Barbara Fletcher – Barb Fletcher & Associates

Aug 8, 2022

Season 3 / Episode #79 : Barbara Fletcher

by Work @ Home RockStar Podcast

The Back-Story

Barbara Fletcher believes that to be at your best, you must be resilient. She is inspired to train & coach using effective, simple strategies that will help people create the life they choose. When people are resilient, their lives change. People relate easily to her, and this allows her clients to achieve the greatest results in the shortest time.

Show Notes

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In this episode:
[0:00] Intro
[0:33] A story of success in Barbara’s business
[3:26] What were the bad notes in Barbara’s life?
[8:27] How does Barbara approach getting good and keeping good at what she does?
[12:20] What are the tools that Barbara used in her business?
[14:51] Marc Mawhinney from Natural Born Coaches shares his experience with Tim and Creative Crew Agency
[19:53] How does she approach delegating and building her team?
[22:21] On her home office settings
[25:22] What’s exciting in Barbara’s business?
[29:53] Find out more about Barbara and her business
[30:25] Outro


Read Transcript

Tim Melanson: Hello, and welcome to today’s episode of the work at hall rockstar podcast, excited for today’s guest.

She is a stress expert and the owner of Barb, Barb Fletcher and associates. And what she does is she helps people move from stress and overwhelmed to comfort and ease by teaching people how to use some reusable tools that they can use at their own leisure. And in the moment when it’s happening, very excited to be rocking up today with Barbara Fletcher.

Hey Barbara, you ready to.

Barbara Fletcher: I am. I’m excited to be here today.

Tim Melanson: Yes. I can’t wait to hear about your journey. So we always start off here on a good note. So tell me a story of success in your business that we can be inspired by.

Barbara Fletcher: So I think one of, uh, a recent client that I was working with. Arrived on my doorstep and, or my virtual doorstep today.

And he, uh, I said to him, talk to stress and his response was when I stressed, I stay mad for three days and. That caught me off guard. So we did a session and he came back after week one and I said, so how was your week? And always said, it was great. And I said, so, you know, how do you measure great? He said, well, I only see it’s mad for 30 minutes.

And after week two, which was very shocking to me to move from three days to 30 minutes and week was. He said, well, you know, I only stayed upset for 10 minutes and then I was able to sort things out. And the following week he said, I just self-regulated took myself out of the situation. And because now I have the tools.

So that was a really profound shift in somebody that occurred right before my eyes in probably four weeks. And. His measure of success. Um, when we finished up was his son told him that he no longer felt like he was walking on eggshells. So that’s pretty powerful feedback from the people you care about.

So that is probably one of my all time favorites as it relates to success.

Tim Melanson: Um, yeah, I isn’t it interesting that we don’t get taught these things in school. Like this should be something that cuz we all deal with stress and especially nowadays the stress is even getting. Crazier and we don’t have the tools.

Why, why it, it, it baffles me why we don’t learn this in school, but thank goodness for you.

Barbara Fletcher: It does. It does me as well. And I think that we’re doing a disservice to children and, and adults for that matter. You know, I work with a number of entrepreneurs who are on high alert all the time. Many of them are juggling things that they’re good at and some not so good at, which is invoking a stress response.

And if they were to have these tools, their life journey would look quite different.

Tim Melanson: Agree a hundred percent now on the journey of life, sometimes things don’t go as planned and we hit some bad notes. So I’m wondering, can you share with us something that didn’t go as planned for you and how you recovered it or how we can avoid it?

Barbara Fletcher: Yeah, so. Mine was about eight years ago. And we were, were experiencing some significant health issues in my family and I wasn’t taking very good care of myself. I was being a caregiver and my stress response when it comes to, um, how do I behave? So there are a number of stress responses. One of them.

We’re ready to fight another would be we flight or leave the scene, freeze, unable to move faint, but there’s also one that’s really related to over care. And that’s my stress response. I go into big time over care and that’s what I was not paying careful attention to what was happening to me and became very de.

And I was presented with a, an option to coach with somebody and it was a big ticket. And because I was depleted not thinking clearly I signed up and as soon as I did, I had buyers remorse, but that wasn’t necessarily helpful in the situation. So it was a very valuable, succinct lesson to me that making sure that we take that time to be resilient ourselves is of utmost important.


Tim Melanson: Yeah. You’ve gotta fill yourself up before you can start giving to other people. Right. And that tends to be something that most people I think do suffer from it’s it’s, uh, one of those things where you, you know, you, you feel like you’re letting people down. If you are focusing on yourself instead of them, right.

Barbara Fletcher: You know, the, the stewardist tells us, or steward tells us to put the oxygen mask on ourselves first, before we put it on the people next to us. And that seems when we’re in a stress response, seems illogic at the same time. It is absolutely the most important thing we can do. I think what happens is people sometimes equate relaxation with being helpful to stress.

And although it does make us feel better is not equal to resilience. And resilience is really about our ability to bounce back from stress. And so relaxation, isn’t gonna add to our battery. Yeah, I’m gonna add to our energy.

Tim Melanson: Well, and, and one of the things that I’ve noticed, even my own response, and even the responses to people around me is that if you keep giving and giving and giving, eventually you will burn out and then you have to take, you know, days off from, you know, caring for the people in your life.

You know, rather than just taking a few minutes here and there to you. Have some me time, you know, or, or whatever it is that you use to de-stress. And I think that’s the, the, the major Dan, uh, dangers that you end up having this pendulum of back and forth, cuz then all of a sudden you’ve ignored them for so long that you feel guilty.

And then you’re back into it again in this cycle of like care, care, care, care, disconnect, care,

Barbara Fletcher: care, right. Mm-hmm and. That cycle does, um, damage to our bodies. It shows up with wear and tear. So we think of that as it relates to the nervous system. And there are two branches, the parasympathetic and the sympathetic, and one has our foot on the brake and one has our foot on the gas and that’s the pendulum.

And. On a good day. Our body is able to smooth that out a little bit. On a bad day, we get headaches. We get back aches. We can’t think clearly some of the symptoms of what’s happening. My goodness,

Tim Melanson: what a picture that, that paints. If, if you’re just looking at your car, imagine you have your foot on the gas and the brake at the same time, you’re burning gas, but you’re not going anywhere.


Barbara Fletcher: That’s exactly it. And so what we see is people who are less productive, um, don’t have focus. Maybe they’re not able to sleep at night. And so until we can. Help smooth that out with some self-regulation they are creating that wear and tear on their bodies. Wow.

Tim Melanson: Now let’s talk a little bit about practicing because it seems like this is a good topic for, for you, uh, and you know, in order to get good at anything, you know, we may, I make a lot of analogies with music, you know, you’ve gotta practice.

You’ve got, you’ve gotta put the time in, right. Mm-hmm and so how do you approach, you know, getting good and staying good at what you’re doing?

Barbara Fletcher: So. I’m really lucky because I teach and train people to do the things they need to practice. So I get to practice with them as their learning. But one of the things that I like to do when I’m helping people figure out how to practice is I like to wedge the, these new habits.

In with things that they’re already doing, because if people have to find a brand new habit, it’s difficult for them to set aside a separate amount of time. So one person I’m working with right now, she practices while she’s walking her dog. Uh, another lady I’ve worked with says she doesn’t like making her children’s lunches in the morning.

So she practices then. So we don’t try and create a whole new experience. We try and wedge the new habit in with something. That they’re already doing. And for me, each client, I get to speak to, I get to practice and I always practice before I begin, because I need to be as clear and as concise and effective as I possibly can be.


Tim Melanson: I, uh, read a book recently called atomic habits and they called that habit stacking , which, uh, is brilliant.

Barbara Fletcher: Be exact that’s exactly where it came from. It, it is brilliant. And, and, uh, another book that I’ve read a while back it’s called tiny habits, which is equally as valuable, but for sure, atomic habits was a game changer for me because.

People who have difficulty sticking with something, we just need to stick this new habit to something that they already do and just, you know, and they go, okay. Yeah, I can do that. Um, because every time they pick up the dog leash, they now go, they know they need to practice or they pick up dolo for bread to make sandwiches.

They’re back in that.

Tim Melanson: Well, the, the big aha moment for major in that book was when they said that people that we, that we perceived to be very, very disciplined people that have very good willpower actually have the least willpower because they have their life set up in a way where they don’t have to use it.

Which blew my mind. You know, you, you think about the people that have all the success in their lives and you think, well, you know, people that are, you know, in shape all the time, you’re like, wow, I wish I had that kind of willpower, but I know people like that and they don’t have willpower. They have their life set up where everybody that they know goes to the gym and hangs out there all the time.


Barbara Fletcher: They put their clothes out the night before with their sneakers, you know, so that they trip over them on the way to the bathroom. And, and it becomes part of who they are. You know, I, I, I love that book because it, it is difficult for people to find a way to take on anything more these days. And if I am unable to find a way to weave it in for.

It’s unlikely. They’ll have success

Tim Melanson: AB yeah, I agree. So now. Okay. What about tools? So, I mean, we were talking about tools during your intro and that you have some tools that you like, what other tools have you used in your business to make your life easier?

Barbara Fletcher: So, right from the very beginning I use zoom and I, I love it.

I. People are able to, um, engage with me in a way that they might not be able to otherwise. Um, I think what’s happened is over the pandemic, people are more friendly to zoom than they might have been before at the same time, because I’m wanting to hear. How well they’re doing what might have gone on in the last week, and I’m really paying close attention to facial expression.

Zoom has been key because if I had been sitting across the table with them, I would’ve not been able to see their facial expressions unless I had been in their bubble. So zoom is really a wonderful tool. The other thing that I think. Most helpful for me is a calendar scheduling because people who are stress.

It’s important that I make it absolutely as easy as possible for them to find a time. So if I use Calendarly and I give them a link, they can poke around in my calendar and find a time that they can both envision and commit to as opposed to, you know, Other options, which might be back and forth. So I think the two winners for me are Calle and zoom.

I use a lot of, um, a lot of different modalities, but those two would be my favorites. Yeah.

Tim Melanson: I agree. Uh, both of those are essential in my business as well. And, and zoom, I mean, you, you mentioned that like, people are a lot more friendly to it now, cuz I’ve been using these kinds of things for a lot. Long before the pandemic and it was a little bit.

Different people would rather kind of meet in person. Uh, but depending on your work, I mean, you know, meeting in person, you can’t really concentrate as well when you’re sitting at a coffee shop and there’s so much stuff going on around you as you can, when you’re sitting in your office. Right. And having a zoom call.

So, uh, I agree with that.

Marc Mawhinney: Hi, it’s mark. Guiney from natural born coaches and I want to give two very big thumbs up to Tim Lanson and his creative crew agency. I have been using them for a long time and I am 100% happy. They get the job done. They are fast and they let me focus on my business. I don’t have to worry about anything.

So again, I want to give them two very big thumbs up. I have no problem recommending them. I don’t give testimonials for everyone because my name is attached to it, but I gladly do so for Tim and the creative crew agency. So use them, you won’t regret it. And good luck.

Barbara Fletcher: I work with teams and groups and so.

It’s easier for me to see eight people on the screen in a Brady bunch format to see. What they’re thinking, how they’re feeling. Then it is for me to look around the room and try and catch everybody and not be as obvious as I might be. So zoom zoom is really effective. And I think from an entrepreneur standpoint, it really does facilitate, um, an effective use of our time.

I think overall, we probably are able to be a little bit more, um, profitable because if we have to add run time for wherever we’re going to, and we have to build that into the cost of the service, then I think that adds, adds to, uh, what the, the client’s going to.

Tim Melanson: Yeah, I agree. And then the other thing you mentioned about, about the calendar scheduling thing, I, I had a resistance to that at the very beginning when I was first, uh, thinking about doing it, it was actually one of my mentors, one of my coaches and one of my clients, actually, we kind of do things back and forth who really pushed me towards doing it.

And I, I just thought, I just thought it was impersonal. I just thought, you know, oh, you know what, you know, go see my calendar, you know, my, you know, talk to my people. I just thought it wasn’t as, uh, you know, Oh, my, the freeing of it, like from their perspective, of course, you’ve already mentioned it. People like to have control people like to be able to choose something.

They like to go, go and say, this is my calendar. This is one I want. But from my perspective, what happened before was that. So if I was scheduling something, someone would say, oh, you know, can you meet in the evening? Can you meet at like seven 30? And I’d say, yes . But, but really I can’t, you know, my evenings are busy.

I’ve got teens in sports, I’ve got a fam like, so I like to have my, my, my. My day is full first. If someone really needs an evening, well then fine. I can schedule it. But having a calendar tool allows me to set what’s best for my schedule, and then people can choose within that. So it’s like, we both feel like we’re in control of our schedule by using a scheduling tool like that.

Does that make sense?

Barbara Fletcher: I remember my, I had a, a very, uh, poignant example of that. I, it would be probably four years ago and I was traveling in Costa Rica and I was onboarding two groups of people to train and there were 24. And so one of the things I like to do with clients is I like to schedule a 30 minute call prior to them joining the group so that I can build a rapport and get to know.

So this week I was in Costa Rica and people started to email me and I was trying to schedule 24 people into my calendar. And I thought I was going to lose my mind. And I said, no. Then I, once I set up the calendar, I got very generous and I made the calendar all. Which was another mistake. And so then some valuable lessons were learned where I truncated it back to two days at the beginning of the week, gave them wa of leeway and lo and behold, everybody found their way.

Imagine that

Tim Melanson: Hey

yeah. Wow. Yeah. And, and, and then, uh, not to mention time zones, we haven’t even gotten into time zones if you’re working with people in other, in other areas of the planet.

Barbara Fletcher: Well, it was three hours difference mm-hmm and so they were scheduling and I was always trying to convert. And so the calendar Cal Lee was able to effectively do that.

I created the. The period of time that I was available and I made it broad and people fit themselves in. Yep.

Tim Melanson: They sure did. so now let’s talk about the band let’s talk about, because you know, you can run your business all on your own, if you want. However, at some point, you know, it is useful having good people around you.

And so how do you approach delegating? How do you approach team building all that stuff?

Barbara Fletcher: I love to coach and I’m really good at it. I’m not nearly as good at social media posts and writing blogs. I can do it if I can get in the zone, but I would sooner jump on a call and help somebody. So I really I’ve been, um, I would say more forced. Because there was only so much of me to go around to look at that.

So I have somebody who helps with the social media and also the writing of the post. Also have somebody who helps with my WordPress and my, my, uh, website, because those are just things that I need to oversee, but I don’t need to do

Tim Melanson: so. Now, when you say oversee, what does that look like

Barbara Fletcher: to. So oversee for me for the social media.

Um, I’m fortunate enough that I have a colleague, she and I do a podcast as well. And so we actually create, uh, a new podcast every Tuesday and I hand the. Uh, an auto document, a transcription of the podcast over to my social media guru, who happens to be in the Philippines, which is another time zone. And she is able to, um, create from that.

Content that, uh, you know, will be social media posts. She will create a blog and she and I build a good rapport of, we have a conversation every Monday morning. It’s eight o’clock Monday morning, and it’s nine o’clock Monday night where she is. And we just check in for the week, see if there’s any questions, anything that I might need, that would be special.

And then she carries. Love it.

Tim Melanson: Love it. Love it. Okay. Now this is, I would like to talk about one more thing before we get into your into your guest solo. Now let’s talk about the jam room. So where do you get your work done and how would you suggest someone set up their home

Barbara Fletcher: office? So I’m blessed. I, we actually have a couple of homes and so the one that I spend the bulk of my time is on a lake and.

I face the lake, which is helpful for me, I’m able to connect with nature. So at any point in time, I might see you’re going by or Fox or geese or ducks. And that really is. Is helpful for me. I like to be surrounded by comfort. So in my office I have, uh, a bit of a recliner, so I can sit at my desk. I have elevations for my computer and, uh, wireless headphones and, you know, my, all the gadgets that make it easy.

Um, but I really, I. I need to feel comfortable. Now, one of the other things that I do is if I feel like I’m getting stale or I’m just needing something a little different, I may actually rearrange my office. Um, just move things around a bit. And you know that my husband probably think I’m a bit crazy, cuz he likes things a particular way, but change is, is helpful for me.

I get a new sense of, oh, I’m walking into a new.

Tim Melanson: I, I like changing things around a little bit too, but I also like to get the, the predictability of things as well. but yeah, like it’s so cool that you get to work on your lake and all that stuff. Uh, like I think that it is important to make your space, you know, an Oasis, whatever you see that.

As right. Mm.

Barbara Fletcher: Yeah. I, you know, I have all the things that matter to me around whether it’s, you know, familiar pictures and, and things that make me smile and that. The environment is really, really important to me. I have a home office that I use in the city and, and it’s, you know, it’s equally good. I bought a new standup dust there and I bought a wobble seat to, you know, be comfortable there.

So environment’s really important. And I think that to, because. We spend probably more time than we might have when we were, you know, if we were doing eight, 15 to four 30, I think it’s really important that we feel less like it’s drudgery and more like it’s an opportunity.

Tim Melanson: Totally. So now Barb, it’s time for your guest solo.

So what’s exciting in your business right now.

Barbara Fletcher: so what I do is I really like to help people who are feeling stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed, and that often is individuals who jump in one on one to learn about tools that they can use in the moment. To build some resiliency. And, you know, I, I remarked on someone I was working yesterday and her response to me was, I, I guess the lead up to it was how are you doing?

Have you seen anything change? And she said, I feel more in control. And less anxious. And this was just after a couple of weeks. So that’s the kind of outcome that I see. And, uh, you know, I just, I believe that entrepreneurs and people who are working from home really need these tools to self-regulate because the blur between home and.

Exists. And so being able to self-regulate in both places is, uh, of most importance to yourself and your family.

Tim Melanson: Yeah, I agree. I agree. And you know, oftentimes we tend to, you know, Look for problems that are external, right? Oh, you know, if that was fixed, then everything would be fine. If that was different, then everything would be fine.

But really, I mean, we just oftentimes just need to take a look inside and, and find out what we can improve about how we handle those external situations. Right.

Barbara Fletcher: It, it really in truth, it’s never about changing the other person. it’s always about moving from a place where we are reacting to a place where we can respond and when we’re able to respond, then we’ve self-regulated first and we’re able to, you know, meet them in a very different space than we might have otherwise.

Tim Melanson: What would be the, the thing that would be holding people back from, from getting this kind of help from.

Barbara Fletcher: I think emotions are, are messy. People are fearful of digging in, I think because they think it’s, it’s gonna be troublesome. And I think what I would promise them is that they’ll always feel. I’ve never worked with anybody who didn’t feel better and it doesn’t have to be as messy as they think it’s going to be.

It really, it, I come from a place of compassion and empathy, and they’ll be surprised at, you know, after a week or two that they’ll find some ease that they didn’t know existed. And I think the other thing that happens is I think it’s gonna take a long. To feel better. And the truth is it doesn’t a couple of weeks and you will see a noticeable, a noticeable shift provided to practice.

And the practice is 10 minutes a day. It’s not going to the gym for 30 minutes, 10 minutes a day. And we talked about habits and how do we stack that? So, you know, people will find a time to practice. Wow. They’re already doing something else.

Tim Melanson: Yeah. And I, I think that, I think a lot of us have experiences where we’ve opened up and.

It not being the right person that they’re opening up to as well with the right tools. And maybe, maybe that might be holding people back is that, well, you know, last time I opened up, this is what happened. Yeah. So I’m keeping it locked up.

Barbara Fletcher: Right. So I think what people need to understand it. This is not therapy.

This is coaching. And mentoring. So I’m there to be your guide and I’m going to, you’re going to share whatever level you wanna share, and then we’re gonna figure out strategies, help move you forward. And I’ll walk beside you. I’m, you know, I’m there, but it’s not the same.

Tim Melanson: So how do we find out more about this then?

Barbara Fletcher: So you can find me on my website, which is www. Dot I’m also on social media, on, uh, Facebook and Instagram, and I show up on LinkedIn as well.

Tim Melanson: Awesome. Thank you so much for rocking out with me today, Barb. This has been a lot of fun. Thank you and to the listeners, make sure you subscribe right and comment, and we’ll see you next time on the work at home rockstar podcast.

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