Episode 14 Image

Listening to the whisper

Finding your way through the struggles and chaos of corporate life!



As an award-winning, published author, Angie Stegall helps business owners and entrepreneurs find their way through the struggles and chaos of corporate life. Angie earned a BA in Organizational Communications from the Queens University of Charlotte. She’s a Martha Beck Certified Wayfinder Life Coach and incorporates nature-based coaching into her work with clients. During her conversation with Julie, Angie talks about a life-changing sabbatical, listening to the whisper telling her she had to do something different. She also shares with Julie what happens if you ignore the whisper. Angie also shares the one thing students should learn in business school to help navigate the waters of business leadership and how she defines success.


Julie Bee: [00:00:00] Welcome back to they don’t teach this in business school where we discuss the behind the scenes realities of being a business owner. I’m Julie V. And I truly appreciate you all tuning in today. And today’s episode is special to me because I get to interview Angie Stegall business. Wayfinder and long time entrepreneur, Angie has actually been my coach and mentor for over a decade, and I’m also really proud to call her my friend, Andy.

Welcome. And thank you so much for being on the 

Angie Stegall: show today. So excited that you asked me to be on this today. Thanks. This isn’t going to be 

Julie Bee: fantastic. First things first, give us a brief overview of what you do as a Wayfinder and business. 

Angie Stegall: Brief overview. All right. [00:01:00] So I work with business owners and executives, other professionals to help challenge their thinking, to help challenge their perspectives  and to 

Angie Stegall: help them at the root of it all, find their way back to themselves.

They really desire what they really value what’s important to them and then help them make aligned decisions from that really inwardly grounded 

Julie Bee: place. Hence the title Wayfinder 

Angie Stegall: is the title way finder. Yes. Okay. 

Julie Bee: Andy, I’m going to ask you a question. That’s not on the list, so I hope you’re ready to roll with us, 

Angie Stegall: but.

Talk about 

Julie Bee: your journey to 

Angie Stegall: figuring 

Julie Bee: out that you are a way [00:02:00] finder and how, and also how great it felt when you actually figured 

Angie Stegall: that out. Yeah. The journey of figuring out that I’m away finder was several years, maybe close to it, five or six years in the making way back in 2012. I was getting whispers in my ear that I wasn’t supposed to be doing what I had been doing, which is professional organizing with some systems and process kind of stuff.

And I know I’ve ignored the whispers, but I also simultaneously started hiring coaches to help me because I was just having this unhappiness. And then I started using some of the coaching techniques on my clients and it really worked and I really enjoyed it, but I still [00:03:00] ignored the whole coaching wayfinding thing for a long time.

And that’s maybe a whole story that I don’t entirely want to get into. Cause there’s some personal stuff there, but yes. I started following an artist, a woman named Martha Beck. And in 2016, I was walking in the woods with another coach friend. And I said to her, just sort of popped out of my mouth. I was like, Martha Beck is my, she is my.

My mentor, like I’m supposed to work with her. I’m supposed to learn from her. And around that same time she introduced something called the Martha Beck Wayfinder life coach training program. And she used the word Wayfinder in it. And I was like, oh, there it is. Shoot. And so, you know, I invested the 10 grand in the coaching [00:04:00] program that I didn’t want to do, but I knew I wanted to be a Y away finder and the promptings and the messages and the actual notes from nature started to get louder and more obvious.

The coincidence is the magic, the mystery, all of the things started to really happen. Once I said, yes, And going through her program, I was like, holy crap. I am a born Wayfinder. That is, that is through and through who I am and what I do. And so then I finished in 28, late 2018, early 2019. I embraced the whole finding thing and.

Everything in my life changed for the better. Yeah. I started doing work. That was exciting. I was so excited to get out of bed every morning and work with clients and when work becomes so [00:05:00] satisfying. And so life-changing that sometimes I cry in sessions. Sometimes my clients cry in sessions that is. The best.

Angie Stegall: It is so deeply, incredibly satisfying that  way you’re 

Julie Bee: doing what you’re meant to do, and you’re helping people find your find, helping them find their way to what they have, have been called to do or were meant to do on this place. 

Angie Stegall: Yeah, the other fun part is I have started inviting, started inviting my clients for the past three years to come outside with me to do some what is called a forest vaping.

Um, and I say, forest bathing clothing is mandatory. Shoes are optional. And we go out and do nature based coaching outside. And. Helps people get out of their normal [00:06:00] routine out of their offices, away from their phones and away from the computers to get in touch with themselves and what they really want, what they really feel and what they honestly think without a bunch of noise and interruptions and input from others.

So, yeah, it’s sorry. I’m super enthusiastic about it. 

: Can you 

Julie Bee: tell, oh yes, of course I, and I know you are in it. You bring that energy to anytime you work with your clients, but, so I’m curious before you had that epiphany before or before you started down that journey, did you ever go through a time where you wanted to just walk away from your business?

Call it burnout, call it. Throwing it all away and just going to get a job, but was there ever a time when you wanted to 

Angie Stegall: do that, going to get a job? A J O B? No, I’ve, I’ve been self-employed since 2003. I am pretty much [00:07:00] unemployable by anybody else, but I will say in 20 15, 16, 17, I went through a lot of major life changes.

I met the man who is now my husband. We picked up our businesses and moved to the mountains to a town called Bravard in North Carolina. So we moved both of our businesses. I was still doing work back in Charlotte. We got married and my husband started having some health problem. And those years of all that change that happened.

And we moved three times while we were in the mountains. I don’t know why I do, but it’s ridiculous. Anyway, there was a lot of change. And by the time the end of 2016 came my husband and I looked at each other and said, we have both [00:08:00] been self-employed for. So many decades now over, over a decade each, and he was having health problems and I was just absolutely so sick of marketing and sales and clients.

And I said to him, let’s shut it all down. And he was like, we 

Angie Stegall: can’t do that. And I was like, oh yes, we can. And so we sort of took a grownup sabbatical. A year and a half, we shut our businesses down. I kept a handful of clients that I worked with and I was going through coaching school. At this point, we sold everything.

We owned. We bought a motor home, we took a contract job and it got us out on the road for a year now. We ended up driving 25,000 miles all over the country, across Canada. We lived in Alaska for a summer, just [00:09:00] campground hosts. And that was the best thing that we ever did was to take an adult sabbatical.

Cause we were burned out. My husband was sick. He had been in construction forever and his body was falling apart. He was mentally and physically falling apart and I’m not breaking any confidences to tell you that he was, that was his journey and taking that year and a half sabbatical got me radically clear that I wanted to be a Wayfinder and work with people.

And he got radically clear that he wanted to be a professional photographer. And I’ll tell you what, by the time we came back to North Carolina in 2019, both of us were working on that in earnest and he’s a full-time photographer making money and I am a full-time Wayfinder making money. 

Julie Bee: Yeah. Your stories are just amazing to me.

I feel like you really tell the universe what you [00:10:00] want. I know we laugh. You’re going to laugh. Cause I, you say I do the same thing, but I watched you tell the universe what you wanted and. Go and do the work that you needed to do to achieve that. And I know some, some business owners listening are going to think you took a year and a half off, both you and your husband took a year and a half off and took, it, took an adult grown-up sabbatical.

But the outcome of that was that you came back and you weren’t, no, you weren’t burnt out anymore. And you knew exactly what you wanted to do. 

Angie Stegall: That’s right. That’s right. We had time to rest, time to play, and we had time to get creative and revisit hobbies and be outside in nature and sit and do nothing for a year and a half.

And we kind of healed ourselves mentally, physically, and spiritually and emotionally. [00:11:00] 

Angie Stegall: And we came back and I had. Hands down my two most successful years in business the last two years, and my husband is booked like a crazy man doing real estate photography. And he’s starting to get jobs doing conservation photography, which is what he really truly honestly, law loves to do.

He’s great 

Angie Stegall: at real estate photography, but he loves the conservation work, taking pictures of waterways and animals. And it’s, it’s awesome. 

Julie Bee: It really is. I just, I appreciate your journey so much that it really is awesome. When you can tell the world what you want to do, and then you actually bring that to life, but you have to have space.

You’ve got to give yourself space to do that. 

Angie Stegall: You have to listen to the evolution. I describe it as you get a little whisper first, a little note. And you either listen to the whisper and take action, or you say that [00:12:00] can’t be right. I could never do that. Who am I to dot.dot, but then that whisper turns into an annoying mosquito kind of sound.

And then if you’re still not listening, it turns into a shout. And then if you’re still not listening, it might turn into a two-by-four. Do you 

Julie Bee: remember when I called you and said, I think I’m actually 

Angie Stegall: creative. Yes. Wildly creative. 

Julie Bee: And that was it’s funny. My background is an accounting and just being, that’s where I started and I’ve been a business owner.

Geez. 2008. So almost 14 years now, but I remember I was probably seven or eight years into running a marketing agency when I had that realization. And that came from listening to those whispers. What have you seen Angie? And I mean, you can talk about my journey if you want to. And if there’s anything that I want to cut I’ll, I’ll get it cut.

But [00:13:00] what have you seen happen when business owners actually don’t listen to those whispers and don’t take action on those. That drum beat or that, that kind of constant, that voice telling them that there’s something else or something they need to pay attention to what happens when they don’t do that.

I started calling it a wholly unrest. And what I mean by that is what you are meant to do and who you actually are at your core will not leave you alone. Until you answer the call and when you have the epiphany of, oh, I’m actually creative looking at all the different things that you were involved in, right?

You came to me with the whole cooking idea. Right. Could you do these things and the [00:14:00] recipe that I love and it’s in the camera and recording and doing all that. And it’s like, of course you’re a wildly creative person, right. You’re hilarious for one. And you have ideas that just bubble out of you like a waterfall 

Angie Stegall: and watching people.

With the holy unrest and not do anything about it, like hurts my heart and it actually physically hurts their hearts too. 

And the longer they go, not listening to this holy unrest, that is a whisper. That is a drum beat. That is a shout. That is a two by four it’s. One it’s unnecessary. Even if it feels scary to admit, this is who I am, and this is what I love, and this is what I want to do.[00:15:00] 

Just moving toward it. All of these things start to happen. Like, you know, okay, I’ll go full. Well, the universe starts to respond. When incidences or these synchronicities, like how in the world did that happen? You know, how did I attract that subcontractor that I needed or that business partner who has that skillset?

That is exactly what I need. Well, of course you did because you’re following who you are and what you’re supposed to do. And so the universe is like, yes, here’s all the things that you need go and do it.

I think we are suffering from so much disconnection and unhappiness in the world, especially in business right now, because so many people are doing what they think they are. And I’m using air quotes here supposed to do instead of what they actually 

Angie Stegall: [00:16:00] desire what they actually want to do. And so we move toward deep dissatisfaction with life.

Addictions of all kinds trips to the ER, from heart attacks, strokes, panic attacks. If you’re 

Julie Bee: lucky, panic 

Angie Stegall: attacks, if you’re lucky it’s just a panic attack, right. Or acid reflux because of stress. That was what, that’s how I ended up in the ER, a couple of years ago and a huge number of pharmaceuticals being given to people.

Because they’re just out of alignment with who they truly are. And now I’m not saying that once you figure that out, everything’s going to always be sunshine and rainbows. Like I’m not that naive life is still life. We all have kids and aging parents and physical health problems that we have no control [00:17:00] over, but really getting on the track.

Of who you are and what you love and working toward it. Even if it’s just a little tiny turtle step every day can change everything. Yeah. In the, in the fulfillment and satisfaction realm of being 

Julie Bee: Hey, this is Julie B and you’re listening to, they don’t teach this in business school. And today I’m talking with business coach and Wayfinder, Angie Stegall, and Angie and I were just talking about listening to the universe as a business owner and all of the things that, that means [00:18:00] it’s a really big concept, but I know I have certainly experienced it.

I’ve also explored. Several times the two by four that you referenced earlier. But Angie, I wanted to ask you, do you think that we just, in general, as business owners, we go on this path of success being defined for us and that, and that is the path that leads us kind of down the path that we just, we just talked about.

And can you talk a little bit about that? 

Angie Stegall: I have become a big fan of living an examined. Life. And I am wildly curious about what words mean about the language that we’re using, how we define things, the stories we’re telling ourselves, and I am inviting more and more people to do the same because for a long time, life was just very [00:19:00] prescribed.

You went to school, you went to college, you got a good job. Maybe you got married. Maybe you got two cars and a house and a couple of kids and a dog. And that was just, and then you worked for 40 years and then you retire or 50 years, and then you retire. And I don’t think it has to be that. I don’t think it should be that way.

I really think there’s an opportunity to even at, I was, you know, in my mid forties, when I started asking some really hard questions, there’s an opportunity to say I’m on this trajectory here, but I’m not sure how I got here. So let me back up. What were the rules in my family? That said a person is successful if they do this or person is not successful.

If they do that, [00:20:00] Hey me, I’m 45 years old. Do I really believe that to be true? Or here I am at this point in my life at whatever age, 50 years old, and I have all the things I’m supposed to have, but I don’t feel satisfied. And outwardly I look really successful, but inwardly. 

I’m not feeling : that and ask why not just examine the story that you’re living and see what, what, what might, could be different if I’m going to go out Southern on me, the California girl, what, what could be different?

What do you actually want to be different? 

Angie Stegall: Or go super basic. How do you want to define success now as a sovereign individual who gets to make choices at whatever [00:21:00] age you are, how do you want to define success? Okay. Are you living that now? It’s interesting 

Julie Bee: that you say the difference for me. I hear such as distinct difference between how do you want to define success?

And how do you define success? And I think that we are, well, I mean, I used to be the person who defined success based on money in the bank account, or number of employees or, or those types of things as a business owner or that size of house I lived in, or the cars that I drove. And I think there’s been a lot of that at my core.

I don’t really care about a lot of those things. What I care about is how much time I get to spend with the people that I love and how much I laughed during the day. Like those are the measures of success for me. And of course going, being able to go to Disney world whenever I want to, which does take a certain amount of buddy, but that’s a different [00:22:00] story, but 

Angie Stegall: can you talk about how did you, I’m 

Julie Bee: really curious how you help.

I mean, I know how you help me, but how do you help. Business owners that you’re working with. See that distinction between how do you define success and how do you want to define success? Because there’s a big distinction. 

Angie Stegall: There, there is. And especially if someone comes to me who is not living a deeply examined life, because a lot of times, you know, the person comes to me and I ask, how do you define success?

And they give me a pretty. Standard answer. You know, my company is going to make $10 million in revenue and we’re going to win all of these awards and get recognition from the community. And then we, we go through the values that they actually hold personally, and then [00:23:00] we test it against how they’re using their time, how they’re showing up in the world.

And there’s often a bit. Mismatch. And once you can pivot, and it’s not usually a fast pivot, but once you can pivot toward living your values, that can then help you decide what you want to actually define success. That’s a 

Julie Bee: big topic. I mean, I, I feel like knowing what your core values are is everything. I mean, it comes down to it’s, it’s everything.

It’s, I’m actually, I’m working with a group of business owners right now, and the question has come up. How do you delegate the essence of yourself? Because these are people who have. [00:24:00] Pretty much delegated everything, but they’re still working in their business every single day. And it’s, they’re working too much.

And my answer to them was you have to know your core values and that’s, that’s hard work, but it’s so important to business owners to be. I think that you have, you have to live those to be successful because otherwise you’re, you’re never going to live your own definition of success. 

Angie Stegall: That’s right. You’re either going to live the companies cause like lots of people have been mission, vision values for their companies.

And so they’re kind of pretzeling or shoehorning themselves into their company’s values, but there may actually be. Some personal values that you are either directly at odds with the company’s values, which is interesting. Or there are values that are missing entirely that [00:25:00] are super important to the individual person that are worth discovering.

I remember going and doing a time map with an executive and. She was involved with her business. She was involved with a volunteer organization that she was, had a lot of different roles in over the years. And when we mapped out her time, the amount of time she was spending on this volunteer role, almost outsized her business.

And when she saw that. I think two days later, she called that organization and said no more, not taking any more roles in this because she realized she was not giving the value of time with her employee. And she was actually pulling time [00:26:00] away from being with her partner and her dog after work. Do these long walks that they liked to do, seeing it in black and white or in color as it worked.

Cause I do these, I used to do these fun time apps that were very colorful and seeing it in it just right there. There was no arguing with it. I think really shocked. And changed. It was the beginning of a lot of change for her. 

Julie Bee: Is there something that you see like a time map? Are there, are there tools that I know there are, but is there a tool or two that you think are immensely valuable in helping business owners begin to see if there is a core values mismatch?

And their pursuit of, you know, their Def definition of success. 

Angie Stegall: I, I start now because I don’t, I don’t do the time map thing as much. If people are interested in that, I have a [00:27:00] whole workbook that I could send them, but I really start with tolerations. Now I have people make a list. What are you tolerating?

And I want you to like, keep this list for a month. Every day, when something starts to, you know, poke you like my God, I can’t believe I have to go to this thing or I have to do this thing, or I try to do this thing and it never works. And it makes me crazy. Or here I am having dinner with this person that I don’t want to really obligations and tolerations are a great place to start because you begin to see where.

Angie Stegall: The gap is so Martha Beck, my mentor talks about culture versus nature. And when you start to really pay attention to things that feel like obligations or that you’re really just tolerating, you begin to see where you are changing [00:28:00] yourself. To fit culture, to be acceptable, to be good, to be the good boy or the good girl or the good person where your true nature says, I don’t want to do that.

And in reality, there’s very few things in life that we actually have to do. And when we can begin to create a life where we are getting rid of the things we don’t have to do. And focusing on the things we want to do, boy, all our values start to like shine and bubble and effervesce in really obvious ways.

Julie Bee: And that is so important to business owners. Even if it’s at the level of working. Working on the things that only you can do or that are your genius zone, the stuff, the things that you really, really love to do. I know for me personally, if I don’t create content. [00:29:00] I will burn out and that’s just a fact I’ve seen it happen.

So you’ve got to know 

Angie Stegall: those things. So there’s a great book by gay Hendricks called the big leap and in the big leap, gay Hendricks talks about the work we do that. We’re good at the work we do that we’re great at. And the work we do that is in our zone of genius. And lots of us get stuck in the work that we’re great at, but it is not fulfilling.

We’re great at it. Like we can do it backwards, forwards, and all day long, and it’s an energy drain. But when we get into our work, that is our zone of genius. That is where we are actually given. That is what brings us life and divide. [00:30:00] And knowing that distinction changed everything for me. 

Julie Bee: And I think to, to have to make a career out of being an entrepreneur and business owner, you have to work in that genius zone some every day.

Cause otherwise. You’re just not going to be 

Angie Stegall: fulfilled and hiring people to do the things that you’re not good at, obviously, to do the things that you’re good at or to do the things that you’re great at, but keep that keep you from doing your zone of genius work that that’s where all the hiring needs to happen.

And then you just get to sit in your sandbox and play with your favorite toys. Okay. And this is good. 

Julie Bee: Very good. Yeah. When you get to that point is very well. Angie, I’ve got one final question for you today. That goes along with the title of the [00:31:00] podcast, but what is one thing that you would recommend business schools teach to future business owners?

Angie Stegall: I really think that it has to do with asking better questions. And I’m going to mess it up. I can’t remember if it was Albert Einstein or Benjamin Franklin or somebody else who said, if I only had an hour to solve a problem, I would spend almost the entire hour coming up with the right question, because asking the right question brings you to the right answer so quickly.

And that goes along with living an examined life, questioning our stories, questioning what we think, questioning what we believe we believe and just [00:32:00] testing those assumptions in really powerful ways. And I’ve never been to business school, but I don’t think they teach that they’re based on the hundreds and hundreds of entrepreneurial.

And business folk that I have worked with over the, 

Julie Bee: they, as far as I know, I certainly was not taught that in business school when I. Right. I doubt it. Something that’s on the curriculum these days either.

Well, Angie, listen, I’ve really, really enjoyed this conversation as I always do when we get the chance to talk. And I know the business owners listening will as well. I just want to thank you again for being on the show. 

Angie Stegall: I am so grateful that you asked this was a lot of fun to talk about this topic. 

Julie Bee: I’m glad we finally got some of it recorded because you and I’ve had conversations like this many times over the years.

So now it’s like, ah, it’s, it’s noted for history. At [00:33:00] least they’re at a heritage. 

Angie Stegall: I’ll take the transcript. Thank you. And 

Julie Bee: that is a route on this episode of they don’t teach this in business school, be sure to subscribe so that, so that you don’t miss out on any future episodes.