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A Successful Entrepreneur in New York Shows You How to Let Go and Learn English
Lindsay: This is an All Ears English Podcast, Episode 182: “A Successful Entrepreneur in New York Shows You How to Let Go and Learn English.” [Instrumental]
Gabby: Welcome to the All Ears English Podcast, where you’ll finally get real, native English conversation with your hosts, Lindsay McMahon, the ‘English Adventurer’ and Gabby Wallace, the ‘Language Angel’, from Boston, USA.
Gabby: Do you know where your happy place is? Serial entrepreneur, Kristy Oshita, shows why that’s one of the top three ways to find success in life and in English.
Lindsay: So, Gabby, we’ve decided to pick out one awesome AEE Super Fan and recognize this very cool person.
Gabby: That’s great.
Lindsay: Yeah, I’m psyched. So today’s Super Fan is Mohammed Absullah from Iran.
Thank you so much Mohammed for being a Super Fan. Why is Mohammed a Super Fan? Well, Mohammed is active in Facebook, he’s active in our blog comments, and he’s actually told ten people directly as word of mouth about the All Ears English podcast. So he is spreading the word.
Gabby: Hey, that’s awesome!
Lindsay: I love it. We really appreciate fans like this, so we want to say “Thanks” to Mohammed. Also, what is Mohammed doing with the All Ears English podcast? Well, he’s listening to the podcast a couple of times every day.
He’s writing down new phrases, reviewing them, he’s using emotion when he practice English and this is getting him results.
Gabby: That’s fantastic. Yeah.
Lindsay: Yeah. We asked Mohammed what the key is to success in English and life.
What did he say Gabby?
Gabby: Well, he had a few things. He said, “Learn with your ears if you want to improve your listening. (Um), also repetition. Repetition is the mother of skill as Tony Robbins says. So in life, in learning, and in English, keep reviewing and repeating until you’re comfortable with what you want to say.” (Um), and, (uh), one last tip from, from AJ is, (uh), AJ Hogue, “Learn deeply, speak easily.” So Mohammed likes that quote as well. I like that too.
Lindsay: And I like that as a general philosophy for life too, (right). We wanna (want to) live deeply and live easily, enjoy life…
Lindsay: …and learn deeply. Awesome.
Gabby: I like that.
Lindsay: Thanks for your wisdom and insight Mohammed and thanks for being a Super Fan and if anyone else wants to become a Super Fan, get active inour social media channels, on our blog and show your face and we would love to recognize you.
Lindsay: Thanks a lot guys.
Gabby: Hey, Lindsay. I was thinking that our listeners might want to see all the TOP 15 ways to improve their English in an e-book.
Lindsay: I know. This is a great Tuesday series that we’re doing here to dissect and tune-up the TOP 15 mistakes that, that people are making, but if you want to see them all at one time, you can get them in an e-book.
Gabby: Yeah, just come to AllEarsEnglish.com/TOP15, that’s T-O-P-1-5.
Lindsay: Hey, Gabby. How’s it going today?
Gabby: Hey, Lindsay. I’m doing great. How are you?
Lindsay: I’m feeling great because today we have my friend, Kristy Oshita, who’s also known as Alana, and Kristy is a serial entrepreneur. She’s the owner of a women’s gym, called Alana Life & Fitness in Brooklyn, New York.
Kristy: Hi. Thanks for having me.
Gabby: Hey, Kristy. Nice to meet you.
Lindsay: It’s so good to have you on here Kristy because we’re inspired by your work. (You know), we’re entrepreneurs also…
Lindsay: …and, but we know that you’ve been in the entrepreneurial battlefield for years. (Um), you’ve built some awesome businesses, a tennis business.
(Um), I think you’ve done a few things in real estate and now you’re on to your third business, the – in the fitness world. Congratulations, first of all.
Kristy: Thank you. Thanks.
Gabby: That’s so cool. I think some of our listeners are also entrepreneurs and they’re going to be really interested hearing what you have to say about being a serial and a successful entrepreneur. And also, for our listeners who may not be entrepreneurs, we’re going to apply your lessons to learning English language.
Lindsay: Yeah, we really think that, (you know), we can learn a ton from entrepreneurs…
Lindsay: …because one of our ideas here at All Ears English is to take the entrepreneurial mentality and…
Lindsay: …apply it to learning English.
Lindsay: Don’t be passive. Be active, be proactive. So we wanna (want to) learn from you today, Kristy.
Kristy: Well, that’s fantastic.
Kristy: I totally agree.
Lindsay: Great. So we wanna (want to) hear three tips from you. How have you built up your entrepreneurial empire? (I mean), how have you become a successful entrepreneur? What can we learn from you? What is your first idea?
Kristy: Okay, well, (um), there’s a lot of things, but if I were to kinda (kind of) some, (uh), three, three things that I really believe in to be a successful entrepreneur in your life, (um), or in a business, is the first one was – is to know how to find your happy place…
Kristy: …and incorporate that in your daily, weekly schedule so you don’t get burnt out.
Lindsay: Ooh, so important.
Kristy: Yeah. And, and (like), I had to learn this the hard way because I-I definitely do have a lot of (honest-), (I mean), (sort of) getting real personal here. I deal with a lot of anxiety and depression.
Kristy: And, (um), I always knew, okay, I’m going to be successful, but that was always, (um), it was always a challenge for me because I’d work so hard and then I’d get burnt out. (Um), and I realize it wasn’t sustainable and even more so as an entrepreneur in her life, where I was gonna (going to) lead people and I wasn’t the person I always wanted to be because I was [indiscernible 05:50] – I was…
Kristy: …[indiscernible 05:52]. Sorry.
Gabby: Well, thanks – thanks for sharing that. (I mean), that’s, that’s, (um) – as you said, it’s personal, but I think a lot of people can relate to that and as far as English learners, sometimes I think you study so hard…
Gabby: …and you try to focus and cram and you get burnt out.
Gabby: So, (you know), in a similar way, you have to find your, your happy place whether it’s something fun you do through English or something totally different that has nothing to do with English. So you just breathe and (kind of) reset.
Lindsay: Yeah. I had a student last – a couple of summers ago here in Boston who is such an incredibly hard worker and he really did approach learning English like an entrepreneur.
Lindsay: (Um), but he just found every class he could around Boston and threw himself into it, which I admired, but by the end of the summer, he was so burnt out…
Lindsay: …and he couldn’t keep going.
Lindsay: (You know), so, yeah.
Gabby: I’m curious – Kristy, could you tell us, (um), maybe what, what your happy place is?
Kristy: Yeah. I think [indiscernible 06:56]. I’d be happy to, (um), just because it’s (um), I’m just so passionate about other people, (uh), finding it too. (Um), so, well – and one thing I just want to, (um), really emphasize is that besides finding your happy place, you have to make sure to create a schedule to always have it in your life. Because like, (uh), Lindsay or a student who’s so passionate about learning – that’s amazing – it’s easy for our passion to say, “You know what, today or this week, I’m gonna (going to) skip doing that…”
Lindsay: Oh, yeah
Kristy: (You know), it’s like this is much more valid and everyone’s going to see how well I’ve done and I’m going to show progress. But, (um), the problem is that you don’t realize that you’re burnt out until you’ve missed your happy place.
Gabby: That’s right.
Kristy: (Like) for a couple of weeks.
Lindsay: Exactly. So where do you go when you need to disconnect, Kristy? What do you do?
Kristy: Well, (um), ironically, the two main things I do, (um), and I’m still – I’m, (like), adapting, (um), is I work out, (um), and then in the morning that helps me. And I, and I meditate.
Kristy: (Um), and I, and I have to meditate for at least (like) 40 minutes, (um), because, (um), it’s (sort of) like de-ramping from the freeway, I guess.
Kristy: …the first 15 minutes, I, I am thinking a lot and I think it’s not working, but then it (kind of), and finally – basically I-I think the happy place is a place of letting go.
Kristy: (Like), (um), letting everything go and realizing that when you let things go, (um), you’re better at what you’re trying to do, (um), because you reset. So, it’s (um) meditating and working out.
Lindsay: I love it.
Lindsay: I love it. Yeah, I know what you mean.
Lindsay: I just took a, a vacation, a week-long vacation and went camping and hiking in nature. And I think that, for me, nature is the place to go, (um), because it’s just – everyone needs to find their own place. But for our learners – (I mean), that’s it. It’s so counterintuitive, but it’s true.
Sometimes the less you work, the better you do.
Kristy: (Uh-huh), (uh-huh). Yeah.
Kristy: Yeah, it’s – I-I just really – for me, I’ve been (like) meditating on this – I’m really learning this about myself is just – I want to think about it all the time and I, (um), the business or, (you know), whatever project I’m trying to achieve in. (Um), if I – I think that holding on to it all of the time and thinking, ‘How can I get better? What can I learn?’ is better, but I realize that the, the – fully letting go, (like), fully trusting in the universe that it’s okay to (like) let what your, your, your goal is, let it go and say ‘It’s okay that I…’ – even if I don’t achieve and just let everything go and be with yourself, that, that – when you get out of that, your mind is in a much better place. So…
Kristy: I don’t know.
Gabby: Yeah. I wanna (want to) maybe clarify a little bit because I think when we say ‘let go’, we’re not saying give up, we’re not saying quit, we’re not saying don’t do anything.
Gabby: We’re not saying any of that. I think what we’re trying to say is for people like us who are very focused and very motivated and, and like our listeners who are very self-motivated…
Gabby: …to learn English language and to be fluent speakers, you’re already motivated, you’re already doing so much, you’re already putting your 110% into speaking English, but you need to refresh, you need to recharge your batteries.
Gabby: If you go, go, go without stopping, without letting go for a moment, you’re going to feel burnt out. I think we’ve all experienced it, and you have to schedule that time, like you said Kristy, schedule, (you know), the-the 40 minutes of meditation every day and then the rest of the day, you’re gonna (going to) be ready to go.
Lindsay: Exactly. I love that. I think that is so key.
Lindsay: And that goes across all disciplines. Everything we’re trying to do in life, entrepreneurship, learning languages, anything…
Lindsay: …really we can learn from this. Brilliant. So you also had an idea, Kristy, about finding one thing that works. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Kristy: Yeah, so, (um), this is definitely more like – so back to the business, (uh), side of – or, (you know), the actual organization, technical details of doing something is, is finding a specific process that really works and optimizingthat to the, the most, most optimal, (um), way to, to make it work even better.
Kristy: So as – when I run, (um), BumbleBee Tennis, (um), (you know), I did a bunch of different things. I’m like why don’t we put up this poster here and do this advertising online and do this, and… I was all over the place.
Kristy: And then, and then when people signed up I was like, “How did they sign up?” And I was like – I was afraid to stop one thing because I didn’t know what it is. (You know), they say like…
Kristy: …the part – the difficult thing about marketing is only half of it works out and you don’t know which half.
Kristy: So this (kind of)… or it was. And so this time I’m, I’m trying and it’s, it’s still not perfect, but, (um), I’m trying to see which one gives me the highest return and then just crown on that and keep optimizing that, (um), but it’s, it’s, it’s still challenging.
Lindsay: So are you being a little bit more scientific about measuring, trying to measure what works then, or just trying one thing at a time instead of throwing everything against the wall to see what sticks as they say?
Kristy: I guess what I’m, I’m trying to do is I’m trying to put more of my time into a specific, (um), (um), lead generation, which is to find new leads and then to walk them through the process of, (um), actually becoming a paying customer. I’m trying to, (um) – there’s a specific flow and each little step I’m trying to really understand it and make it the most, (um), best experience for the customer, (um), through, (like), (you know), if it’s anemail and a phone call I’m very, being very mechanical, (um), and detailed about that specific process instead of being like, “Well, they (ca-), they found us through the internet, through this one Yelp page or this other thing and then (kind of) not knowing how they’re experiencing the next step. It’s (kind of) like, “Well, they’ll find the website.” It’s like, “No, I want them to experience a very good experience each step, and…”
Lindsay: I like that.
Lindsay: A little bit more meticulous, a little bit more mindful about each step. So how could this apply to English learners? What do you think Gabby, choosing one method, one core thing and drilling down?
Gabby: Yeah, I think if you try one method for a while and see if it works for you. (I mean), sometimes it’s hard to see a huge difference if you’ve only done one method for a week or two weeks, but (um), I think playing around with one method at a time, focusing, focusing on one thing at a time, it may lead you to some clarity as opposed to trying to do a dozen different courses at the same time…
Gabby: …or a dozen different methods. It’s really difficult to see what is giving you the most return for your time in your studies. So I would say try one program or one material, (uh), and work on one goal at a time.
Lindsay: Yeah, we talked about fear of success a few months back and we talked about that being one. I’m not saying that’s necessarily what’s going on here, but we talked about that being one result, one kind of a sign of a fear of success is trying so many different things and not sticking to one course of action.
Lindsay: (Um), so especially with our lives these days online. It’s so easy to bounce from website to website, and resource to resource.
Lindsay: But we have to give something a chance.
Kristy: Yeah. And I, and I’ll add to that. When I reflect on being a student and studying, (um), I think the – to rest into that, it’s okay to pause and [indiscernible 14:35] and reflect on what worked the past week. (Wha-), what did you learn, (uh), how did you learn best that week.
Gabby: Oh, yeah.
Kristy: So, (um), and it’s, and so it’s – I think even – it’s not even just understanding, learning one specific topic, but also understanding (ho-), how did you learn fast, and what was the process and maybe one day you tried flash cards, and then another day you rewrote everything, and then, (you know), another day you did this and it’s easy to be like, “Okay the next thing is to just keep going,” but maybe to ask yourself, ‘Which way did I learn the fastest and…”
Kristy: ‘…let me try that and how can I do it better?’ Maybe (kind of) ending each week with that question would be helpful.
Lindsay: Oh, I like that.
Lindsay: It’s the meta-skill of being able to step back and see things through a new lens.
Lindsay: Awesome. And then you have one…
Lindsay: …last idea about building a team.
Kristy: Yeah. So a team is so important and, (um), I think – how should – the funniest thing is I would, I would say something – I might’ve said something different, really different, (like), two, three years ago.
Kristy: (Um), where I was, (you know), I just had this idea, ‘Oh, if you’re strong enough you should be able to do something on your own, you don’t need other people.’ And I really – (like), I thought that’s what I would find after going through a lot of meditation. (Um)…
Lindsay: Meditation does give you that sense that you can do it all by yourself, doesn’t it. You do have to do that by yourself, yeah.
Kristy: [indiscernible 15:55], but, (you know), (um), there is, (um), there – I, and I even heard there’s a great meditator on – a Zen person from Hawaii, who said – even though he meditated a lot, (you know), the – one of the joys of his life was his friends…
Kristy: …and it’s very validating, (um), because he spent a lot of time meditating, (like) very individual type of tasks. But, (um), he was (like), yeah, no friends and, and that’s (kind of) where I came out of my journey ‘cause (because) I went on (like) (kind of) a two year sabbatical of, of really just having (like) a big business and just reflecting and writing and trying stuff and meditating.
And, and so I realized, gosh, out of everything, I almost wanted a business where I could work with a great team, (um), and it wasn’t – even if it wasn’t perfect. (Um), if I was working with people I, I enjoy working with that would be great and feeling supported. And that was really not what I thought I’d get out of it. (Um), and so (kind of) knowing now, (um), mentally that there are people who I could turn to even if they don’t fully understand, (um), (like), maybe, (you know), my, my sister or something, (um), and they’ll be like, “No, you can do it,” or… and then also team members who, (um), and mentors who will (kind of) give me somefeedback in different ways. That’s (um) enormous and it’s, it’s really, I think – it’s all about the process and I think, (um), having team members, (um), make that process great. So, (uh), definitely it’s okay to invest time into proving that to yourself.
Gabby: I think that’s great because what you’re saying is that it’s so important to, (you know), connect with people.
Gabby: And you said even if – maybe – even if it’s… what can I say? Of course you want your business to be successful, but if it’s not completely perfect you’re saying what you really want is that good team.
Gabby: And that fits so well with what we say here at All Ears English.
Both: …not perfection.
Kristy: Love that.
Lindsay: Love it. Because in the end learning language is about connecting with people. It’s not about sitting alone in a room and memorizing grammar rules. So this fits perfect. I love how…
Lindsay: …entrepreneurship is a great parallel to learning languages.
Gabby: I think this is a good tip for our listeners to think about who is on your language learning team or who is supporting you as an English speaker,(you know), in your learning goals, also in your professional goals or your personal goals, who is on your team?
Lindsay: Absolutely. And a few, (uh), episodes back we talked about mastermind.
Lindsay: And that’s one practical way to do that. We talked about English learning masterminds…
Lindsay: …and one practical way to develop a team, which is something that entrepreneurs do all the time, right Kristy.
Kristy: (Uh-hm). Yeah, yeah. Definitely. (Um), entrepreneurship, learning English, learning the language can feel like a very individual, solo task.
Kristy: But really, (um), in business we need to work with other people and in English we need to talk to other people, that’s kind of the bigger thing actually and, yeah. So it’s okay to need and want to connect, and invest time into, (um), finding people that support you.
Lindsay: Awesome. So just to recap here Kristy. We’ve talked about the importance of finding your, your happy place going to – just making sure you don’t get burnt out as an entrepreneur and therefore, as an English learner. I love that. And then we talked about finding a process that works, (like), figure out how to do it and drill down one method, one thing and don’t give up.
Take it to the, to the deepest level. And then finally build a team for yourself. That’s awesome Kristy. Thank you.
Kristy: Aw thanks. Thanks.
Lindsay: Yeah, thanks so much for joining us today.
Gabby: So, if people want to find out more about you Kristy, is there (um), maybe a site or somewhere that you’d like people to connect with you?
Kristy: Yeah, yeah. That would be great. (Um), connect with me on facebook.com/OshitaKristy, O-s-h-i-t-a K-r-i-s-t-y. (Uh), just because that’s probably, (um), the most updated thing. Sorry. It’s just I’m so, (uh), busy, (um), with a bunch of, (um), with the – (you know), again, making that sales process work that I talked about. So, and I updated my personal blog.
(Um), but if you do wanna (want to) check on my personal blog, it’s KristyOshita.com and then my new business, (um), which is AlanaLife.com, Alana Life & Fitness, the gym, definitely check that out and if you’re in Brooklyn come on by.
Lindsay: Brooklyn, I love it.
Lindsay: Awesome, awesome. We (mo-), we have some listeners in New York, so check out Kristy’s gym. (You know), it’s a great place for women to come together, feel strong…
Lindsay: …and feel great, a great community. Love it.
Kristy: Yeah. Awesome.
Gabby: Fantastic. Awesome.
Kristy: Well, you guys are doing amazing. I love the energy. (Um), you guys have a great podcast, so thanks for having me.
Gabby: Oh, our pleasure.
Lindsay: Thanks so much Kristy. So nice to talk with you today.
Gabby: Thanks Kristy.
Kristy: Nice talking to you. Have a good day guys.
Gabby: You too.
Lindsay: Take care.
Lindsay: If you wanna (want to) put your ears into English more often, be sure to subscribe to our podcast in iTunes on your computer or on your smartphone. Thanks so much for listening and see you next time.
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