#161 – Going Beyond Your Goals with Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith

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Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith is an author, speaker, and board-certified internal medicine physician. She also has an active medical practice in Alabama.

She’s been featured in many media outlets including Women’s Day, Redbook, First For Women, MSNBC, and Prevention.

She’s the author of Set Free to Live Free and Come Empty (winner 2016 Golden Scroll Nonfiction Book of the Year and 2016 Illumination Award Gold medalist.)

Her newest release is Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity, including ground-breaking insight on the seven types of rest needed to optimize your productivity, increase your overall happiness and live your best life.

In this podcast episode, we talk about why you’ve got to think beyond your top goal at the moment. We also discuss how comparisons can stunt our entrepreneurial growth.

It's all part of the entrepreneurial journey, you can’t stop because the beginning is difficult. - Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith Click To Tweet

In This Episode of the Start Fierce Business Podcast:

  • We talk about why you shouldn’t get blocked by your career choices.
  • Dr. Dalton-Smith talks about why she wanted to write books and why she chose to go the traditional publisher route.
  • We discuss the dangers of comparing ourselves to others.
  • We also talk about how we love to admire big name influencer but we actually relate more to the everyday person since we see ourselves in them.
  • Dr. Dalton-Smith shares how even though you may not have the bells and whistles someone else had, you’ve got to get beyond that. Be okay with getting a no. Eventually, there is a yes out there for you.

Mentioned in this Episode:

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Reach Out to Dr. Dalton-Smith:


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Welcome to the show Dr. Saundra. Thanks. Happy to be here. It’s great to have you tell me about yourself outside of your business.

I’m a mom of two boys. I’ve been married for 18 years now in the Birmingham, Alabama area, and I’m a practicing physician.

And when did you know that you were an entrepreneur?

Well, when I saw that being a physician wasn’t giving it everything that I wanted. Because for me, I want it more than just the day to day thing, people in the office and seeing people in the hospital. And I feel sometimes we get kind of blocked into our career choices and thinking that we can expand out and do more and experience different things, even within our training. So for me, that really started looking at how can I take the message that I wanted to share that I couldn’t share really in my office on to a larger number of people. And that’s when I started getting kind of more of an entrepreneurial mindset on taking a message, kind of packaging it and getting it in front of people.

Okay, well, tell me more about that business and how it came about, well, if I choose my best life, and it came about first with looking at ways that I could help people improve their work life balance, and improve how they saw their day to day activities, and enjoying their life more. So I started off really, with writing books with kind of finding a way to expand a message much larger than I could within a 15 minute time block. So it started off with a book, I now written three books. But that’s how it began. And what that did for me is, it gave me kind of an opportunity, kind of like a business card to be able to get in different doors, whether that was opportunities to go speak with different groups and kind of share who I am and what I offer, as well as opportunities to be on TV, and radio and podcasts and different ways of connecting with more people. And for me, what it ended up really opening up opportunities to do consulting, which is one of the things that I do now, in addition to writing as well as opportunities to do teaching, I have courses that I have online that I that I sell courses that I sell to corporations through DVD series that they can use with their businesses. So it really just, you know, with each book idea, it’s not just what’s printed on the paper or in the Kindle, it’s actually can be expanded to so much more, did you start writing your books with the intention that it was going to open these doors for you? Or was that just an added benefit, I started writing it with the intention of me getting my message in front of more people, I went the traditional publishing route. So I did the, you know, finding an agent, all of that process, the traditional publishing route, because I wanted the backing of being able to actually have it in bookstores, be able to have their support with the media and getting increased interviews. But even at that, I knew that I wasn’t just going to be kind of a full time author. That’s not that’s not what my intention is to be a full time author, my intention was more to be able to share a message and to be compensated for that message. I’m sharing I you know, it’s funny, because I actually do want to be a full time author, but not like not like, right, business books. Like, my whole thing is like, when I retire, I want to move to a little cottage on the beach and write fiction books, although that’s great. But have you have you thought about even in the writing at the fiction books I’ve seen Ted Dekker and a few people do this, take their fiction, but and they flip it into like a course. So let’s say your fiction book is about overcoming something, someone goes through some kind of horrific event, and they overcome something. And so they take that same idea. And they do that, like these videos. And they’ll have like this video series on overcoming whatever. And it’s related to the book. But they’re expanding their reach and their income by sharing their message, even on a larger scale. And for me, that’s what I that’s how I viewed it, there’s nothing wrong with the books like so. Right. But I could see the benefit and not being kind of just kind of single focused on the writing. Because, I mean, if you think about it, I have two kids, and they learn completely different. Yeah, one can sit and read a book straight through 500 pages within like, a couple of days. And the other one that’s torture, they would much rather do YouTube videos and learn everything that is. So I think it’s great to, to, you know, have those kind of goals. But definitely don’t kind of limited to that, because there’s so many opportunities to take that same book that you ride and same information and let it that you’ve had to study to get that book written and kind of use it in a different medium, so that you reach more people. That’s a good idea. I didn’t think about that, because I love reading. So I’ll read all day, my daughter is more into watching YouTube videos for me. Like if you send me a YouTube video about anything, I’m just not gonna watch it.

I totally understand. I’m the same way what’s been your greatest challenge. As a business owner, my greatest challenge has been attraction, because you can have this, you know, awesome ideas, and then finding that traction to move forward. I’ll give you an example.

My most recent book set free to live free breaking through the seven ups are set free to live free. My first book that came out breaking through the seven lies that women tell themselves, I had no idea how to get traction. I think it’s probably my favorite. One of my favorite books that I’ve written so far that because I had no publisher didn’t want to kind of keep putting out excessive amounts of this paperback book. So now it’s primarily out in Kindle. Whereas now you know, we’re talking eight years later, I was able to secure a book contract with a much larger publisher for my book, sacred rest, recover your life, renew your energy, restore your sanity, and I know how to keep attraction going, because I’ve learned how to network and kind of how to present the book in such a way that TV or radio or different people want to be able to share that information. And so I think that’s been the biggest challenge that learning curve and understanding that when you begin, you may have some disappointments along the way, it was disappointing. You know, when that publisher came back and said, Well, you know, now we’re going to make this ebook only. That was disappointing. But then, you know, 10 years later, when you get publishing contract with an author advanced, that’s 10 times what the first one was, you understand that it’s all part of a journey. And you you can’t stop just because the beginning it’s difficult and you don’t know what you’re doing. You have to be willing to fall fail, get back up, do some education for yourself to figure out what needs to happen, and then move on.

So what’s your favorite piece of advice that you wrote in that first book, my favorite piece of advice in that first book was is that comparisons are not necessary that we limit ourselves most when we compare ourselves to others. Because I think that’s where most people fail to Excel is because we think what we offer has to look like what someone else has offered, maybe because we admire that person or be we think they do it so well. But that limits you from being able to put your own spin on it. And it’s that little tweak, that’s often the difference maker. I love that. And I’ve been I’ve suffered from that from comparing myself to other people. Like, I’ll read blog posts all the time. And then when it comes time for me to do one, I’m like, Oh, I’m not gonna do it. Because people are gonna think it’s dumb. But then I read these other blog posts, and they’re not, you know, they’re grammars not 100% perfect, and they’re not as in depth as you think yours needs to be like, I feel like my needs to be like, a, like a paper for for a college course. But it really just needs to show my personality. Because that’s what people like about me. Just like, that’s why I read certain blogs. But yeah, I compare myself a lot I think most women do. It’s kind of ingrained in us. I mean, from, from our hair, to our makeup, to our clothes. I mean, you name it, we’re constantly kind of looking at others and trying to see always call it the where I measure up. Where do I measure up in this room in mind, the fat is the shortest tagline is the key that we’re kind of constantly doing that subconscious. And so we have to stop. I don’t know, another way to say we have to just start appreciating our own uniqueness. And not allowing ourselves to kind of get into that mental game that trap because that’s what it is. It’s a trap that keeps us from progressing.

Yeah, for me, it’s like, oh, I’m not going to post these pictures on my site. Because they don’t look like Marie for Leo’s picture. Well, you know, my, my photography budget is not the same as hers. So.

And that’s the thing because most people can’t relate to her. You don’t. I mean, we love to admire, but we can’t relate. And so there’s a benefit and having those people that you’re watching it kind of in social media and on blogs, where you can relate to them. I mean, their life and their situation, and their struggles. And the things that they share in their newsletter blog or on social media are so real to you. Because you’re like, yeah, that’s me. That’s, that’s what my life looks like. So I think that, you know, that that is part of that kind of tried building that authentic tribe building when there, there’s no kind of mask or pretty picture that’s been up there that the tribes looking at, they’re just saying, the real deal. Yeah, and that’s why I interview regular people on my podcast, because I used to listen to will. And I still do sometimes Entrepreneur on Fire, and all these other podcasts. And you hear the same people all the time. And these people are making six figures, they’re making a million dollars a year or whatever, and you’re like, Oh, that’s cool. But like, that’s not me, right? And so the people that I interview someone, a physician could be listening, and they’re like, Oh, I relate to her, because I understand I get it, I’m her or an author or whatever, you know, they can relate because you’re not like this superstar, that they like, your story. Sounds cool. But we can can’t relate. Right, right. And I think that’s, I think that’s what I love about this opportunities. Because that’s how I feel I’m, I live in a small town outside of Birmingham. I’m not from john hopkins, I’m not from Harvard, you know, not from some mega school, you know, with all the degrees that would automatically kind of open those doors for a publisher to watch you. I went to the University of Georgia, and I went to medical school at Nashville. So it’s one of those things where you can look at your life and say, Okay, well, I may not have had kind of these extra bells and whistles that someone else has. But it doesn’t, it doesn’t dampen my ability to shine, it doesn’t deplete us your ability to do what you want to do, and to reach the goals you want to reach. Because I was still able to get one of the big five publishers to publish my book. With all of that being said, it’s just a matter of continuing to put yourself out there could not be afraid to hear no, I can’t tell you how many notes you know, I heard over the course of 10 years of writing you have, you have to get beyond that where you no longer have to be validated with every Yes. along the way. You’re okay with a No. Because, you know, eventually, if you keep pushing and keep revising, and keep working at it. There is a guess, out there for you. If you could have lunch with one business thought leader, who would it be if the one that I would want to speak with would be Michael Hyatt and I’m not sure if you’re familiar with him. But he is a he was the he was the president I believe our CEO of Thomas Nelson books. And it is just to become an entrepreneur in his own right to start teaching people about writing and, and meeting other people and expanding your message as a thought leader. And the reason I want to speak with him is because it was when he made that transition that I first thought to myself, I don’t have to be stuck in my office and, and have that be how my life in you know, I don’t have to think Well, after spending, you know, 12 years in school, I should just keep going to the hospital and seeing patients and doing my day to day without dreaming for something else, that you can continue to dream even though you’ve reached goals that you that you strive for. And it doesn’t have to stop just because you’ve met one goal, you can continue to dream and have more goals and continue to push yourself to, to learn and to grow. I love that. And you should even though like you, like you said like you you have you have had a career that is uh. Is the top goal for most most people, you kind of use that you reached it and you’re like, Okay, this is now my floor, not the ceiling. Exactly. I love that. That is so true. And I think that’s what happens sometimes is if we achieve a level that even if something you know, as basic as I have, a lot of times when I talk to right groups, they’ll be like, Oh, I can’t wait till I’m a published author. And I think then what? Okay, so you get the contract or you self publish or whatever. And so now you’re a published author, then what because that that goal can’t be the peak and then there’s nothing after because life’s going to be pretty miserable. If there’s nothing after that there has to continually continually be kind of this this vision of gross What’s your favorite business book aside from yours? My favorite business book is one that is a little bit not typical of most business books. It’s thrive by Arianna Huffington. Because I think for me what I know I found for myself is that I need to know how to make me my best how I can thrive because when I thrive everything that I do thrive in so that that be the business book that I think with his most significant for me it’s not a typical business book as more of a self help type book but I I feel like it helps the most with kind of work life balance and that’s where a lot of businesses get off kilter. What’s your favorite internet resource our app that just makes your life easier honestly as Google Calendar I can’t keep track of what I’m doing on any given day you know there’s so many different things going on and I just love the feature where I can get a notification 10 1520 minutes whatever I have said in there right before whatever events coming up so that I never feel like you know I’m missing opportunities because I can’t remember it automatically parts pops up on my smartwatch and I’m able to kind of make sure I’m where I need to be and I get there on time because I usually set my my reminders for like 20 minutes I can make sure I actually arrived where I need to be. Yeah, yeah, I do the same. I have to say like a two hour one just to make sure that I’m like okay I have to be here at this time. And then like a 30 minutes but that is my favorite because I honestly it has saved me so many times when I completely forgot an appointment or something or somewhere I needed to be and it It reminds me Where can listeners find you online? what’s your website? Where do you hang out on social media My website is I choose my best life calm but I would highly recommend for for anyone who who’s listening who has been like overly stressed out I find that that’s probably the biggest thing I noticed with entrepreneurs is that they tend to be overwhelmed or high achievers so they they put a lot of energy into things is to visit my website at risk quiz calm that’s rest quiz calm. I have a free assessment there where they can find out kind of what type of rest what are the seven types of rest that there are and which ones they’re deficient. And I found that so many of them once they get that bit of information and is a game changer because if you feel depleted, you really can’t put your best into what you’re doing. So knowing if you’re having problems with sensory rest or social rest or emotional wrath, or even creative rest. If you’re deficient in any of those areas, knowing how to revive that can change everything.

Oh wow. I see this test and I’m about to take it because I need it.

Thank you.

Well Dr. Saundra, thank you so much for sharing your story with us and so much great advice today. Thank you. Great talking with you.