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Episode 171: Building Authority Through Effective Public Speaking—with Brenden Kumarasamy

Deb Zahn: I want to welcome you to this week's episode of the Craft of Consulting podcast. So on this podcast, we're going to talk about building authority through mastering public speaking. And I don't mean just getting up on a stage. Whether you're in a Zoom meeting or you're going to do podcasts, or you're going to give a client presentation, whatever it is, you want to make sure that you're actually delivering it in such a way that it's going to have the impact that you want. And ultimately, it's going to help you do a really good job for your clients and it's going to help you get more clients. So I brought on a public speaking expert, Brenden Kumarasamy, who's going to walk through his strategies for how to become a masterful public speaker, and ultimately use it for your business goals. So let's get started.

I want to welcome to my show today Brenden Kumarasamy. Brenden, welcome to the show.

Brenden Kumarasamy: Deb, it's a pleasure to be on. Thanks for having me.

Deb Zahn: So let's start. Tell my listeners what you do.

Brenden Kumarasamy: Yeah, absolutely. So I'm a public speaking coach for executives and entrepreneurs who want to be the top communicators in the industry, and I also have a popular YouTube channel called MasterTalk. And the goal of it is to provide free communication resources to everyone on Earth.

Deb Zahn: And they're fabulous. So I've been looking at them. So I do encourage anybody who's doing any kind of speaking to go check it out. And so, that's what we're going to be talking about today, is how to master public speaking. We can't hit everything, but we're going to hit some good stuff.

And as the listeners, you're listening to this, don't just think, I'm not going to get up on a stage. What are you talking about? This is a stage. This is a podcast. This is client presentations. This is Zoom. This is any way that you're presenting in front of folks. So let's start off because I know a lot of people are obviously terrified of public speaking. And they might be thinking, look, unless I, in some way, aspire to be a TED talker, as a consultant, why does this matter to me? What would you tell them?

Brenden Kumarasamy: Absolutely, Deb. And I'd love to reemphasize the point that you made. Communication is every moment of our life. It's the way that we talk to our families. It's the way that we order food at a restaurant, and, more importantly, in the context of our industry, it's the way that we show up for clients. It's the way that we make them feel special, make them feel heard, make them feel valued and important. It's not about speaking on a big stage. It's about creating the environment where your clients love you so much that it drives word-of-mouth and explodes your consulting practice. That's really the key cornerstone of communication. And the other piece I'll say is, every goal we could potentially have for our businesses, our life, almost all of them are tied to great communication skills. So really start to draw that link between comms and what you want out of life, and it'll be a lot easier to stay motivated to practice it.

Deb Zahn: Now, before we get into why somebody shouldn't just pull out a PowerPoint slide deck and start putting everything they've ever learned onto it, which we're going to hit upon, if somebody's thinking OK, as a consultant, I get it. I need to get better at this. I need to build authority, get business, connect with my clients, all the things you just mentioned. How should they think about and orient towards whoever their audience is? Where should their mind be...where their mindset should be relative to who they're talking to?

Brenden Kumarasamy: Absolutely, Deb. So the way that I think about, to keep things simple today, is communication is like juggling 18 balls at the same time. So one of those balls is not saying any filler words. Another one is storytelling. Another one is relationship-building. And a mistake that everyone makes is they try and juggle all 18 balls at the same time. So what happens? All of them fall to the floor. So instead, what I recommend people think about is what is the one action that will A, move our business forward in consulting, and B, help us improve our communication skills. And let me give that first tip right now, which I am shocked that most people don't do in the service-based business.

It's simply sending video messages to clients. I am still the only service provider out of all of my active clients currently that sends them video messages, not to sell them, not to pitch them, to just say, "Hey, Deb, I'm thinking about you. I love the work that you're doing with Craft of Consulting. Hope you're having a wonderful week."

Deb Zahn: Yeah. So just so you know, I do that, and they love it. I do it in engagements to communicate, and they love it. And I have a whole thing where I switch up bandanas that I wear, and if they get the unicorn one, it's like a prize.

Brenden Kumarasamy: That's so cool.

Deb Zahn: But I'll do it in my garden. I'll do it in all kinds of places just to say, "Hey." For some reason, even though anybody can create a video, people think it's magical.

Brenden Kumarasamy: It's exactly what you just said. Even if everyone can do it, people seem to think it's magical. And this is an ethos that I abide by in the work that I do, which is simply this, and you're actually the example to follow. If you communicate 20% better than your competition, Deb, you will stand out 100% of the time. But notice how I didn't say 200%. Notice how I didn't say 20,000%. I said, if you communicate 20% better than the competition, you'll stand out. So what does that mean in the context of video messages?

It simply means this. Don't overthink it. Most consultants aren't even sending a video message. If you just send one, and you sound like a doofus, and you have filler words everywhere, your clients will still love you because you're famous to those people.

Deb Zahn: Ooh, that's a very fabulous phrase that you just said. Yes, I am in my garden. So sometimes I will hold up a pumpkin that I grew or a watermelon I grew, which people think is spectacular that somebody did it. And I'll just say something while I'm holding it, and they might only remember the pumpkin, but it doesn't matter. Something happened in their day that was different, and they're going to remember it. I love that. That's fabulous. And I love that it's not, you have to knock it out of the park and be perfect and masterful every single time. So when you're coaching people and helping them understand how to get better, what do you tell them in terms of what their goals should be for getting better?

Brenden Kumarasamy: Absolutely. So there's two things to that, Deb. The first one is having goals to begin with. A lot of us have goals for our health, our finances, our business, but very few of us have goals for our communication skills. So let's take the consultant right now. Let's say they're doing multi-six and they're trying to make a seven-figure business. Let's just use that as a simple example. They might look at that seven-figure business owner's processes, the way that they manage their teams, the way that they get business, their sales funnel, but what they never look at is how is that person communicating? How is that person showing up on free trainings? How is that person showing up in sales calls from a communication perspective? And almost nobody who's listening to this thinks about their goals from that angle. So, that's the first thing, is creating solid communication goals.

And I'll tell you what that looks like. That looks like simply...And you can just implement this. Make a list of three consultants who are doing 10 times more than you in your business, and just watch interviews of them communicating. And ask yourself, what are they doing that I'm not doing? So that's one part, and there's a second one too.

Deb Zahn: Love that. And with podcasts, if they've been on podcasts, or they've done videos, or they've been recorded at a presentation, there's lots that you can dip into, since the internet is forever and we're all on there. Surprisingly, you can dip into it and you can see what they're doing and what it's like. I love that. So now, when people think communication, they often think content. And so, there's the eternal question of, is it content, or is it delivery of content? And I know you have things to say about this. So which is more important and why, particularly how a consultant should think about that?

Brenden Kumarasamy: Right. I think every coach in my industry has a different opinion to this, but I'll give you mine. So I always look at it from what is the goal of communication, Deb. At the end of the day, what is the goal of communication, public speaking? And for me, the goal is to share an idea and have people take action on it. So how do we communicate a message to a specific audience to achieve a specific outcome? So the goal is really for them to do something with the info. That's what all of my coaching, my teachings, center around. So let's think about it. OK. What is the best way for somebody to take action? Let's go back to high school, and for some of you, it might be 30 years ago. But just hear me out a little bit. How much do you remember from high school? And the answer...I don't know about you Deb, but high school's more recent for me, and I don't remember much.

Deb Zahn: Yeah. There was that time I got in trouble, but that's pretty much it, is a good story.

Brenden Kumarasamy: Right? So the question because me too, a couple of times for no...And I'm not guilty, but anyways, we'll talk about this in some other episode. But the point is, when we go back to high school, isn't it odd, though? Because our teachers are well-educated. These are not random Schmoes off the street. These are people who have master's degrees. There are professionals. So there can't be anything wrong with their content. So why don't we remember it? But the opposite is also true. Take the best communicators on the planet, Brene Brown, Gary Vaynerchuk. Put anyone there, and then you ask somebody who's listened to a full keynote, a full presentation, "What do you remember?" They'll usually only say one or two things. Oh, Tony taught me that giving is all about surveying, and that's it. They won't remember anything else. So what's the conclusion? The conclusion is, even if you're the best communicator on the planet, people remember one or two things, which means that provided you have those one or two key ideas, you should spend the rest of your time focused on delivering it. Not creating more content.

Deb Zahn: And so this is contrasted with what I see way too many folks do, including consultants, is...You know the slides. You've seen them, where it's in eight-point font because they had to reduce it because they had 67 bullet points. And I'm not even exaggerating. I've seen more than that because they think they have to communicate everything. And so when you see those, when you're done weeping, what is it you tell them so that they understand how to pull back and what the purpose of pulling back is?

Brenden Kumarasamy: I'm a bit more aggressive in my approach. I always look at it in the context of the marketplace. So if you're a consultant selling a service, and you're not taking the time to be empathetic to the core client you're selling to, you're always going to lose to the person who is. And that's what you are doing so well, Deb because you're sending the video messages. You're showing the pumpkins and a lot of people are listening this and go, “That's silly.” Well, look at Deb's traction. Look at what she's done with the podcast. That's results, right?

So it's all about doing what no one else in the industry is willing to do. So in the context of the example you gave, what do I say to people who are specifically doing the 8.5 font thing that we've seen a lot? My response is always, have you talked to your clients and gotten feedback on your approach and how you can do better? And they always say no. And I'm not saying something crazy, like sending 50 questions. Sitting them down for dinner for an hour and asking three questions, and they don't.

Deb Zahn: Yeah, exactly. Getting that market intel would kill that desire rather quickly, but I also think it goes back to what you said about to have your limited number of points. And if you have that much content, and you have 10 to 20 points, you're going to allow your audience to pick which ones they want to remember, if any, and it might not be the ones you actually want them to remember. And so now, you've lost an opportunity to get them to take that action.

Brenden Kumarasamy: Absolutely. And of course, in the context of consulting, it's going to vary because some people might be like external consultants of technology firms. Other people might have coaching businesses. But what I would say in general is, when we think about the way that we prepare a deck, this is literally what I do. OK. It's not rocket science. I go to the people who bought services from me, and I ask them, "What results did you get? Why did you buy it? What was the biggest value?" And the way that they explain my product is always different than the way I explain the product to myself.

Because let's say communication. It's simple. I might say, "Oh, you'll make more money. You'll 10X your bottom line. You'll get XYZ," very male things to say. And then I talk to my clients, and they say, "You know, Brenden, you gave me a confidence that I never had. Huh, OK. This is not the right messaging, but it is. And then you copy what they say in any industry, copy-paste this with whatever you're selling, and just say that to the next prospect. And they'll go, oh, that's exactly what I've been looking for. It's not rocket science. Just copy what your clients tell you to say.

Deb Zahn: I love it, and I love that it is different. And in my membership, we've been...Some folks have been working on their value propositions, sort of the unique statement that they say about the value they bring, and where we've had a lot of conversations is around you have to understand where your client is at that moment. They might not understand that their problem is what you know their problem to be. They might just feel stuck in, "Why the heck isn't this happening?" Not all of these fancy words that you're going to use to describe a problem that they don't know they have, which is why talking to them is essential.

Brenden Kumarasamy: I love that, and let me build on this. It's so interesting how we're kind of going back and forth so well. So what you said is so spot on, Deb, and it goes back to the definition of empathy that I teach people. Empathy is not communicating to the person you are today. Empathy is communicating to the person you used to be, and that's really the key.

Deb Zahn: Oh, I love that. There are t-shirts that need to come out of this that have those key phrases on it. Well, one of the other powerful things that you mentioned earlier that I know you also talk about is storytelling. So a lot of consultants go in, and they think they got to just spew out a bunch of facts and concrete examples. And it's dry, dry, dry, dry, dry, which is boring, boring, boring, boring. So how do you encourage folk to approach storytelling in the way that they communicate?

Brenden Kumarasamy: Absolutely right. And it always goes back to the old adage, right, numbers and facts tell, stories sell. So if you tell stories, that's what people remember as human beings, and you don't need to take my word for it, everyone who's listening. Think back to all of the memories that you have as a kid, the stories that you hear from their speakers. What do you actually remember? And you'll find through reflection that most of the time you remember stories, but I'll include a caveat before I give the tips on this. And the caveat is simply this. In my opinion, storytelling is ball 15. Remember that 18 ball analogy I gave earlier?

Deb Zahn: Yeah.

Brenden Kumarasamy: And the challenge I see a lot of consultants make is they jump into storytelling too quickly, which I don't recommend. Because at the end of the day, if you're not smiling more, if you're not sending video messages, if you're not removing your filler words, you're not going to master storytelling anytime soon.

So you need to master those, those first balls at the beginning, and then my quick spiel on storytelling is Les Brown says it best. Never tell a story without making a point. Never make a point without telling a story. What does that mean? That means that you need to start with the outcome first. What are you looking to achieve in this presentation? What are you looking to teach, and what is the story that is attached to that? I'll give you a quick example with me. Why is my story around my personal journey so successful to getting clients? The reason is very simple. A lot of my clients, their second language is English, Deb. So if I talk about the fact that growing up in Montreal, French was my first language. I struggled a lot, blah, blah, blah. That story's not only emotionally riveting. It also drives the conclusion that somebody who's speaking a second language understands that I've been through what they've been through as well.

Deb Zahn: Yeah, which evokes empathy, which any good story will automatically do. Now, I also know that you talk about silence as a very powerful way to also communicate and incorporate in your communications. Talk about why, and what that looks like, and how you learn to do it.

Brenden Kumarasamy: Absolutely, Deb. You won't like the solution too much because I don't think many people implement it, but I'm happy to share. So pausing is so important in the way that we convey an idea because it allows us to emphasize through the pause that I'm making right now that I'm signaling to the audience that I'm going to share something important to them. But the key to pausing is, you need to realize what exceptional communicators do differently from other people. So what average people do, average communicators, is whenever they pause, it's usually filler. So it usually sounds something like this.

Oh, yeah. That's what I want to share. Right? It's not very good, versus what the exceptional speaker does, which is they're very strategic about the way that they pause. So before your key idea, before a key message, they also slow down to important parts of what they want to say. So remember when I said earlier, if you communicate 20% better than your competition, you will stand out 100% of the time. But notice I slowed down intentionally. I don't do, if you communicate 20% better than your competition...People will forget the numbers.

Deb Zahn: What did he just say?

Brenden Kumarasamy: Yeah, was that 45%? I don't remember. So I intentionally slowed down. So what does that mean? How do you practice this? Because the goal is just to do it, right? I call this long stares, otherwise known as the endless gaze. So what you do is, you find somebody that you love in your house, and you stare at them in the eyes for three minutes without saying a word. And you just look at them. And most people, even if they've been married to their partner, as an example for like 15, 20 years, they can't do it. So if you do it, you'll be a lot more competent at pausing for three seconds in the real thing.

Deb Zahn: Yeah and breathing during that time. Yeah. I love that, and I would say silence is also when you're listening after you've communicated something fabulous. And now you're listening for the prospective client or client to say something back to you. Silence is also really valuable because often people will fill it up with information that's very helpful to you. So don't you fill it up. You let them fill it up. That's wonderful.

So, and you hit upon pacing as well, which is what folks often do when they get really nervous is, and that's just rapid fire. How do you help people figure out how to get a pace that's actually going to help their communication land?

Brenden Kumarasamy: Absolutely, Deb. So when we think about pacing, I would say the following. The best in the industry, the best communicators do something a little bit different that most of us don't do, which is they're able to pace at different speeds. Because a lot of the times, you might hear a coach just say, "Speak slower." That's not really always true because if you're always speaking slower, you have a very boring pace. So I call this the roller coaster of emotion.

You always want to change up your pace in a strategic way. What does that mean? That means, whenever you want to convey urgency in a presentation, you want to talk a little bit faster so people feel the stress and feel the urgency. But, if you want people to soak in a moment, you want people to really feel what you're saying, you take the time to really slow down your pace. And the key is really practice as well. You got to practice both, but generally speaking, doing slower pacing is a lot harder than faster pacing. So I would focus with slow, and then go fast later.

Deb Zahn: Got you. And do you have folks tape themselves? When I learned public speaking, they taped us, and it was horrifying, but really helpful.

Brenden Kumarasamy: So I do, but my frame is a little bit different. So let me explain the difference. So a lot of us, to your point, right, we use words like stress or anxiety. “Oh my God, I'm going to die”. And I've always hated these terminologies that other coaches in my business use because for me, it's all about dreaming. And that's the question I'd love for your audience to think about, Deb, is how would your life change if you're an exceptional communicator, right? When we start to dream about our communication skills, we worry less about the fear.

So going back to the example about recording yourself, yeah, I do have them record themselves, but I do this a little bit differently. So I'll explain what that means. So instead of saying something like, "You've got to post on social media or I'll fire you," that doesn't work too much.

Sometimes I've done that, but not to everybody. But the other piece is more make a list of three people that you really love in your life. Could be your significant other, kids, nieces, nephews, and just ask yourself a simple question. When was the last time you sent them a video message? What? And you'll find that the answer is never, so start there.

Deb Zahn: Yeah. And once you start making it routine, it gets easier and easier and easier. Just so you know, I do do that. So I feel like…

Brenden Kumarasamy: Oh, I know you do that.

Deb Zahn: Another star. It turns out...I found out my brother doesn't listen to it. He doesn't listen to my podcast, either. Well, I can say this. The only podcasts he's ever listened to are the ones where I mentioned cats, and he's like, stop talking about cats. But otherwise, yeah, I've sent him videos, and he's like, yeah, dude, that seemed really long. So I now realize I have to do 20-second videos, and then they'll look...Whereas I have nieces and nephews that will look at the whole thing, listen to it a few times because I'm giving them encouragement. But it's a beautiful way to get used to being on camera and doing it where you don't have any pressure.

Brenden Kumarasamy: Absolutely, and the other piece as well...And I love that you do that, by the way, with your nieces and nephew. That's super awesome, is the idea that it helps us teach the right lessons to ourselves and to our communities, right? Because it's not just about us being great communicators. It inspires everyone else around us to be better communicators, and that's really what I'm inspired by, what I'm excited by, is the idea that when you send video messages to your family member, if you're a CEO of your consulting business to your team of five, seven, 15 people, when you send them video messages, just say, "Hey, I just wanted to wish you happy holidays," it helps you realize that communication is not a chore. Because nobody wants to get better at doing the dishes. That's why people don't practice, versus seeing communication for what it is, which is a tool to create impact in the world.

Deb Zahn: Yeah, and to connect in beautiful ways. I love that. So I know one of the other things you talk about, and I find this...I do this, and I also find it helpful for anybody who's nervous. And these are my words, not yours, but I always say nail the opening and closing. If you're ever going to practice, those are the most important things to help you feel comfortable, so you know what you're going to say at the beginning and end. And I know you talk about that. So why? Why should somebody be doing that, and how can they practice in a way that's going to be helpful?

Brenden Kumarasamy: So the analogy I like to use with that is jigsaw puzzles. A lot of us used to play puzzles as kids, right? You kind of put the pieces together. So the question we need to ask ourselves first and foremost is, when we work on a jigsaw puzzle, what pieces do we start with first, and why? And the answer is the corner pieces because they're easier to find in the box. Kind of pluck them out one at a time. They've got those little edges to them. And then you're probably wondering, why is this dude talking about puzzles on a communication podcast? I'm getting there. So now the question becomes, what does this have to do with communication?

In my opinion, everything because when we do communication, when we do presentations, we do the opposite. We start with the middle pieces first in our jigsaw puzzle. We shove a bunch of content. We get to our consulting, sales, oral presentation, our deal with the executive team. And what does it sound like? We ramble throughout the whole dang thing, and the last slide is just, yeah, thanks.

Deb Zahn: So yeah, I'm over it. It's done now.

Brenden Kumarasamy: It's like over, and then they just run away. So yeah, this is not going to help you close. Instead, exactly as you said, practice the intro. That's why, like jigsaw puzzle, start with the corners. Fifty times the intro, 50 times the close. What's a great movie with a terrible ending? Terrible movie. Then the middle.

Deb Zahn: Yeah, I love that, and what I have found is, particularly the opening, is I will feel less nervous because I know what I'm doing. And then I get to the content that I know, and I love, and I feel passionate about, and it's much easier. But I don't stand up there going, "Yeah, hi. So this is Deb." And I've done speaking hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of times, and if I don't practice, I will babble. I'll babble with the best of them because why wouldn't I? Because everything's a new circumstance and situation.

So if someone is thinking, “OK, I want to do this.” One of the other mistakes that folks tend to make is, they know their goal is in some way to get business, and so they get up. And their communication is to sell, sell, sell. What do you encourage folks to be doing instead and still hit their goal?

Brenden Kumarasamy: A hundred percent, Deb. You know what I always like to say, especially in the service-based business, especially with the industry we're in? The most generous person wins over time, and over time is the most important word here. Not in the short term. They might not get the sale on the short term, but if you keep winning the relationship over and over and over again, over the course of many years, you'll win the entire market or most of it. So here's what I like to say.

For me, it's not about, OK, should we sell, should we not sell in our presentation because every context is different. I would say there's one trick that we haven't talked about yet that clearly differentiates the top 1% of consultants than everyone else, and it's an exercise I teach called question drills. So question drills is really simple, Deb. Basically, the world always asks us questions about our offers, or products, or services, but the way we're answering those questions is poor.

We go like, we didn't think about that. We didn't think about this. So every day what you want to do is, you want to spend five minutes guessing one question that you think somebody will ask you and write out the answer to that question. If you do that once a day for a year, you'll have answered 365 questions about your expertise, and you'll be unbeatable in your industry. In the same way, that's the reason why I don't struggle on podcasts. Not because I'm special, but because I've done the exercise over 1,000 times.

Deb Zahn: So you put in the work just like anything else. I love that exercise. That's beautiful. So what are a couple other power tips? I usually ask for mistakes, but since we're talking about dreaming, let's hit, what are a couple power tips that you would give folks who really truly want to become exceptional at this?

Brenden Kumarasamy: Absolutely, Deb. I'm so glad you went there. Yeah, I'm a big fan of dreaming because I think the challenge I've had, even with the most successful people I've coached in my career, is if they're not excited about communicating...Because for me, it's easy. It's easy. I honestly think everyone can master this because doing the question drills...I call this my easy threes, right? The one is the question drills. That's not hard, like five minutes a day. OK, if you're not willing to do this, don't tell me you want to be a seven-figure business owner. Come on. You're going to lose to the person who does this.

Secondly, video messages...Oh, Brenden, my ads aren't working. Oh, I can't get more clients. Did you try and ask your current clients, the people who already believe in you who are receiving video messages? We don't go looking for business, me and you. We just send video messages, and 10% of them go, oh, Deb, Brenden, I was just thinking about you and your pumpkin, and then you got to meet my CEO friend. And you're like, OK, done.

So that's the second piece. So if you're just doing these two things, you're already better than 90% of the business, of your industry. But there's a third one that we didn't talk about, which is the random word exercise. So essentially, what it is, Deb, is you take a random, like phone, like ice cream, and you create random presentations out of thin air. And the reason this exercise is effective is what I tell people, is if you can make sense out of nonsense, you can make sense out of anything. And that's what the random word exercise gives you. Do it with your friends, and family, and your nephews and stuff.

Deb Zahn: I'm going to pick ice cream, if that's OK because that feels less random to me. That's fantastic. I love that. So where can folks find you if they want to start getting good at this, and they need your help? Where can they find you?

Brenden Kumarasamy: Absolutely, Deb. This is such a fantastic conversation. Thanks for having me. This was really great, and thank you for being the example, by the way, that we should all be following. Because you embody all these.

Deb Zahn: Oh, thank you. I'm so glad I'm doing the videos. I've just had to tell people, you have to understand. I will prioritize the connection over what my hair looks like, and-

Brenden Kumarasamy: Me too.

Deb Zahn: ...yeah, and they're like, yes, and then, then they tell me my hair looked good. And they're lying, but it's OK.

Brenden Kumarasamy: I love it. But it drives that authenticity.

Deb Zahn: That's right.

Brenden Kumarasamy: So I love that, absolutely. So two ways to keep in touch. The first one is definitely the YouTube channel. Just go to MasterTalk in one word. You'll have access to hundreds of free videos. And the second way to keep in touch, for those of you who are interested in joining one of my Zoom calls, I do one for free on communication every three weeks. It's fun. It's live. It's interactive, and all you have to do is go to to register.

Deb Zahn: And that will all be in the show notes, and I do want to make a plug for the videos. Because even if you looked at a couple of them, like your top five tips, and you have a number of different things where you hone in on specific topics. You're going to increase your percentage in your skill. So if you even increase by two or 3%, now you're doing better than some of your potential competitors, and particularly, and I want to make a plug for this. Since we, depending on who you ask, may or may not be headed into a recession, often it's things like this when there's fewer dollars being spent and more consultants after those dollars. It's things like this that often make the difference.

Brenden Kumarasamy: And I'm so glad you painted that.

Deb Zahn: So I want to make a plug for the video. Go check out his videos, darn it. So let me ask you this last question, and you know this is coming. So how do you bring balance to your life, however it is you define that?

Brenden Kumarasamy: Absolutely, Deb, and just to double tap, I agree. I think the recession's coming too, and what you said was spot-on. So in the sense of balance, here's my opinion on this. Balance is by your own definition, OK? Figure out what balance means to you. For me, balance, and I'm happy to share it publicly, is working 14, 15 hours a day, serving clients, working, barely talking to my family, and then taking two weeks off straight where I only spent time with my family. I don't talk to a single one of my clients. Right? So that's what balance looks like for me.

Balance also looks like because I know that I'll never call my mother when I travel, I just choose to live with her even if I don't need to, right? What else does balance look like? Same thing with my sister. I'll never talk to her, so I might as well just live with her. It's about making decisions that help us get the balance that we're looking for, and more importantly, not judging the way that other people balance their life.

Deb Zahn: I love that, and of course we could loop back the videos that we were talking about. It's another way to connect with people and send some love, if you're like, and I'm not going to talk to you for two weeks.

Brenden Kumarasamy: Correct.

Deb Zahn: I love that. Well, Brenden, this has been fabulous. I suspect you and I could talk endlessly for hours about this stuff and completely nerd out on it, but I want to thank you for coming on the show and sharing all these fabulous gems with us.

Brenden Kumarasamy: Likewise. This was super fun.

Deb Zahn: Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the Craft of Consulting podcast. I want to ask you to do actually three things. If you enjoyed this episode, or if you've enjoyed any of my other ones, hit subscribe. I got a lot of other great guests that are coming up, and a lot of other great content, and I don't want you to miss anything. But the other two things that I'm going to ask you to do is, one is if you have any comments... So if you have any suggestions or any kind of feedback that will help make this podcast more helpful to more listeners, please include those. And then the last thing is, again, if you've gotten something out of this, share it. Share it with somebody you know who's a consultant or thinking about being a consultant, and make sure that they also have access to all this great content, and all the other great content that's going to be coming up. So as always, you can go and get more wonderful information and tools at Thanks so much. I will talk to you on the next episode. Bye-bye.

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