Get to know the authors of Changing Your Equation in the Q&A Session below.
Have more questions? Email Roe and Don HERE!
We love helping others live up to the potential they might not even know they had…to help them be all they can be drives everything we do, whether our book, speaking and workshops or coaching.
Our mission of helping others to achieve greater heights has now become part of what we call our “living legacy.” The more people we can reach, the more our own personal missions are fulfilled.We feel such a thrill to see others succeed in their careers, relationships and even material purchases such as a new home or car. We are truly excited to see how far our message touches others and how our legacy is leaving the world a better place.
Roe: As a small business owner, I have seen first-hand the need for executives to have someone to just talk to. Whether it is for brainstorming, accountability, or even someone to push me out of my own comfort zone, it is always more productive for me personally to have a go-to expert. Luckily, in many cases Don is the perfect sounding board.
As owner/president of RD Advisory Group, LLC, I can be that person for so many others. Whether it is paid coaching services, development of leadership training programs and workshops or even business services such as strategic planning sessions, I use my education as an MBA as well as my experience as a manager and executive to help others succeed.
It is incredibly fulfilling and with the development of Changing Your Equation, I can bring the concepts in the book to life in others. It is a perfect union of the two sides of my professional career.
Don: I am the CFO of an insurance agency. That might be a bit misleading if you think about it from only a financial perspective. Yes, managing the finances of the agency is part of my role, but what really excites me is the work I do in growing people and organizations into their greatest potential.
One of my highest priorities is growing my team mates – this allows me to further my own personal growth as well as the growth of the agency. It really is a never ending cycle of growth; personal, team, agency, and clients.
Often, you might hear someone say “bucket list” or “life’s to-do list,” many years ago, we made the conscious choice to call it our “dream day list.” We actually schedule a dream day once a year, which we just sit and literally dream about our life. No judgements are allowed, if it is something we hope for, dream about or even just want to try, it goes on the list. From there we carry it forward to actual goals and time frames.
During one dream day, when we were sitting on a favorite beach, in our conversation, we realized we weren’t going achieve everything on our own “dream day” list. We instantly knew there were two choices; change ourselves or change the list. We didn’t want to change the list so it came down to figuring out how we could change ourselves.
Roe: Then, I picked up on Don’s thought that unless the factors changed, our life would always lead to the same result. There was a cap to our earning potential. There was a time limit our dreams and our future (as much as we want to, we can’t live forever!). From there, I realized that our lives were an equation. Just like we learned back in grade school math, the result from our equations would not change until we changed the factors that made up the equation.
So, we reduced a very broad idea of getting what we want out of life to a manageable equation that is built around universally principles that really apply to everyone. We all these principles “factors.” Once we determined the factors of this equation, we took another step forward and made each factor actionable. Changing your Equation, not only creates awareness of many issues, it creates actions needed to implement real change.
And, it is starts with a dream day. We believe in this first step so much that we are offering everyone a free download of our dream day guide. Click here to get it!
We approached this book as an actual guide rather than just, “do this because we said so.” It has easy and fun exercises, worksheets and real life examples to help you put the factors of the equation into action.
Truly, we are saying, “Hey we did this, you can too!”
There are so many books that are purely academic or theoretical. (yawn…!) They may cover a single topic. Changing Your Equation covers a lot of ground. The book provides a shortcut to making a large step towards your Ideal Future. You won’t come away with one idea, but rather ten, twenty, or thirty implementable ideas that will have an immediate impact on your life.
Roe: We met when I started to work at the same company as Don. For weeks I saw this cute man sitting in a small office working away. Though I had been given a tour of the office, I don’t remember really meeting him. When I officially joined my department, he came in to train me on the computer programs. Needless to say, the moment I literally stole the mouse from him, we should have known it was going to be a fun ride!
Actually, we working closely on a project and became friends first. Anything to add, my love? (Long pause) You know I am going to make you tell the story (laughter).
Don: We started dating later that year.
Roe: No…tell them about that fateful lunch…
Don: (sheepishly) Ok, ok…so I might have told her that I would never date anyone I worked with and that I had no interest in her.
Roe: So, my love, how did that work out?
Don: Within six months we were dating.
Roe: I was so shocked when he asked me out, all I could say was that I had to check my calendar! As if I had a life. Of course, as soon as I made it back to my desk I immediately emailed him a “YES!”
Don: So yes, we did meet at work. Truthfully, my hesitation was how we could work closely together while building our personal relationship. It isn’t always easy and we really worked on the two sides of business and personal interactions. It is a relationship that we’ve been growing ever since. Writing the book together is a continuation of that growth.
Roe: It was very hard to leave that company knowing that we wouldn’t be working together in that way anymore. The book has really brought us back to those roots and it was so wonderful picking up where we left off!
That is an easy and a hard question all at once! On the surface, we have a natural rapport with each other and really don’t ever get tired of each other’s company. We bring a balance to each other in our natural tendencies and talents. We often joke about one of us being the introvert and one being the extrovert. If you watch our videos or see us live, it is probably fairly easy to tell who is who!
Beyond the surface, the greatest foundation of our relationship is that we are truly best friends. And, as best friends we constantly look out for each other, care for each other and are deeply concerned with each other’s well-being. Truly, it is a match that was made in heaven and we are so very, very blessed
Too often we find ourselves with people who only talk about themselves, their jobs, homes, hobbies and families without ever asking once about our lives. It is a disturbing trend that we are seeing more and more out there.
As with most people these days, our time is precious. So, if we are spending some of our rare spare time with others we want them to be at least a little interested in us!
We cherish real conversations and know that communication needs to happen on both sides. We can’t be so caught up in ourselves that we don’t try to connect with others.
Also, kind of along the same lines, we really don’t like the constant attitude of, “the problem is…” Yet, it is so often the leading statement. We really need to change the mindset to, “the solution is…” We believe each of us must reach beyond ourselves to make a better impact on the world around us.
It is just like our life’s equation, nothing will change if you don’t first change the factors!
Roe: We love to work outside in our gardens and also entertain in our home. I am the chef and make most of my dishes from scratch. It is so much fun to spoil family, friends and even business associates with home-cooked meals and warm hospitality.
Don: And, I , bat clean up. Somehow she manages to use every cooking and serving utensils we own!
Roe: Another shared love of ours is travel. In fact, as a part of our dream list we want to visit all 50 states together. We have already been to more than half! In our travels, we also try to get to the ocean at least once a year. The beauty and majesty re-energizes us and brings clarity to whatever we might be working on. In fact, the idea of writing a book together was born on a beach!
Don: I have always loved the Indy 500 and open wheel racing. In fact, before we were married, I proclaimed the Indy 500 Race a national holiday in our house! The best part is Roe has become equally as passionate about the sport and we love going to the races together.
Roe: As long as I can remember, I have always loved fairy tales. Many hours in my youth and even into my young adulthood were spent watching the same movies over and over. Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella were my childhood favorites and I would wish that I had a fairy godmother to help me find my own true love. Then, when I was in my early 20’s, Beauty and the Beast came out. I think I went to see it in the movie theater at least a dozen times! That one especially spoke to me because the heroine had a different outlook. She could see things in someone that other’s couldn’t see. Not only could she see them, she could make that person’s life better.
Here is the ironic part, when my own fairy tale came true, I wanted others to have that same joy…the same happy ending. The fairy princess grew up and became the fairy godmother. I take what I see in others and help them to find their own happy endings. It may be with the people I coach or it may be with someone I just feel a connection with – it runs the gambit. Whoever seems to need me, or as I like to think, whoever God sends to me, I try to help. It is what drives me…truly I want to share all the blessings God has given me, so others can fulfill their own fairy tale ending. The more I give, the better my own fairy tale becomes!
The very best part is that Don has not only supported me in these efforts, he is now owning his own role as a fairy godfather. The epiphany I share any time I am asked about being a fairy godmother, is that the hero of the story was never the prince or princess: It was always the fairy godmother because without her, the story would have never happened.
Don: Being a “fairy godparent” was never a role I envisioned. Years ago, I found myself in a situation knowing someone who was really struggling. This person had tremendous potential and promise, but was going through a very difficult time and was seemingly moving in the wrong direction at a fast pace. My hope was that others around this person would step up and assist.
One by one those with the potential to help chose to take the safe route or in other words, decided not to “stick their necks out.” I knew it was up to me. After consulting with Roe, we took the leap and we were the ones to step in, both emotionally and financially. Doing so meant that we had to put a few of our own wants on hold. It was one of the best decisions we have made as a team and to this day, we have an incredibly special bond with this person!
Being a fairy godparent has brought about absolutely some of the best moments of our lives. Roe has been there every step of the way and our passion for being fairy godparents has grown and grown.
I don’t think we would have ever written Changing Your Equation if it had not been for our fairy godparent experiences. We hope the book inspires other potential fairy godparents to take that same leap. We also hope the book touches the lives of many, many people who we will never meet in person.
Roe: Truly the book is one of the best things we have ever done, as well as one of the most challenging. The hours, days, weeks and even months we have spent discussing, developing, debating, and creating have brought us to new levels of self-awareness and closeness. But, there were times when it also put a tremendous strain on us because as we sacrificed so much in terms of personal time and activities.
I don’t think either one of us could have accomplished this on our own. Oh, we probably could have written a book by ourselves, but it wouldn’t have the depth and emotional qualities that we have been able to add as a team. And, at least as challenging as it has been at times, we have always been in it together. Supporting each other, leading each other when we needed it and loving the new paths we are forging together.
Don: Well I know why so few books are written jointly by spouses. (Laughter)
For most couples, divorce might be the end result. I do mean this somewhat jokingly. For us, it was a tremendous experience. The process of writing the book pushed our relationship to new levels. It has been a tremendous experience, absolutely one of the best of our marriage. This is not to say that it was easy. There were many times that the effort required tested us. The end result was never in doubt. I don’t want to give any couple the impression that they should just start writing together. For some couples it will be magical. For others, well, it will be better to find a different project to tackle together.
Some of the fun things we have done, like going to the Indy 500, driving our car on the track, “kissing” the bricks and even being on the grid when the drivers were called to their cars! We love to fulfill our dream list items by really going all out!
Roe: I have a great connection with most animals. Dogs will literally run from their owners to come up to me. It is just natural and I absolutely love it. Along the same lines, I rode horses at the same barn for 25 years and my riding instructor is like a second-mom. We still are close to this day. Finally, in my love for animals, whenever we go The Keys, I always try to do a dolphin package at one of the non-profit research facilities. The ocean has a strong calling in my soul, in fact, we laugh that I swim better than I walk.
Most people know I am close to my family but it is a rare day that I don’t talk to my mom and sister at least once. Usually, it is multiple times! I had all four grandparents until I was in my early twenties and with only two first cousins, my sister and I were showered with love and attention. Truly, it is one of the greatest blessings in my life.
Don: I grew up on a dairy farm. For me the old saying, “you can take the boy from the farm, but you can’t take the farm from the boy” holds true. I credit growing up on the farm with a number of the traits I continue to possess. Farming taught me a lot about responsibility and accountability. It also taught me that the harder you work on something, normally the better the results achieved.
Roe: My greatest hesitation in the book writing process was the sharing of our personal stories at the end of the chapters in Section 3. In fact, it was one of the biggest debates we had in the process. It is hard for me to be vulnerable. Ironically, when I coach and mentor people, and even in my corporate trainings, I often share personal stories. It is how I help people see the way through whatever issue they are facing. Yet, when it came to writing the book – for all the world to see – those personal stories seemed to be too much for me to share.
Now that it is complete, I love that it does connect people to us and makes our book somewhat unique. I need to continue to embrace my vulnerability and keep striving to help others in changing their equations.
Don: I am more and more focused on living and leaving a legacy. The legacy will not be about what material possessions are left behind, but by the people I can help. Stepping into someone’s life isn’t always something that comes naturally to me. Alright, as it was alluded to earlier, I’m the introvert.
Writing a book is something that comes fairly easily to an introvert. Publicizing and promoting it is something that has previously been far outside my comfort zone. In short, my self-improvement focus is really around becoming comfortable and embracing what makes me uncomfortable. That is the hallmark of great leaders.
Roe: Truly I want people to try to help each other instead of thinking only for themselves, or worse yet, tearing them down maliciously. The “Realities” in our book were born from my disdain of reality television and how people are buying into those fake, phony, scripted “relationships.” It isn’t real. We don’t get ahead by hurting others! That is NOT being a Fairy Godparent!
Don: I’ll take this in a slightly different direction. We like to say, “we don’t stoop”. I’ve found that I always end up regretting any compromise of my core convictions. Therefore, I refuse to compromise on any of them. Sometimes convictions may be popular and other times may be very unpopular. Standing tall and defending my convictions is of utmost importance.
Standing for your convictions is not about being right or wrong. I have grown much more understanding and accepting that other’s convictions will be different and everyone is entitled to them. Tolerance to others’ ideas and opinions, even when in direct opposition to my own, is extremely important.