Episode 21: Laura DiBenedetto – How To Break Old Habits And Build Your Dreams

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Gold Nuggets

  1. We are all misled about what the real definition of success and happiness is.

    The truly happy and successful people are those who are content with how much they have. They’re great leaders, and they inspire others.
  2. Many people go through life, get to the finish line, and realize it’s the wrong finish line – that everything they worked toward, and thought they wanted or needed in their lives, is not what they really wanted or needed.
  3. Laura gives some advice to young entrepreneurs, and she briefly describes the six habits from her book. Most, if not all, our listeners will relate to at least one of the six habits.

    “I can tell you what the 6 habits are, but knowing something and applying the wisdom of it are two very different things.”
  4. We don’t truly admire people for their toys; it’s because of who they are. We need to understand that it’s not about the stuff, the achievements, or the wallet size – it’s their ability to be the master of their habits, themselves, and their lives.
  5. “We are the story we tell ourselves.”
  6. Laura’s parents taught her tenacity. “If you fall on your face – too bad. Wipe the dirt off your face, get up, and keep going.” Her dad also taught her to swear like a trucker.
  7. Laura disagrees that greed and money are the root of all evil. She says the root of all the “evil” that we see in the world is insecurity.
  8. “There’s only one thing you can control in your life – your own effort.” – Mark Cuban
  9. “You are capable of creating the life you want. It begins within. Everything you’re looking for is not in the fancy car, and not in what you’ve been taught it is. You deserve to find it, and you’re capable of finding it. It won’t be easy, but this will be the noblest work you ever do that will unlock everything you ever wanted.”
  10. Steve congratulates Laura for making Juliet speechless. There’s recorded evidence of it, too.
  11. “Your current habits are what got you to where you are now. If you want more, or better, you have to be better first.” – Laura DiBenedetto

Meet Laura DiBenedetto

Our guest is Laura DiBenedetto, founder of Vision Advertising, bestselling author, TEDx speaker, blogger, and business and lifestyle educator. After retiring at the age of 37, she set out to research and attain genuine happiness. This resulted in her first book, “The Six Habits”, written to empower other people to master their habits and find happiness.

Smart Man, Smarter Woman References

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Website Recommendations:

Book Recommendation:
The Six Habits – Practical Tools for Bringing Your Dreams To Life

Stay Connected:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lauraldibenedetto/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lauraldibenedetto
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lldibenedetto/

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Steve Loates (00:00):

Hello, everyone. And welcome to our podcast, Smart Man, Smarter Woman, the podcast for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs. And thank you everyone for joining us today. I am Steve Loates.

Juliet Aurora (00:15):

And I am Juliet Aurora.

Steve Loates (00:17):

And we are your co-hosts. And before I introduce today’s guest, let’s hear from my wonderful co-host, that smarter woman herself, at least that’s what she keeps telling me. And I’m becoming a believer folks. How are you doing today, Juliet?

Juliet Aurora (00:33):

I am excellent. Thank you. And I’m glad to hear that you are becoming a believer. It has taken me a long time to get you there. So, it’s great to hear that you’re actually becoming a believer.

Steve Loates (00:43):

Well, thank you. And as you all know, if you’ve listened to us before, the goal of every episode is to provide some entertainment, but most importantly, some value for you, the listener, some insights that we hope will help you on your own entrepreneurial journey. And we’re really excited today for our show. We have a special guest with us from halfway around the world, Laura DiBenedetto. Laura is a TEDx speaker, a number one bestselling author of her book, The Six Habits. She is also a life mastery coach. She teaches you how to create the life of your dreams without sacrificing what you love. And as founder and CEO of Vision Advertising, and that is a company that she started when she was 19 years old and has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs build and grow their own profitable companies on their terms. So, there’re going to be lots of really great things to talk about today.

Steve Loates (01:52):

So, let’s bring our guest into the show, Laura. And welcome, Laura. And thank you for joining us all the way from, as I now understand it, the Island of Maui in the State of Hawaii. And you are only 4,600 miles from where we are, that is for our American friends. And for our Canadian friends, that is 7,400 kilometers. I thought I would do the calculation for you. So, how are you doing today, Laura?

Laura DiBenedetto (02:24):

Well, thanks for having me on your show. I’m excited to be here with you and help to convince you further that women can be smarter sometimes. So, I will help you Juliet. Thanks for having me on your show. It’s really fun to be here. And yeah, Maui is pretty great and it is pretty darn far away, but there are a surprising amount of people that call Maui their second home from Canada.

Steve Loates (02:48):

Awesome. Well, I know we do have some friends who love to go there on a regular basis. Now, there’s lots of things I would like just to get into today, because I think there’s lots of things that could benefit our audience of entrepreneurs. But before we do, perhaps we could start out if you could take just a few minutes and maybe just share a little about your own entrepreneurial journey, how you got to where you are right now.

Laura DiBenedetto (03:16):

Sure. It’s funny. This is basically just another version of tell me about yourself. And I used to hate that question, but I’m getting better at it. So, bear with me. I’ll try to make this not boring. So, I started my first company at 19 years old because I’m a rebel and I know it all. And I decided, well, I know more than these people that I was working for. I had 14 jobs in one year. I got fired from half, I quit the other half. And I was like, “Yeah, that’s not really for me.” So much like a lot of entrepreneurs, I was like, “Screw you. I’m out.” I started my own thing and made so many mistakes along the way. But I managed somehow despite myself to build a little mini empire. And I retired at 37. I mean, granted between starting it up in retirement there was a lot. Sold millions and millions of dollars worth of services myself. Basically went through every business exercise and hoop you can possibly think of and all sorts of neat stuff.

Laura DiBenedetto (04:13):

Entrepreneurship changes you and you change it. I can tell you, I’m such a huge fan of entrepreneurship. And now it’s like, I get excited about something, I’m like, “Ooh, wrap a business around it.”

Juliet Aurora (04:26):

I love that story.

Steve Loates (04:27):

Though, that’s great. Well, how did we arrive at writing the book?

Juliet Aurora (04:35):

[crosstalk 00:04:35]. First tell our audience the name of the book. I think Steve, you mentioned it, but let’s make sure that everyone remembers what the name of the book [inaudible 00:04:42].

Laura DiBenedetto (04:43):

The name of the book is, The Six Habits. Now, The Six Habits originated from a desperate cry on my part to not feel like crap anymore. So, here’s the deal and the truth about entrepreneurship. It’s amazing. It will change you. It can turn you into multimillionaire. It can do all the things, but can also burn your ass to the ground. I don’t care how much you love something. It can burn you out after 19 years of it, particularly if you’re doing it the wrong way or you’re achieving for the wrong reasons. Now, I want to be really clear. I have achieved a lot and I have a lot of commercial traditional success on paper that lots of people be like, “Oh my God, I wish I had that.”

Laura DiBenedetto (05:22):

But you know what I was really missing, the inner success. And that is why when I retired at 37, I was looking around at my big pile of stuff and all my toys and all my money. I was like, “So what? This sucks. I’m not happy.” And it felt really hollow. It wasn’t even the death of the identity, which CEO demoted to CEO of doing the dishes. I mean, that hurt less than I did all the things, and I checked all the boxes, for what? I got here and I’m no happier for it like, who cares? Right? I mean, I have more salty thoughts on that, but basically I was a really, really miserable person.

Laura DiBenedetto (06:02):

And just being an entrepreneur, as we all are, I saw a problem and I wanted to solve it. And I was like, “Well, this won’t do. I did not just work my buns off for 19 years, so I could get to the finish line only to be really moby and no fun to be around, and fighting with my husband and being a loser. No, thank you.” Guys, you’re not going to believe this. I wasn’t even proud of myself when I retired. I retired at 37 and I had officially achieved the wealth I always dreamed of. I did all the things, and you know what? I was still comparing myself to other people. Like I still hadn’t done enough. I wasn’t rich enough. My house wasn’t big enough. My car wasn’t glitzy enough. I was still doing that. I was like, “You know what? We’re we’re done here. I’m not doing this.” So, I wanted to feel better. And I was like busy staring at the wall, like all catatonic for like several days. And I was like, “Okay, this sucks.”

Laura DiBenedetto (06:51):

So, I wanted to find out, “Well, where did I go wrong? I’ve done all the classes. I’ve done the seminars. And I’ve done the Tony Robbins stuff. And I love all these things, but why didn’t anything stick?” And I thought it was me. I wanted to know what I did wrong. It turns out it wasn’t me. So, that was cool. Turns out it’s not any of us, when we try to do something within any personal development or self mastery stuff. It’s none of us. It’s the fact that, number one, we got a couple of problems. Number one, we are all misled from the time we are very, very small about what the real definition of success and happiness is. We’re really, really misled. I was too.

Laura DiBenedetto (07:32):

We are told particularly here in America, that success looks like X, look at the cover of the magazines, that’s what success looks like. And if you don’t look like that, you’re not successful. You must grind and hustle and do all these other negative terms to make yourself successful, and you have to achieve and achieve and achieve, so then other people will approve of you. So that was one of the first discoveries. Then I just really wanted to know, well, if that’s true, then what are the really, truly happy and successful people doing? And what does that look like? Well, these are people that are content, no matter what they have, they appreciate everything. These are people that are joyful when they wake up, because they’re grateful for their whole lives. They treat themselves with so much love and those around them. And they’re peaceful, very peaceful people. And they’re not visiting BS upon the people around them. They’re wonderful leaders there. They inspire others. They’re known for their kindness. And I’m like, “Oh, okay.”

Laura DiBenedetto (08:34):

So, I started to change my own definition, I was doing lots of research. And then when I got to the whole, what went wrong? What did I do wrong? Why did I take all these classes and nothing really fit and stuck? I was really left with, well, what is it that all of these really happy and successful people have in common? And it’s not a series of epiphanies, it’s not things that we know. It’s actually things that we do as a default. That’s why the book is called The Six Habits, not the six epiphanies, and because these are six habits.

Laura DiBenedetto (09:02):

And really what is a habit? Scientifically it is something that you do automatically without needing to force yourself to do it, remember to do it, or even be conscious of it. These are unconscious behaviors. So I was like, “Okay, how do I unconsciously do this?” Okay. So, I was like, what are the behaviors? And those are the six habits. And I’ll tell you about those later. But I really wanted to understand, well, how to do it. So, I ended up building this whole 90 day program for myself, so I could stop being a miserable loser. And I stopped being a miserable loser when I did it.

Laura DiBenedetto (09:35):

And it was, I was only five, six, seven, eight days in when I started feeling like the person, I always, always wanted to be, the person that led with benevolence and grace, the person that led with patience and kindness, and the person that was a better leader, and the person that had money magnetically attracted to her. I always wanted to be that person. You look at other people out there, other entrepreneurs you’re like, “Damn, what are they doing? I’m going to get me some of that.” And I was finally getting me some of that. And I was like, “Oh my God.”

Laura DiBenedetto (10:07):

So, long answer to a short question, the book came about because I wanted to share this with other people. And it actually came about, because I was like, “Hey, you know what? My friends, I love you. This is just a few of the friends I love. I’m just going to write you a few paragraphs.” Well, baloney, here we are 55,000 words later. It’s an actual book. So much for a few paragraphs. But it began out of an act of self love, then love for my friends and then love for other people.

Juliet Aurora (10:32):

What a great reason to write a book. And I love the one statement that you said, I’m probably paraphrasing a little bit where you talked about that you got to the finish line and realized that it was the wrong finish line. And I think that there are so many people who probably go, whether they’re entrepreneurs or not, who go through life, get to the finish line and realized exactly that, that it’s the wrong finish line, that everything that they worked for and strived for and thought that they wanted and needed in their life was not actually what they wanted or needed in their lives. So, I love that phrase.

Laura DiBenedetto (11:07):

Thank you. Well, you know what I found out, I work with some people one-on-one, and even when people don’t want to work with me one-on-one, and I’m just telling them about the 90 day or this or that, it seems like there’s a consistent thing there. I’ve always been chasing success. And either I’m chasing it and it’s not very fun, or I found it and it’s not very fun, because we externalize success. And the real success, I’m sorry, it’s not in the Rolls Royce, it’s not in the Maserati. It’s not in the big fat bank account. I mean, granted, it’s a little tougher to cry on a jet ski next to your mansion. I’m going to just admit that.

Laura DiBenedetto (11:43):

But the real success that we really yearn for, even if we’re not admitting it is internal. That’s what we’re all looking for. And that was the thing as a stubborn bull-headed entrepreneurial, I was like, “No, I don’t need that. I’m the master of my own destiny. I’m going to create my own future.” But I built a lovely gilded prison for myself. And I have no problem admitting that.

Laura DiBenedetto (12:10):

And so many entrepreneurs do it. We focus on, “How many sales can I make? Oh my God, when I hit my first $10 million in sales, then I’ll be happy. Oh, when I finally grow the company to having 25 employees, then I’ll be happy. Oh, then my wife will be happy with me,” blah, blah, blah. It’s always the, if then argument and it’s false. It’s like, no, no, no. You will manifest more. You will get to your $10 million. You will get to your 25 employees. You will get to the happier marriage, when you begin with you. Kids will like you more. You’ll like you more. And life will just be easier for you, unlike when you’re trying to make these sales, they’ll go easier for you. Success comes easier. It’s just, everything’s easy, everything.

Steve Loates (12:52):

So, I mean, based upon your experience and your journey so far, you meet a 22 year old and they really have a great idea and want to become an entrepreneur and want to start a business, don’t have any experience of having a business or what it’s all about. What kind of advice would you give to them knowing what you know now?

Laura DiBenedetto (13:23):

I actually talked to a lot of 22, 21, 20 year olds, 19 because I’ve had an internship program at my first company for over 15 years. And so, that’s actually one of my favorite audiences to work with is the young mind. And I love talking to them. And I’ll tell you exactly what I tell them. I tell them, number one, a couple things. Number one, success is so much easier to find, if you work on yourself first. You’re going to struggle and bust your ass. And you’re going to hustle and grind, and you’re going to make yourself sick. And you’re not even going to have any fun, if you don’t invest in you, the human first, number one.

Laura DiBenedetto (14:00):

Number two, do not do this to impress your parents. I know they want to be proud of you. I know you want them to be proud of you. Baby, just by being born, they’re proud of you, even if they’re not conveying that, they’re proud of you just because of who you are. It’s just in your being. And I tell them number three, operate out of high integrity, even if things go wrong. Four, sell because you’re trying to serve people not because you’re trying to do something to someone to take their money. Operate from a place of abundance. And also plan and do things right the first time, don’t be a stubborn little so-and-so, like I used to be, and be like, “Oh, I got it all figured out.” No, no, you don’t. Take the extra time, lay a foundation that is unbreakable of solid relationship with yourself, solid core business strategy. Answer the question how are you going to make sales and stay happy whole and intact. Answer these questions, then go build.

Laura DiBenedetto (15:00):

There is so much value in silence before you take action. Believe me, I’m all about build the parachute on the way out of the airplane. To a degree there’s a lot of that involved in entrepreneurship, but there’s tremendous value in the fact that so many young people, 22, et cetera, are still living with mom and dad. Tell mom and dad, “This is what I want to do. I need your support, so I can do this the right way. And some day 20, 30 years from now, I will buy you a home, but for now I need you to invest in me and let me do this right.”

Juliet Aurora (15:36):

So, you’ve said this a couple of times, and maybe for some of the people in our audience, they may not necessarily know what that means, but you’ve said to invest in yourself and work on yourself. So, can you expand that a little bit for someone who may not necessarily even know what that means or where to start?

Laura DiBenedetto (15:54):

Yeah, absolutely. So, you got folks out there like Tony Robbins, and he’s just a very visible example. So, I’m just going to mention him. Almost everybody knows who he is at this point. Tony Robbins teaches people about money and business and this and that. But Tony Robbins also teaches people about how to develop yourself and who you are. And this is the wonderful thing that I really appreciate about Tony Robbins, even if you don’t like his politics, you’ve read some of the headlines and you think that he might be a dirt bag, whatever. He’s still one of the godfathers of the industry of personal development. And that’s why I use him as an example.

Laura DiBenedetto (16:26):

And the notion of personal development and investing in yourself is clearly defining what you want out of life and mapping out your strategy to have it and making sure you’ve got all the support systems and the tools to go forth and have it. So, one of the things that I actually say to people quite often is if you want to have more, you want to do more. You have to be more first. And by being more, that means that you’re not falling prey to all of the negative narratives in your head of, “I can’t do this. Oh my God, this is going to go like crap.” Or, “I’m such a failure.” Or, “Oh, I need to do this for my parents.” Or, “Oh, I have to take this client because I need the money.” Okay.

Laura DiBenedetto (17:09):

There’s a lot of things that if you work on your relationship with yourself and your relationship with life, which is actually the whole foundations of the six habits, that’s what they are. If you do that, you will sell better. You’ll run a company better. You’ll be a leader that people aspire to be just like, and they’re clamoring to work with you. People want to give you business. You’ll get referrals. You’ll have fun. You’ll enjoy yourself. When the money comes, and oh baby, it will, it’ll be fun. You won’t spend it on dumb crap, trying to keep up with the Joneses. You’ll spend it on the things that truly provide you with fulfillment and joy. You won’t take on clients from hell and stick with them because you have to. Because you’ll know to the core of your bones, your worth. And you’ll know you deserve better than that crap. And you’re nobody’s victim. You know what I’m saying?

Laura DiBenedetto (18:00):

So, there’s a lot of stuff here. And you’ll see, oh boy, I’m standing at the base of Everest right now. It’s okay. Saddle up, buckle up. Let’s go. If you invest in yourself, you approach life with a, “I can do this. I have and I am everything I need. And I deserve good things. I don’t deserve bad things. And I will settle for nothing less.”

Juliet Aurora (18:22):

Great philosophy. And there are so many people who don’t have that belief and aren’t striving for that. And don’t realize that that’s what’s missing.

Laura DiBenedetto (18:32):

No, absolutely. And candidly, I didn’t realize it either, because I did the quintessential American thing. I wanted the American dream with the white picket fence and the 2.5 kids, and the dog, and the husband, and the blah, blah, blah. I didn’t have the 2.5 kids, but I did have the husband and the dog, and 2.5 cats. And I had the money and the vacations and the fancy wardrobe and the blah, blah, blah. And who cares? But whatever, it didn’t make me any happier on the inside. It didn’t make me a better daughter. It didn’t make me a better wife. If anything, it actually took me away from my marriage. It took me away from my family. And it distracted me.

Laura DiBenedetto (19:09):

And the thing is when we really also work on ourselves, we tend to do less busy work out of feeling like, “Oh, I got to be busy. I got to be busy. I got to keep the momentum.” No, you let certain things go because you know they can be let go. And you’re really good about priorities.

Laura DiBenedetto (19:26):

You take somebody just literally, whoever’s listening to this right now, in your mind’s eye, I want you to visualize someone in your business community that you totally idolized. Who is that person? Just picture them in your head. Now ask yourself about this person, “Is this person are they moving through life like a wrecking ball? Are they destroying their family and crushing their little kids hopes and dreams to spend time with their mommy or their daddy? Are they destroying their marriage because they’re not tending to it? Are they cheating on their spouse? Or is this person making good decisions and leaving a positive legacy that they’re proud of and treating their kids with kindness, and actually being there for them, and showing up for their spouse and prioritizing their spouse.” And you know what I’m saying, and being like a really good leader that inspires others.

Laura DiBenedetto (20:14):

The people we admire truly in our hearts, it’s not because of their toys, it’s because of who they are and what level of joy they appear to have. And that’s what we truly admire. And if we’re really trying to emulate that, we need to understand that it’s not the stuff. It’s not the achievements. It’s not the wallet size. It’s none of those things. It is 100% that person’s ability to be the master of their habits, master of themselves and a master of their life. And you do that by beginning the journey with mastery of habits and really getting in control of how you show up in the world.

Steve Loates (21:00):

That’s great. That’s great. Thank you. I would like to come back to the book because when we gave the title of the book, we didn’t give the entire title of the book, right? The book is, The Six Habits: Practical Tools for Bringing Your Dreams to Life.

Laura DiBenedetto (21:21):


Steve Loates (21:22):

Would you mind, and I don’t want to give away too much of the book, obviously, because we want our listeners to go out and buy the book.

Laura DiBenedetto (21:31):

That’d be awesome.

Steve Loates (21:32):

And I’m sure you would probably like that too. Perhaps, could you share maybe one or two of the tools in the book perhaps that really helped you?

Laura DiBenedetto (21:46):

Sure. So, what I’ll do for you is I’ll actually tell you what the six habits are, just overall name them. And I’ll tell you what my favorite one is and the one that was actually the most difficult. And the favorite and the most difficult were actually the same. So, I say this knowing that I can tell you what the six habits are, but knowing something and applying the wisdom of it are two very different things. So, anyone listening by all means, if you can change your life by listening to me talk for one minute, God bless you. Go with God, you can do it.

Laura DiBenedetto (22:15):

But the thing is, you need the wisdom. You need the pathway, you need the tools. And the book is loaded with free tools. So, I encourage everybody that reads the book, get the free stuff. It’s so worth it. So, the six habits are kindness, acceptance, gratitude, presence, goodness and intention. I’m going to briefly explain these. When I say kindness, most people think of kindness towards others, towards animals. I mean kindness to ourselves, which many entrepreneurs, myself being one of them, I was under the illusion, “Oh, I’m really kind to myself.” No, I wasn’t. We have to scratch below the surface. And what is the little bully in your head saying to you when you’re ready to make that cold call or when you’re walking into a situation that you’re not sure you can handle? So yeah, we’re not as good at kindness, as we think we are.

Laura DiBenedetto (23:05):

Acceptance is the action of unconditionally loving ourselves. And I have to tell you being an entrepreneur, I actually think it’s more important for an entrepreneur to learn this and master this than almost anybody else. Because we have a lot of unique decisions and responsibilities and a lot of weight on our shoulders, that if things go off the rails and sometimes they do, this can really erode our self worth and really make us feel less than if we make mistakes.

Laura DiBenedetto (23:34):

Acceptance is very hard for entrepreneurs. Even if at the outset, you might be listening to this and be like, “Oh, I’m really good at that.” I promise you, once you scratch below the surface, you’re going to see things that you’re like, “Oh God.” And then you want to work on it, because you’ll realize that’s a weak spot. And you’re only as strong as your weakest link.

Laura DiBenedetto (23:51):

Gratitude goes way beyond just the little 10 thoughts of things you’re grateful for at the end of every day, although, please do that. This is radical gratitude that carries through every decision, every moment, and every last sale and every hard lesson in life. And gratitude, the way I’m talking about it is it’s a lifestyle. It’s a lens. When we get to presence, I have ADHD. This one was a sticky one for me. I got to be honest with you, because it’s like, “Oh, shiny thing.”

Laura DiBenedetto (24:19):

But the thing of being present is not worrying about your calendar and your phone buzzing, “Oh, I got to do this. Oh, I got to do that.” And, “Oh my God, I’m so worried about what’s going to happen when my PPP runs out. Oh my God, what’s going to happen with COVID. I’m going to have to lay somebody off in a month.” No, this is what’s happening right now. Be aware of the future, plan for the future, but be very present in right now and just enjoy what’s going right. And also be really attuned to what’s not going right, so you can powerfully do something with it. Right?

Laura DiBenedetto (24:47):

So, then you’ve got the habit of goodness, which is energy in, energy out, good energy in, bad energy out, pretty simple math. And then the habit of intention, I find that entrepreneurs tend to be better at this than most of the population, which is I want to do something, this is how I’m going to do it. And then I’m going to go do it. Watch me go. So, there’s obviously substantially more to it than that, right? But these are basically the high levels, just so you understand what these words mean.

Laura DiBenedetto (25:13):

Now, my favorite habit is also my most difficult which is acceptance. As an entrepreneur, God, I was so good at comparing myself to other people. And I told you, when I retired, I was like, “Oh my God, my house isn’t big enough. My bank account isn’t big enough. What will people think of me? Will they really think that I’ve actually retired, because I’m so young, because I’ve done this, because I’ve done that.” Or, “I didn’t do this.” Or, “I made a mistake and I was the dragon lady because I was so burned out and people hate me and I’m ashamed of myself,” and blah, blah, blah. And I made the wrong decision with that.

Laura DiBenedetto (25:51):

And entrepreneurs are so good, I mean, epic levels of good at beating ourselves up. Amazing at it in fact. And a lot of times that whole beating ourselves up is exactly what spurs us on to do great things, right? But it’s a double edge, very sharp sword. And yes, the knife and the sword can poke us on the bum and keep us going. Right? But it also slices us to shreds in our heart and it makes us so we work longer hours than we need to. We accept treatment from people that we shouldn’t accept, because we don’t believe that we’re worthy of any better. We go after tiny sales and we leave money on the table because we don’t think we’re worthy of asking for the price we really want. We are not the leaders we really want to be because we’re afraid of what people will think of us.

Laura DiBenedetto (26:43):

However, when we accept ourselves, we become the people we want to be. We become the leaders that we want to be become. We become the providers and the mentors and the community pillars that we really, really strive to be in our hearts. And acceptance is really hard. It was really hard for me, because for years, honestly, guys, I succeeded because I hated myself. I did, I was just busy trying to do all the things so I could earn the approval that I was never giving to myself because I always thought that that sense of wholeness came from others. And it doesn’t, it comes from inside you. It’s actually an unlimited wellspring. You just need to figure out where the hell it is.

Laura DiBenedetto (27:27):

And that’s everything that I do throughout the book is I lay out the clear examples. I give you specific tools. There’s loads of specific tools that will teach you how to actually hear yourself, how to correct yourself, how to adopt the habit forming behaviors, build the repetition into your life and to actually powerfully get the hell out of your own way, and be the person that you’re so proud to be. And that makes everyone around you happy.

Juliet Aurora (27:58):

Okay. So, in our audience take a deep breath, and how many of you as Laura was talking, you were going, “She’s talking to me. Oh my God, that’s me. That’s me. That’s me.” Because I certainly was. So, if you take a moment and you take a breath and you actually think about all the things that Laura just said, I’m pretty sure that in our audience is going to relate to almost everybody, if not everybody.

Steve Loates (28:29):

Yeah, I think you may have been a little kind there Juliet. And I love our audience, but I would say 100% of the people would be relating to that at one point or another. I mean, there was a lot there, right? There was a lot to absorb, a lot to work through. And I’m sure everybody will take their own snippet, right? Out of what they just heard. And that will probably be the one that they related to most closely. I mean, as you were speaking, Laura, the thing that kept going through my head, that I tell myself all the time and anyone else who will listen is we are the story we tell ourselves.

Laura DiBenedetto (29:26):

Very true.

Steve Loates (29:29):

And it is so true that when we speak badly to ourselves, we’re going to feel bad because you know what? It really is amazing how the human brain and mind and psyche can be our best friend and our worst enemy in a heartbeat. So, that was great. And so, thank you.

Juliet Aurora (29:54):

And so for those of you in the audience that just resonated with what Laura said about one of the six. And in her book, she’s also going to tell you how to get out of the ruts that we’re in. Do go up and pick up her book.

Laura DiBenedetto (30:09):

Thank you.

Steve Loates (30:09):

Yeah. I guess the other thing that kept going through my head is it kept reminding me of a Mark Cuban quote, where I think what he said, and I may mess this up, but it was something like, there’s only one thing you can control in your life, and that is your own effort.

Laura DiBenedetto (30:29):


Steve Loates (30:30):

And I thought that resonated. The one thing I wanted to touch on too in the book, and it’s interesting, Juliet and I were actually guests on a podcast yesterday. And the topic of our parents came up, but came up accidentally. I didn’t know what Juliet was going to say. She didn’t know what I was going to say. And we ended up saying almost identical things. And it was about why did we think we had decided to be an entrepreneur or start the journey that we started. And we both said that a lot of it was our parents. And it made me think when I was reading the dedication in your book and the dedication to your parents, just how important they obviously were to you.

Laura DiBenedetto (31:31):

Still are.

Steve Loates (31:32):

Could you tell us a little bit about your parents and maybe a lesson that they may have taught you, and you maybe even didn’t know it was a lesson at the time it was being taught that has served you well through your life.

Laura DiBenedetto (31:48):

Shoot. I hope my parents listen to this one. Yeah. So, well, I think that my parents have taught me a lot of things in life. My dad taught me to swear like a trucker. Thanks dad, I had to work on that one. But the thing that my parents taught me that I actually value the most is they taught me tenacity, because my dad is disabled. And he was disabled when I was a year old. He was a mechanic and he was lifting an engine out of a car. He slipped a disc in his back. He had surgery, the surgeon left a clip in his back. They did a myelogram. Myelograms are known to cause arachnoiditis in some patients. So, my dad has this chronic pain disease and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Laura DiBenedetto (32:32):

We were really poor when I was growing up because we needed to get disability. And the thing that I really loved about watching my parents function as a unit, as a team and as the opposite of everything I wanted to do when I was growing up, I was like, “I want to do this thing.” And they’re like, “No.” So, I definitely come rightly by my stubbornness. But my mother never gave up on my dad. My dad never gave up on her. They never gave up on their dream to raise a little girl into a powerful woman. They never give up on that. And they fought hard for nine years to get disability, because arachnoiditis is not something that is widely recognized by the medical community, because it is a byproduct of medical procedures. So, they don’t want to award disability benefits. So, for nine years we were eating Cerealine and stuff. We were doing our best.

Laura DiBenedetto (33:28):

And my parents are tenacious, little buggers. And that was not a lesson that I think they taught me verbally, so much as just by watching them and the fact that they never gave up on me, despite several opportunities and outright requests on my part. My parents are not quitters. And that’s the thing that I think is really wonderful about entrepreneurship. And the journey of self is just keep going, baby.

Laura DiBenedetto (34:02):

Half of the success of entrepreneurship and half of the success of working on yourself and being who you want to be in the world is just showing up again and again. You fall on your face, too bad, scrape the dirt off your face, get up, keep going. And yeah, they taught me that.

Steve Loates (34:18):

Awesome. Awesome. Thank you for-

Juliet Aurora (34:21):

A brilliant message. And I do hope that they do hear this episode so that they can hear how much they’ve impacted you, because sometimes our parents don’t always know.

Laura DiBenedetto (34:32):

Oh, I’m an emotional squishy person. I tell them all the time, “I love you.” And now that they are 5000 miles away, now I’m just getting the feelings all over them all the time, “Dad, I love you. You are the best dad in the planet, come visit me. I miss you.” So yeah.

Steve Loates (34:48):

Well, that was awesome. That also brings us to a part of the show that we call the Smart Man, Smarter Woman version of the James Lipton’s Q&A from Actors Studio. And people who listen to the show, know we do this with every guest, every episode, we ask them all the same. There’s six questions, I guess. We ask the same six questions, every guest. And we would love to do this with you, Laura, if you are game.

Laura DiBenedetto (35:22):

Heck yeah, let’s do it.

Steve Loates (35:23):

All right. Well, then without further ado, we will begin. What one word best defines an entrepreneur?

Laura DiBenedetto (35:35):

I’d have to say creative.

Steve Loates (35:38):

Okay. What profession, other than your own, would you like to attempt?

Laura DiBenedetto (35:46):


Steve Loates (35:49):

Okay. What profession would you like to never attempt?

Laura DiBenedetto (35:58):


Juliet Aurora (36:01):

Both medically related though. I thought that was interesting.

Steve Loates (36:05):

What sound or noise do you love?

Laura DiBenedetto (36:11):


Steve Loates (36:13):

What book, other than your own, would you recommend for entrepreneurs?

Laura DiBenedetto (36:22):

Also not a business book, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I’m giving you that book, because when you nurture, heal and grow the individual, running the business, you nurture, heal and grow the business itself. And there’s some really powerful ideas in there. And it’s not a big book, so there’s no excuses.

Steve Loates (36:43):

Okay. Great. I like it when there’s no excuses. And finally, when your own entrepreneurial journey is completed, what do you hope your legacy might be?

Laura DiBenedetto (36:57):

I’m happy, you asked me that because that’s my new favorite obsession. Well, when my entrepreneurial journey is finished, I’ll be dead. I don’t plan on quitting while I’m still breathing. The big thing that I want to do honestly, is I’m trying to leave the world a better place than the way I entered it. I think that there’s a lot that’s very broken in the world. We have parents neglecting their children, parents abusing their children, giving up their children. You see fatherless children, you see broken homes, you see abuse in the home, you see domestic violence, human trafficking, this and that.

Laura DiBenedetto (37:32):

And the thing that I’ve always believed is people always say to me, when we’re having like a deep conversation, somewhere in there, it’s like, “Oh, greed is the root of all evil or money is the root of all evil.” And I don’t agree. I think the root of all evil that we see in the world, and I say that with air quotes, is actually insecurity.

Laura DiBenedetto (37:53):

So, if you can take a person that is deeply broken and fix the wounds that have carried them throughout their lives, and that have been plaguing them since their childhood, things that have been handed down generationally from their father and their father’s father and the father’s father’s father. And you heal those wounds by teaching that person, how to truly love themselves, forgive themselves, and really be a master of self. That person is no longer able to inflict pain on others, because hurt people, hurt people. So, if you heal the hurt, if you heal the people and the brokenness, what you have is a next generation that is better. It’s more whole. Little boys will grow up to be better fathers. Little girls will grow up to be better mothers because mommy and daddy fix themselves. Because they realize, “Wow, this is a choice.”

Laura DiBenedetto (38:38):

So, my big legacy I’m trying to leave behind is I’m trying to influence while I’m alive, 1 billion people, so people can learn these habits, truly return to the lives we were supposed to have. Because we were all born with almost all this stuff. Intention is the only one we need to acquire. But we were born with all of this stuff. And if we can return to this within two generations, it is my belief that we will have a happier planet. Animals will be treated better. The planet itself will be treated better. Humans will be happier, kinder, and leaving a legacy of love and kindness everywhere we go, instead of being potentially the laughingstock of the universe.

Steve Loates (39:15):

Thank you. That’s an awesome and ambitious legacy. And I wish you well with it. And I wish you much success for them.

Laura DiBenedetto (39:24):

Thank you.

Steve Loates (39:24):

For those in our audience that would like to connect with you, Laura, what is the best way for them to do that?

Laura DiBenedetto (39:31):

The best way is through my website. I have actually four websites, two for my marketing company and two for this. But the one you need to pay attention to is the easiest to spell, which is thesixhabits.com. The word six is spelled out, the S-I-X-habits.com. If you would like an autographed copy of my book, I will send it to you free, just covering shipping and handling. And you can learn about the incredible life changing 90 day program that worked for this stubborn human, so much so that I started helping others. But that is the center of the universe. If you like social media, you can connect with me through there. You can learn about coaching. But yeah, thesixhabits.com.

Steve Loates (40:07):

Awesome. And we will have all of your social channels and your websites. We will have links to all of those in the show notes. So, that will all be there for anyone who wants to connect with Laura. And so, before we conclude our episode, do you have any final thoughts or words of wisdom you would like to share with our audience, Laura? Not that you haven’t shared so much already.

Laura DiBenedetto (40:37):

You’ve given me so much airtime, but wait, there’s more. Yeah, there is actually one thing I’d love to share with people. Entrepreneurs, listen to me. I am one of you. I have been an entrepreneur since 19. And please listen when I tell you the following, you are capable of creating the life you want. It begins within. Everything you’re looking for is not in the fancy car, it’s not in what you’ve been taught it is. It’s all within, you deserve to find it. You’re capable of finding it. It won’t be easy. But frankly, you’re an entrepreneur, so you can handle it. And this will be the most noble life-changing work you ever do that will unlock everything you ever wanted. Work on yourself and everything you want will come true. Just don’t be so stubborn to think that you’re all set. Because listen to me, entrepreneur friend, if you’re anything like me, you’re not.

Juliet Aurora (41:35):

Great advice for our audience.

Laura DiBenedetto (41:37):

And what about you, Juliet, do you have any final words before we close out this episode?

Juliet Aurora (41:43):

No, my brain is just running in all these different directions. And I’m thinking, okay, I need to sit down and read this book again. And it’s given me a whole, actually listening to you talk about it has given me a different perspective. And so, that’s what I’m thinking to myself, because I need to sit back down and read it again.

Laura DiBenedetto (42:02):

That’s awesome. Well, I really hope you do the exercises in the book. I think no matter where we are, I don’t care how accomplished you are, you’ll always get something great out of it. Even if you do them and then a year later do the exercises again, you’ll see what you still need to work on. It’s okay.

Steve Loates (42:18):

And I must say congratulations to Laura for making Juliet speechless. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that before. But anyway-

Juliet Aurora (42:30):

Oh, come on.

Steve Loates (42:31):

… we will have recorded evidence. So, that is awesome. So, thank you.

Laura DiBenedetto (42:35):

You guys are awesome. This has been so much fun.

Steve Loates (42:38):

We always close out with a quote. And so, I thought what better than to close with a quote from our guest. And so, here’s a quote from Laura, “Your current habits are what got you to where you are now. When you want more or better, you have to be better first.” True words of wisdom.

Juliet Aurora (43:05):


Steve Loates (43:06):

So, thank you, everyone. Thank you to our guest. Thank you to my awesome co-host, couldn’t do this without you. But most importantly, thank you to you our audience for tuning in and giving us a listen. Sincerely hope you found some value. Quite frankly, if you couldn’t find value in this episode, I don’t know what to say to you. But anyway, I will presume you found some value. So, please subscribe to the podcast. We are in all the usual places, iTunes, Spotify, Google, or you can go to the website, smartmensmarterwoman.com. So again, thank you very much for tuning in. Until next time, take good care of yourself and those you love. Bye for now.

Song by Adam Vitovsky / CC BY 3.0

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Episode 21