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I just love talking to women in leadership and this time I get two!
In this episode, I am joined by kindness warrior Michele Pitman-Martinez and my sometimes co-host who helped me launch this podcasting project Aida Diaz-Agero (a lot of double-barreled names there, for this one I shall be John Alexander Fraile-Ball so I don’t miss out).
We chat about things like women in the technology sector, getting investment for your business growth, leading a team, networking and serving your customers & community. So, we cover a lot of ground.
Michele Pitman-Martinez is founder & CEO of intelliVOL, based in Dallas, Fort-Worth. She’s a rock-solid business leader who has faced and overcome some serious business challenges that would sink most people. I hope you’ll enjoy meeting this unsinkable kindness warrior as much as Aida and myself enjoyed talking with her.
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My guest on this episode is the biggest badass and also one of the loveliest and most interesting people I’ve ever had the pleasure to speak with. Dana Pharant says that becoming a badass in life and business requires you to stand in your power and be super comfy with being unique!
Dana Pharant knows ALL about standing out and being unique. Her personal brand of the Inner Dominatrix™ pushes people out of their comfort zone, challenges their preconceived notions and has them stepping into a fierce determination to rock their Bold, Sexy Fun-Filled Lives!
She has worked with clients to transform their lives for 25+ years, been a CEO of a Million dollar company, 2x award-winning speaker, best selling author of 5 books, has earned the title of Master Healer and yes she really was a Dominatrix and I asked her all about it in this episode. I promise you, it’s fascinating and probably not what you are expecting.
Dana is going to return soon and talk with us about her experience in a cult and how she escaped. We’ll discuss how cults influence people, recruit people and brainwash them. It will be another unmissable chat including some powerful personal stories from us both.
Grab Your Free Digital copy Now of Dana’s best seller!
Start mastering the skills of the Inner Dominatrix™ starting with your Badass Intuition www.InnerDominatrix.com
This week I’m very excited to have a very special guest here has agreed to join us. The biggest badass I’ve ever had on the show so far, for sure. Please welcome to the show Dana Pharant. Hi, Dana.
Thank you, John. I love that! The biggest badass I love it.
I think it has to be true. Dana, if you haven’t encountered that before, she’s a business performance coach. And from having come from being a seven-figure business owner and a former dominatrix. Then you may also come across some of her books or have speeches in the past. You’re just an amazing person. I was super happy to get introduced to you and I really couldn’t wait to speak to you remember, when I first contacted you? I was a bit like I had a Hyperactivity Disorder.
Yes, we had a lot of conversation prior to even getting on to our initial interview conversation. But it was lovely because, you know, we’ve really connected over some similarities in, you know, what we’re interested in what our little fascinations are and of course, so I’ll reveal it that I was doing my due diligence and researching some of your past episodes. And, and you mentioned in there about the fact that you were fascinated by cults and mind control. And of course, my background is that I grew up in a cult. And so it also has a fascination for me. I’ve studied in that world as well. So we’ve, we’ve clicked on that level. And then we’ve also clicked on the piece about the fascination of how the dominatrix piece lens into both business and presentation. So,
yes, and also for me, and I may have mentioned this, the last time we spoke, but for the audience, particularly, for me, it’s really one of the things that I think is very important at the moment, even though I’m not a woman, obviously, but I care very much about female empowerment. I think women are In a position now where they should be seeing more in positions that we’re seeing, like women who are in positions of power who are doing amazing jobs around the world, that maybe we should have more women in power, it’s just that time that the suppression has gone on long enough the glass ceiling has been there long enough. Let’s just break through all that because it is time for everybody to be living their best selves and having whatever expression they want and stepping into that power. And there’s no reason why women especially shouldn’t be doing that. You know, I was thinking just before speaking today, that growing up I grew up with like, I was obsessed as a child with Wonder Woman, Linda Carter, originally Yes. I’m old enough to remember when it was on TV. And I was obsessed with it. I thought she was amazing. I still do still think she wasn’t is amazing. And then a bit further on down the line that goes by older Buffy the Vampire Slayer was my next big thing. Powerful Women. It was so necessary and so needed and also these things that developed such big followings, I think because people did really get how important it was and how powerful a message that was especially for women.
Yeah. And you know I love like with Buffy the Vampire Slayer that I love the character they created for her because they, they made her more multidimensional. So Wonder Woman was awesome. She was very powerful. And then in her day to day, she was just an average person. But with Buffy the Vampire Slayer they kind of took that a little further in, you know, she had all these quirky things in her regular life and you know, she picked the bad boys and you know that it wasn’t working well it so it was really interesting to see this more dynamic and I think we’ve progressed Actually, we had to carry on with this we progressed and we look at like one of my other ones that I loved was Star Trek. The Voyager Yeah and, and Captain Janeway, she was another one that was just she was powerful. But she was feminine. And she led in a way that was very, you know, empowering for women. I loved her as a role model. And then, of course, my more recent one that I love pulling from the stage is the show billions. So not sure if you know the character, Wendy. Oh, you’ve got to show watch billions, you will love that.
So, Wendy, I love pointing to you for a post. Mostly because you know, she’s like, she’s like me. She’s she is a dominatrix in her personal life. And although I’m former but she is. And then she pulls that into her coaching where she really shows up as this great badass who holds her space she takes people to task and she does it in a way that she stays in her feminine power. So I love that you know, it’s interesting that progression, right and this is what we’ve come to is this more holistic look at what is feminine power? What is authentic empowerment for women?
Yeah, that was really one of the reasons why I’m so excited to speak to you. And then when we actually got communicating, I just got more and more excited that all these things we have in common all these areas of common interest. And you said that you’d be happy to come back and record an episode where we will talk about your cult past and experience but that’s not what we’re going to focus on so much today. Although it may it may crop up in some of the stories from where you’ve been in life to where you are now, that’s quite a journey to be a former dominatrix and I think it’s important to ask questions in the right order. So as I do this, first of all, I’m sure you don’t wake up one day and think, Oh, I think I’m gonna be a dominatrix. How did that happen?
Yeah, and it’s not exactly on the list of you know, childhood dreams of like, Oh,
my career’s guidance at school. I don’t think that was one of the options.
No, it would be a good option that they would bring forward to you. But regardless, the progress for me is that so we touched on the fact that I grew up in a cult. And in with that, of course, most of the time, we will also have a lot of abuse that they are dealing with in surrounding that. And so leaving the cult, I went on a very long journey of untangling all the different pieces of both of mind control, but also all the abuse that I went through. And I’ve you know, kept finding different things. I kept looking for different things. And I ended up finding the most profound healing in the dungeon and it wasn’t like I was, you know, setting out to say, Oh, I think I’m going to untangle my sexual abuse by getting beaten. Yes, that sounds like a logical thing to do. You know, and yet that’s, that’s what ends up happening because, again, this is dispelling some of the misnomers we think of a dominatrix as what Hollywood tries, and Hollywood does a terrible job of portraying any profession. So Hollywood portrays this mean and nasty person who it’s all about them they’re in control and the other person doesn’t matter. And that’s not actually what happens. What was actually happening is that you negotiate prior to getting into a scene. And we call them scenes because it’s rarely about sex. And again, like that’s where Hollywood takes it down that area because they like doing that. In essence, the really beautiful pieces are not about sex, it’s about these deeper transformations. So you have to have a really good conversation about what’s okay what’s not okay, what are trigger words, what are things that are going to push the limits too far? What’s on the edge,? Having all that discussion, crafting out a loose script, just like how we’d foreseen and moving through and staying really, really present with the other person so that they can drop that In an experience a sense of, I can go further than I thought I could I am stronger than I thought I was. And so that that experience much like extreme sports, when you push yourself to your limits, then you start to see who you really are at the core. And that’s the beauty for me of the transformation. And when I had that experience for myself, then I was like, Oh my goodness, I want to take other people on this journey, that’s how that came about.
I know that when we had a chat before I wish I’d recorded that to be honest with you because it was such a good chat and I don’t think that I’m going to be able to recreate it exactly, but I’ll do my best. I mentioned that one of the things that I was thinking about in terms of the persona of the dominatrix was relating it, in some way, to drag. I’m an obsessive fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race and absolutely love it as an art form. One of the things that a lot of drag performers will say is that they feel very liberated by their persona, that when they’ve gone through the transformation, they’re the final thing of like putting on the wig and being fully made up and dressed up. That is when the persona comes out, and they can be who they really want to be almost like a true expression of themselves. They can act badass, they can be more cheeky, they can now really express themselves in ways that they may feel limited or restricted by in their normal lives. And I was imagining that maybe there were some similarities.
There are some similarities and yet there are some really big differences, in that, yes, it gets to be an expression of who you are and you have to embody it. Much like drag, so drag you you get to take and you know, create this persona and it comes from within, like a lot of the great drag queens. The persona comes from who they are. And so that piece of like, Oh, I get to be this other side and I have this reason, I have the wig and I have all the costume and I get to be really above and beyond just over the top. And that is fabulous. And I think there’s a piece of having a deeper expression of who you are, but in the dominatrix world, because there’s this piece of you are actually in charge of the other person, you’re responsible for the other person you’re actually on. So it’s much more of a high-level service position, as opposed to I get to be in control and leading and yes, there’s a large element of that, which is why a lot of dominatrixes are control freaks. But ultimately, we are also really compassionate and caring about who it is that we’re working with. Because literally, their life is in your hands, some of the things that you’re doing, so you have to be aware of what is going on with them. It is not all about you. So there are differences and some similarities.
Yeah, right. I mean, there has to be a huge relationship of deep trust there then really. And that’s super important. One of the things that that we had spoken about before that I was fascinated about, that you maybe confirmed some of my ideas about this a bit, was that many people who would be seeking out a dominatrix is not, as you said, it’s not a sexual thing. A big part of it has to do with maybe they have a lot of responsibility in their lives and they want someone else to be calling the shots to be in charge to completely take away their responsibility. So they’re at your mercy is that so it’s a mental break for them to be able to move to get rid of that. Take that off for a while and just be in someone else’s care. Can you say a bit more about that? Because I think that’s fascinating.
It is fascinating, and you know, that’s the typical. We see a lot of that because you have high powered executives, here’s the classic person that goes to a dominatrix. A high powered executive is in charge, is making decisions, maybe they’re running a company that has a lot of stress, a lot of pressure, they’re making life-altering consequences decisions of the people that they’re working with, or they feel that pressure and they’re large and in charge when they’re at work. And then, in order to really let go in order to really have that opposite experience, then they have to get into a situation where somebody else is taking charge, and somebody else is willing to, really take charge and not let them get back to their old ways. You know, if you’re saying you want to submit Well, then I’m going to make sure that you follow up on that. And I’m not going to let you out of that. And that’s the piece where it’s like the dominator has to step up. And I can feel myself already, you know, getting my whip out, right. It’s that piece of stepping into that role, where it is authentic. It is like I’m willing to be in charge. And I’m coming at it from your own good because you’ve said you want to surrender, you said you want to drop into this, well, then Damn it, here’s the fastest way to do it. We’re going to like, beat you into submission. But for the reason of dropping into what we call in the world, we call it subspace. And subspace would be the closest link to, you know, where somebody gets after years and years of transcendental meditation. It’s that really deep space of nothing else exists, no time, no space. Everything’s just this moment right here and they’re fully present. And that’s what people are looking for. So it’s not so much that they want to be beaten. I mean, there are some that are You know, it’s unhealthy, but really they’re looking for what is the endgame? What is that ultimate? Right? So, whether you go to extreme sports or dominatrix it’s kind of the same ultimate result.
I’m sure I’m not the only person that might be surprised to hear that there is a connection between this the dominatrix world. I guess it’s the kink world and transcendental experiences, they’re not two things you would naturally assume go together?
No, but we look at ancient spiritual practices as a whole. Most of them have some sort of component that requires you to go through pain, suffering, you know, endured torture, so to speak. So whether it’s the native culture where you go on a spiritual vision quest, and you fast for 21 days, you expose yourself to the elements. I don’t know personally, I think that’s a whole lot more extreme than being in the dungeon. But, you know, there are every spiritual ancient practice has something that you go through an extreme experience in order to transform
the rites of passage. It’s interesting I mean, I think is one of those things that I do sometimes think that is almost missing now and needed in modern culture, these rites of passage that we used to have and you see some older traditional cultures still very much have them and maybe in more modern life we’ve adopted some not so good ones. But I was thinking about like college hazing and things like that. They’re considered rites of passage but the marking of reaching adulthood and having that also connection I think with people of your own gender like when you’re becoming a man, you connect with the men in your community when you’re becoming a woman, you connect with the women in your community. See that you have those sorts of connections and role models and the community that goes with that, is that on a psychological level, it’s almost sad that those things are missing because they’re a huge part of the ways that we really designed to interconnect with each other and have done historically we’ve moved so much away from it.
And it is really sad. I think, a lot of that community connection y’know, yes, it can go kind of sideways. But I think one of the things that we’re really missing is this, you know, course correct, because when you have a strong community when you have your tribe, then people can come along and say, Hey, John, listen, you know, like can we just correct this because like that behaviours, not really working for the community, we need you to get together what’s going on, and have a little conversation but what we have instead is we have situations where social media, brings out the worst of people and nobody’s doing any kind of checks and balances. nobody’s saying, hey, shhh, that’s not good. Don’t do that. You know maybe what else do you What are you trying to get? What are you trying to do? There isn’t that piece because if you do it in social media then all you do is just flare up the person,
you’ll get trolled
bigger traumas. Yeah, we’ve seen where that goes
Yeah, it’s not good and it’s not pretty but yes, those personal connections and that community behind it, and that is missing for so many people and in so much of modern life but not completely; there are definitely some parts of it, but probably not nearly enough. But to move on from that then the whole idea of the dominatrix is fascinating just in terms of the authority and my focus in the podcast is a lot about presentation and influence and the very image, just thinking about the word dominatrix conjures up very strong interpretations, very strong visuals in both of those in terms of presentation and the influence side of it as well. And what does that mean for you? Because you’ve brought some of that into what you do now. So what has it meant for you then and now?
it’s like, okay, that’s a really big question. And so, let’s deal with the presentation. So, here’s what I find is that for me when I go on stage, I love bringing a little bit of the energy of who I needed to become like who I would step into to be that dominatrix and it’s, who I became is very integrated with me, but there are times when it’s on and there are times when it’s off so getting on stage very much is that on? So you know that piece where I was saying it’s about being high-level service. So, when I’m presenting, I’m aware, I’m aware of what is going on in the room, I’m aware of being present, I’m also really going to bring in those pieces of being willing to be in charge. So, if there’s something going on in the room that is really distracting from what is going on, I will call it out. And I’ll do it in a nice way now, cos’ I’m not gonna whip people from the stage, that’s not really gonna work. But you know, if you’ve got somebody who’s, say the serving staff has walked in, I’ve been at presentations, where the serving staff is walking in there clearing and clanging and trying to pick up the dishes, then I will pause. And I will say, you know, we’ll pause until everybody’s looking, because now they’re the only noise. And then I’m like, can you hold the clearing of the plates until we’re done?
And that, like, that takes power that takes a willingness to stand on the stage you know, to stand on stage and say nothing is a powerful pose. It makes, you know, the speaker and everybody else uncomfortable. So this is where for me, I get so excited about like this energy of the dominatrix because I’ve spent my time making people uncomfortable, you know, and that that’s kind of a thrill for me, like, you know, it’s like, oh, you don’t like that? Oh, good. Yay. So that’s, that’s where I translate that for being on stage. And it was the other half of that question. I already lost
your authority, the influence side.
The Yeah, so the authority, you know, again, like, as well as holding your presence on stage because that’s really powerful, there’s also the piece of owning your expertise. So if you happen to be a speaker that does like say, speak, to sell in particular, you need to really own and embody your expertise and you need to convey that without the standing there, the blah, blah, blah, and I did this and I did that it’s, it’s really having an integrated and owned in your body so that you can weave it in. I stand on stage and I can talk about when I had a seven-figure business and I could just weave it in. And there are no bugaboos about that. So that’s owning the authority owning the power on stage.
And it’s just coming up for me whilst you were speaking. I think I can say this hopefully as I don’t think that my dad listens to my podcast, although I can’t guarantee he won’t listen to this one. But my dad tells stories about things that have happened or some sort of confrontations stuff like that. I always know he’s telling me what he wished he’d said as if he actually said it. And that was I think it’s probably where most people are, will probably want to be the hero of our own stories and, but to actually live that is so much more empowering and it does take a level of assuming authority and demanding it as well.
Yeah, and the flip side is being willing to own where you’ve You know, quote, unquote, failed. I mean, I personally don’t believe in the idea of success or failure that you know, right and wrong. But if we embrace it the way that typically that people say when you can really embrace your failures and own them as well, now you can speak to your stories, and you don’t have to make things up because people can see through that, especially now, you know, maybe 20 years ago, we could BS people on the stage, and people would buy it and like, Oh, right, but nowadays people are like, huh, yeah, that smells really fishy. I.. um… no, and discredit you. So you really need to be owning it from a truthful, honest place.
Yeah, it’s incredible. I mean, I’ve been working around training and teaching public speaking skills for a long time. And so one of the things I come across and come up against really more than anything else is this thing of people have this image of that they’re gonna get up on up on the stage or something. Gotta say you don’t know anything, let me tell you exactly what it is. That doesn’t really happen. But you do have to understand that more people are more knowledgeable now have access to more information. And so you do need to deliver some really good value, and you need to deliver it with confidence as well. And it’s probably not a bad idea to know how to handle those kinds of people and interruptions when they come up as well.
Yeah, in a way that doesn’t distract from what’s going on, you know, little things like anything from you know, you’ve got a moment of silence in the in the presentation, in somebody’s phone rings. Well, you know, you can either berate the person and make them feel small and stupid. Like, oh, I asked you to turn that off at the beginning. Like that would be rather rude. Be like, Oh, I guess that’s our timer. You know, like making it fun and
Yeah, utilise it. Right. That’s that staying present. And again, that’s another piece that I draw from the time that the dungeon Is that you had to be fully present for the whole session. And sometimes sessions were like four hours. So you really got to bring it and you’ve got to be there.
It’s a bit hard for me to imagine… my only knowledge of it is from what we’ve talked about and from Hollywood, do you know that I have very limited insight into that well, but it’s nonetheless fascinating. Are there any stories or things that happen that really stand out for you or were real either learning events for you or just super memorable from that time?
Um, I think you know, one that’s kind of applicable here is when I was first starting to transition over so I started out as the submissive side experience, I had a lot of healing and then I was really drawn to drop into the dominatrix side and I was, I was at a private party, and there was a woman who really embodied this she was, this is who she was, this was not a persona. And, and she had been this for probably about 10 years. And so we’re sitting there as I’m just starting to get comfortable with this and starting to own it and but I could hang out with her and just feel the energy, feel the vibe, watch how she interacted with her submissive and watching that dynamic and that was really powerful for me. And then I could just try it out and, you know, test these little pieces out of like, okay, noticing. So for me, one of the things that I thought was fascinating was the fact that the submissive, the more she held her power, the more she really stayed in that place of Yes, serve me, you’re here to serve me and really held that space, the more that he would glow. And, and that same night I had this lovely fellow who loves to do foot worship and he just, you know, it’s like a I was sitting there and he kind of like just snuck in. It was almost like he just kind of like, you know oozed in under my feet. And here’s this person who’s just like me, I rub your feet, right? Like this is really lovely, sweet person. So the more that I was claiming that dominatrix energy, the more I could see he was enjoying serving. And so it really reinforced that piece of when I stand in my power, it makes it so that other people can relax, it makes it more enjoyable for other people. And it gave me permission at that point, to really claim that and be
Interestingly in my motto saw that the UK, particularly is maybe viewed globally as being quite a prudish place and that we’re all sort of still in Victorian times and we all go back to our castles at the end of the day kind of thing is how a lot of people can see it which is very far from very far from the truth and yet on our sort of puritanical morality sort of side, I see the US as generally being more along those sorts of paths and across the water having much more of a puritanical morality and to them maybe a bit more associated the Victorian side that is interesting because it almost makes things like the kink world even more salacious, even more exciting in some ways, because there’s all these people who disapprove of it and are going to tut their eyes but maybe also interesting from a just from the sort of side of psychologically acceptance and being accepted by the great majority that most of us always want acceptance that sometimes when you go into these worlds and I say that as maybe part of my own experience from from entering the the gay community as I grew up, that you find your own place and what those other people think matters so much less, would you relate to any of that?
Absolutely, there’s a lot of people start into the kink world and going to events and things and it becomes this, like, Oh, you know, that finally, it finally I can let go. Finally, I can release the shackles of all the prudent pieces and, and, and you found a tribe of people who are also all liberated and willing to express this and, and so sometimes you get a little starry-eyed in the beginning and, you know, dive off the deep end, and then gradually, it’s like, oh, well, let me just find my own rhythm in here. What? What is it that actually works for me instead of, you know, being led down the garden path by other people’s ideas. And, and that’s where I see the beauty of these kinds of explorations for people is when you can get to that level where it becomes A matter of Oh, look, what are you doing? And why are you doing that, and it doesn’t sound like something I want to do. But I’m fascinated as to why. And getting that bigger, broader perspective, also allows you to have a broader perspective in life. But, like, everywhere, there are some people that remain narrow-minded, and, it’s like, my kink is good, and your kink is bad, just like the rest of the world. But I see the potential for people to expand their horizons, to at least be open-minded, even if it’s not something you want to physically explore.
Yeah, it is fascinating insights. And so those perspectives make so much more sense than just viewing it from it’s all about sex or it’s just all about people trying to overcome abusers like on a psychological level, there’s so much more to it. It’s not that those things aren’t connected in some ways But it is those psychological relationships, the power balances the understanding of the how, as you said transcendental it could be to give complete authority over to someone else, how empowering for someone like yourself perhaps to step into that role and really discover and channel this level of authority and command. And so empowerment is a big part of what you do now. How much of the dominatrix comes into what you do now.
So at this point, now, it’s for me, it’s at the energy of the dominatrix, as opposed to, you know, people really stepping into using the physical tools of the dominatrix. And what that is for me is stepping into confidence. So I often call it bulletproof confidence because it comes from within as opposed to an external source this piece of being willing to lose everything, being willing to be judged, and not just being willing to be judged, but welcoming it in. That’s a whole other level. For me, there’s a very spiritual aspect to it. So, getting connected to your intuition, following those deeper nudges and that bigger perspective of, what if there’s nothing right or wrong in anything, and we’re here having an experience, and then it’s a freedom to create what we want, with the perspective of, you know, still stepping into that dominatrix piece of I still need to be aware of what works for other people still, so still being a good human and how do I want to experience life? So that’s kind of the overview of now, how the dominators is an archetype for women in particular in business to step into.
Yeah. What would you say then are the most positive traits of the dominatrix archetype?
Well, all the things I just talked about what I would say for most people, what is really attractive is the confidence and the peace around how we can turn judgement into fuel and using that to drive us forward as opposed to holding us back.
Yeah. From from the psychological side then once again, which, to me, psychology has been a fascinating area but in terms of your own natural power relationships with people you’ve mentioned earlier about how that can be one year from the stage. Does any of that play out in other parts of your life as well? That you find yourself a bit more assertive a bit more.
Oh, yeah. Absolutely. You know, if I walk in somewhere it is kind of there a leaderless ship. I naturally just can’t leave it alone. And I have to step in. I remember a friend of mine. She was moving And she was that chicken running around, and nobody was going to address it. So, I just stepped in and I and I started directing. I’m like I, you know, directing her, I was like, okay, you do this, you do this, you do this. And I’m like, you go here. And I and I basically spent the day just directing everybody, because I’m willing to step in and hold that authority power. My husband, he likes to laugh at me because he refuses to follow my directions when we’re driving because it says to me that you will go confidently in the wrong direction because I sound so confident in my say, yes, we’re going right. And then I’m like, Oh, no, that was left. So, you know, now we have to use Google instead of my directions.
I’m terrible at giving directions I rely completely on Google Maps and I’d be hopeless without it, I don’t know how we ever coped with map books before we had all of those things.
Right. You know, thank goodness For GPS
changed the world. So, what you in what you actually teach and present now as well what are your goals or your primary values about what you’re offering now.
So my main topic is around dealing with fear or anxiety. So giving people new ways to shift how they’re handling that. negotiation, of course, is a real strong skillset from the dominatrix world. And then the other one that I love to lead with is navigating difficult conversations because there’s a lot of the internal piece of what’s going on why people won’t lean into those difficult conversations. And yet, in business, in particular, I see it over and over again, if I see a business owner who is avoiding that confrontational kind of conversations. I guarantee that at some point they are going to hit a catastrophe because that will trip it up.
I had a friend in the UK who may or may not listen to this show but it isn’t embarrassing. It is very much in her favour but she is one of those people who she’s never afraid to ask for anything more to demand what she wants. And it seems a similar kind of energy, I sense that you know,we went out in London sometimes and going out to retail to go to an attraction, she’ll try and get them a discount even if they’re not offering any discounts we go out for a meal she’ll see if we can get a deduction, she’ll even go up to the makeup counter and try and get them to knock some money off the pricing, but she’s just that kind of person. She just doesn’t care what people are gonna think of her. She’s gonna do her best to get the best deal knows the kind of person, she is tremendous fun to hang out with. One time we snuck into a famous London attraction through the gift shop through the back entrance. I was convinced the whole time that we were going to get caught and arrested or something, but we didn’t. And I’m not saying which one it was in case there got a video of that time. But the attraction itself was terrible and we didn’t pay all the money for it, but the fun of it was that we snuck in, okay, so I’m gonna get my own way and she’s gonna, I’m gonna get a result here, I’m gonna get something. And I’m not going to be afraid to ask for it. And I just love that energy is much more unafraid than I am. And I usually in that sort of confrontational situation, is something that I struggle with, and I know lots of people do as well. I think people are generally afraid of it. I will do it. But I find it very, very hard like I might be shaking, but I will do it. Whereas a lot of people will walk away or that negative feeling or the fear of the confrontation and what will scare them back from doing it? And what sorts of things would you work with someone on them to help them become more confident or when a confrontational situation becomes necessary to be able to stand their ground and to be able to hold themselves in a powerful way?
Yeah, great question. So, generally, what happens is that we’ve got to look at the first layer is what is it that you’re avoiding? And what are what has been linked to this? So if you were to confront them, then we got to like dig into the subconscious and say, What’s going on there? Why is your subconscious thinking that it’s keeping you safe by avoiding the confrontation, move that programming out so that you’re not butting up against this safety factor. Because as long as your subconscious brain thinks that you’re going to be safe by avoiding confrontation, you will constantly avoid confrontation because that’s the way our subconscious works. So we have to change that programme. So it stops hitting the button, then the next layer is looking at if we need to add in the piece of like being willing to lose, and again clearing off and changing the programming that is around this idea that I’m going to lose XYZ or be losing is bad. Failing is about changing those kinds of pieces. Then when we have those two layers cleared off when we are when our psyche is set with that it’s safe to move forward, then the actual conversation the skills of the conversation are very simple. That becomes a matter of like, Okay, so here are the simple steps that we can walk you through you need to empathise with them you need to find out what’s what is it that they need? Why did this come up? You asking those questions, but if you don’t do the inner work first, it becomes a landmine. And it doesn’t matter how many of the skills I give you, even if I give you the entire outline of what you need to do. If we haven’t changed the inner landscape, you’re not actually going to do it.
Right. It is incredible really, the lengths people will go to to avoid confrontation and to not stand up for themselves and popped into my head. And I haven’t thought about this for a long time. But one time I was in London with my friend Chris who I used to work within the airline. And we were walking across London Bridge, and we were just behind this was a girl carrying a backpack, I shouldn’t say, girl, she was a fully grown woman and lots of tourists walking the other way. And every now and again, she would just punch one of them in the stomach. This seems like a crazy story. I know. But she’s touching these tourists in the stomach. And people were I guess it was the shock factor as well but people were turning around going, like did that really just happen? We walk in behind everything. Had to do it maybe four or five times. And none of these people actually came back and said, you just punched me. Not one of them. They just carried on like, it didn’t really happen. And each one of them had been punched in the stomach. Me and my friend Chris, maybe we’re a bit more like the social justice warriors. I don’t know. But we went and stopped her and we confronted her in the street, and we were trying to call the police over. But we kind of figured it wasn’t gonna be that much point because no one actually stuck around to actually say, She didn’t punch us. We just saw a bunch of these other people that well, you know, is our word against hers, but it was still the fact that we confronted her at least she stopped doing it right then and there. But it was one of the craziest things that people didn’t even defend themselves or confront that and this for me is in some ways an example of that is almost this Lack of desire to confront the things that are really affecting or maybe even hurting you in your life.
Absolutely. I mean, it is a good example of that. And in this case, some people may be evaluating and saying, Oh, you know, this could be a crazy person, don’t go confront them. So there are some safety pieces that are, you know, real and valid because if somebody just randomly punches you, there’s a possibility of some psychological disruption going on. But in the day to day, and here’s a great example of somebody who is hurting their business by how they’re handling some of their clients. So, a client who came to me after working with another coach, this other coach, they came to heads with things and rather than the two of them sitting down and having an actual phone conversation, and my client was quite willing to have that conversation. Instead, this other coach was sending her voice messages. So through an app called Voxxer, she’d vox her, and then just chew her out. And of course, that kind of platform is one way. It’s just like social media. It’s one way, nobody’s interrupting you while you’re ranting. And that is very destructive for your business, obviously, because you’re not creating raving fans, you’re not solving. You know, here’s a person who had spent, thousands of dollars, almost $20,000 with this coach, and instead of dealing with it, she’s just yelling at the client. And you know, that kind of thing, long term is going to ripple out because people are going to talk about that people are going to say, don’t work with that person because she’s crazy. So our inability to navigate our conversations effectively will affect our bottom line, and it will affect our sense of peace and all of those things.
Yeah, I’m curious. They know how someone makes The journey from dominatrix to business performance coach and public speaker
Okay, so as I needed to give a little bit of a backstory there, so, the prompt in there. So I had my seven-figure business, we had staff, everything’s going great. And then we had several things happen all at once in the business and its kind of like the Titanic when the Titanic hit the iceberg it wasn’t because it hit the iceberg it was that it hit an open six balances if it only hit five, the Titanic was still alive, right? So that was what it was for us. We hit that critical. We had one too many things that happened all in a very short period of time. So we actually had to restructure I had to lay everybody off. And I decided to open the business in the smaller version, but in that transition for me, in going through that going through all the crazy and then once I had space to think about it. I dropped in, I started to evaluate us, okay, beyond the stuff that happened right beyond the people breaking into our merchant account beyond the losing some of our top clients because they went bankrupt and didn’t pay their bills beyond the obvious what went wrong. And it gave me a chance to stop and say, Okay, so here I was with this, you know, dominatrix piece holding my power and my personal life. But in my business, I had segregated these two pieces. And so all of this power was over my personal life. I wasn’t holding it in my business, so I wasn’t leaving the business effectively. And in restructuring, what I started to do was to bring those two pieces together to bring in the energy. I saw a huge difference inside of four months, we went from losing $10,000 a month to profiting $5,000 a month. Huge turnaround and it continues to grow and I eventually sold it in 2016. But that transition That ability to see how bringing that energy in would jump sales, it would make things easier, everything flowed. If I happen to slip out of that energy, things slumped again. So I saw for me, and then I knew that for business owners and particularly like say, particularly for women business owners who are not holding their power, this is the missing component. Call it whatever you want. I call it the inner dominatrix energy, but it is missing if you’re not holding your power.
Yeah, absolutely. That makes a lot of sense. As a business-performance coach Now then, what kinds of things that you work with people?
Yeah, you know, this is what I love is that it’s a range. So people often come to me with you know, the surface problem is something is not working in their business. So maybe they’ve hit a plateau and their systems are no longer working that’s really common or, they have If they’ve had a successful business in the past, they’ve transitioned to something new. And they’re not getting it off the ground. And even though you know, all the things that they used to do to be successful, again, systems are not working kind of that’s a pretty central piece. Now what’s going on underneath that is that they’re in the midst of it’s what some people call a spiritual crisis. It’s a really it’s a coming back to is like, what’s, what’s missing? What’s the piece that you ignored in order to have success in the past? Because that’s coming home to roost and that’s what needs to be dealt with. So it could be dealing with their relationship, it could be dealing with past traumas, it’s very common childhood things. And then I always end up weaving in a little bit of business strategy marketing strategy, and I do channel a little bit so I channel business marketing, which is really fun. Yeah, it’s a whole new way to do marketing.
First, for me they know and I’m fascinated. This is one of them wanting Well, there’s a lady called Sally Hogshead who wrote ‘How The World Sees You’ if you’ve heard of it? She talks about how to fascinate and it was enlightening this whole thing. Oh, yeah, it’s important to be fascinated and to be fascinating as well. And sometimes it’s the being fascinated that helps make you fascinating as well to watch and they Yeah, there’s a whole big thing she’s certainly someone I want to approach in the future for being a guest as well. It’s incredible. Okay, so I want to come back to the business performance coaching then when you’re working with someone, particularly now when there’s a lot going on, what are the things that you would be encouraging people to be focusing on and working on right now?
Okay, so let’s dive into the tools because we’ve talked a lot and it’s fascinating, but you know, I also love for people to have some actual tools. So First thing we need to do is to get people on board with the idea that you have the ability to pick up on other people’s thoughts and emotions and feelings. And we know this. So if you’ve sat in an auditorium, and you felt the sensation of somebody staring at you, the reason you can feel it is because we feel the energy of it. So whether they are at the back of the auditorium or on the other side of the globe, we have that same ability, and there are some fascinating studies that have been done. But basically, we just kind of want to extrapolate out and say, Okay, if we have the ability to pick up on what’s going on with other people around the globe, then in this time, in this time of the global pandemic, what is the possibility that the anxiety that you feel is not all yours? If there are 7 billion people feeling a sense of dis-ease, anxiety, upset, then what if we suppose that 90% of what you feel is not yours, it’s maybe even higher than that, but 90% is where I find most people can agree with me. So now the typical response when we’re looking at, working with energy in the energetic field is people would do the shield or the bubble or the walls, right, trying to protect themselves. But the challenge with that is that trying to protect yourself is as effective as trying to block an attacker. So in martial arts, if you try to block an attacker, you’re still going to get bowled over. And this is what ends up happening energetically is that if you try to block what’s coming at you, then eventually your walls gonna crash down and it’s just gonna like, you know, knock you over like a tsunami. So instead, if we go the opposite, and we take our energy field and we go really, really big with it, we expand way out, make ourselves loads of space. And where I like to visualise for people is if we start with like an egg-shaped bubble around us. Fill that bubble with your favourite colour, doesn’t matter what colour, whatever your favourite colour is, and then we’re going to take that colour and it doesn’t dilute as we expand it, okay? So take your colour and fill all the room that you’re in, and then take the colour and fill the house. And then we keep going out fill the city, we keep going out fill the country because you’re in a small country. So if you’re in Canada, start with the province, fill the country, and then you know really go big or go right out to the size of the world. And notice, notice that there’s like more space in your body is a little more ease. Right? So now what this does two things one, energetically you have more space. And so when stuff is coming at you, you have the ability to perceive it from further away, which allows you to move which just like martial arts, you want to be able to move out of the way and then drop your opponent on the floor. So, with the expanding out, it allows you to have more space, it also allows you to have perspective. Because you’re not crunched in with the tiny little, you know, into a little ball, you’re moved out, do you have perspective, the moment you feel like you have perspective, then your brain starts to go, Oh, I have more perspective. Oh, let me look at this differently. And so it gets on board. So this works, energy moves the physical, it does both. Alright, so that on a regular basis, if people are expanding out now, with my clients I just keep going all the way out to infinite space. But for now, even the size of the world makes a big difference. If you can link that. So, as you move about your day, every time you see the colour that you picked, you’re going to allow yourself to expand back out to at least the size of the world, if not more, and you’re doing that on a regular basis. So if your colour was blue right now, the blue of your shirt would remind me to expand it And so that’s the things like to think about what are the things that you’re going to encounter in the day, that are going to be the colour. And then just forward, you know, projecting on to the fact that you see that colour, you’re expanding out, you’ll set up the habit to be expanding out on a regular basis, and then you’re not in overwhelm all the time. So that’s always the foundational piece that I get my clients doing.Now, the other piece of it is, you know, playing with questions. That’s the other tool that I’ll give everybody is playing with questions and dropping into that five-year-old. Remember the five-year-old, they’re always like, why, but why is the sky blue? Why does it do that? Why is it you know, why are the fish swimming? Why is it like Why? Why, why they don’t want to write everything they want to know, they’re totally curious, and they don’t have an assumption about what the answers can be. Now, sometimes they’re annoying because they don’t listen to the answer, but they don’t have the assumption as to what the answer is, and that’s the thing is to expand out, and then ask yourself, I wonder how else I could do this? I wonder how else I could see this. I wonder what else I can choose? in that wonder question as opposed to the why question because a why question is as effective as analysing your poop. Don’t analyse it, just flush it. right. Why is this not working? Why am I so fucked up? Why is this like that? Those why questions are not helpful but when you add the wonder in front of I wonder why I’m so good at finding creative solutions. I wonder why it’s so easy to make money out when you start to expand your possibilities.
Yeah, I like it. You know, some of the coaching I’ve done over the years, that’s one of the things I do without trying to label it like this because I think people get a bit uptight if I start talking about things like victim mentality and the likes. But the victim mentality is the Why me? Why is this happening to me kind of thing? And that’s not really the why questions aren’t good ones to ask. And instead, the better questions to ask are the how, how good Could I cope with my life being? How successful would I be able to withstand? You know, there those are better questions to be asking yourself because whatever questions you do ask rhetorically or otherwise yourself, your brain is looking for ways to answer them, even if you’re not conscious of that. And you’re going to see that showing up in your experience. So I can say in the past, I’ve talked about this on a group coaching last night that we used to have this sort of connection between something good would happen but then my expectation was something bad had to happen because I wasn’t allowed to have things that good as that, I know that’s not for me. So where is it? Well, I was going for and then the next thing is this expectation of this bad thing is going to happen and wipe me out, which always did. And that was really that expectation that focus on the past experience or whatever, dictating for me what was going to come next until I shifted from that and started asking myself better questions and started focusing on why I can do rather than what I can’t do or what’s gonna go wrong or what’s gonna be bad. And that life goes so much better. Even sort of think well, maybe you’re just deluding yourself or maybe you are but it’s still you’re still going to be better off because you’re going to have a better life experience. And the chances are, you’re going to see those things reflected in your life and the things that turn up as well because that’s what you’re focusing on instead of the poor me Why me and why is it like that? As you think of how and getting into that kid’s book, Lemony Snicket? I love that thing. From the film of there’s always a way there’s, there’s always a way that you’re much better off with that kind of mentality that, whatever it takes, there’s always a way there’s a solution to this, that Marie Forleo everything’s figure out double, you know that all that’s a much better, healthier mindset that’s going to get you results.
Absolutely. Yeah. And the majority of people, I will just suggest one piece in this that, like, if anybody listening is in the place where you’ve heard these things before and you’re, you’re really resistant to that. Well, you know, that’s not gonna work. Just you know, I’ve tried that and that’s not gonna work, then to recognise that that is your subconscious mind trying to keep you safe because at some point, taking risks created a bad result. And so it’s also about going a little bit deeper with the subconscious mind for some reprogramming because just asking the questions, sometimes will reactivate your resistance and in flipping around those deeper programmings, makes it easier to step in, as opposed to needing to repeat it 1000 times to get it to shift.
Yeah, well, it’s important to say. You have a book called badass intuition. What is badass intuition?
Badass intuition is a six-week boot camp to take you through step by step process, getting in touch with your actual intuition. So, this is not your gut response. It’s sometimes it’s mistaken, like with your subconscious, but it’s actually dropping into connecting with that piece, that inner wisdom that has never been wrong, that that niggle that comes up this is I don’t think you should do that. And then you go and do that and you’re like, yeah, that was right. to actually be able to tap into that ahead of time. differentiate between what is your intuition and what Is your conditioned response to things? So, it’s a six-week process to get you started and then there’s the next level is reach out to me for going deeper with it.
Yeah, your cat has an answer for us as well I think
she wants in
she’s gonna be on taking the stage with you I think. So that is something that people can get a bit of a taste of that from you for free, right? You’ve offered people to be able to access that for free.
Yeah. So if you go to innerdominatrix.com you can download a full copy of the badass intuition. Get you going with your boot camp there and really start to get yourself trained on differentiating What is your actual intuition versus the clutter in your mind. So it’s very, very helpful.
Yeah. Then another few other things that I wanted to hit on today. But I also want to respect your time a very, very generous with it and you’re giving us so much great value here today. And now you said your return backing again in the future and we’ll discuss the cult influence and some of your experiences with that as well. Is there anything that you would, like we talked about things that women in negotiations and how to deal with their own stuff? Is there anything that you particularly wanted to make sure that we do cover before we start wrapping things up for today?
You know, I think we’ve touched on a lot of things and I would say, for anybody listening the biggest thing is to… if your subconscious mind is trying to tell you oh, that’s impossible. I can’t I’ve always it’s always been this way for whatever a little slice of it, you know, to start the nudging of like, well, what if I wrong? What if that’s a lie? And definitely, you know, reach out if you want some help moving things through. But to start with that piece of trial, the tools of expanding try out the questioning and then if you’re really getting resistance, it’s like what if? Because your subconscious mind is telling you all these lies of you can’t, you can’t. And until we challenge it, we’re never going to shift it.
Yeah. One of the things that was wonderful on the group coaching call that I did last night was really powerful call and thankfully it’s recorded. So I’m going to go back and re-listen to it when I get some time the weekend but that some stuff came upon there that some people I’ve been working with for quite a while finally hitting those breakthrough points of You know what, I’m just going to go for it anyway. All these things that most of the time when people are feeling held back, there’s just because they’re holding themselves back more than anything else. And like you say, the subconscious mind talking to you saying, I can’t do that or that’s not for me or that’s for taller people, older people, younger people, slimmer people bigger… so on whatever it is, whatever it is that you’re telling yourself is the reason why you can’t do it, maybe the exact reason why you should be out there doing it and certainly is something that you to stop listening to and just go and do it anyway. And who cares, just see what happens just gather and do it because you’re going to have a much richer life and experience for that and as I see that for myself as ever, my clients I’m sure you share similar sentiments as well. And it’s just so important to get out there and do it. What is the would you say is that maybe the number one thing you could do them for channelling your inner badass you’re in a dominatrix. Oh Is there anything else you could add to that?
I would really say to start with those pieces and then if you want to go further pick up some of the books and start applying some of the tools there. So I think we need to wrap up because these cats both of them are now yelling at me.
They want their mother so I am going to let you go and take care of them. But Dana, thank you so much. I’m really forward to having you back and look and we’ll get onto the cult stuff on the dark side of influence and persuasion and everything. All the links to all of your book and information is going to be in the episode description. So you can go and find out more about Dana go and check on her website, download the digital copy of badass intuition, check out some of our other books and talks as well if you get the chance. Dana, thank you so much for giving us your time and so many insights and wonderful stories today. It’s been a real pleasure.
Thank you so much, john. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this.
I’m glad to hear it. I look forward to speaking and connecting with you again very soon. Take care go and look after those cats. See you soon.
My guest for this episode has a healthy way of pushing. When we had a pre-recording chat to plan the episode he gave me a gentle push to join him on a Facebook live. I did and it was my first. I popped my Facebook live cherry. I’m ready for more 🙂
Kit Pang is a public speaking coach and trainer based in Boston, USA. You can tell he has his own podcast because he likes asking the questions too. When I asked Kit why I would want him as a guest on my podcast he told me “I’m here to give your audience a kick-in-the-butt to improve their public speaking so they can be more successful as leaders.” That’s the kind of direct charm I just can’t resist.
Kit is the founder of BostonSpeaks and a public speaking coach at Harvard Business School who has worked with speakers ranging from NFL Players and Three Star Michelin Chefs to Fortune 500 CEOs and TEDx Speakers.
In our chat, we discuss the difference between influence and persuasion and why that matters.
I hope you’ll enjoy listening in to our chat as much as we enjoyed having it. To find out more about Kit Pang you can connect with him on Linked In and you can also visit his business website here...
Next episode, don’t miss my chat with a former dominatrix turned presentation trainer. The conversation is explosive, fascinating and powerful. Wondering if there’s some dominatrix energy in you? Let’s find out…
Whether you want to captivate a live audience or just entertain your friends and family, storytelling is an art form we can all benefit from improving in. My guest Jason Reid is a master storyteller and he teaches others how to tell stories and how to sell with stories too.
Jason is not just an entertaining professional speaker. Jason Reid teaches entrepreneurs, experts and sales teams how to create presentations and tell stories with intention and impact – helping them turn their audience into clients.
Known as the power story master for his ability to create compelling narratives that wow an audience, Jason has been a main-stage speaker at some of North America’s largest entrepreneur events and built his own business by speaking.
In this episode, we talk about the power of stories. How to construct stories. What to put in and what to leave out. What makes them funny and what cultural differences you can expect as a speaker and storyteller if you speak to other nationalities.
Jason was very generous with his time and also shares some very entertaining stories that I know you’re going to love.
Here’s the graphic for the story arc Jason mentions at about 14-15 minutes point
I have a friend who knows a lot about how to overcome fears of public speaking and presenting. He’s a super cool guy and a great presenter and he’s my guest on this episode of the Loqui Podcast, Bennie Naude.
We discuss some of our shared training and trainers in the arena of speaking and how Bennie went from 20 years in the corporate world to working for himself as a presentation skills trainer. We spend a little time talking about his own presenting fears and how he’s worked to overcome them.
We recorded this chat a little while before coronavirus quarantines and the likes and I hope that will not affect your enjoyment.
To find out more about Bennie and to check out any of his resources, please go to http://fallinlovewithpresenting.com or find Bennie on LinkedIn
In this episode, I chat with voice artist and actress Karin Anglin hot on the heels of her starring role in the hot new comedy from Showtime network called ‘Work in Progress‘. The show is hilarious and has just been renewed for a second season. It’s scored highly with viewers and critics on Rotten Tomatoes and I’m already in love with it.
We chat about the voice acting industry, adding emotion to your voice, sounding more natural when presenting and taking care of your voice. If you have to speak as part of your job or business, you’ll want to listen in.
Stay tuned to the end of the episode to find out what my secret (not anymore) nickname is of Karin and she then reveals something even I didn’t know about her!
Watch the full Saturday Night Live skit here: https://youtu.be/_tO9dA2syYM
You can find out more about Karin on her website www.karinanglin.com and let her know if you want her as your own voice model.
You can watch Work In Progress on Showtime in the USA. Go to Showtime.com for a free month so you can start watching this great comedy right away. Listeners in the UK can go to Sky Comedy, Sky Canal or Sky Go to watch. For the rest of Europe, it will hopefully be streaming on Amazon Prime soon. In the meantime, if you have a VPN you can try Showtime.com or Hulu.com
I am unbelievably lucky to have landed a guest like Cindy Ashton. Cindy is who the pro’s go to when they want to step their game up even more and she was generous enough to take 30 minutes or so out of her schedule to impart some wisdom bombs and expertise which we can all benefit from.
I’m a passionate learner and love coming across new information and learning, especially when it relates to my passion for presenting and public speaking. So, you’ll excuse me that I sat back a little in this chat and gave space for Cindy to share as much as we could fit into the time available. (I’ve never before had someone apologise for responding late to an email because they were busy interviewing people on the red carpet for the Oscars!)
Cindy is an award-winning TV Host of #CindyUncorked, singer/entertainer, keynote speaker & presentation trainer. We chat about how to get the edge in the world of online meetings, presentations and speaking, what’s going on right now and where there are opportunities if you are willing to look for them. There are some real gems of knowledge in this chat that will have me revisiting it many times over.
Here’s the link to the YouTube video in case you want to see the physical exercise Cindy demonstrates for producing oxytocin (13m35s): https://youtu.be/AzdgNzK_bPg
Do you think being locked down at home for weeks is bad? How about getting kidnapped? My guest this week has survived 3 kidnappings and knows a thing or two about how to get through troubling and uncertain times.
We are in unprecedented and trying times and more than ever we need to find and lean on any resources that help us to improve our mental resilience. No matter how strong we think we are, we all have a threshold for how much we can mentally cope with and when life and experiences exceed our threshold we don’t always manage it and often can not cope.
One thing we should never be afraid or ashamed to do is to reach out for help especially to someone with expert knowledge like Simon Maryan. In this episode, you will find some relatable stories, some tools and resources and even some humour.
To find out more about Simon and to connect with him, please visit his website http://simonmaryan.com
(Apologies for the beeps in the recording. I have no idea where they were coming from and have done my best to edit them out. This was also the day before I lost my voice completely for several days with a very painful virus, thus my super husky voice.)
Recorded March 19th 2020 during the global pandemic.
My original plan in chatting with Vicki Wusche was that we discuss how she has grown her business through public speaking and become an expert in property investing through her books. We had a few other topics in mind too and we decided to save them all for another time and discuss what is going on now and how we might help ourselves to create a better future once this crisis is over.
We hope this conversation may especially help anyone who is feeling a sense of despair and fear for the future, especially how careers, businesses and the financial world will be affected.
Vicki makes a very generous offer at the end of the podcast that is open to everyone.
If you would like to connect with Vicki or take her up on her offer, you can email her firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find out more about Vicki at https://www.VickiWusche.com
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