On Life & Leadership: A Conscious Journey with @Michelle St Jane this episode is with @David Foster, #MasterCoach, has dedicated his life to being a #PresentParent, creating a loving family unit and inspiring people all over the world connect with themselves and their families.
Do YOU know how to have a growing business, better relationships with your family and enjoy all that life has to offer YOU? David has a firm and healthy boundary balancing work time and family time [David Foster 22:41]. He is a master around how to attract great clients without sacrificing balance.
David also shares about his #SecretDream and the story of how he wrote the book “Where’s Dad?” Have you seen the cool cover?
Ever had an entrepreneurial seizure? David tells us of the joys and jars of leading your own business [timestamp 34:43]
David Foster, master coach, has dedicated his life to being a present parent, creating a loving family unit and inspiring people all over the world connect with themselves and their families.
About the Guest
About the Show
Podcast Host: Life & Leadership: A Conscious Journey with Michelle St Jane
A podcast for Global and Re-Emerging Leadership creating a circle of influence, transcendency of compassionate leadership in the world and wider universe. A unique destination for learning about Leadership + Conscious Stewardship + Legacy.
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E018 From Where’s Dad? TO Here’s Dad! With Master Coach & Author David Foster
Michelle St Jane 0:01
Welcome to Life and Leadership. I believe in creating community and actions and creating space to be curious. This podcast aims to take you on a conscious journey for quality, diverse, innovative content in conversation. My hope is that we create a circle of influence, a transcendent sea of compassionate leadership in the world.
Michelle St Jane 0:29
Welcome to Episode 18, From Where’s Dad? TO Here’s Dad! with Master coach and author David Foster. He authored the book “Where's dad.” We're going to engage in a rich conversation around leadership philosophies, family relationships, how to enjoy all life has to offer at the intersection of work and life balancing.
Michelle St Jane 0:54
What a year 2020 gifted the world with experiences that lead us to embrace and embrace re embrace. So, we have embraced opportunities nested in the challenges 2020 as we unembrace the office and embrace our work virtually and remotely from home in combination with time with ourselves and families more than we've ever had.
Michelle St Jane 1:18
We've really moved on from Where’s Dad? TO Here’s Dad! We have moved from the hierarchy of the office to the wirearchy of working from home. Being in the same space, no longer separate 24 and seven dads here, more present, hopefully, than ever, dads upskilling.
Michelle St Jane 1:42
Dads are upskilling in their home life as navigators and cultivators. Now see, re-embrace. 2020 has given us the chance to re embrace the velocity of change. How do you handle it when it all hits your world working virtually and remotely cause for the opportunity to create diverse social web networks and conscious engagement with the inner world of home life and the outer world of work demands?
Michelle St Jane 2:10
David shares his secret dreams and some great stories around his journey as a partner, as a parent facing his inner resistance upskilling, and having heart to heart present connections with his children and family. Come join us on a journey through life and leadership with David Foster dad, Master coach and author.
Michelle St Jane 2:33
David, I celebrate your presence in the world as a master coach who's dedicated his life to quote you being a present parent, creating a loving family unit. Two thumbs up. And in addition to inspiring people all over the world to connect with themselves and family that is so important. Definitely aligns with my values.
Michelle St Jane 2:55
I would really like it if you could share about your journey. Yeah. Around that sort of realization where you wanted to inspire business owners and ambitious coaches, again, I'm quoting you to connect with themselves and families.
David Foster 3:10
Hello, we got our start with it with a really sort of poignant moment really was when my first son was born. And that was in 2011. My wife and I have been married since 2017, trying for a family for several years, and experienced several miscarriages and lots of heartbreak in that particular area. My first son was born at a time when I was under serious pressure professionally with my business. And there was there was no balance in life. It was all work, work work. And he came along, and I had this epiphany as an hour. Okay, so there's more to life in this business, right? And I said there and then I said, as I was kind of holding in, you know, him skin. to skin in the first moments of his arriving I sense in myself this change. And this is where you're not going to be the guy who comes home grumpy and stressed. You've got a child now.
David Foster 4:02
I didn't know what I want to do. But I knew I didn't want to be in the business I was in, I co created. So that was that was the catalyst. And then from that I kind of was very fortunate to start to, you know, dive into to being a dad, and realize there's so many benefits to investing time and attention into that that sacred relationship with your children. Not without challenge because it's bloody hard as well. It's not it's not all roses, but the gains were huge, really. So, I then I realized that you know, through my experiences, and I'm paraphrasing in the show, but my experience is that there are loads of parents, mums and dads’ children come along and they see it in such a way that it's actually taking things away from their life. Not adding things in and I work to try and get people a slightly different perspective. Actually, you know, having children can be a really enriching experience if you if you surrender to it and come and go into to be a present parent.
Michelle St Jane 5:02
Beautifully put. I will share my story, my first husband, God rest his soul, he died when I was 27. And we had three beautiful children, five, six and nine months old. He died suddenly and unexpectedly. He always said that his children were the golden silver of the world. He would only work the hours the older two were in school. He would drop them to school, and he'd work and then he picked them up, and he play. Unless there was something urgent then they got to go to work too and learn essential skills. You know, my children very early got a chance to go to work with Dad. The gift that he left me with his passing was, today is the present and therein lies the gift. He absolutely loved being with his children. He always said, if he couldn't afford us, he didn't deserve us. He maintained a top-notch quality of life, but not at the expense of his family. I think he would have celebrated this book so much, it's a message that's very much needed, you cannot replace your children, you can pivot your career, though
David Foster 6:11
Really well said. I'm sorry about your loss. Thank you, I think it's just actually beautiful that, you know, you brought that memory and that legacy into this conversation. Such a such a powerful message that you shared. That's, that's beautiful.
Michelle St Jane 6:28
Thank you, David. I'll just add to that, my youngest son, who was nine months old, when his dad passed away, just makes my heart sing, he has exactly the same kind of dad. He is up early, and for breakfast with his sons. He's home to do stories and bed and bath. He's very invested in a quality relationship with his wife, and you know, ups and downs happen all relationships, but he's in for the long term. And he is bringing his best self, just like his dad, and he was nine months old when his dad died. So, you know, for me, it just makes my heart sing, to see the next generation carrying on this type of legacy, without having really Known his father in person. And physically, he carries so much of his beautiful attributes in relationship leaning skills which is such a blessing. Although he's human, I'm sure, you know, there's plenty enough challenges. But for me it is as his mother and also carrying a lot of grief around the loss of his father. It just makes my heart sing that he carries on the same tradition without having his father present in person. He's definitely very present and spirit and how my son carries his family I found in the work life balance. Absolutely.
David Foster 7:53
That's really, really great to hear. And one of the teachers I've worked with, over the last few years is a guy called Dr. John DeMartini.
Michelle St Jane 7:59
He’s one of my favorites,
David Foster 8:01
He said nothing's ever gained or lost, the same transforms. It sounds like, you know, even though you've lost your husband's the kind of traits that he had his way of being could have quite easily been manifested into your youngest. That's, you know, very possible, according to Dr. John DeMartini.
Michelle St Jane 8:19
Oh, absolutely. And I see him and all my grandchildren, my oldest grandson is an amazing musician like his grandfather was. So that's the third generation, it's wonderful to see these beautiful legacies and traits coming through in very creative and authentic ways. Absolutely.
David Foster 8:39
Actually, you triggered a story I want to share, like it could be quite useful for your audience. But you mentioned about your son, you know, being there, bath time and stories, those sort of things. And I think this will speak to a lot of people who listen to this potentially. You know, when my first son came along, I had this epiphany, like I mentioned. The model I had for dads was that you go out and work really long hours, you're early, go work long hours, you come home late. You don't really get involved with the kids. You might take them to the football or soccer at the weekends and do a few things. But that's woman's work. So, my first son was born. My wife is an amazing lady, full blooded Italian, very passionate, very emotional, very expressive. And she said to me, when it's time for the first bath time, and this is about 10 days, in that we advise my midwife, you know, don't bother those the first week or two that just settle down. They said right its bath time, and you're doing the bath. I said, No. I think you've got this wrong. That's not man's work. That's woman's work. I think you've got this wrong. We had this back and forth and it takes you an hour. I'll do it tonight. I had so much inner resistance because of the model I've kind of grown up with and that isn't a man's when's work and did the first bar time under duress. Admittedly thinking, “God Can't wait for this to be over.” And we've got I've got things to do.
David Foster 10:03
Add these little moments for connection, where eyes would lock in there be a little kind of knowing this between the two, I'm thinking, this is really interesting is great. I'm bonding my son here. And that tradition continues to come to where even today at 9 years old and 7 years old I still do bath time with them. But I could have so easily missed that.
David Foster 10:23
I'm sure that those little simple moments of Heart-to-Heart present connection, make a huge amount of difference when you're bonding with your children and creating a model for them to kind of enter into the world with guidance. I think a lot of people skim over those sort of things, and then have a bit of remorse and regret when they look back. The point is that I didn't suddenly have this epiphany intend to be the perfect dad, and I'm still on today. It's I had to surrender and put myself through different experiences that I wasn't really used to giving them my hand. And that was brilliant to personal growth and development.
Michelle St Jane 10:58
What a wonderful story. Absolutely. It reminds me when my first son was born, I put the diaper on backwards. I had no idea. And my first husband, Bobby, he was such a diplomat, you know, he's like, wow, we have a son, you may want to turn that around. You know, he was one of eight. So, he had lots of experience, but he loved children. So yeah, you know, I grew up in New Zealand, where a man went to work, and a woman had the home and a hearth type thing.
Michelle St Jane 11:32
I'm curious, how did you come to write the book, David? Was it by choice or by chance?
David Foster 11:37
Totally conscious choice. I had a secret dream to write for many, many years. I mean, decades. I didn't really do very well in English at school, or in my previous attempts at writing at a publishing company with magazines, newspapers. I was the Co-owner of that business. Once or twice, I tried to write articles and got laughed at and kind of politely advise, I'm not really a writer. But I've always had this little whisper, I wanted to write and express myself. I ended up going into a coaching group, so paying money to be inside a group of people led by guy called Rich Litvin. He wrote a great book called The Prosperous Coach. He coaches those who are looking for a different perspective on how to grow a practice, really great, great book. In the first or second session, I said, "I want to write a book, about fatherhood and business and other stuff." As I've spoken out as well, there's always some accountability there. Now, it was like coming out. So, I then started to get support and guidance and groups from other members who have written books and found a book coach and an editor. The book started to take shape in different forms. Then I came up with the idea of writing a fictional tale about a business owner called Ben, who's married with a young child, Freddy, his wife, Rebecca is under pressure, six months pregnant to and he's totally overwhelmed. He's kind of very lost, and like a lot of clients, I've coached. I wanted to give people a book where they can read it and see themselves and know there's nothing wrong with where they are. But actually, there is a path forward, where you can transform to live and experience a different life through life leadership. So that's where the book kind of came from its origin.
Michelle St Jane 13:27
Thank you for sharing. Forgive my word choice that I commiserate about the writing. I was a C plus student at high school. I don't know how anyone lead me into law school. I don't know how anyone let me do my Master of Arts focused on philanthropy. And worse yet, I was shocked that they let me do a doctorate around leadership
David Foster 13:49
Your yet to be found out.
Michelle St Jane 13:52
Well, you know, I was ‘frauding’ all the way like, Oh, my God, how could this be? You know, thing "be careful what you wish for." I'm at that challenging Crossroads where I finished the doctorate in 2016. Then created the thought leadership practice around commercializing the Intellectual Capital, which I've paused since December last year. Then pivoted during the pandemic to think well, I love public speaking. I have all of this intellectual capital and four careers under my belt. What should I do next? The perpetual What do I want to be when I grow up?
David Foster 14:29
Yes I know that one well.
Michelle St Jane 14:32
Anyway, podcasting popped into my head and I'm like, what is the podcast? Hmm, I've never listened to a podcast This is June. Felt the wind beneath my wings and of course got technically trampled. In fact, I got finally got my head above the parapet. But this is my secret dream. Perhaps I can take all of these transcripts, particularly the solo episodes that center often around my doctoral research, and then write the book from there.
David Foster 15:04
Why not? I mean, if you love what you're doing.
Michelle St Jane 15:06
Exactly. I'm loving the podcast especially the creative side so much. It might take a while before my ideas run out.
Michelle St Jane 15:16
I wanted to share with you. There's a song called the "Cat's in the cradle." That's a 1974 folk rock song by Harry Chaplin in his album "Verities and Balderdash." Topped the US Billboard 100 December 1974. So hey, 46 years later, we're still talking about it. But when I was reading your book, I was like, Oh, my gosh, the cat's in the cradle, the cat's in the cradle, you know, the first part, like, where's dad, where's dad? This has been an experience that I've had in I've seen in other generations in my family. So, I found it really interesting. The reason that I had that thought, it's like, well, in the cat's in the cradle dad never gets it. Right. I'm delighted that we have, "Where's Dad."
Michelle St Jane 16:05
What I'm leading into what are your thoughts around this new norm of 'here's dad!' Because he's home working remotely and virtual? What are your thoughts around this trend? What are your clients thinking about all this?
David Foster 16:20
People I've spoken to about they kind of have mixed views, because they're used to going to a place of work, and you're not used to living the virtual world. Now, I've been a virtual coach for almost a decade now. So, it's kind of it's no change me. Really, that's a lot of change someone to kind of go from leaving a company office, having employees and being in person and, you know, seeing the kids being there omni present, especially with homeschooling, which is happening in the UK. Pretty much happening the over the world, now, I think maybe in America a lot, it's a lot to hold. The feedback I've got is that, you know, it has two sides. So, the challenge is time management and being able to put some healthy boundaries in place where dad still has a business to run and to provide the family without having too many distractions during working time. That's been a perennial challenge for a lot of people. The upside is, now they get to have breakfast with their children, they get to have lunch with their children, they get to have dinner. With their job, a lot people who perhaps wouldn't do that. These little moments of presence and connection, once again, that often be looked over, become the new norm. A lot of people by now have worked out the time management challenge. And they don't really want to go back to the office full time. Actually, needed their staff, the staff I speak to as well, so I coach coaches, I coach business owners sometimes coach their teams so they're more productive, and they're enjoying the work life balancing more because they can be there for their children too. I don't think it's been a bad thing. I think it's just been a period of transformation. I don't think it will ever go back to being the same again, based on the conversations that I've had.
Michelle St Jane 18:01
Oh, do we want to? I have to confess to more indigestion more at mealtime. So sometimes you're like I'm sitting down with barbarians.
Michelle St Jane 18:11
I'm kind of I love your book cover. And I also remember commenting on it when you polled the tribe I was resonating cover.
David Foster 18:23
I'll show it on screen. So, someone's watching, they have a lot of visual point of reference. So, here's the book cover. So, you can probably see that it's a Lego-ish figure illustrated, looking overwhelmed at his office desk. I can't take credit for the initial concept because I worked with a great cover designer called Carrie Brito. I had loads of different ideas for colors, and I threw them all at Carrie. Nothing was really popping. The ideas I had in my head when they were on paper, they didn't quite seem to me. Carrie found an image on like a stock photo website. So, she asks "what about this?" And I was like, "that's it!" Actually, I couldn't find a way of investing in a similar image, so I created my own image. I actually went to Lego in London, in Leicester Square, which is a bit of a trek for me, and went to the Lego store there. This is pre pandemic and said, "Look, here's my front of my book, I need to buy these bits." I had to spend a fortune on Lego just to get things like the briefcase and the computer screen from different LEGO sets. Then Carrie it got all together, then went to see a guy who's a friend of mine who has a photo studio and he's a videographer. I said, "Can you put these bits together like this?" And he said, "great." We had like 30 different examples. I found the one that was right, the one we're going to use. Then I'm thinking we've got this and then about two weeks before getting the press someone said, "Have you checked out with Lego?" And I went, "No." And so, you pressured them reaching out to Lego and this was in the pandemic and what do I do? I can't hold it publishing and speaking to lawyers and their saying "it's a bit of a gray area, you know, blah, blah, blah, write a letter." And so, I did nothing, you know, tumbleweed. I said, right, we can't hold this up. I said, Let's go with the same image but illustrated to make it look like child's drawing. Which then kind of adds to the cover because it's almost like a child's drawing the picture we know where his dad and it's also Lego figures. So that's, that's the truth about how that came about. It wasn't like some inspired download. It was a creation over time with some obstacles as in all things All right, so I appreciate you referring to and liking the cover
Michelle St Jane 20:35
I call that a conscious journey in my lexicon because I can feel the energy behind it. Like it had definitely gone through a series of, well, a morphing of sort of transiency. But also like the title, it's three words, but it says everything. Your picture is the epitome of 1000 words, it shows everything.
Michelle St Jane 20:57
I kind of wonder if dad's desk at home resembles the front cover of your book because my granddaughter is into Barbies and dolls. So often, when I'm doing things, she will have them all set up around me. You know, it's my guests and bits and pieces, what needs to be there. I even have a doll that was traveling in the car with me with the seatbelt on for ages. I swapped cars with my daughter, it's the only reason why I don't travel with a doll at the moment.
Michelle St Jane 21:22
I do want to give a shout out for your book. David's sharing the first five chapters of this book "Where's dad?" For a copy of those chapters, visit www.davidfostercoach/book. There will be a reference in the show notes because it's well worth having a read. It's very hard to resist reading the whole book, it's very good.
David Foster 21:47
Very good. I'm actually if you know, going to website is a bit challenging for someone if they'd rather send me an email. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll reply back with the sample chapters. If that's easier.
Michelle St Jane 22:03
I want to bring up a point about organizing our time around this episode. I was seriously impressed when you had a firm and healthy boundary about the fact that you log off at 5:30pm to be with family. I am seriously impressed with this. And I think it's really important to share how you came to that decision, because you've already confessed that when number one came along, you were a very busy person. So how did you come to make that decision and a little bit around the sort of thought process?
David Foster 22:41
That's a great question. Why not? I used to be incredibly disorganized and had very few boundaries and would work long hours into the night, early hours of the morning. Up early into email straightaway. I worked with a brilliant coach guy called Joseph Shapiro. Joseph was an amazing coach, spiritually, mentally, physically, and self-organization was one of his loves. I gave him a brief that I need to get my shit together. Because many years ago, and I learned a lot from him, and other books I've read, and one of the things I learned was that, you know, if you don't prioritize your time, and put healthy boundaries in place and kind of lead your area of life in that respect, including your calendar. Then life will present you with low priority items that are going to be distracting you from what's most meaningful to you. I intentionally set out a schedule for me that was going to serve my life. And that goes down to you know, finishing at a certain time for the children. To be there for dinner and for bath time and for reading the books and those sort of things. Also, for me, for my own health and wellness, for exercise time for getting up early for my morning routine when the house is silent. For my coaching calls with my clients and my creation calls, writing those sort of things. I schedule everything. You know, that's not for everyone. But for me, I have found that structure to be eminently useful, and just allow me to be even more present and focus on the job in hand versus, you know, having boundaries that are just all over the place. And it wasn't it wasn't without resistance. I don't think you can ever be like a Jedi when it comes to organization. I think it's like a lifelong journey of just tweaking and merging and final work. So even though I log off from the office around five 5:30pm. When the kids are in bed, if I have some things I've agreed to deliver that day, rather than let them encroach in the children's time and my wife's time, I would then happy log on for half an hour now at night because I love my profession of what I do if I'm making agreement. So that's a system a routine that tends to work. I mean, everyone's different. But point is if you don't stretch your day, and prioritize it, you'll be swamped by things that just knock you off your center and you'll end up being a bit of a busy fool which I was for many, many years.
Michelle St Jane 24:58
Well said David. Actually, my doctorate took a U turn. I added time to my doctorate. What came clear to me was that I had been in the chaos of capitalism. And for me that's being on Kronos time or on the clock. You know, being a lawyer, every six minutes had to be accounted for. Then I worked for multinational covering Europe through to California. My day started at 4am and it finished probably midnight. So literally, there were only four hours sleep, then my phone was going off. Even then, that was debatable. But the experience of that at a time when that was the norm, I'm talking about the 80s and 90s and early noughties, that was the norm. I stepped down from the corporate world and I started a social enterprise law firm, actually sit down for being a general counsel, which was a bit of a shock to my peers, but I just felt so called to do it. To start the law firm 'Kairos.' Kairos means to be on spiritual time. I had no idea the name just spoke to me. I didn't question. I just did, all my branding which included doves from a photo of doves I'd taken at my daughter's wedding. When they released the doves, I was fumbling so badly with my camera, I dropped it as the doves flew out of the basket. Somehow I got the perfect shot for my logo. It wasn't until probably about three years later, I looked at Kronos and Kairos, which are the twin gods of Zeus, which means the time of chaos as Kronos and spiritual time as Kairos. So, it was quite informative, of becoming consciously aware. Then in my doctorate, because it was around leadership, and I was trying to balance. To find the fulcrum point between the sacred money market, people and planet. I got to put time at the top of my theorizing. But now I've realized since the turn of the century, I have been very pointedly try living on Kairos time, and for a period of that unknowingly. As I became aware, now, I'm willing to not do that. Very carefully working my way around it once things start getting chaotic, I kind of sit back. Don't try to do more. Being a human doing-doing-doing was actually one of my super genius talents that I don't want to own any more. Human beings where I try to be.
Michelle St Jane 27:31
With the pandemic being like to rule our lives for another 12 to 18 months, I would love for you to share with global leaders the impact of working remotely and virtually since you've got a decade under your belt. Could you share some of your expertise and how to pivot. Any suggestions for dads that you could contribute to their conversation, any tips tricks that you like to u
David Foster 27:54
I can share is probably, the first thing is, I don't subscribe to the belief, or the notion that the pandemic is ruling in our lives. It’s a matter of perception. We can't control external events or things that happen outside. W we can control with our own mindfulness in our own presence. And our own self-awareness and deep work, know how we self-regulate and self-govern inside the mouth, tapping on the outside. So, the first the first thing is to, I think the sound approach is not to see the pandemic as something that is attacking me or impacting me or a bad thing or a good thing. It's just a thing that's happening to context in the world. And that has two sides. It has upsides and downsides has benefits and drawbacks, as our friend Dr. John Martini often talks about. So, the first thing I'll do is slow down. If you're thinking and feeling, actually, this has caused you a lot of seen pain, and this is controlling you. So, look at the other side, and write down all the benefits of the pandemic, this to your financial life, your business life to your familiar life, your social impact life, your spiritual world and your mental life personally. It's because I guarantee when you do the work, there'll be benefits and drawbacks to that test a person.
David Foster 29:11
The second thing when it comes to working remotely hints and tips and tricks. It's different to working in an office. Right. So, where a lot of leaders I think, tend to fall down is they think because they're geographically distant from their teams, that they've got micromanagement. On their case more and in their face and zooming every day and doing this and making sure they're doing the work because they can't see them working. And that can breed like an insecurity as in "Am I getting value from with my staff? Are they doing the work?" So, one of the things we really use for there's actually learning to embed in the culture of the new normal virtual business. Leading through agreement with your team members and your peers. So rather than having say 5-6-10 meetings a week. Where you're, you know, almost micromanaging or supervising have one meeting. A kickoff meeting every week. Where you slow down and create some solid agreements your team can actually adhere to, and they give their word to complete them. And so, they find it inside themselves to actually follow through on what they've agreed to. People don't like to break their agreements, if they're solid and tight agreements. So, learning to lead by agreement, and managed by agreement is a really great skill to have when you're physically distant, or geographically apart. And say, I focus on the outcome and you want to create with your team, because if you're really clear on what value you would like them to provide to you, as an outcome, and they agree, they can do it. I don't really care as a leader, how they do it, long as it's within the guidelines of our values, and, you know, various experts, those sort of things. All I care about is the quality and the outcome and the deadline, right. And I don't mind if they work 10 hours at home where they'd work 30 hours in the office. As long as the outcome that I would like them to create that gives me values as a fair exchange, and that that's breached. So, there's a couple of things I think can be really useful.
Michelle St Jane 31:01
Well said, and what I'm sure will be well received. In my thought leadership, I've been developing work around encouraging leaders to move from hierarchy to wirearchy. And for that, there's got to be a higher level of trust, a willingness and consciousness. I love your tips. Thank you for that. I see.
Michelle St Jane 31:24
You're a DeMartini certified values trainer. How in your journey, did you come to choose that path?
David Foster 31:32
Good question. I have a very dear friend, he's like a soul brother or a brother from another mother. A guy called Rick Snyder, who a few years ago said to me, he sent me an email, he said, because we've trained as coaches and done collaborative workshops and became very, very close. And he said, hey, there's this guy, I've heard about who is off the charts. And he blends sort of the spiritual world with the physical world. And he's really bright and quantum physics. And now he's a real deal. I've got two friends who have a very, very high opinions of his organization, who have been taught by him for many years, and they are trustees. But my life and they say he's a real deal. He said, “What do you think?” He sent me a link and I looked at this, this website. He looks like the guys in a suit, nice sort of silk ties. He's, you know, kind of looked like he was a little bit stuck in the 90s. of the 80s. Straightaway, you know, judging mind at the way he looks like he can't help me for some reason. For some odd reason, right? Many stupid choices. But intuitively sort of said, Well, you know, just, I've got to lose. So, I went to one of those weekends a breakthrough experience. This is signature program, and I was blown away by the guy and his knowledge and his heart and his expertise and the community. Then I chose to invest in several programs. And the value seems really costly. Because when I first started this exploration to values when I was a business coach and helping people with their businesses create their values and their own personalities, I love that work and that conversation around values and purpose, but it always felt a little bit like thin soup. It was great. And any values are better than no values on a company wall, for example. I'm being glib here, but it felt was missing. DeMartini provided me with a missing piece, because I knew there was more this whole conversation. So, when I learned to be a values trainer or values facilitator, it helped me understand on a deep level that that's probably one of the most important things you can do as human being is to get really crystal clear on what your intrinsic drivers are. Not the ones that you think you have. Your traits. Like now I'm if I'm honest, I've had integrity, I'm loyal that their traits of people are never always honest and honest, at times, they can be dishonest. When you get clear on your intrinsic values, and you give yourself permission to be yourself and own the whole of you for being unique individual. Magnificent things can come not just with what's created in the external world, but just how you feel on the inside when you give yourself permission to be yourself. So, it's a large part of what I do I help people take off the masks they're wearing and give themselves permission to be themselves and create from that place. And the values work has been absolutely instrumental in that having those kind of authentic conversations.
Michelle St Jane 34:12
Very powerful, very powerful. Thank you for sharing that. I'd really like to hear about if you're willing, one of your toughest struggles as a coach and an author in any area of your life where you thought you just weren't going to get through, but you somehow did. Is there a story? You're such a good storyteller?
David Foster 34:32
I've got 1000s I mean, there's literally 1000s so specifically as a coach or an author,
Michelle St Jane 34:39
it's wide open. I'm sure whatever story you tell will be a brillian
David Foster 34:43
So this this is what before I chose to get into coaching professionally, I decided to create a suite of businesses with it with another guy had what's called an entrepreneurial seizure, and I was I was chasing what I now called conventional success and what needs to be seen as someone who's successful and be seen as a millionaire, you know, with that within hopefully in my in my world my thinking at a time give me approval other people or make you feel special and you know get Pat's on the head from mum and dad and siblings. And on that journey there was there was always something missing for me. What happened over the course of many, many years I had success and failure, success failure? And at my lowest ebb, two weeks before my first son was born, and bear in mind we've had four miscarriages over the previous two or three years. Which I think were actually linked to the stress and the anxiety in the household because our main business was kind of tanking off the back of the recession. We were just so undercooked, so underprepared, and didn't really know what we were doing, too. So, our first son was born, I was sitting in the Radisson hotel with my business partner and a liquidation lawyer, basically liquidating the company, the main company with the view to start it again. There's what's called a rebirth of a company and you buy the assets back and start again and give it a lick of paint and see what you can do. I sat there because our houses were on the line, both our houses were security against these loans. And I sat I thought, well, this, you know, I could be literally signing my house, we're here, and I've got a baby due in two weeks. And I just didn't know what to do and where to turn, you know. So once again, when my first son came along, it was just like such a waking up experience. I'm thinking actually now I'm kind of done with this, this, this isn't working for me. This whole life of chasing this thing that I think is going to make me feel better on the inside is conventional success. I want to live a life where I was doing things that I loved and would come home and not put the baggage that I was carrying onto my son. Because as a child, I felt the impact of what wasn't being said in the house. And with all the stress anxiety from the from dad's business on Mum. I didn't want to play that game. I didn't know what I wanted to do yet. But it wasn't playing that game.
David Foster 37:44
So that was a particularly difficult time and the ensuing 11 months where I was handing over the reins the business and gently easing myself out with a view to getting a payday by someone who was coming in to buy the shares that didn't materialize. And that walking around with nothing, and lots, lots of debts. But I knew I was on the right path. So those times were particularly difficult professionally for me, but they gave me a real insight into what it's like to be a business owner and a dad right and be under pressure. No matter how bad you think things are. There's always a tomorrow. There's always a tomorrow. So that's just one story I've got loads of stories, you know, I'm by no means perfect.
Michelle St Jane 37:39
Oh, having survived recessions and redundancies and all sorts of things, in hindsight, they were my best learning. They might be an expression of moving into a better self, on a more purposeful path. Thank you for sharing the story. I'd like to offer you the opportunity to share about your services or any other thoughts for the listeners, you're very welcome to promote
David Foster 38:03
Is this business where advertise my busines? I really I need a jingle, Michelle. Need some something catchy. I specialize in helping coaches and experts grow prosperous and independent coaching practices. But a great clients without sacrificing balance their life. That may mean nothing some people so in simple terms, I'm a life and a business coach for coaches, we're helping them empower owners live and create really healthy practice where they're making difference in the world where they're finding their voice and expressing themselves through creation of clients, and maybe books and really help professionals serves their life. I also work with a handful of ambitious business owners. But my main focus now is working with Coaches and so I'm always open to conversation. So, if you're someone who feels stuck in life, there's something that's resonating with you on today's interview. If you read the book, always feel free to reach out to me on any social media platform, Facebook, or LinkedIn or the email address I've given to Michelle, and we can have a conversation. And if I can't help you, I know a lot of coaches and great coaches on what happened with him.
Michelle St Jane 39:10
David, I'm very grateful for your contribution and being of service in the world and the opportunity to feature you as a guest. I've been a big fan since the book came out. We share like-minded interests in the tribe we run with. But thank you so much. Absolute pleasure. I
David Foster 39:29
I love what you're doing well, I love how you grasp this new venture of yours, apocalypse in general. And I'm just really grateful to be on the show and I hope it's been useful.
Michelle St Jane 39:41
As a steward of meaningful leadership in the world and wider cosmos. I have a passion for service through sharing wisdom, dream and hope. Thank you for the opportunity to foster open conversation, discussions and an exchange of ideas that Create understanding and connection among diverse groups. Your support is valued. Please subscribe, leave a review and a rating. More importantly, share with your connection. Thank you.
Reach out. I am interested to hear from you. Let’s continue the conversation.
Do you have a topic you'd like to explore? It would be great to have your feedback.
Michelle St Jane
Podcast Host: Life & Leadership: A Conscious Journey
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David Foster is a Dad, Master Coach, author and inspirational speaker. Since 2012 he has helped business owners and coaches throughout the world create more balance, clarity and freedom so they can live inspired lives they love leading. He specializes in helping ambitious coaches grow independent practices full of great clients without sacrificing balance so they have a growing business, better relationships with their family and enjoy all that life has to offer.
David has dedicated his life to being a present parent, creating a loving family unit and inspiring people all over the world connect with themselves and their families before it’s too late. He lives in Essex with his wife, Trix and their two sons, Rocco and Enzo.