreneurship.
Susan Sly 31:07
Hey, this is Susan and thanks so much for listening to this episode on Raw and Real Entrepreneurship. If this episode or any episode has been helpful to you, you've gotten at least one solid tip from myself or my guests, I would love it if you would leave a five star review whereever you listen to podcast. After you leave your review, go ahead and email reviews@Susansly.com. Let us know where you left a review. And if I read your review on air, you could get a $50 amazon gift card and we would so appreciate it because reviews do help boost the show and get this message all over the world. If you're interested in any of the resources we discussed on the show, go to Susansly.com That's where all the show notes live. And with that, go out there rock your day. God bless. I will see you in the next episode.
Susan Sly 32:01
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