How is Fear Stealing from You?
Interview with Amanda Bar
Amanda Bar, Founder & CEO of RTB Capital Group works with entrepreneurs on mindset, strategy, problem-solving, and implementation to make more money and keep it. We provide access to essential tools, processes, professionals, training, and coaching that ignites your power and confidence from the inside out. How can RTB help you Raise the Bar and Overcome Fear and Doubt that is stealing from you?
Whether in business or nonprofit, you are considered an entrepreneur. When starting and running an operation, there is a level of risk, regardless of the size or magnitude. In facing these risks, we must take action and what tends to happen is fear sets in and we battle beyond what we need to and give ourselves great reasons and excuses for it. I’d like to transform this natural progression and share a new way to approach fear and stepping outside of our comfort zones, from internal to external. In sharing, my goal is that we can bring great value and a few nuggets that will help someone raise the bar in their business and life.
Read the Interview
Hugh Ballou: Greetings, welcome to The Nonprofit Exchange. We hear from leaders from all walks of life. People have done amazing things, had great experiences, have wisdom to share, and they can even tell you what not to do because it didn’t work for them, and it might not work for you either. We have stories from nonprofit leaders, business leaders. We are in fact running a tax-exempt business. It’s a for-purpose enterprise, not a for-profit enterprise. We do need to have proceeds from our revenue that actually fuel our work and help us fulfill our mission. What we do is more critical now than ever before in history. It’s so important. Equipping ourselves to be better leaders to transform organizations and to do a better job of impacting the lives of people.
Our guest today is someone I met through a former guest of ours back in the early part of this year. It was a couple, Michael and Bonnie, who accidentally founded a winery that because of their leadership became the #1 wine brand in the country. They introduced me to Bob Hopkins. Then I got an email introduction to Amanda Bar. Michael said I needed to meet her. Amanda invited me to be on her show, and she interviewed me. I am going to try to do as good a job.
Today, my guest is Amanda Bar. She is currently living in Texas. Where are you? Tell us a little bit about yourself, Amanda.
Amanda Bar: I just want to say thank you. It’s such an honor to be on your show today. You asked where am I in Texas. I have to say I am originally from Oklahoma but moved to California and lived in there for a while. I am now in north Dallas. We still have an office in the Beverly Hills area and are splitting our time between both. I am grateful to be alive, as this year has been an interesting year. I am thankful for being able to have an opportunity and am excited about today.
Hugh: Love it. Tell us about your background. You’re talking about fear and how it’s stealing from us. Why is this important to you?
Amanda: I grew up with type one diabetes. I have been type one since I was two. Every day, we are given this day. It can be life or death because anything we eat- From when I was a young girl, if I wasn’t prepared, if I didn’t have the right stuff, it became inset in me. I didn’t notice this until I got all the way to the business career. When I started facing my fears, because one, when you’re in business, you are seeing everyone out there who is wanting to make their passion their reality. You start to see that there are uncomfortable things you need to do. I had to face all these fears I didn’t even know I had. Why? Because I wasn’t being put to the test.
My story comes from I was sitting during COVID at home. Someone came and walked into the back of our property and tried to break into our shed. Oh my gosh, is this really happening? I’m watching this. I’m home. I see it. That person left. They came back two weeks later. I heard them speaking. I could hear them. I knew something was happening. I look out the window, and they ride away on bicycles. They came back one more time, that night, one hour later, and I heard them. I lifted the blinds. Oh my gosh. Three of them facing our property. What was I going to do? I don’t know if you’re watching this having been in a situation. I was wearing an Apple Watch, and my monitor went through the roof. I was nervous. I called my husband, “I need to call the police. My neighbor’s not home. I’m all by myself.” That was the first time I had to face a fear. They left. They heard me. They heard my dog. My dog dropped this bone.
Obviously I was fine, and nothing happened. What came from that is I kept asking, “Why did this happen to me?” When you have something in your life happen, why is it happening? Why am I going through this? Why am I facing this challenge? What am I supposed to learn from this? All I could keep thinking about was, “Your fear is stealing from yourself.”
These people were coming here to steal. But my fear had been here for years. God gave me a ton of gifts. We have everything we need. But sometimes we hold ourselves back. I was holding myself back. I created a program. Nobody could even see it because I didn’t release it because I was afraid to do so. You come into a place where you are holding yourself back. That was my message. I have to tell more people. I don’t know what’s happening in their lives. They may not see it right now. But maybe this conversation will open that up to, “Oh my gosh.” That’s the thing. I can do something about it. Now it’s living in that space every day, recognizing that fear and moving through it to get us to here.
Hugh: That story is a real story of real threat on your property in your backyard. Your watch went off; you had all that anxiety. How did you recover from that? It must have sent your blood pressure through the roof.
Amanda: The soul-searching part of it- In business, I want to keep this in line. When one thing happens, and we get scared, sometimes other things also happen. What happened right after was I was afraid to leave. I was afraid to walk. I live a couple of blocks from the office. I was afraid to walk by myself to the office. I was afraid to walk home. I just started to let this fear overwhelm me. I was in a standstill. I didn’t want to be home alone. I didn’t want to go anywhere by myself. What kind of life is that? I am here to make great things happen in this world. Why the heck am I letting myself get scared? A lot of inner work.
That’s where I came up with this saying. I had to remove myself from the fear and go, “That was your fear that was doing it. You can do anything. You just need some tools. What tools do you need?” That’s where I came up with my three steps of how to overcome fear and how you can solve any problem no matter what you’re facing. Why? Because I was at a desperate point in my life going, “I have to get something happening. I am holding myself back. Unfortunately, I am also hurting the people who could be taking my programs, who could be working with me, who could be doing more because I’m not sharing. I’m not out there telling this story.” That’s my giveback.
Hugh: Talk about these three steps. Is that in a program you deliver?
Amanda: It’s incorporated into all the things we do. That first step is just acknowledging. Sometimes with fear, we want to look like we’re together. “How are you doing?” “I’m good.” It might not be a good day. We are always trying to say that everything’s fine. But really right now, I’m super scared of this. Acknowledge it. When you do it, there is something special inside of us where we release it. When we say it to ourselves, but especially when we say it to somebody else. That gets us to the point that we say, “Now that I know that I’m dealing with this fear, what is the next step?” The first step is to acknowledge it.
The next step is determining what your belief is around this fear. Is this something that if you’re afraid to speak, is it really that you’re afraid to speak? Or are you afraid of not sounding eloquent when you speak? What is the heart of it? What is your backstory? Where does this come from? How is your belief in yourself affecting this fear? If you doubt yourself, if you don’t trust yourself, you may not want to do these things that are pushing through. How can you trust yourself?
How can you bring two solutions to the problem at least? Somebody said, “There is more than two solutions to a problem.” Yeah, there are a lot of solutions to a lot of the problems we face. Sometimes we are stuck in the problem and not looking at it. But if we see if we are coming to a problem, in a problem, or going to a problem, then the problems don’t really matter. Now it’s how you want to live your life and solve them one problem at a time. Or if you need to solve a few, what do you need to do? What is your next best step?
That leads to the third step, which is taking action that produces results. It’s one thing to acknowledge it and know that your belief is leading to fear. But if I can believe in myself and do something about it, now that fear, it’s like being in the battle ring with yourself. You have your fear and you. Who will win today? Are you going to let the fear beat us up and walk out of the ring and leave? Or we can step back into that ring, and it’s like the underdog. I will come up from the depths and take this on.
What happens when you break through that fear? You usually feel super excited. It just transforms us from the inside out when we accomplish things that we were essentially afraid of going in that we didn’t know, and we can now go further.
Hugh: Whoa! If I am having a down day, I’m going to call you for a supercharge. This is an attitude adjustment, which really, we’re responsible for our own attitude adjustment. Summarize those three points again.
Amanda: Acknowledgement. Our belief in ourself. Then action. If we don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen.
Hugh: Don’t keep griping about it. Do something.
Amanda: I’m talking to myself, too. Some people hear me speak, thinking, “Oh, she’s got the perfect life. She’s figured this out.” No, I have to face this every day with myself. I’m putting this stuff into place. When I don’t, I see it, it comes back.
Hugh: I work as a trainer and keynote speaker. Sometimes people introduce me as an expert in leadership. I’m just a student of leadership. But I realized one day that I made all the mistakes at least once, so it does qualify me as an expert because I learned something from those.
It’s self-responsibility that is underlying this. Having some key steps to think through, I’m a process person, one, two, three. I can do that. To acknowledge it is a big deal for some people. Just to say, “Okay, we have a problem.” Just say so. Then proceed to do something about it. We don’t want to live there.
I agree with you. Those of us who are thought leaders and help other people with content and coaching, we have the same problems. We can’t pretend we don’t have the problems. That’s what led me to say I am an expert. I have the same problems even though I teach this stuff. Not being perfect is a comfortable place to be. Having a little grace. How do you deliver these three points? Do you have programs?
Amanda: From these three steps, I was like, I have to do something. I created what’s called The Shift. My podcast, which you were a guest on, thank you, is called Shifters. I created it in February before all the COVID fun happened and we got into this situation. At the time, sometimes we feel like we have to be at a certain level to do things. This was before my fear issue. I was already in line. That shifting of things, sometimes we don’t have to change everything about our lives or what we’re doing. It might just be simple little shifts that get us to that next step.
If I am facing that one fear that is holding me back, that is the shift. I call it Shift 100: 100 days to Shift. We talk about these three pieces. How do you move forward? It’s a weekly session. We’re diving into a goal you want to accomplish and what is holding you back. Just being real. When you talk to us, I want people to feel comfortable because I’ve faced almost every roadblock, every challenge, done everything the wrong way to be that expert to go, “Yep, I can connect with you.” Now, how can we get you moving forward? For those who have gone through it, what can happen in 100 days can blow your mind when you really focus on what you want to accomplish during that time period.
Hugh: Where can you find more?
Amanda: I don’t actually have it posted. If somebody wants to book a call with me, I am going to launch this thing full-scale in the new year. It’s been formulating, and I have been testing it with people. They can just book a time with me and say, “Take me through the Shift. I want to shift everything. I want to move forward. Let’s go.” We can get them started.
Hugh: You have wisdom that far exceeds your linear years. I’m quite impressed that you have grasped a lot of stuff in your short years on this planet. But you have also put it into some context that is meaningful and people can apply it. Our audience here are nonprofit leaders and clergy. Why is this fear thing so important to them right now?
Amanda: The question comes back that I would ask you: What are you afraid of right now? What are you dealing with? The fear could be how we are going to raise money. I can’t even go into my space. I can’t open my doors to the public. We are having to shift through and find different ways to connect with people. I don’t know what those fears are for you personally, but I do know there are solutions to any fear you’re facing.
That is one thing that everybody can walk away with, especially those in the clergy and nonprofits. What can I do that really is in line with my purpose, my mission? How can I get in touch with my people? Being around people, we forgot, and now we remember. Now when we get to connect with people, it’s so special. Before, it wasn’t a big thing. With everything that is happening and the fears we are facing, now we are open to different ideas. Now it’s trusting. If you try something, it may not work. So let’s try something else. Let’s maybe try two different things. Maybe both of those will work.
It’s being open not to sit. For fear and people in fear, when you fear, one thing happens usually that is natural: nothing. You sit back and do nothing. This has been my message this year: keep on the move. If you stop, everything stops, especially if you are running an organization. If you are the heart and soul of that thing, you have people who are helping you maybe, but if you’re not moving, who’s moving it? I hope that might inspire you to relight the fire and keep that ship moving.
Hugh: Keep it moving. One acronym of fear is False Evidence Appearing Real. I remember a famous president said, “All we have to fear is fear itself.” There have been other times where things were even tougher than they are today. If you’re a serious student of history, there have been some really tough times in our country and other countries in history. That doesn’t minimize the problems we are having today. But there are a lot of things we could be afraid of.
Let’s go back to your story about these guys in the backyard. You were afraid to go down the street to your office. That is a paralyzing fear. We can manufacture a whole lot of things to be afraid of. I don’t think we’re saying that we take caution away. People need to be cautious about a number of things today. The virus is certainly at the top of everybody’s list. Your podcast, tell us again the name.
Amanda: It’s called Shifters: Entrepreneurs on the Move.
Hugh: I put it on the calendar and forgot what it was. I looked at it and was like, “What is this?” Shift happens whether you make it or not, but if you can’t shift with what’s going on in the culture- I remember not too long ago we used to drive up to the airport, park in the car, run into the front door, get in the gate, and get on the plane. After 9/11, we never did that again. We have to go through security, and there are now measures to protect us. There was never that situation, that freedom again.
Now, with this current crisis, with COVID, things will never go back to normal. We are reinventing what life is going to be like. I see a whole lot of leaders stepping up to the challenge and creating effective systems. I wish we didn’t have this, but it’s helping us cleanse our systems, be more efficient, and be more appropriate with how we use the resources that God has given us.
You address in your podcast entrepreneurs. That’s your audience. That’s our audience here, too. Clergy are in a system, so they are not as much entrepreneurs unless they are in an independent church. But nonprofit leaders, local cause-based charities, we’re all entrepreneurs. What is an entrepreneur to you? Why do I say that nonprofit leaders are in fact entrepreneurs?
Amanda: Someone who is going to have a passion and take the risk. Therefore, anybody who is taking something on that is beyond you is going to be in that space of entrepreneurship, be it for-profit, nonprofit. Money is exchanging. You’re doing good work. If we look at the platforms side by side, they are so similar. A lot of those things we teach in business can be brought into the nonprofit space. How great when those things can come together. Everyone is using social media and the same things. Maybe your message is different or our purpose or our mission or our clientele. I see entrepreneurs in so many different ways.
This is unique because at the beginning when I launched RTB Capital Group, I didn’t feel like an entrepreneur. I came from you go to school, you get a good education, you work at a company, you move up the ladder, a traditional corporate mentality. Stepping into this role, there were three things I had to learn: mindset, toolset, and skillsets. Those three things are cool. If you have a mindset built for entrepreneurship, cool. If you don’t, you need to step up. I also had to learn that I was coming from a time and effort economy. Entrepreneurs are in the results economy. I could spend all the time in the world putting in so much work. When it comes down to it, the only things that matters is results when you are in an entrepreneurial results economy. I did not get this until recently when this smacked me upside the head, saying, “Hey, you can do a lot of great things, but if it’s not producing results, what are you doing?” It’s a lot of hours. It’s a lot of hours you’re putting in. That’s great. Feel good about that. What are the results? I am starting to focus on how to produce results without spending as much time.
To go back, it’s time and effort economy versus results economy, which is the entrepreneur. The time and effort are those who are great at what they do. Merging those two together so they work harmoniously and we get a lot of things done together that way. The other thing is that mindset, toolset, and skillset (thank you, Adam Sherman from Warm Name for giving me that).
Hugh: Put your hand up. I want to kiss your ring. This is brilliant. That is one of the real big blocks for those of us in this so-called nonprofit world. We get this word “nonprofit.” It’s really a lie. It’s not a philosophy. It’s not even a tax classification. IRS Corporation calls it a tax-exempt corporation. Sometimes we run it in the ground as a business. We don’t have those principles in mind because people fund us because of the impact, which is a result. We impact people’s lives. That’s the reason why we exist. We have at least one professional funder here. That is a mindset shift. What are those three?
Amanda: Mindset, toolset (so all the tools we need to make this stuff happen), and your skillset. That can be where you are, and you can increase it.
Hugh: We ignore those. We come into the nonprofit space with a scarcity mindset already because of that word. It puts us in a different mindset. That’s a trap. It’s a lie we tell ourselves. We’re a nonprofit, so we can’t do this, we can’t do that. It’s all artificial. We don’t have the skills or the tools. As a matter of fact, we have inherited some tools that are not high-functioning. Like the standard board meeting; it could be bored, though. The systems we are inheriting when we go into a nonprofit. Or we start our own and bring in other broken systems or people who were in those broken systems.
Right now, the shift we need to make is not a new normal. There is no more normal. We need to shift into the new radical. We need to do things very lean and resource-oriented. People entrust us with their funds to create a difference in the lives of other people. It’s not return on investment; it’s return on life. We provide return on life by creating value for those who need it the most and probably can’t afford it. That’s why we exist. For us as entrepreneurs working in the social benefit space to realize those things, that is a key point of this whole interview. We’re talking about fear, but this is really a mindset shift. It’s all a mindset shift. Talk about that for a minute.
Amanda: Yeah, mindset is where I have been working on myself. If we have that mindset of scarcity, I did not notice, and this is acknowledgement, when I came into the entrepreneurial space with scarcity. It was not abundance for me. How can I get this done? You start to lose that passion for what you’re doing when you’re trying to make things work, and it’s not working, and it’s frustrating. We go back to that time and effort. Putting in so much time and nothing is happening.
Going back to the beginning, our mindset. How transformative that can be. If I just come into a situation of, “I’m coming from abundance. I know what I have.” We have all the answers inside of us. We are looking for approval. We are looking for other people to acknowledge. We’re incredible. We know everything we should be doing, and if we don’t, we’re not alone. I think we sometimes feel so alone when it comes to running a business or a nonprofit. Nobody understands me.
My one thing is the mindset. Transforming that mindset. There are a bunch of books and resources. What do I want to create? Believing in ourselves. Believing in what we can do. Trusting ourselves. One issue I have had is trusting others. Then I found out that it wasn’t me really trusting others; it was me really trusting myself. Trusting myself to do these things, that I can do them. I’m a Gemini, so I’m a talker. Communication is part of my world. I talked about a marathon for two years. Honestly I could have run the marathon six months after I said I was going to do it. Instead, I waited and talked about it. Our timing may be different, but when we believe and have that mindset and come from a place of, “I can do anything. What do I need? What is the next best step?” you don’t have to accomplish all the steps at once.
That is my thing. I can start a project, and I have all these ideas. They all come. There is 10,000 of them. I don’t know where to start. Then we stop. I’m throwing a lot at you. I’m just hoping this can help somebody who is struggling with these things of this mindset. Where you start there is the key. If you can harness in that you can do anything, that great things can happen, that it doesn’t have to be hard, I grew up with, “You have to work hard to make money.” No. What if you can just work efficiently and make lots of money? How can we transform and rewrite these rules that we have been writing our whole lives and believing them because we thought that as a young kid or learned it from our parents or somebody else? We have taken it into our world as if it’s truth. Is it true? Do we want to create something new? How can we start with our mindset? Then we can do the solutions, the next steps. How can we put time and effort in the middle from our mindset to our results?
Hugh: A lot of words in there that are power words. There is a lot of good sound bites in there. You mentioned something very important. *Sponsored by SynerVision’s online community*
Mr. Rash had to leave. He runs a group called Legacy International in Bedford, not too far from Lynchburg where I am. He said he loves your approach. He’s run these nonprofits for 40 years, and they reach youth all over the globe, one of them focusing on the fear of the other. We’re afraid of others who are different than us. He has a global youth village and lots of programs. Many of the programs teach leadership and entrepreneurship. A universal values approach. He had to leave because he had a meeting in a different time zone, but he said he wanted to give you that affirmation because he was soaking it up.
Let’s go back to what you were talking about. Three step method. We talked about a lot of things. My brain is reacting. It’s great stuff. I’m super charged. I knew you were good. I didn’t know you were going to blow it out of the ballpark. How do you know this stuff works?
Amanda: Good question. One is personal experience. Also working with others who are going through this. Yeah, you can have a lot of really good ideas. But unless you test them or put them into practice, you don’t know they will work. I am always one to say, “How about I test it on myself first? Let’s see if it works for me. Then let’s test it on others and take it through.”
With The Shift, I am working with a handful of people on this. When you can do this, one thing for those in the nonprofit space: If you are looking at new ideas, create it, and then test it. Sometimes we get afraid to launch something that we don’t know is going to work. We don’t want to spend money. Don’t try to figure it all out. Get it into little components, and test people through it. Ask how to make it better. We have done this on different courses. I have a podcasting course. We tested this with four or five different groups. We put it together as we were going. It was so much fun to do it that way. When you’re talking to people, they will tell you what they like, what they don’t like. It’s listening.
That’s the other thing I’ve learned a lot in this weaving in the fear of things. If I listen and understand what’s happening, you can hear what’s happening. You can hear the problems and things going on. Then you are more open to ask how can I help you? How can I bring this to you? What can I do? My organization does this, but what can I do for you, and who can I connect you to? Who do I know that I can take this to? Now that takes the fear away from me of thinking I have to do everything for someone. No, it’s how can I do the next step for you? I might be with you on this journey for a few steps, or we might go many miles together. I don’t know. But we are connected right now. That’s the beauty of the moment.
Hugh: A lot of the leaders I work with doubt themselves. We have a program I have created called Unbound Leader: Unlocking Your Inner Potential, which you didn’t know about, but we just talked about. We have it inside ourselves. Sometimes we don’t know how to unlock it. We need someone to help us take away the blind spots. But we do have abilities within it that could be activated. Finding that and working in a system with someone who can help guide you is so important.
We get burned out because we do way too much. Sometimes that comes from self-doubt, insecurity, not feeling worthy, we have to do more, we can’t ask other people because we ought to do it ourselves. But really, if you let people connect their passion to your mission, they would be happy to serve in a nonprofit you lead. Do you want to say more about that?
Amanda: I definitely suggest everybody, if you are doubting, go take this course. It sounds incredible. I’ll just back it up by saying the self-doubt, this can hold us back. In another form, it’s fear because you’re fearing something. If you’re afraid, if you are doubting the ability of somebody else to do something, just because it’s a fear of something, you’re not even seeing what the root of it is. If it be from doing your business, doing a nonprofit, you can unlock yourself. That is the beauty of this. Whatever you’re going through, you have a way to unlock these things. You have a way out of this. You don’t have to stay this way forever. There is another way to go about it. Thank you for sharing that. That could be valuable for those who haven’t taken it yet. Unlock it.
Hugh: You have a passion for helping emerging leaders, our youth. Say more about that.
Amanda: I was a former educator. I have a teaching credential from K-8. That’s not what I taught. When I was applying for jobs, I got a high school position, and I was teaching ninth and tenth graders. Those guys taught me so much about life and training and teaching. I always say, “If you can keep a 14-year-old entertained, you can do a lot.” It was all about interaction for them.
For me, the beauty of our youth, there is so much they can do now. They can do so much going forward. If they can access the power they have inside of them at a young age and really see what’s possible for their future, the things that have happened, the things from their past, it doesn’t matter. They have today, living in that present moment. They have tomorrow to make great things happen. They’re unstoppable. Nothing is holding them back. I am passionate about our younger entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders, those who want to make a difference in this world.
Hugh: I remember looking in the mirror when I was 14, and I remember looking in the mirror today. I got here kind of fast.
Amanda: Right. I know. I’m hoping it slows down for myself. I feel young. But there is something beautiful about that. When you feel young, even when you’re aging, there is something powerful in that. I feel 20 years younger than I am. I look probably 10 years younger than I am. That is so exciting to be able to live in that space. You are young. We’re young. We’re just getting started. Hugh, you have a lot to do.
Hugh: Another person just getting started is one of your neighbors, Bob Hopkins. You’ve spoken to Bob who also has a passion for empowering young leaders. He’s been inspiring young leaders for how long?
Bob Hopkins: Probably as many years as you are old. Which means I’m older than you.
Hugh: Yeah, only a little bit. I’m catching up. Do you have a question for Amanda?
Bob: I’m not sure why we haven’t gotten together yet, Amanda. We have talked, but we haven’t gotten together. Why not? You’re telling my story today. I’m so happy to do it. In the last couple of years, I realized that fear is what motivates me. When you think of it, you think of it as a negative. For me, it’s not. It’s what gets me out of bed in the morning. I think about all the things I’ve committed to do but haven’t done yet. I can’t go back to sleep because I need to face the demons. What about fear as a motivator? For me, it’s a good thing. I look back at my life, and I’ve always been afraid. I’ve been afraid of failure, of somebody else’s failure, that I won’t accomplish something, etc. If I didn’t have that, I don’t think I’d be entertained. Fear entertains me because it forces me to get out of myself.
Amanda: I love that. Yes, I agree 100%. If you look at the word “fear,” my husband told me this, in Hebrew, it’s also motivation. The backwards way of looking at fear written in Hebrew, fear and motivation go hand in hand. I’m excited that you shared that. Some people don’t look at it that way. I always think of it in the boxing match. Who is going to win? But it gets you moving. If you are conquering that fear, it gets you moving to get something else done. Thank you for sharing that, Bob.
Bob: I want to talk to you more about this topic and others. Since you’re here in Dallas, I want to get you involved with our Youth in Philanthropy conference in March. Hugh will be our host. We will be talking about how youth can be changemakers.
Amanda: It would be an honor to be part of that.
Hugh: The first one we did was amazing. There are young people who are really stepping up and influencing their parents. That’s a good way to have it. Bob has done amazing work over the years. Bob, our teachers in the first one were some of the young people you had mentored over the years. Say more about that.
Bob: I don’t know from where they came, but they started an organization called Paper for Water. Dad and Mom started it. Dad is half Japanese, and they made origami and sold them. To date, they have raised $1.7 million and created 170 water wells around the world. Can you imagine that? Anyway, they were in my class when they were five and eight years old. We didn’t help them start it, but we helped them get motivated about what they need to accomplish. Now they are 17 and 15 years old. They have been doing this for a lot of years. They are changing the world in countries where there is no water. It’s an amazing experience. They have been on Hugh’s show, too.
Hugh: These young people, they’re not as afraid as old people. This fear thing isn’t as big for them.
Bob: I think we have the ability to hide fear. I hide it in many ways. People ask me how I’m always so calm and happy. They don’t know that behind the soul I’m dying because I don’t know if I will be able to accomplish what I started. That dying is a motivator. I think they all know fear. Maybe they have covered it up with other words like motivation or something like that.
Hugh: I told Amanda earlier on that in part of my career I taught middle school for three years. The most fun thing right below setting myself on fire that I have ever done. It was educational for me. One of the fun things I got to do was a full production of Godspell with sixth graders. People said to me, “That’s hard. How’d they do it?” I said, “I never told them it was hard.” It was this adventurous free spirit.
Bob, with Philanthropy Kids and your volunteerism and entrepreneurship program you’ve started, there is a whole track for some substance and encouragement and some tools, not to mention the skillset. It’s a program. Bob has brought a lot of light into my world and the worlds of so many others. Bob, you always have good comments and questions. Thank you.
Amanda: Thanks, Bob.
Hugh: The clock is not our friend, but I have a couple more questions. Beyond fear, what does that uncover? I conquered it. Well, have you? What’s behind that?
Amanda: When it comes to fear, I always like to say it is beyond because when we are looking at the fears we’re facing, what’s here right now in the present. It doesn’t mean more fears won’t potentially come. When you go into this, I am going to overcome my fear, and I will get to a point where it won’t happen anymore. That’s also a mindset thing. But coming into it, going, “Okay, so if I do have these fears, just remember that second one, belief. I can have a solution to any fear I face. I may face fears I’ve never seen or experienced before.” When those things come, and you don’t know how they’re going to come, they will have a peace and calmness because you know that you have something you can do. You can look at the situation, see what solutions are there, connect with somebody, get into that mindset of, “I’m not alone. How can I get through this the best and quickest way possible? What’s my next best step?” You can have all the great ideas in the world about how to get through this, but you can still be in the fear going, “I don’t know how to get out.” When you take that step and have the courage, what’s possible?
Hugh: You’re not suggesting denial or ignoring it. That’s not what you’re saying at all, is it?
Amanda: No. Face it. We’re going to face fears. We can look at stages of our lives, like young kids, teenagers, young adults. Sometimes we had one fear that might have gone with us through this whole journey- I say up ‘til now because that doesn’t mean it has to stick with you. But we will face other fears that may come.
I’ll share this story. How do we know what we don’t know? I was adventurous, riding every rollercoaster. But I was on a boat with my family, and I ate the wrong thing. I choked, and it was stuck in my throat. I didn’t know what to do. In that moment, I thought I was going to die. I couldn’t tell anybody. Nobody knew. But I hit my chest, and it came out. When it came out, a little bit of blood came out. Then I freaked out. In that moment, I didn’t expect it. I didn’t know what to do. I should have calmed down and stayed on the boat. But I let my fear lead me. I made my mom get me on a dinghy. We drove this little boat—I am breathing fine—all the way to the shore to take me to the ER to make sure I was okay. However, on the boat, I was fine. That one incident had curtailed into a bunch of other things I was afraid of.
Now this is where I say we don’t know what will happen in the future. If we can pull that in and acknowledge that fear, that’s what happened. You chewed on something. It didn’t go your way. You choked. You popped it out of your mouth. You’re healthy. You move on. But I got stuck in the fear. That is my message.
If we can look at what is beyond this, you don’t need to beat yourself up for having the fear. That won’t do any good either. Just acknowledge it, “That’s my fear in this moment. What can I do about it? How can I get through it? If it happens again, what am I not learning that I can put into place this time that will get me to the next step?”
Hugh: You’re very transparent and open about talking about things like that. To me, that’s a very strong, positive leadership trait. I commend you for that. Talking about yourself and saying, “This is the journey I had.” That’s inspirational. It’s a real-life experience. It’s not made up. It really happened.
There are a lot of boards in the nonprofit world that are driven by fear and are risk-averse. We can’t do that. We don’t want to do that. How do we in a leadership role, if someone is holding back due to fear, is there something we can say or do?
Amanda: What if somebody else is dealing with fear? God bless my husband because he dealt with me and my fear for a long time. You just don’t know what your impact is. When we look at our fears, we’re in ourselves. But we don’t know how it’s impacting the person next to us. Being able to flip that around: What if I am dealing with somebody else that is fearful? How do I go about having that conversation? That is where the beauty of connection and communication and being open to listen to what that person is going through comes in.
Ask, “Why are you saying we cannot do this?” It may not be because that is the rules or regulations. It could be because of a fear that we just don’t know. It’s more questions instead of assumptions. That’s why we’re not doing this. There could be something we don’t know or don’t see until we have that conversation. What can we do about it? What if there is another way? Those conversations need to be had, especially if you feel you can’t do anything you want to do in your organization.
You can ask everybody around the group. Have a time you just talk about fears. What are we all afraid of? You might be afraid of different things or the same thing. You don’t know. But being vulnerable with each other because you all want the same end result: you want to make an impact. You want to help people. One or two or three of us might be holding us all back, and we didn’t know how to move forward.
Hugh: That’s having direct, open, honest, transparent, vulnerable conversations with one another. Thank you for making such a strong leadership point.
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What do you want people to remember? What do you want them to do?
Amanda: I’m going to tell a story. This story comes from Rick Thompson who wrote the book The Quantum Mindset in a Nutshell. I would highly recommend that anybody take a look at it. He tells this story of this gentleman going to heaven. There is a big, beautiful, golden box. He asks, “What’s in the box?” It has his name on it. They say, “We don’t usually show anybody what’s in the box. But today, I’m going to show you what’s in the box.” He opens the box. It was all the gifts, all the answers, all the solutions, all the tools, everything he needed in life, to make all of his dreams and everything he wanted to happen.
The message is you have that inside of you already. If that means you need to work with SynerVision or other professionals to help you unlock those things, to open that golden box that is yours already, you just don’t see it or know it’s there. It’s for you. That’s your passion. Don’t let fear hold you back from it. Use your tools in your golden box, and make great things happen in this world.
Hugh: Amanda Bar, thank you so much for sharing.
Amanda: Thank you so much, Hugh, for this opportunity.
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