Episode 366: Overcoming Isolation, Real Stories of Hope and Resilience with Kathy and Tracy

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Have you ever found yourself surrounded by the hustle and bustle of your business, yet felt an undeniable sense of isolation? As business owners, we often paint a picture of success, but behind the scenes, many of us wrestle with a profound and sometimes lonely journey.

In this episode of "Bella in Your Business: Pet Industry Business Podcast,"  we have a really important topic to discuss - the feeling of isolation among business owners. It's something that many of us have experienced at some point, and it can be really tough.

Our guests today, Tracy  and Kathy , are here to share their personal experiences with feeling stuck and alone in their businesses. They know firsthand how challenging it can be to navigate the ups and downs of entrepreneurship without a support system.

Tracy and Kathy found solace in joining a mastermind group and community. They talk about how connecting with like-minded individuals who understood their struggles made a huge difference in their lives. It gave them a sense of belonging and support that they had been missing.

One of the key takeaways from this episode is the importance of reaching out to others. It's so easy to get caught up in our own negative thoughts and feelings of isolation, but by opening up and connecting with others, we can challenge those thoughts and find a renewed sense of purpose.

Practicing gratitude is another powerful tool that Tracy and Kathy discuss. By focusing on the positive aspects of their businesses and lives, they were able to shift their mindset and find joy in their work again.

So, if you've been feeling isolated in your business, know that you're not alone. There are people out there who understand what you're going through and are ready to support you. Take that first step and reach out - you never know how it might change your life.

Topics & Key Points

  • The feeling of isolation experienced by business owners
  • Positive impact of joining a mastermind group and engaging with a community
  • Personal experiences of isolation shared by Tracy and Kathy
  • Challenging negative thoughts and the importance of community and friendships
  • Changes experienced after reconnecting with a mastermind group and better marketing program
  • Benefits of being part of a mastermind group and attending events
  • Importance of gratitude, accountability partners, and like-minded individuals for support
  • Rediscovering passion and purpose in business after getting out of isolation
  • Encouragement to reach out to communities and seek support
  • The importance of not isolating oneself, especially during the holiday season


[00:01] Feeling of Isolation and Its Impact

[03:03] Voices in Your Head and Negative Self-Talk

[05:33] Reaching Out and Connecting with Others

[08:51] The feeling of isolation and the impact of joining a mastermind group

[09:32] The positive impact of getting out of isolation

[13:53] The importance of gratitude and community in combating isolation

[17:30] The feeling of isolation and reaching out

[18:21] Overcoming isolation and inspiring others

Notable Quotes

[00:32] “Because once we isolate, we start thinking about all of the things and we get stuck in our head, and it just is like a vicious cycle that just goes down, down, down, down, dow”

[04:34] “I felt like everybody else knew what they were doing, which made me feel worse. It made me feel like I was completely out of it, and everybody else knew the answers, and I just didn’t.”.”

[14:46] “It always gets better. I mean, it’s just…I’m kind of maybe hardheaded, but sometimes I just forget that. And I kind of was going through a period like this recently, actually, and I just always, always feel better when I talk to you.”

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Welcome, everybody to another episode of Bella in your business. My name is Bella Vasta. And today I’m joined by two special guests, two guests that I have known for quite some time who courageously accepted to come onto the podcast today. And I’m so excited because I know that every single one of you listeners is going to be able to relate with them. And it is my goal that you don’t feel so alone in this world. It is not only something that every business owner struggles with, it’s honestly something that I’ve struggled with. And that’s called isolation. Once we isolate ourselves, we start thinking about all of the things and we get stuck in our heads. And it just is like a vicious cycle that just goes down, down, down, down, down. And whatever you believe whether it’s universe or God or the devil or whatever, it’s bad energy. And it’s not good to do. And it’s something that has been coming up in many of my conversations lately, reoccurring, isolating, isolating, isolating, when someone finally gets the courage to step out and do a 20-minute call with me or join the mastermind or just post on a board. And then they realize I’m not that alone. And my problems aren’t actually that unique. And so today I have Cathy Perez of Golden Tales Dog Walking Up in Colorado, and Tracy Murray from Capitol Hill DC saving Fido Dog Walking to join me on this podcast to talk all about isolation. Welcome ladies. Tracy, how are you today? I’m good. I’m glad to be here. Thanks, Bella, thank you so much for being here. Kathy. How are you? I’m very excited to be here.

Yeah, you guys are both in the mastermind and better marketing, which is why we’ve gotten to know each other so very well, we have access to each other daily, which is pretty cool. But I noticed something about each one of you guys at some point during our relationship where you were Go, go go and involved evolved, evolved. And then all of a sudden, there wasn’t. And without relenting. I kind of kept bugging you both and asking what was going on. Where are you? What are you doing, like Miss you what’s going on? Because I think of all y’all like, you know, my friends, like, I want to know what’s going on. So I want to kind of go through this podcast, we have got a couple of questions here for you. And as you guys are listening, I want you to think about do you feel this way too. And can you relate? So the first thing that I want to go to? And Kathy, I’m gonna go to you first, what are some things that you were telling yourself or feeling? Versus when you started participating? More like when you were in that isolation? What are the voices in your head? Can you share those with us?

Yes, so I was feeling stuck. I wasn’t sure in which way to move my business forward. And kind of hopeless, not having that source of direction, not knowing exactly what to do next. So many of the listeners feel stuck, and hopeless, not knowing which direction to go in. Usually, that comes with being overwhelmed Tracy, how were you feeling? When you were, you know, isolating every single word that Kathy said, was probably squared. I just felt like I didn’t know what I was doing. I felt like everybody else knew what they were doing, which made me feel worse. It made me feel like I was completely out of now. And everybody else knew the answers. And I just didn’t. And that was a horrible feeling.

I felt that way due to impostor syndrome. Muito. Like, you know, everyone else has got this together and you don’t right, I think everyone has felt that way. And I think the difference between that and being a jumper is you’re gonna feel that way. I always say it’s okay to feel the emotions. It’s what you do with them that matters. And so what happened when you started reaching out? Or when you started connecting with people? How did that change what was going on in your head? And, and I guess there’s a question before that. Why didn’t you reach out? Why were you just keeping to yourself when you feel like those isolating moments? Tracy, we’ll start with you.
I guess the biggest one was shame and embarrassed because I just felt like I was the only one going through that. I felt like people would look poorly on me. And then I would just basically look like an idiot. And impostor syndrome. Everybody always talks about that. But it’s so true because you just get the feeling that everybody knows what they’re doing and that you just don’t and you don’t have a link and you’re just lost. It’s a pretty bad feeling. Yeah,
it is. It is. And the voices in your head often kind of tell you like, Be quiet.
Don’t get in the way right They get back all that kind of stuff. Don’t let people know, don’t let people know what you’re going through, like everybody else is being quiet about it or not admitting it. So like, if you just try harder, that’s the other thing. Just try harder on your own. Don’t bother other people just keep trying to figure it out, you’re not doing enough, you know, all of those negative voices, just say them out loud. They sound silly, but when they’re in your head, you just succumb to them. And it just makes you just think things. So the group has been so helpful in getting me out of that,
hustle culture, right?

Yes to doing everything at once. Kathy, what about you? Why was it telling you that you should isolate those voices in your head?

So I can relate a lot with Tracy, I was feeling lost. I felt shame. Like, I knew what I had to do. I just wasn’t doing it. And I didn’t want to bring anyone down. I didn’t want anyone to feel bad for me, or you know what I was going through. And that kept me down. That kept me down for a long time and just tried to hide it. But at the same time, it wasn’t getting me out of where I was so powerful. You ladies are so courageous. And I’m so freaking proud of you for being on here. Because I know that we’re gonna get so much feedback from people being like, oh my gosh, like, that’s me. And I want to say something for a minute about something that I learned personally in therapy. And it’s something that I constantly try to combat. And it has to do with neuroplasticity, which is like the pathways that we build in our brain, right? And so it’s like, one, would you talk to your best friend, the way that you talk to yourself? And the way that we have to kind of figure that out is, every time we have those thoughts, write them down, like on our phone, right? Like something happened. And this is what I’m telling myself. And when you just even take four hours and do it, okay. And you start realizing all of the things that you’re saying to yourself over and over again, what we’re doing is we’re programming our brain that that is true, our brain doesn’t understand reality versus fiction. Okay, it only knows what we’re telling each other, which is why community, friendships, and not isolating are so important. That’s why I’m talking about this today. So everything that you guys are saying, I also feel myself, you know, again, the feelings are valid, but it’s what are you going to do about it?

And I’m just you guys are so I’m so proud of you for being courageous and, and allowing me and not ghosting me and letting me hackle you message you and keep up, and then you guys come back in. So alright, you kind of came back into the decisions that you already made better marketing, and Bella, where we have the group calls in the mastermind, where we’ve always got some fun, exciting stuff going on. What happened when you started getting back re-engaged? What happened to those pathways? What happened to your thought process? What happened to your sense of self, your self value self worth Tracy?

So I need to make a T-shirt about this. But it always gets better. I mean, it’s just, that I’m kind of maybe hard-headed. But sometimes I just forget that. And I kind of was going through a period like this recently. And I just always, always feel better. When I talk to you I feel better when I go into the mastermind I feel better when I connect with people. I feel better when I work on my goals. And I see that it was just me isolating and looking at things from a tiny little point of view. Not the big picture. My partner in the mastermind stuff is awesome. And she came up with an idea of like, let’s make a list of our accomplishments for the past year, which is super great because it shows us like all the things that we’ve done, you know, like, Okay, I still haven’t finished my website, but that’s not my fault. But you know, like, I grew my Instagram followers, like I designed my website, I did all these things and just having that list. So that’s a big, round sentence. But coming back to everything, helped me refocus and see what I was doing and what I had accomplished, and it got me back on track. So I just need to be reminded of that. So that’s why the mastermind is helpful because I forget that stayed away. I get lost in my world and connecting and being around other people reminds me of what I’m doing and how I’m doing it and that I’m in the right direction. Fantastic.

Kathy, what changed for you when you got out of isolation? You came out with a bang mama.
I immediately started feeling supported. I felt that I wasn’t alone in this. I saw that I wasn’t the only one going through the struggles that I was going through. But I also had direction in what to do. I started feeling more creative and getting more out there in the community. I started attending events in my area and connecting with vets in the area as well. And that was such a great feeling to have that one-on-one relationship with them and then seeing the gratitude in their eyes I passed by and said, Hello, gave him a small gift. And so that was great. And then just knowing that I can count on you knowing that I can count on my peers in the mastermind. And now I have so many things that I can do something actionable steps that I’m able to take to move my business forward.

I could cry right now, I’m so proud of you both. I think one thing that you just said, Kathy, you said creativity. And I think that’s a really big point of a lot of it. And that’s a lot of reasons why people do better marketing, right? And it’s because when you’re battling the voices in your head constantly, and you feel temporarily depressed, I’m speaking from my own experience, you have zero creativity. Like, there is no room for any creativity, not even like, Oh, what do I post today? Or what do I write? Or how do I start an email, like your brain dead, like your brains not working? And the devil is working? Like he’s succeeding, you know, or however, you look at things for everyone who’s listening. Okay. The other thing, and I got a lot of flack for this last year, from some groups, but I don’t care. And I’m gonna say it again, I heard a quote, and I’m probably paraphrasing here. But it’s that depression can’t coexist with gratitude. And I’m not talking about clinical depression, I’ve been depressed. I’ve been on Zoloft. During my divorce. Like, I mean, I’ve had to when Olivia was born, like, I’ve been through my stuff, like, so I’m not diminishing it at all. But to Tracy’s point what she did with her accountability partner, if we can remember in those moments where we feel so down and out, are driving from one house to another to go do a pet sit. And if we could just sit there and think of five things we’re grateful for today, or live in a state of gratitude, choose, instead of letting the voices run over our heads about how we’re not enough how we don’t want to bother anyone, how we have to be quiet, how no one can relate to us, all of this stuff, and we choose to start a list of gratitude in our head, you can change those chemicals you can I’m not a psychologist, so don’t come for me. But this is what I do. I do this, I do this personally, you know, and I see Tracy shaking her head. And I love that you said that about Steph and that’s also one of the beautiful things about having an accountability partner because it kind of becomes your business bestie.

And so just like in a relationship, a healthy relationship, if one of you is up or down, the other one can be up or if you’re down, they can be up. And it’s that balance. And it prevents you from going into a corner and just crying and being by yourself and not talking to anybody. And let’s face it, at the end of the day, we’re in this business to make an impact. So like Kathy said, just going out and seeing people being happy with coffee, people are probably struggling with the same thing you are, they’re also business owners, they’re also dealing with client cancellations, or having to reprimand a staff member or that tech or an employee who didn’t come in that day. And to see your bright, shiny face, you know, coming in. It’s amazing, you guys, it’s amazing. And I think there’s also an ebb and flow. This isn’t like, oh, yeah, I was in isolation. And now I’m not, everything’s great. Like, no, no, like, it will happen again to all three of us. But that’s why having a community having business besties or having people around you who know you enough to check in and say your patterns have changed. Are you okay? So I want everyone to think about who you have in your life, in your professional and business life to do that, and I’m going to talk more about what I’ve done recently in the next podcast, but how has getting out of isolation changed the way you just feel about your business and yourself.

Now, I know, for me, it’s brought me back to the part of my business that I love, which is working with the dogs, you know, like seeing their happy faces, and seeing people like people who aren’t my clients, like I see them and I see their dogs, and I remember them and I remember their dog’s names, and they remember me, which I love so much. And then working with my clients, and dogs and being able to solve problems for them, which is like what we do, which is what I want to do, and like making a difference. And having clients tell me, you know, oh my gosh, you made such a big difference for me. I had a huge meeting and I didn’t know what I was going to be able to do. And just the fact that I can go back and connect with that and feel their gratitude and their enjoyment and my excitement, and then the dog’s excitement of what I love most about the business helps. It is just so much fun again,

I love it. What I hear is that you’re living your purpose. You’re more in line with your purpose. Yes. Kathy, what has it done for you to feel the way that you’ve changed personally, I’m sure it’s not just okay, we got some bark cards and we put them out. I’m sure that other areas have flourished or you’ve kind of felt more alive. Have you felt any of those changes or can you share them?

Yes, I started feeling more inspired and just very creative, very creative and things, so many ideas, things that I can do when I realized one very important thing is that I had all these tools over the entire time, it was about logging into them and taking advantage of whatever they had in my hands. But a sense of purpose. And being able to make an impact on my client’s lives and the dogs that have cared for us. I
love it so much. That’s such a good point that every single one of us has been given these gifts and talents, right? And something that I was reminded is guys, I’m like, right here with you, you know, I’m feeling so much friction, I’m so sick and tired of XYZ. And it’s like, well, why? And it’s like, I’m not in alignment with what I’m here for. I’m not in alignment with what I’m supposed to be doing. And doing it so mindlessly letting life take me over leads to that. So when you kind of take a step back and realize, okay, what are we going to do to change it? What do I want, If you give yourself that space, it can change your world. Any final comments before I filibuster us to the end,

I just have a reminder for anyone who listens to the podcast, just to reach out, reach out to your community reach out to Bella, she is a super duper. Awesome. I’ve known her for about five years now. And I love her. But she can help you and know that we all have a community and it is a wonderful resource. It’s wonderful being able to walk down the street and walk into shops share your purpose and reach out to other people. But like 99.999% of people out there are nice, and they’re here to help us and we can help them. So it’s wonderful to share that community.

Yeah. All right. I am so excited that you guys are here I want any listeners to, first of all, go follow these ladies and see their journey. We’ve got a golden tails dog walking out in Colorado, and we’ve got a saving Fido dog walking out in DC. So as you seek almost coast to coast, we all including myself battle with this. And I hope this episode makes you think about like one what are the voices, I’m telling myself to what have I done to create a support system, or community, if joining the mastermind is a cool thing for you cool. If not, that’s fine, too. I’m not here to tell you to do it. It could also overwhelm you if you’re not ready for it, but this is the time of year guys when suicides go up where depression goes up, where we see all kinds of happy things online and people’s best picture of everything. But really, some people have lost ones who are just dying on the inside, because it’s their first holiday that’s going to be different. They’ve got people who, you know, maybe relationships didn’t work out. So things look different. They’ve got kids that they’re not able to see for whatever reasons or parents, a lot is going on out there.

So if not for you all of my empathic, nurturing listeners, start doing it for someone else reach out just to be there for someone else. And I guarantee you it’s gonna make you feel so much better. Just like Tracy said, she loves talking to me on our coaching calls, guys, it’s the same for me. I could be having the worst morning and I get on a call with one of you and you guys get me so fired up. And I’m like, yeah, like it is better than any kind of drug. And I’m saying this like nicely, okay, like that you could ever take, you know, it is just a shot of serotonin and dopamine, like chatting. And I just don’t want anyone to isolate ever, especially this holiday season. I will be back again next episode talking more about this my struggles with it, and the things that I’ve done to overcome it. And so hopefully, this can be good food for thought for you, Tracy, and Kathy, thank you so much for having the courage to come on here. And share your story and inspire our listeners. You guys are amazing. And I just thank you from the bottom of my heart.

It’s been another episode of Bella if Your Business Remembers more now than ever. When life gets you down, always keep jumping. So what did you think? Did you love this episode? I sure hope you did because I put a lot of love into this for you. The best way you can show me that is by going to iTunes, Stitcher Google Play, or wherever you listen to your podcast and going ahead and leaving a review. I just might read it on the next episode. I also want to remind you that when life gets down, remember to always keep jumping. Thanks. Thanks for listening

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