Even if you were imaginative, you couldn’t make up the crazy life that Dr. Sage Breslin has lived. Raised primarily in suburban Los Angeles, she had no idea what life had in store for her. Educated in some of the finest institutions and having traveled the world, Dr. Breslin is intelligent, articulate and culturally fluent- you’d never know that she has a Traumatic Brain Injury, endured extensive sexual assault and sex trafficking, nor that she was paralyzed during graduate school after an accident.
If you met her, you’d be impressed with her diplomacy, grace and sassy wit, but you wouldn’t be able to tell that she’s experienced cardiac arrest eight times, once while giving birth to twins prematurely (after being told she could never have kids!). If you saw Dr. Breslin, you’d probably be surprised to learn that she has Multiple Myeloma, since she is often one of the brightest energies in the room and is brimming with positivity. While others might have given up in response to such extensive trauma and tragedy, Dr. Breslin’s amazing resilience has enabled her to use her experiences to assist others.
Sage has a BA in Behavioral Psychology from UCSD and an MA and PhD in Counseling Psychology from Northwestern University. She is also certified by Dr. Herb Benson in Mind/Body Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Breslin is a Breakthrough and Transformation Coach, a Trauma Psychologist, a Motivational Speaker, a Screenwriter and a Best-Selling Author. Her first book, Lovers & Survivors, as well as her work with Chicken Soup for the Soul, LLC have generated worldwide acclaim.
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We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Sage Breslin: I am Dr. Sage Breslin, a Licensed Psychologist and Breakthrough Coach. I am absolutely passionate about enabling others to uncover their core selves so that they can connect authentically with themselves and with those around them.
So much of what I do stresses the importance of connection and authenticity- it’s really time to surrender the illusion, let go of the mask (well, maybe not your N95!) and allow others to really KNOW you! At Sage Wisdom Institute, we recongize that folks explore, learn and connect in all different ways, so we offer several different kinds of services to ensure that anyone who’s interested in transformation can actually achieve it!
Our clinicians and coaches offer individual and couples counseling and coaching, Leadereship Masterminds, VIP Days and retreats, and even online courses and motivational programs that enable folks to work at their own pace if so desired!
2020 and 2021 threw a lot of curve balls into business on a global scale. Based on the experience gleaned in the past couple years, how can businesses thrive in 2022? What lessons have you learned?
Sage Breslin: To say that the way we lead now has transformed since 2020 is perhaps the understatement of the century! We have pivoted with our personnel practices, with the services we offer, with the way we engage with our clients and staff… the list goes on! As leaders and business owners, some of the most important lessons that we have received is that in order for our team members to work for us successfully, both leader and team must be supported.
At the foundation, both need to ensure their mental and physical health. Leaders and team members alike need to learn a LOT more about their implicit biases so that we can become a much more inclusive and compassionate work force. We need to engage in more compassion and flexibility than ever, but (here’s the kicker), we also have to have strong boundaries.
That being said, leaders have learned that if they do not set the example as authentic and transparent leaders, their team members will not really see or hear their message, nor have motivation for putting forth sustained effort to enable leaders, companies, and communities to meet their goals.
The pandemic seems to keep on disrupting the economy, what should businesses focus on in 2022? What advice would you share?
Sage Breslin: Recovery from a pandemic requires long-haul thinking, visioning and planning. Anything that is focused on the short-term is not likely to succeed.
How has the pandemic changed your industry and how have you adapted?
Sage Breslin: Zoom everything??? I have always found it easier to do what I do when I have a client with me in the room. During the pandemic, I had to learn to be fully present (no cheating!) with my remote clients in order to really dive deep and enable clients to uncover the blocks below the surface. At first I didn’t know if I would be able to hold space sufficiently for deep emotional work to be done across a screen but I have discovered that when folks are eager to transform, they will do the work that needs to be done, AND SO WILL I!
What advice do you wish you received when the pandemic started and what do you intend on improving in 2022?
Sage Breslin: That’s an interesting question. I think my biggest frustration was the lack of disaster planning as the pandemic hit. So much misinformation made it challenging for people to know how to plan (2 wks vs 2 yrs!). Additionally, it seems that folks didn’t seem to grasp what was necessary in order to slow transmission, so we endured perhaps more than we needed to.
For our company, we are pretty seemless in terms of being remote. We still maintain an office, but our services can be as virtual as we desire. However, as psychologists, we discovered a LOT more challenges with offering counseling across state lines, so had to focus on hiring psychologists who were licensed in several states so that we could serve more of the population.
While our national organizations have tried to make progress with reciprocity, we’re still not there yet. Thankfully, the coaching world doesn’t have quite so many legal limits, so our coaching clients continue to increase from all over the world.
As for what I need to improve, I still LOVE my desktop. My goal is to finally get ALL of our software programs online so that all of our clinicians and coaches can access them from wherever they are.
Online business surged higher than ever, B2B, B2C, online shopping, virtual meetings, remote work, Zoom medical consultations, what are your expectations for 2022?
Sage Breslin: I believe that we’ll see some business return to an in-person focus, but I don’t think our virtual businesses will be going anywhere any time soon!
How many hours a day do you spend in front of a screen?
Sage Breslin: From morning till night? About 6-8. Less if I can!
The majority of executives use stories to persuade and communicate in the workplace. Can you share with our readers examples of how you implement that in your business to communicate effectively with your team?
Sage Breslin: My narrative story-telling style is why people work with me! Rather than telling my team what to do, I encourage them to help me understand what they’re doing, where they’re challenged, and how they think things might work better. If I’ve gone through a similar learning curve, I may offer a brief story about my own experience. If they get stuck and they want specific instructions, I’ll go there, but realize that if they don’t invest in the process, they’re pretty likely to ask me again and again for the same instructions.
Business is all about overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities for growth. What do you see as the real challenge right now?
Sage Breslin: Honestly, I think that folks have become very focused on division rather than connection and collaboration. I am hopeful that we will be able to address that, person by person, corporation by corporation, and community by community. As we are able to lead more authentically, and ask the same of our team membes, we will develop greater buy-in with one another, and the motivation for inclusion and collaboration will increase.
In 2022, what are you most interested in learning about? Crypto, NFTs, online marketing, or any other skill sets? Please share your motivations.
Sage Breslin: LOL. I am truly excited to be launching a few more programs in 2022, and to publish four more books in 2023. Then, I’ll be interested in what the best beaches to walk on are!!!
A record 4.4 million Americans left their jobs in September in 2021, accelerating a trend that has become known as the Great Resignation. 47% of people plan to leave their job during 2022. Most are leaving because of their boss or their company culture. 82% of people feel unheard, undervalued and misunderstood in the workplace. Do you think leaders see the data and think “that’s not me – I’m not that boss they don’t want to work for? What changes do you think need to happen?
Sage Breslin: I’d say that anyone one in a leadership role might just assume that they have some room to grow and enroll in leadership development (I’m seriously biased since this is what I do!).
Then, I think all leaders should make some version of that leadership development available to all team membesr (we have online programs and classes as well). Providing discounted coaching and counseling to team members will also improve corporate culture. But, at the end of the day, if you are in a leadership role and not walking your talk and doing the work, YOU are the problem.
On a lighter note, if you had the ability to pick any business superpower, what would it be and how would you put it into practice?
Sage Breslin: To be able to exemplify my skills so well within 5 minutes that folks not only get what I do, but want to do it with me so that they can transform!
What does “success” in 2022 mean to you? It could be on a personal or business level, please share your vision.
Sage Breslin: Living a healthy life- enjoying my children and grandchild, continuing to feel productive and engaged with work, traveling as I desire, and building my team so that can enjoy this work as much as I do!
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Sage Breslin for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Sage Breslin or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page
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