In this episode, Ati interviews Tara Wagner, a business coach with a powerful personal story. 

Tara shares her journey from a rough start to becoming a successful business owner. 

Her story of struggle with drugs , leaping into personal development and running businesses for 15+ years is truly inspiring and with so many take aways for anyone in business at any level.

They  discuss the importance of separating personal worth from business success, the challenges and opportunities of starting a small business, and the power of identity work. 

Tara emphasizes the need to identify underlying needs and meet them in order to create a fulfilling and successful business. 

Overall,expect this conversations to inspire you and  show you different ways you can overcome adversity 

Currently Tara Wagner helps entrepreneurs build full time income working part time and  shares her journey from burnout and rock bottom to personal and inner growth, shifting identity, passion and purpose, and finding liberation and gratitude. 

Highlights of this Episode:

00:00 Introduction and Background

01:07 Tara’s Work as a Business Coach

03:15 The Importance of Separating Personal Worth from Business Success

04:30 The Alignment of Values Between Ati and Tara

05:10 The Importance of Having a Heart for Business

08:24 Defining a Small Business

10:41 The Challenges and Opportunities of Starting a Small Business

12:16 Tara’s Rough Start and Transformation

21:18 The Igniter for Change

23:29 The Importance of Identity Work

25:27 The Power of Saying No More

27:57 The Transformation of Self

30:58 Identifying Needs and Meeting Them

33:28 Getting into Personal Development and Inner Work

34:25 Burnout and Rock Bottom

39:22 Personal and Inner Growth

47:33 Shifting Identity

51:25 Passion and Purpose

53:57 Liberation and Gratitude

54:48 Finding Tara Wagner

About Tara Wagner:

Tara Wagner uses her 20+ years experience as an entrepreneur to help other small biz owners overcome burnout and create part-time schedules with full-time profits. And not with some new marketing strategy, but with a new approach to how you operate.

Connect with Tara

Website: https://xotara.us

Access Tara’s How to upgrade your business so it doesnt burn you our FREE TRAINING https://xotara.us/training

Find Tara also on YouTube : youtube.com/tarawagner

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Ati Grinspun  0:00  

Welcome, everybody to the Be You Brand podcast, you know that most of the time I’ve only bring you people that I am connected with. They’re my friends, I know them. And today, my guest has an incredible story. She is not only an amazing coach, but also she has a story that actually I don’t know a lot about, which is crazy, because she’s here in Las Vegas. We have done masterminds we have done photo shoots, all the photos you see on her website, I that well, not all of them. But like 90% of the photos on her website I have done when she told me about what she wanted to talk about. I was like Word. So we are gonna go deep the deep into her story. Tara, welcome to the bee RAM podcast.

Tara Wagner  0:53  

Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to be here. Tara,

Ati Grinspun  0:56  

can you tell us usually I start with the story. But we’re gonna start weed who you are today? And what do you do? Because then we I want to take people back to yours to be to your beginnings. Yeah.

Tara Wagner  1:07  

Okay. So I am I call myself a reluctant business coach. Okay, in business for almost 24 years, myself and multiple businesses. I’ve been coaching, doing mindset coaching since 2010. I’ve been specifically working with small business owners since about 2017 2018, helping them to upgrade themselves, their business plan their success habits, so that they can create full time profits with a part time schedule and stop burning out. Whoo, yes, I love what I do. I can do it. Like, it’s easy. They always say, you know, what could you do all day every day and never get tired of it? I’m like, this is this is it like, yeah, we’d like to do anything. And if we can start talking business, I’m gonna have so much fun because I have I’m really my values are around helping good people make good money, so they can do more good with it. Yeah, we have a lot of people out there that are making good money and doing nothing good with it. We need those heart centered people that can put themselves out there make a difference in their impact, or make a difference in their community. And I specifically have a heart and a soul for small businesses, because of the impact that they have in their community, it’s so much greater, because they have to be so much more connected with their audience, and they have to stay connected with community needs. And so there’s just such a beautiful impact when we’re talking about small businesses, not to say a small business can’t turn into a fantastic, huge business. That’s amazing. But I love helping those small business owners, because that’s where so many of us start. And it can be a struggle, especially because of the really, I’m going to call it immature for lack of a better word, inexperienced advice that’s out there

Ati Grinspun  2:51  

to build the business. Well, that and I think also the first few years, right, you have been and when I say few, I don’t necessarily mean three, I feel like it could be more for some people that it’s so much, especially for small business owners that connection to their self worth and to who they are, as opposed to looking at their business as an outside entity. And I mean, I mean, I went through it, literally,

Tara Wagner  3:15  

I feel like that undercurrent is happening in so many conversations right now and needs to be happening about this. Because we’re so big into personal branding, which is beautiful, and wonderful, and it has its purpose, you know that. But what people don’t realize is that you have to also separate yourself out from your business because yes, are worthy, and deserving and priceless. And that has nothing to do with what’s happening in your business. What’s happening in your business has a lot to do with your mindset, but also skills and strategies and things that you implement. And we are I think inadvertently learning that we should take those things personally, that if this isn’t working, it’s saying something about us. And that’s just not the case. We need more if you think

Ati Grinspun  3:57  

about it, I think that that is and I were already like that I actually there was a few things that I thought as you were talking one is how our values are actually so aligned. Because I’m how passionate we are about helping people like you and I met at that cafe Do you remember was it before your photo shoot it we met in person and we stay there until the play like literally they’re like ladies, you gotta go

Tara Wagner  4:27  

on some roll this is gonna be a three hour podcast.

Ati Grinspun  4:30  

Yeah. And I think that that is something that doesn’t happen with everybody like there is there is definitely people that love what they do. And a lot of the people you and I surround ourselves with absolutely our hardest center businesses. But I think that like people not to say that you don’t want to make money. We all want to make a shit ton of money. You guys I want to tell you this money is good. We want to bring in money. But if the only The reason why you are in your business is because of the money that brings a lot of other problems. Yes, right. Like the satisfaction like wanting to be both all the time, like all this other

Tara Wagner  5:10  

money is a constantly moving target, you can always make more and more and more of it. And so you’re never gonna feel like you made it because as soon as you get to your first target, that targets already moved on you, you already have different people saying, oh, you should be making more. And you should be doing this, you should be doing that. If you don’t know what your values are, what your goals are, what you’re on this planet to do, why you want to do this business? And it doesn’t mean the business has to change the world. You could be selling widgets on Amazon. But why does that matter to you? What are those underlying values that are guiding that? Is it about time freedom? Is it about opportunities for your family, like, if you’re not clear on what your actual values are, then you’re just going to constantly move that target constantly be chasing it, you’re going to end up somewhere, but in 10 510 years, it’s gonna be someplace that you don’t even recognize,

Ati Grinspun  5:58  

I always think that for me, one of the biggest lessons around that has to be like is on the journey. The fulfillment is on the journey. The like I had made a huge even or world change last year, around every day. I’m like, Okay, why am I doing what I’m doing. And that has changed everything for me. Because when I jump on the podcast, I’m thinking of the people listening on the other side, when I jump on a call with a client, I’m thinking what that’s gonna do for her. When I’m posting when I’m creating content, what is how am I serving my audience? And how can these one thing make a difference for her, that changed everything for me, if it was only the money? Girl, I can go back to bartending Exactly.

Tara Wagner  6:47  

There are easier ways for me to make money and have a stopping point at the end of my day where I am not tempted to continue to work. And like I can shut it off and take vacation time without still thinking about there. Yeah, you gotta go. Exactly, you have to have a heart for business. And you have to have a heart for what it is that you do in your business. And I say that, again, saying, You don’t have to have a business that changes the world, you can literally be selling, you know, fancy pens on Amazon, it doesn’t matter. But you need to have a heart for business. And you need to have some connection to what you’re doing something that gives you value or meaning even if it’s just, this is giving me enough money to be able to give to these foundations over here that I believe in. So I’m gonna work my ass off in this business, because I’m so passionate about this organization that my business can now support. I love that in some way, shape, or form, you got to have that deeper meaning one more

Ati Grinspun  7:46  

thing that came up while you were introducing yourself because I want to get into the meat. How do you actually describe a small business? Because I think that like? Well, there is so many definitions of a small business out there. So for me, I know that when I talk about small businesses, my thoughts always go to women on service providers, because that’s what I work with. Yeah, but that’s not the definition for everybody. So I want to know what what you define as a small business. Yeah,

Tara Wagner  8:16  

so their actual definition set by like the IRS, go all the way through

Ati Grinspun  8:21  

pi, Miriam. Yeah, like,

Tara Wagner  8:23  

I don’t even know what they are. The way that I think of a small business is more in terms of the people in that business, working that business, I think of a small business as like 15. And under other people might say 2515 employees and under including yourself and under most people are solopreneurs. Even if they have a part time VA or a full time VA, they’re really still solopreneurs they don’t have a team. They have somebody that’s doing tasks for them, but they are running the whole business. Yeah, so I really I like that niche of like, you know, zero to five i That’s my passion, working with people that are micro businesses, because I just I think that there’s so much fun, there’s so much potential there. And it’s so accessible to so many people in ways that it didn’t used to be when I started business business was not as accessible as it is today, which comes with its own challenges, right? Like we have such a low barrier of entry that anybody can jump in, and then they don’t, they don’t do very well at it. And then you know, they think well, this just doesn’t work. And that’s just that’s just kind of part and parcel with business like it’s going to be challenging. When you have a higher barrier of entry. People come into it with a little bit more energy, organization, commitment, funding, things like that, the ways that we used to do it. We don’t have to do that now. But we do have to put in a lot more commitment and energy. The

Ati Grinspun  9:50  

way I see it, and I actually share this with my clients a lot is I listen, you came into your business without maybe 100k or without a brick and mortar Whatever, whatever, yeah, you’re putting that in sweat, tears and investing on yourself. So you can actually learn the skills. Yes,

Tara Wagner  10:06  

if you’re another you have to invest in your business, if you have money, invest money, because you can’t get time back. But if you don’t have money, you have to invest time. And that doesn’t mean you have to grind. It doesn’t mean you have to be working. You know, I used to work 112 hours a week, like I know the definition of grind. It doesn’t mean you have to do it his face right now, for those of you that are listening, just just about, I

Ati Grinspun  10:33  

know, I never worked. I pride myself of like, nobody can outwork me, I just found that.

Tara Wagner  10:41  

Well, that’s what happens when you come into it with the wrong mindset, the wrong skill set the wrong, you know, approach to business is you end up grinding, you don’t have to grind. But that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy, either. When I talk about hard work, I’m not talking about long hours, where you’re killing yourself. I’m talking about work that feels mentally and emotionally challenging to you. It’s going to challenge your ideas. It’s going to challenge your beliefs, it’s going to challenge your habits, it’s going to challenge you know, your relationships, like it’s going to force everything to grow. I talk to

Ati Grinspun  11:15  

a new person at every level. Exactly.

Tara Wagner  11:18  

I tell people small business is not a money making opportunity. It’s a people growing machine. Yes. parading as a money making opportunity. Yes. Grow literally everything in your life. And that’s hard work. That’s the hard work. But we’re not. That is

Ati Grinspun  11:35  

where we’re gonna you love helping people with mindset. And I don’t even know if we’re gonna get there. But I think for me, that has been the biggest thing, right? On every level. I’m becoming somebody else. Yeah, it’s me. But he’s the highest next version of me. The better version, the more aware version, the more organized version, the more I don’t know what the risk of adverse right. So every single little thing that we bring into play is helping us become somebody else. Yeah. Which is gonna actually bring me to your crazy, crazy, crazy stories. It’s

Tara Wagner  12:16  

crazy. Even when I look back on it, like I haven’t talked about this much at all, over the past 20 plus year, 24 years now, since this, the story really started to end and this new story began for me, because so let’s

Ati Grinspun  12:31  

go there. Okay, I want you to share with people you had a really rough start, I had a very rough start. Can you share that? Because Okay, wait a minute, I want to give people an idea of where you’re at today. Your business is about you’re, you’re literally a millionaire, you’re a millionaire business owner, you have been in business in these reom the way you’re doing now for how long? This

Tara Wagner  12:56  

particular niche. I have been in this since 2018. Okay,

Ati Grinspun  13:01  

I didn’t know that. Okay, so So you have been in this niche for about five years, I’ve already met you. And like, for me, you’re these like, amazing online business owner running ads. I see you everywhere. You’re like, the way you speak like all of these, you’re the successful people person. Bring me back,

Tara Wagner  13:22  

I have to add because it’s relevant to the story with a very successful relationship with a man that I’ve been with for 24 years. And mentally and emotionally in a very healthy place. Like I am a genuinely happy person who loves life, all of those things.

Ati Grinspun  13:40  

Because, son, I want to say that because for the people that are gonna assume video when like, when you told me that Zeze is 23 right when you were 24? Yeah. Okay. I was like, what? Like? So I think that that’s actually very, very relevant. Yeah, take us on the journey, friend. Okay.

Tara Wagner  14:00  

So you have to know my childhood years were very tumultuous. We had enough food on the table, we had a roof over our head. That was about the only needs that were met, and they were just barely met. So I grew up with a lot of I didn’t realize that it was poverty, but it was poverty. You know, we were very kind of sheltered from the idea of poverty. I grew up witnessing a lot of abuse grew up with different health challenges. By the time I got to be a teenager, I was mentally and emotionally struggling. And because of that, it led me down some paths that shocked people when they find out I dropped out of high school. At the end of ninth grade, I started getting very much involved with all of the wrong types of people. I started getting very much involved with drugs. I became a heavy, heavy meth user

Ati Grinspun  14:47  

that when you told me that you wouldn’t believe it. Okay, when I shocks people, before you keep going, I want you to kind of bring me a little bit into these teenager that It was emotionally struggling.

Tara Wagner  15:03  

I went from this very colorful child, like outgoing, excited, wore lots of colors. And then as you as you go through your middle school years, and you start to become more and more the aware of the world around you, and it starts to shift your mentality, this is one area in our life, or one time in our life where our beliefs start to get formed. Because of my experiences, I was starting to form beliefs that were saying, I’m not worthy, that we’re saying, I don’t matter that we’re saying, you know, I don’t have options or opportunities.

Ati Grinspun  15:38  

And I almost feel like you are getting reinforced on that. Because a lot of that, because from zero to seven is when most of our patterns get formed, right, how we cope.

Tara Wagner  15:50  

Yeah, I would say the majority of them. And then again, when we’re getting into our teen years, our brain is doing this massive rewiring. And so we can form new beliefs, we can reaffirm beliefs that are already there, and make them stronger, and and either more powerful in a positive way. Like I don’t want to talk about beliefs as though they’re all bad. They’re actually very helpful, useful things. But they can also be very damaging. And so I started sinking into this depression, and I didn’t, we didn’t recognize it as depression until I was probably about 16 years old. By that time, it was too late. I was running away from home, I was doing lots of drugs. I was, you know, like, I was in a deep, dark hole. I look back at that time in my life. And I I don’t remember color. I don’t remember flavor. I don’t remember joy. I don’t like I think about where I was, I’m gonna get emotional. I think about where it was and where I am today. And that little girl would not have recognized me today. Probably would

Ati Grinspun  16:51  

have you probably don’t recognize her either.

Tara Wagner  16:54  

I do because it was a part of me. But it was such a different part of me that I often forget that that’s part of my story. That’s why I don’t talk about anymore. Because I don’t see myself as an ex drug user. I see myself as somebody who’s never used drugs, because that’s just not my reality. I don’t drink I don’t smoke. I don’t I don’t do any of those things. When

Ati Grinspun  17:13  

you told me about this, I was like,

Tara Wagner  17:16  

what? Yeah, so And for me, the meth part isn’t even the worst part. The worst part for me was I happen to get clean off of math just by accident, our connections dried up, we searched everywhere and couldn’t get any. This happened literally probably right at the at the crossroads between me not being able to come back. So it was pure luck, that I was able to get off meth did lots of other stuff instead. But it didn’t go back to math. After that, though, shortly after that, I ended up getting pregnant. I ended up having my son, I had postpartum depression on top of major depression. When I was pregnant, my son’s dad went to jail, he was gone through my entire pregnancy, when he came back out our abuse, our relationship turned very abusive. So I was being physically and emotionally abused, dealing with postpartum depression and major depression. I was at a point in my life that is so dark that anybody that tells me that they’re there, like, I immediately just want to like wrap them up in a hug. Because I remember how alone I felt in a room full of people. I remember very clearly, like laying on the ground, looking at my son’s face as he’s laying beside me. And just like, I don’t, I don’t, I don’t know, like, it wasn’t this idea of I don’t want to be here. But it was definitely this idea of I can’t see myself here anymore. And I did have instances just trigger warning for people that are there. And we may want to put a trigger warning at the beginning of this. I had three instances over a period of five years where I tried to take my life, because I was in such a deep, dark place. I don’t remember the exact moment or why I had this change of experience. But I remember it was the spring of 2000. Somewhere around there. I looked around my life. I saw everything I had damn near every statistic stacked against me, right? I looked around my life. I’m looking at everything and I’m going I don’t know what’s possible for me. I don’t know what I want. I don’t know who I am. I don’t know what I can have. But I know I don’t want this. And it was that moment that I made the shift and I said okay, if I don’t want this, let me just start doing something that’s not this. So I moved back home with my mom. I got my GED. Within nine months. I was a business owner. I had met the man that I am still married to today. I was getting through I was on the the path now to overcoming depression. I probably finished that path. It was a long path. I probably finished that path around the time I was 30. It was a nine month journey. transformation that put me on the path to where I’m at. Now, I don’t want to say that it was like night and day in my life was happily ever after it wasn’t, I had a lot of deep work that I had to do to continue to heal from that time. But now I look back, and I’m like, it was such a perfect path is, and it’s not a path about, you know, creating your life, it was really a path about transformation, I had to transform and hamsterley and outerknown. Externally, everything about me, me,

Ati Grinspun  20:31  

I mean, knowing you now, this is so beautiful, but I can even can even think what it is to be in such a dark place. And I know that there is so many women that they may not be where you were at the moment. But I know that a lot of women especially when it comes to business, they go into a very dark place, a place of like lack of self worth, and like they feel like this lack of worthiness. So I feel like at some point, right, there is a lot of crossover for stories. It’s my question, who is like what was because a lot of these women, they’re not finding what is that? igniter? What is the igniter that you actually looked around, and you said, I don’t know what I want. But I don’t want this,

Tara Wagner  21:18  

I think for me, and I hope that it doesn’t have to be this for anyone else. But for me, it was rock bottom. Like I was at the end literal end of my rope. I knew that I was not going to survive when you cut a little baby too. I had a baby. But that did not get through to the same extent that it would have gotten through if I was in a healthier place. I had a really difficult time feeling love feeling any of those things because I was in such a dark place. I’m being physically abused. i

Ati Grinspun  21:51  

Well, you were in. You were in it, like almost like an emotional

Tara Wagner  21:55  

for me. Yeah, Elizabeth Gilbert said it and I’m going to misquote it. But she says something along the lines of rock bottom became the firm foundation on which I built my life. I had to hit that rock bottom. Unfortunately, I think everybody’s rock bottom, though, looks different. Not everybody’s rock bottom is going to be, you know, meth and laying on the floor and not wanting to live anymore. Their rock bottom may be they’re looking around their life and saying I can’t do this like this. Yeah. I mean, I think operation.

Ati Grinspun  22:24  

I didn’t have a story like yours. But at some point, what made me so happy. I looked around. I was like, I don’t want to come to this job. I don’t want to be up until five in the morning anymore. I don’t want to do these. I’m like, Yeah, everything I’m learning my life. I don’t want to do Yeah, what am I doing with my life?

Tara Wagner  22:41  

And I want to tell them, and that’s a valid rock bottom that is that like, you don’t have to say, Well, I didn’t you know, a lot of women feel like, I don’t have some important story. And especially if, if you’re talking about personal branding, I don’t have some like, you know, shake the world do not need one. Your story, you’re the emotional anguish that we go through is just as valid when we are in a good life that is not aligned with us, as it is when we’re in a bad life. Like those things are both valid. And it’s important that we’re paying attention to those things so that they don’t turn even worse. But I

Ati Grinspun  23:17  

almost feel like when we listen to stories like yours, it’s almost empowering to be okay girl to ourselves, right? Like, okay, girl, like if she can do it, where she was, what the fuck is my excuse?

Tara Wagner  23:29  

And that’s why I’ve started sharing this more, because I’ve had people say, Whoa, wait a second. I didn’t know that about you. And I’m going Oh, you did it. I kind of just for whatever reason, thought everybody knew that. And like, what is

Ati Grinspun  23:41  

your story? And that’s actually like part of it, right? People think well, nothing is interesting, because well, you know your story, but other people don’t. So bring me to those nine months. I can’t even like think of all the things you have gone through since then to become this person now. So what do you think that were the people think points? And what has been the tools that had helped you the most? Yeah, I

Tara Wagner  24:08  

think the most important pivot was the decision. And it’s not a single decision. I don’t want to say that I made that choice. And then from then on out, I was just committed, I made that choice. And yes, I was committed enough to take me through the times where I second guessed myself, where I didn’t know if it was worth it, where I didn’t know if I was going to be able to it took me a probably another three years after that, to get to the point where my depression was completely under not completely under control, but under control enough that I was no longer you know, feeling that way. It took me many more years to then undo the things that had created the depression in the beginning. And it was a constant choosing, choosing choosing do I want this or do I want that? Am I going to settle for this or am I going to push and I’m pushing towards things that people that know me don’t agree with People that know me are uncomfortable with people that know me get get offended by not because I am necessarily offending them. But because it’s maybe making them view things in their life differently.

Ati Grinspun  25:12  

Why is it kind of like, if you, for example, and I’m sure that this was probably a example for you if you stopped drinking, right, that people around us like, Why do you stop drinking? Right? Why can you drink? And I’m

Tara Wagner  25:22  

like, for me more? Yeah, like, that

Ati Grinspun  25:25  

was like, that was my story. And I was like, okay,

Tara Wagner  25:27  

so I think that that decision was a big one. And I want to, I want to say this, a lot of people say like, I’m a big believer in affirmations, I think they’re beautiful when they’re done in a certain way. A lot of people will say that your affirmations should be positive present tense, I am statements. I want to tell you that the first affirmation that you need to say which is going to be the most powerful affirmation that you say, is going to be a big ol hell no, no more. No, I will not take this, I don’t want this, this is bullshit, I’m done. I’m through I’m, like you, you may have to get enough emotion behind that decision to put you on the path you need to be a

Ati Grinspun  26:07  

scientific, actual reason for that is you’re actually saying something that is absolutely true. And you shouldn’t to keep affirming down to yourself, the biggest problem I see, and we’re not going to go into that path right now. But the biggest problem I see with the whole affirmation world, she has made a post about this, this is crazy, like 10 minutes before the podcast is that people keep affirming shed, they don’t actually believe. And they come to this idea that the affirmation is gonna get through their conscious in their subconscious, but that’s not how it works. So we’re gonna leave it out there. But I love the fact that you’re like, the biggest affirmation is no more of this, because that’s something that it’s truly,

Tara Wagner  26:45  

it is not what you are saying it is how you feel about it, you have not much emotion behind it, it is going to have to shift you and you are going to feel so uncomfortable going backwards. I reiterated that to myself again, and again and again, over the span of years in many different ways, not just about this one particular decision, but over and over and over again saying I’m not going to settle I’m not going to settle I don’t know, it’s possible. I don’t know what I can have, but I’m not going to settle. And that motion is what pushed me forward. That

Ati Grinspun  27:16  

was um, there were several times in, in the first few years of business that I got either an offer to win the open silica for those of you that don’t know, that’s a huge casino here. They call me that, like whatever you want. Whatever you want. Do you want the main shift? Do you want to work one night? Do you want to work tonight, whatever you want. That’s a shift where you can go and make $1,000 1500 a night. And I remember, I’m not going back. Yeah, I’m not taking the easy road. And those were times where my head was hard. Like the first few years were fucking hard. And I remember so many times I had to affirm. I’m not going back. I’m gonna, this is who I am now. This is who I am. I’m a business owner. This is where I belong.

Tara Wagner  27:57  

Yes. And that’s huge. Actually, I don’t remember what book it was in, I want to say it was the power of habit, but it could be wrong, where they talk about if you really want to change your habit, you have to change your identity. It’s not enough to change what you do, you have to change who you are. And that was really the transformation that I went through. And when I look at what I’ve done, you know, I’ve done the mindset coaching now for since 2010. When I look at my whole life and all of the transformations I went through, it was really a transformation of myself. And when I’m working with business owners, yeah, we’re talking about strategies, and we’re talking about systems and we’re talking about, you know, things that will make their business easier. But at the same time underlying that is this message of transformation. If you are not willing to make changes, hard changes, changes that are uncomfortable changes that there’s a part of you that’s going to say, I can’t do that. I don’t want to do that. If you’re not willing to do that. It’s going to be so much I won’t say you can’t do it. But it’s going to be so much harder to get to that goal because I transformation has to happen.

Ati Grinspun  28:51  

The identity work is the key. Yeah, I remember we and this is not about me, it’s about you. But like my biggest thing was kind of moving from World Champion flair. Bartender. Everybody loves me. Everybody knows who I am in my circle came into my office to win nobody knows. What

Tara Wagner  29:10  

does that mean? Is it so? Like, how do we you know, but

Ati Grinspun  29:13  

yeah, so like the identity work and I’m actually have something coming out that people are gonna know what identity work is another layer of this is the inner work. You mentioned the feelings. Yeah, that was the true inner work, right? Because mindset we can change about how we think about something, but if we don’t feel the truth behind them,

Tara Wagner  29:36  

the way that I talk about mindset is I want you to think about your thoughts as the outcome, right? Like that’s what’s gonna happen after all. That’s the surface level. Let’s get below that. It’s helpful. We need to use that to get below it. Okay, here’s what you’re thinking about. What are those thoughts like what are the emotions behind those thoughts? I know everybody says your emotions come from your thoughts that can be that your emotions create your thoughts.

Ati Grinspun  29:59  

It tell you the other way I pay so you know this whole year has been all about NLP hypnotherapy life success coaching actually is the other way around. I agree. Because emotions are trigger by past memories and their trigger also by our coping mechanisms, which are or attachment styles. I’m not going to get into that. But so now you have a feeling you feel like shit, you’re like I was in my office feeling like shit, right? Or you were going through your story and you are identifying with the person that you were the person that was doing math, I’m like, I am not this person. I’m not I’m not deserving of this business, whatever it is. But the truth is you’re having the feeling first. And the thought, the thought and the action, it’s actually us trying to justify the feeling. Because sometimes we don’t know where the feeling came from. And that’s why going back like time techniques and like meditating, all of that is so important. And I love that we’re talking about this.

Tara Wagner  30:58  

Yeah, yeah. So like, what I what I tell people is you want to identify the underlying emotions, you want to identify the underlying needs, right? So there’s, there’s two things, two ways that you can go, you can get into the beliefs, and that has its time in place. But what I have actually found is that if you identify the needs underneath the emotions, right, I’m feeling I’m feeling frustrated right now. Okay, why am I feeling frustrated? What am I actually needing? And it’s not that I need somebody to do this, and I need that done. Those are behaviors. That’s the outcomes again, but why do you need those things done? What underlying deep human needs? Is that going to meet for you? Well, I really need a sense of order, I really need a sense of progress. I really need a sense of fulfillment, whatever those things are, okay, now I’ve identified those things. What are some ways that I can meet those needs if this strategy is not working? If I want so and so to do such and such, or I want myself to do something that I can’t get myself to do? Is there another strategy that I can try that’s going to honor these needs, especially when we have conflicting needs, I have conflicting needs all the time. I have like one side of me being raised in poverty and going through, you know, I was on welfare, all of those things, that side of me is very security oriented, then I have this this very deep value of mine for growth, for expansion for challenging myself. And for impact. Well, that’s not a very secure road. So I have these conflicting needs, how can I go about building my business in a way that honors both of these needs? Well, let me get security fund in place. Let me make sure that I know my numbers when I’m making decisions, let me make a backup plan. In case my you know, my big shiny plan doesn’t work out, what am I going to do so that I know my needs are going to be met? I know that I’m going to be safe and secure no matter what happens.

Ati Grinspun  32:45  

I love that. Can you do you think you can pinpoint the moment where you got in to I want to say personal development and inner

Tara Wagner  32:56  

work. And not the exact moment but a very close, a very close call. So So I started working for myself within those nine months, shortly after I’d met my husband, I started it was about two years working part time before I went full time in my first business within about five years of going full time. So about eight years, well, a little bit longer, I guess, because eight years total, I hit burnout in my business. So that this is when I was working seven days a week, 16 hours a day.

Ati Grinspun  33:23  

And at this point, you’re doing everything out of force, your

Tara Wagner  33:28  

force, and I’m doing everything out of fear. And I’m doing everything to move away from this old person instead of moving forward. Yes, I don’t want people to know that I was a high school dropout. I don’t want people to know that I was doing math, I don’t want any of those things. So I was moving away from all of those things, trying to figure out who am I without those. And this is, you know, not necessarily a conscious thing that I was doing. But I still was carrying those beliefs of I’m a high school dropout. Why should anybody hire me? Nobody’s gonna respect me, you know, I need to hustle. And I need to put on a facade

Ati Grinspun  33:59  

that because he could tell you when you saw yourself, yes. Even though

Tara Wagner  34:03  

nobody knew these things. Nobody knew anything. I was still acting under that. So I am doing all of the things, all of the wrong things, making terrible decisions, in part because I wasn’t getting mentoring. I wasn’t getting training. I wasn’t learning things. I was just trying to do stuff. And then when it didn’t work, I just did more like working

Ati Grinspun  34:21  

at a forest and you were working from only what you knew.

Tara Wagner  34:25  

Exactly, exactly. So I burned out hard. It was after that that burnout that moment and I remember that moment very clearly. I’m like sitting on my bed. I called my husband in you know, I’m I’m having to have this conversation of like, I can’t keep going I think it would even be more financially advantageous for me to not keep going. If I can just stay home, take care of you know, our son and cook home cooked meat like I could probably do more with your income than we could having my income and having that that discussion with him of like I’m gonna go was my business down? I can’t keep doing this. It was that moment because again, it was a rock bottom moment, I had so much shame I had my tail between my legs, I can’t do this, what does that say about me, you know, I was trying to build this person, I was trying to become this new person, and I can’t do it and why. And now you want to start getting into the personal development because I had to, I finally figured out I had to fully heal, what was inside me action alone was not going to change the the old beliefs that had guided me through those bad days,

Ati Grinspun  35:31  

I want to make a highlight here for our listeners, because I think that once we started getting in personal growth, and we read books, and now we both coach on these topics, we started using this language that sometimes when you are on the other side, you’re on the burnout, you’re in the rock bottom, a lot of the times you feel like you’re alone. And I kind of want to talk about these because I actually know people that listen to the podcast that can so benefit from this story that you’re sharing that is okay, you get to have a choice of like how you move forward? Like, are you feeling those feelings? Are you feeling shame? Are you having your your you know, your your guilt, because maybe you didn’t invest it? Or maybe you’re not doing anything, and you yet don’t have the knowledge that all of this is out there? Or maybe you just vaguely heard about it.

Tara Wagner  36:21  

I mean, I really had I was starting from scratch, I was going to bookstores and the library and finding books on anything that I could find.

Ati Grinspun  36:29  

Because some of the books I know.

Tara Wagner  36:33  

We didn’t have the internet. Pinterest was getting popular. So I was starting to pin things on Pinterest that were like choose to be positive. And I was like, How do I choose? How how do you choose that when your brain is just constantly going in the direction that it wants to go? How do I actually choose that I was getting so frustrated? So I was doing so much research into psychology methods and spirituality and all of these different things trying to piece together. Okay, but but how? How do you actually heal these things? Because I finally had figured out the same beliefs that had led me to meth and welfare and an abusive relationship were the same beliefs that had led me to a business that was burning me out. And that was killing me. And that was destroying. I mean, my family was falling apart, I created health issues from that first business that I still live with today. Like it was it was a detrimental another detrimental time in my life.

Ati Grinspun  37:25  

That was a lot of self sabotage.

Tara Wagner  37:29  

It was a lot of well, I don’t like to call it self sabotage. I like to call it self protection. Because ultimately, that’s what I was trying to do. I wasn’t trying to I didn’t want to sabotage anything, but I wanted to stay safe. And I

Ati Grinspun  37:42  

actually went okay, I love that concept that you just you through actually a huge concept we can talk about, we need a man Okay, well, I’m gonna do another episode of this on protectors and attachments and all of that. But because when we actually self sabotage this usually a behavior that we have that is protecting us from something that we its own. Personally, it’s we do not know,

Tara Wagner  38:07  

it’s not usually it is always if there is something that you are doing that is sabotaging the things that you want. It is because it is trying to protect you from something that it doesn’t want. That’s your entire focus of the brain is like avoid pain, keep yourself safe, so that you can continue to live and procreate. And, like, we still have that monkey brain in their self, it’s like, you know, I want to post on Instagram, and I’m not and I need to go live and I need to do this, but I’m not. And instead, I’m scrolling and I’m watching this and I’m wasting time and I’m doing that. Okay, but why? What are the unintended consequences of you getting successful of you putting yourself out there, right, and I’ve dealt with all of them, it’s like, well, I’m not even through what are people gonna think of me, my relationships are gonna suffer, so and so is going to reject me, this person is going to think that I’m sleazy, like, if we have those underlying things, we have to address those, or we’re going to continue to have that clash between values, the value to stay safe, and to connect with the people that we love, or to, you know, have, we all have, which we all have, and we cannot get rid of it, and the value to grow and to experience the success and to experience the fulfillment or the impact or whatever it is you’re trying to do.

Ati Grinspun  39:22  

So you start your journey in personal and inner growth. And what happens how would you get to where you’re at today? Because like literally, we had, it’s been so juicy already, but I feel like then from there, it’s just been up and up and up and you and you had a lot of challenges because even recently you had been dealing with a lot of health challenges since COVID. And but this new identity that you have deals with everything’s so different. So how do you go from that burn now closing the business? You started to do personal Yeah, an inner work development.

Tara Wagner  40:04  

So I was spending a couple years just doing that inner work and figuring out like, you know, now we’re shifting things in our parenting because my, my son had struggled so many, like, for so long while I was working. So now my focus is on that. But that’s bringing in like child psychology and I’m learning how my own stuff got created. And I parenting as a people growing machine to folks like, you can’t avoid this, if you want in life, you’re gonna have to grow for it. But I, I was doing all of this personal work. And this was the time when personal blogs were just starting to take off. And so I started blogging, I started blogging about our lifestyle and what we were trying differently and, and you know, I’m home now. And so we’re like, I’m gardening and we’re doing all this like ecological stuff. And we’ve got like a front and backyard, that’s all vegetable garden and chickens. And I’m homeschooling my son, and we’re doing all

Ati Grinspun  40:56  

this stuff. And you were at the time. Vegas in Boulder City, right?

Tara Wagner  41:00  

I was I was actually in Summerlin. So I’m in Vegas. outside of town, we’re doing all of these things. I start building this this name for myself, people start to like pay attention like, Hey, you’re doing things kind of outside of the norm. And, and how do you get the courage for that? Like, I would love to do some of that. But my neighbors would think I’m crazy. Like, how do you do that. And so just kind of started dabbling a little bit in the mindset things and sharing what I was learning with people. And then it was the end of 2019. You know, this is still in the recession, my husband’s now losing his job. We’re losing our house, we’re losing everything, we’re going back to what feels like another freaking rock bottom. And I’m like, Okay, I am learning that all of these rock bottoms seem to lead to something better every time. So let’s use this. And we decided to get rid of all of our stuff. We went from a 20,000 square foot house down to a 22 foot RV. We started traveling for four years. And in that time, I really then started we’re sharing our travels, where are my blog is growing. And I have people coming to me saying can you coach me on this? Can

Ati Grinspun  42:02  

you make this amazing? I did not know, either? Yeah.

Tara Wagner  42:06  

Can you coach me on homeschooling? Can you coach me on parenting? Can you coach me on reaching my goals, overcoming my fears. And so I started doing the mindset coaching in 2010. And then that just kind of took off. And that did its own thing. And then it was about 2017, where it was kind of another rock bottom, we’re going through this really rocky time in our relationship, I’d had some time to myself, and I’m laying there just going what is the future hold? And I had this vision of like, here’s the work that you’re meant to do. And and I’m not going to show you everything. But here’s this vision of where you could end up and do you want this. And again, I had to make another choice. I remember laying there staring out my ceiling, like I’m talking to God and going. I don’t know if I want and what about this? And what about and I’m literally having this conversation trying to make this decision. Okay, this

Ati Grinspun  42:52  

is what I love about this conversation. I would have never guessed all of these about you. And I feel like

Tara Wagner  42:58  

I have five lifetimes.

Ati Grinspun  43:02  

But the thing is, I feel kind of the same way when it comes to every time I pivot. Even within the last five years, we do the same business within making decisions. We like okay, my identity is still attached to it photographer. Right now. Everything is coaching and speaking I’m like, but I can’t let go. I can’t let go. And we can have conversations around that. And I think that people listening right now, this is such a testament that whatever you’re going through, is so for you to build momentum. Yeah,

Tara Wagner  43:36  

it’s painful. I’m not gonna lie. Like it’s hard. These are not hard. These are not easy things to come up against. But the thing is, is if you’re coming up against them, that means that you are growing. Life is only plain and flat and boring and simple when nothing’s happening, right? Like there’s an actual commerce. There’s an actual curse that says, May you live in interesting times. That’s a curse, not a blessing, right? If things are nice and easy, that we’re not challenging ourselves, we’re not going to one of my greatest values is growth. And I don’t think that everybody needs to have that value. But I do think that if we are not developing ourselves in some capacity, whatever capacity is calling towards us, to us in this season of life, if we’re not growing, we’re slowly dying. We’re a rope. We’re turning into somebody.

Ati Grinspun  44:24  

And they think that there is nobody in this world that doesn’t have some sort of dream. Nobody i i actually don’t agree. I think that they forget that they have them. Yeah, I think that at some point they decided that’s not for me. They I can’t either

Tara Wagner  44:42  

happen there or we do need to acknowledge that some people have had it decided for them. And they didn’t realize that they could say no to that and so they landed on the path ended and they stayed there.

Ati Grinspun  44:54  

My dad absolutely my father my absolutely my father my father like could go on and on. But literally he said yes to working on his family business when he was in his 20s. And literally forgo any decision that came after that just because he was easy. And he’s so rich, sinful. late in life, he started doing things but like still, like, he’s full of fear full of mindset, like crazy. Be so I skewed to

Tara Wagner  45:21  

develop it, at some point, you’re gonna have to develop it develop it later, my mom used to always say, you pay for it now or you pay for it later. Ooh, what a truth. Like I one way you’re gonna rise to everything. Are you buying something cheap? Well, you’re gonna either pay for quality now, or you’re gonna have to pay for it again later, when you have to replace something. Are you going the easy route? Well, you’re either gonna have to pay the toll now we’re gonna have to pay for it later. And a lot of times later is is more, it’s harder, it’s more expensive.

Ati Grinspun  45:49  

I think that what happens, I see it as coaches, we see it all the time is people quit on themselves all the time. Yeah, six months later, a year later, whatever time later, they look back. And they’re like, if I only kept going, yeah, the same happens with the gym, right? I was at the gym this morning. And we had to do 30 Fucking box champs.

Ati Grinspun  46:13  

And then I was like, you know, I am the person that finishes this, I don’t care if I’m the last one, I will finish this. And I would when one at a time because

Tara Wagner  46:21  

the box jumps it’s about the person that you became, because

Ati Grinspun  46:25  

it goes back every single fucking day, that person you become by going through something that you don’t even believe that you can actually do and like, I actually almost fell in love.

Tara Wagner  46:35  

You don’t want to do that. There’s no part of you that wants to be there. There was no part

Ati Grinspun  46:40  

of me by that skinny version of me. Let’s go. Walk me through how these has shaped who you are. Now, how are you bringing? Because now you’re deciding to tell your story. Now you’re deciding to actually lead people into all of this. And this is kind of new for you.

Tara Wagner  46:59  

It isn’t? You know, I didn’t Well, I did realize for a long time that a block of mine was worrying what other people would think I didn’t realize how pervasive that was in my life, and how that was impacting everything. And so there was always this part of me that was holding back certain pieces. And that at a certain point just became habit, right. I wasn’t telling the story because it not because I was ashamed of it anymore. But because I just was used to not telling it and I just kind of

Ati Grinspun  47:27  

on you all. You even said at the beginning like you almost forgot you are that person that shapes. Yeah,

Tara Wagner  47:33  

it’s like I read this in I want to say it’s the Power of Habit again, where they talk about, you know, somebody who quit smoking, if they think of themselves as an ex smoker, that is a very different mindset than thinking of yourself as a non smoker, you are more likely to go back to smoking, if you’re an ex smoker, or if you talk about the fact that I am quitting not I have quit, right? There’s those subtle shifts in God change your identity, my identity is totally changed like I am. Oh my god,

Ati Grinspun  48:02  

I did tell you something about that, that I were I’ve been working on I had a lot of the time tell people I used to be a couch potato i because that’s true. I used to be a couch potato party you go are all the things. And I tell him I’m not even like can even remember what that felt like. Because I identify with somebody that loves karate that like you know, if I eat bad for like two or three days, I jump into like cleansing or whatever you want to call it. I can’t even identify with that anymore. Yeah.

Tara Wagner  48:29  

And that’s really what has to happen. And I do I want to say like part of that building, the new identity is moving away from the old identity. I’m not this person, I’m not doing this anymore until you start to figure it out. And you start to put the pieces into place of like, Oh, here’s who I am. Oh, this is actually a value of mine. This is really important. This makes me feel really good. I really liked that. I would you know what, I’m really attracted to this. Like, I feel like that’s a part of me. And I want to develop that let me grow in that capacity. And then we stop moving away from something and we start moving towards something. Yes. And that okay, things really start to take off.

Ati Grinspun  49:03  

Was there a moment recently or in the last like five years that you’ve seen these massive success in your business where you have said, This is who I am now? Oh,

Tara Wagner  49:14  

by a moment? No, I really don’t think I could pinpoint a single moment. When I look at it. It feels like one little grain of rice on top of another grain of rice on top of another grain of rice until pretty soon it was just this mountain of thing in front of me. And then it was like oh, hey, look at me. Like, sometimes we’ll look back and I’ll sometimes even write a letter to my past self like dear 14 year old self, I just want you to know that this is not real time to your life. Right? Like I like having those time work because it helps you to realize how much you’ve changed and how much you’ve grown because you’re starting to look at it again through those eyes and you can start to have and maybe even give love like I need needed to receive love and attention. I needed somebody to stand up and fight for me and say you can do better than this. You were worth better than this. I got those messages. But I didn’t get anybody making sure that I got those messages, right? They told me, but then there were things going on in their lives to where they didn’t have the capacity to make sure I’ve got my word checked out. Yes, people were checked out. So I can still go back and give myself that I can still say, look at what we’ve done. And that gives me so much more gratitude for my life. When I sit down, I look around, and I’m like, I paid for this house, I bought this, I paid for that car out there in cash, like that was cool. Like, look at even health wise, you know, I’ve gone through so many health conditions over my lifetime, really. But then long COVID Over the last couple of years. And I can look and say, You know what, two years ago, I couldn’t get off that couch. I couldn’t go from my bed to my bathroom and back again without being winded. And now like, I’ve got a walking treadmill under my dad, like, that’s awesome. And pretty soon you just start to have so much gratitude and so much joy. And this is why I think I’m happy. You know, I love my life person. Because I know the contrast. I know the alternative. I know how bad it can get.

Ati Grinspun  51:10  

And I think that everybody can look into contrast. They just don’t know how to do that. It’s yeah, it’s hard. So okay, so I have one more question. Actually, I have two more questions for you. One is what are you most passionate about doing with your work right now? I know that like when it comes to your clients and all of that, yeah, big picture

Tara Wagner  51:31  

or like, like, small project?

Ati Grinspun  51:35  

Like what is your main thing right now. So you have several programs, how. So something like this, call me when

Tara Wagner  51:47  

Call me when you are fed up with coaches out there, giving you the pipe dream without the actual deep, mature, experienced strategies to actually get you there. Call me when you’re not hired, and you are frustrated, and you are spending too much time and energy on all the things and none of them are aligning with you and you don’t know how to make this business work for you. That’s, that’s when you need to call me.

Ati Grinspun  52:12  

I love that. Okay. And then I didn’t tell you about I asked all my people, what does it mean for you to be your own brand? You

Tara Wagner  52:21  

know, I’ll be honest, it I feel like I am in a season of relearning that from scratch. So I don’t even know if I could totally define it, simply because I am in this season now of sharing the story more. And what does that look like to hold this story at the same time that I am who I am now? And how do I meld these two together? Like I asked me in a year. I love

Ati Grinspun  52:48  

love your rawness and I love this story. And like for all our listeners and watchers on YouTube also out there, I want to tell you like I know her personally, and like you’re just so raw and real. And the fact that you’re coming out and like telling your story, I feel you’re gonna help so many.

Tara Wagner  53:09  

I hope so. I mean, that’s I had a kind of a come to Jesus conversation with a series of people, the universe is sort of lined up all of these conversations for me to show me you’re being really selfish by not talking about this. Yeah, it needs to be shared, because no, not everybody is dealing with meth and abusive boyfriends and all know things. But we’re all dealing with something.

Ati Grinspun  53:30  

But we most of us had some sort of, there is no free trauma people. Because trauma is all about the meaning we give to things. And I think that like everybody has to take this with a grain of salt, what they mean, it means to them. But I think that it, it’s so inspiring. And I think that it’s so important that people know that you can pull yourself out of Yeah, anything. Yeah. And

Tara Wagner  53:57  

that I feel like if I were to say anything was my brand, I would say my brand is about liberation. Because that is my entire life is realizing that I have the ability, it will be hard, it will be messy. There will be people that are working against me at times, but I still have the ability to liberate myself from anything that is not serving me that is not serving others that is not bringing me joy that is making me miserable. Like when I look at my life and all of the work I’ve ever done, even in completely unrelated businesses, it has always been about how can I help somebody be free of something and love that’s my heart and soul. Like, I don’t care what I’m doing that’s going to be at the core of all of it.

Ati Grinspun  54:40  

I love it, we think tell people where they can find you and go like

Tara Wagner  54:48  

so I’m gonna blow everybody’s mind. I have a business that is not active on social media. I know. So you can find me on Instagram but I haven’t posted there A long time, I do have a Facebook group. It’s called the Healthy hustle for entrepreneurs with Tara Wagner. I’m not, I’m gonna go there, you can find that what I would actually recommend you do is go to my website XO tara.us. Sign up for anything that I have there, get on my email list, because that’s where the action is happening. I talk what

Ati Grinspun  55:18  

is your, what is your favorite freebie right now? So we’ll put it on the show notes. Yeah,

Tara Wagner  55:23  

you know, let’s do the reversing Small Business burnout checklist. So this is going to be a checklist that helps you audit the three main areas of your business to show you what are the things that are actually the underlying problems? Where do you need to actually focus in order to reverse burnout and create those that full time profit on a part time schedule. So it’s tara.us/checklist. And it will show you what you need to be focusing on but also the order in which you need to focus on it. Because sometimes there’s a lot to do, but we don’t have I

Ati Grinspun  55:55  

work with those on the show note. But then for those who are watching us on YouTube, we actually have quite a following that is starting to build a little bit of YouTube. So you will have several YouTube videos.

Tara Wagner  56:09  

Oh, I have hundreds of YouTube videos. So you go and a lot of my content is still on YouTube and I will be going back to YouTube soon. I don’t know when yet. So definitely Tara Wagner coaching on YouTube and we can connect I

Ati Grinspun  56:23  

LOVE IT was amazing. Thank you so very much.

Tara Wagner  56:26  

Thank you for giving me the space to share this. Yes. Thank you. Thank you