Talking Shizzle

Limiting Beliefs & Overcoming Toxic Culture with Katie Appold

December 07, 2022 Taylor Shanklin Episode 15
Talking Shizzle
Limiting Beliefs & Overcoming Toxic Culture with Katie Appold
Show Notes Transcript

As we get closer to the holiday season, we wanted to have a professional on who really knows her stuff. Katie Appold is a nonprofit professional who started her career working in a nonprofit organization, and has strived to accomplish many great things during her career. She is currently an Executive Director at AIRS, Nonprofit Consultant, and Professor.

During the conversation, Katie discusses the concept of limiting beliefs. She explains that a limiting belief is a belief that holds you back from achieving your goals or reaching your full potential. She also shares that she used to have a number of limiting beliefs, but has since worked to overcome them. She offers advice for others who may be struggling with similar issues.

We also delve into the various ways that nonprofits can break through limiting beliefs, both on an individual and organizational level. One way to do this is by recognizing when a limiting belief is present and then taking action to overcome it. Another way to break through limiting beliefs is to form new habits that support positive action.

A great resource for learning how to do this is John Acuff's book, Soundtracks. In the book, Acuff discusses the importance of discouraging negative thoughts and replacing them with positive, encouraging ones. This resource, plus so many more insights are discussed, like;

- The Power of Letting Go of Limiting Beliefs
- Positive Thinking & Positive Self-Talk and Why You Should Consider the Source
- The Benefits of a Diverse Nonprofit Network
- How to Overcome Limiting Beliefs and Achieve Success
- Asking the Right Questions When Joining a Nonprofit Organization
- Time Blocking for Improved Efficiency
- The Strength in Knowing When To Begin Letting Go

Connect with Katie Here:


Taylor Shanklin  0:01  
Hey Hey all you lovely people out there. You've got a lot going on in your day with big dreams and big goals for your world. Are you ready to talk some shizzle and learn some shizzle from leading entrepreneurs, changemakers coaches, and overall interesting people who like to shake things up. I'm your host Taylor Shankland, CEO and founder of creative shizzle. And I am stoked to bring you a fresh episode of talking shizzle today, this show is all about helping you think differently so that you can grow. Talking chisel is brought to you by our team at Creative shizzle where we help businesses, entrepreneurs, and social good innovators make amazing marketing shizzle happen. Check us out on the web at Creative Now, let's talk some shizzle. All right, folks, we are back for another episode of the talking shizzle podcast here today to talk about limiting beliefs and confidence. And a lot of other nuggets of wisdom with our special guest today Katie apolled. Katie, how's it going?

Katie Appold  1:21  
It's going great Taylor. Thanks for having me on the program.

Taylor Shanklin  1:25  
It's good to have you here. I'm excited to chat with you and learn from you today. Before we kick things off, just give us a quick intro into who you are. 

Katie Appold  1:34  
Sure, sure.

So I'm a nonprofit pro through and through, I think I believe nonprofit these days, I started like most people do working in a nonprofit and assumed several Ed roles over the past 1520 years, I now lead Nonprofit Hub, which is a large free education provider for the sector. And I love it. Beyond that. I'm a mom of two and wife to Ted.

Taylor Shanklin  2:01  
And you're going to the raise conference, which is one of my favorite conferences, and really good, really good conference with our friends over at one cause. And you were telling me offline that you're going to be talking about something called limiting beliefs. That's what I want to get into today and understand what that is, and what it means to have limiting beliefs. What What is this about?

Katie Appold  2:24  
So I mean, it's kind of become a buzz term. I think in the last 10 years or so. The first time I heard it was about 1012 years ago, I was an executive director. And one of the volunteers was trying to get me to see the possibility with a new program. And you know, I kept saying we can't, I can't I don't think you know, this is possible. And she said, You are your own worst enemy. She said, Do you have too many limiting beliefs. And just to qualify this, she was a psychologist. So in my mind, I thought, well, you're using lingo. I don't know what that means. I googled it later. And she was absolutely right. I had a lot of negative self talk. Our organization also had a lot of cultural limiting beliefs. I think that's one of the big things that people are aware of now, you know, we all have limitations we put on ourselves. But it can happen in an organization culturally and then in the sector. I mean, I think we have institutional limiting beliefs in the nonprofit sector. And it just makes me wonder, you know, how big could we go if we could get those things out of there?

Taylor Shanklin  3:34  
Oh, I absolutely agree. I mean, I think it's a lot of you hear that common? We can't do that, because we're understaffed, or we don't have the budget. So we can't try or we can't do great branding or marketing, because then our donors will think we're spending too much money on that, like, those are maybe some of those limiting beliefs. Would you say like what else?

Katie Appold  3:54  
Yeah, absolutely. You know, I think digging a little deeper into it. I hate when for profit consultants or companies. I think there's always this talk going on that, you know, nonprofits choose to make less money, their employees choose to be paid less. And, you know, they choose to have these these narrow budgets. And I think we as a sector, then adopt those beliefs. We think we we should get paid less because we work in the nonprofit sector, or we think we shouldn't invest in marketing and advertising or paying our teams appropriately. And it's it's really toxic. Another one is the overhead myth. You know, I think it's a super limiting belief that we think donors don't want to help us fund operations. But you know, have we ask the question, have we explored that topic with our supporters, or are we just assuming?

Taylor Shanklin  4:54  
Well, I think this happens in probably a lot of ways and I'm glad we're talking about it today. A because, one, there's those organizational, like, let's just call them culture wide limiting beliefs. But then there's also the limiting beliefs within each of us. And I think that's just human to do you know, human to be? How do you help both individuals, at your organization work through limiting beliefs? And then let's get into how do you work through it on a larger scale throughout the entire organization? Are there things you have found to work?

Katie Appold  5:36  
I think on an individual basis, it's, it's hard, but you have to form the habit of one recognizing a limiting belief. So when you stop yourself from doing something from sending that email from raising your hand from signing up from you know, stepping up, whatever you're not doing that you wish you were, you have to recognize when you have a limiting belief, and then take it captive and kill that sucker. It's a habit, you have to be able to recognize when that's happening, one of my favorite resources, favorite books of all time that I would recommend to any and all nonprofit pros, is John A cuffs soundtracks book. Have you ever heard of that one?

Taylor Shanklin  6:24  
No, I haven't. 

Katie Appold  6:26  
So Jon Acuff is just hilarious. Anyways, I highly recommend the audiobook version, just because he has so much humor in his voice. But the book is all about the soundtracks that we play in our, in our minds, the things we tell ourselves over and over. And it's about discouraging the negative soundtracks. And when you find a good one, something that gets you charged, you know, the right stories, that you're telling yourself the truth, it's learning to play those more frequently. Fantastic book.

Taylor Shanklin  6:58  
I like that. I like that a lot. It's it reminds me of something that I read in one of Bernie's, Brown's books, or maybe she just says this a lot like the stories you tell yourself, right, that you're making up in your head. There's another quote that I like, kind of on that note is, you know, like, tell your brain what you want it to think.

Katie Appold  7:19  
Absolutely. I mean, I know it's cheesy to say, self talk, but a lot of it a self talk. And then, you know, it's how much weight we put on what others tell us to. And, you know, thinking back to grade school, you know, when kids say horrible things to each other, and your parents say, well consider the source, consider the source. We need to do that as grownups, too. I mean, if someone's not putting you in a good light, or is telling you to stand back or not step forward, you need to consider the source.

Taylor Shanklin  7:54  
Absolutely. Okay, so maybe positive self talk, considering the source? How do you work through this culturally, within an entire organization?

Katie Appold  8:06  
I think the biggest thing is just asking why. So if we're not going to pursue something, or if we think we can't do something, or we're going to fail at something, you know, it's not enough to just put the brakes on, we have to look at why we're putting the brakes on. And you got to be careful, you can't go down rabbit holes and make everything you know, a four hour deep think discussion on why we are going to do something. But I think it's important to recognize when we have cultural things that are holding us back or old institutional beliefs. We all do this, we all say, well, that's not how we do this, or we've never done that before. And I think that anytime those words come up, that's a moment you should stop and examine, you know, why haven't we done this before? Or, you know, why are we comparing ourselves to this organization or this individual? You know, it's just taking a moment today, maybe two degrees deeper on these types of things.

Taylor Shanklin  9:10  
I love it. I agree, stopping and asking why? Let's shift gears a little bit. Let's talk about how you help organizations, maybe organizations who have limiting beliefs come to Nonprofit Hub for education, for resources, what are some of the ways in which you help to build community and help to educate and bring to the forefront innovation for organizations who maybe do have those limiting beliefs about, you know, whatever it is,

Katie Appold  9:43  
sir, I think one of my favorite parts of Nonprofit Hub and one of the greatest ways we equip our audience is we have a membership base that is fantastic. Those who are active are really active and I think one of the beautiful things As nonprofit pros tend to get, they get caught up in a tight circle. So they may be networking with other nonprofits that are in their sphere of service. So, you know, maybe they work with accessibility needs or with literacy. They'll know all the players in that group. But how often do they don't go talk to other nonprofits working in other areas. The same with geography, we tend to be really tight with those in our service area, but we rarely look at what's happening in neighboring communities or different states or different countries. And the beautiful thing about the cause network, which is our membership is we get everybody into a space once a month. You know, we try to theme it but I'll tell you, the conversation goes some wonky places. And we basically talk about whatever is on the hearts and minds of our members. Most of the time, you know, whatever the topic is, that can be tied to a limiting belief. We talked not this past month, but the month before about boards, is it possible to get your board active when they have never been active? And, you know, digging into that deeper? Well, why haven't they been active? Why do we feel like we can't do something to supercharge them? So I think it's getting the it's getting a broad audience and getting outside your comfort zone outside the sphere you normally operate in.

Taylor Shanklin  11:28  
You know, I was looking on your website on Nonprofit Hub. And one of the things you offer is like a class for new to nonprofit. On the topic of limiting beliefs. Is there anything in particular for someone just getting started, that you find comes up really frequently?

Katie Appold  11:49  
Oh, my gosh, yes. The startup or aunt, there is no startup grant. I hate to say that is one limiting belief. That is true. There is no magic dollars coming from the government. Mackenzie, Scott's not going to send you a grant to get your nonprofit idea going no matter how amazing it is. I hate to be the bearer of bad news than that. But I think that's the number one question we get at Nonprofit Hub. How do I get funding to start my nonprofit? And I think it's important that anyone who is thinking of starting a cause do two things. One recognize it will probably be the hardest thing you do short of like childbirth or something like that, but also the passion that you have for your cause you can not make the assumption that others will automatically feel that. So it can be hard to get started. And there's no magic solution. There's no grant out there. There's no, you know, loan, you can easily get to start a nonprofit takes a lot of hustles.

Taylor Shanklin  12:51  
Yeah, I mean, on that note of hustle, what advice do you have to someone who is either starting a new fundraising effort or starting a new cause or organization,

Katie Appold  13:05  
wave that flag, I would encourage anyone starting a campaign or a cause to use your network, because that's, I mean, that is what you have to start with. And it may sound cliche that I know that is like the candid advice that everybody gives. But it really starts from the inside out. You need to have lunch with those people you haven't had lunch with in six months, and you need to go through your LinkedIn, go through your Instagram, through your Facebook and see who you can connect with. And even if they don't seem like they have the social capital to help you out, tell them about it anyways, you never know who is connected to who or to what source of funding or support. So it really is it's waving that flag and getting out there and talking about it.

Taylor Shanklin  13:54  
Yeah, absolutely. So you wave the flag, you start talking about it. What do you do next? Do you help organizations like figure out kind of what those next steps are in terms of just like technology, trends, what kind of you typically say comes next.

Katie Appold  14:12  
So the new to nonprofit corps that actually deals a lot with the terminology and the lingo we use in the nonprofit sector, because that can be a major barrier for those just just stepping into it. So it helps you to take meetings with initial donors or grantors in a way that helps you to be confident because you know what you're talking about, and to sound informed and educated on the sphere that you're now stepping into. Beyond that, we do talk about technology. We talk a lot about the digital means of fundraising as well as communication, because that's the way that things are moving so quickly. And then board board operations we talk a lot about governance and how it's different than running a for profit organization. I I think that whole board dynamic can throw off a lot of new nonprofit leaders. I remember the first, the first nonprofit job I had, I didn't even know what Robert's Rules was. So going to a board meeting was like, it was like watching people talk in a different language. And I sat really silent. And I didn't do myself any favors by going in so unprepared. So we try to make sure that these leaders know what a board meeting looks like, they know what emotion is and how a vote gets passed. But they also know like, all the good habits to start all the things to ask for when you take over a nonprofit leadership role. There's a checklist, I mean, there's things you should see before accepting any job.

Taylor Shanklin  15:47  
What are some of those things on the checklist that you think maybe get missed? Anything that you see come up?

Unknown Speaker  15:53  
I think, you know, sometimes we get so excited. You know, when we finally get into the nonprofit sector, we get that dream job or, you know, a promotion even from within. And we forget to ask about things like, like bylaws, is there a governance practice in place for the board? You know, do you have limits on what you can or can't do? Also the budget, you want to make sure that you're you're working for an organization that's in a safe place? Do they have money to pay you for the next several months, looking at things like an operating reserve, and even knowing what that is an org chart. So all these things are on the list. And I think most savvy, well developed nonprofits, and boards have no issue showing these documents, a lot of it's public information anyways. And when someone who's new to the organization asks to see these, I mean, I would be impressed. I would think, wow, this person really knows what they're doing. They know what to ask about, you know, I think it's a way to set yourself up for success as well as the organization. 

Taylor Shanklin  17:05  
Do youthink that there are specific things that like talking kind of early stage growth of an organization, and really kind of finding, finding efficiencies, operational efficiencies, and a lot of times we talk about technology, right, and we could get into that, but really thinking through, even just beyond technology, and like using technology for efficiencies? What do you see working very well, when these organizations do x, it seems to work well as they're getting started. Like anything else.

Katie Appold  17:42  
I think a big personal thing, especially for anyone who's bleeding or wearing multiple hats. Technology is great. We all multitask. I know it has lost some of its luster in recent years. And we're not supposed to multitask, but we all do it. I would say a big efficiency secret weapon of mine has been to figure out the timing of when to do things. So I don't know about you. But our organization uses a tool called Slack. Slack is amazing. It's super fun, posts, GIFs. emojis, we handle conversations quickly, we jump into huddles, but slack is also a notification nightmare. The sound literally like I have nightmares at night of the slack time. So I know if I have to write a piece of content or I have to work on something that's really important. I need to do it during a time of day when slacks not on when I'm not expected to be available. You know, if I'm reviewing a contract, I probably can't do that. At the same time, as listening in on a meeting that is really intense. It's time blocking and figuring out the best time in your schedule to tackle the things that really matter. And when you do that, you touch things once and you don't have to keep going back to them and you get them done right the first time. And, man, that's the ultimate efficiency.

Taylor Shanklin  19:10  
I was amped I very anti slack, or anything like it for a while with my own company. We recently started using teams, but it's very much like this is during normal business hours. Because I'm with you. I've been in past lives where slack just becomes out of control. It's like people paying all the time and yeah, and it becomes a big stressor to where I'm like, is it really worth it?

Katie Appold  19:40  
I mean, now we I mean, we carry your phones and we're all wearing smartwatches and so there's like no avoiding the pain. I mean, it's gonna it's gonna get to you even when you're not at your computer. So, 

Taylor Shanklin  19:51  
Yeah, well, it's got a Slack job probably or a team is like

William Novelli  19:58  
no, I could totally atttest have notification thing and the it's hard not to open the message or the notification once you see it, even if you don't want to, it's hard not to. So I can totally attest to that.

Katie Appold  20:10  
That's an example of a limiting belief. Like, I think this is a nonprofit sector thing. We think we need to be super responsive. And maybe that's a servant's heart thing. Maybe it's because we're always serving others. But we think we need to instantly respond or respond within 24 hours and give up all that control of our time, which is our greatest non renewable asset. I think we need to take back some of that power, like turn the notifications off, don't feel pressure to respond right away. Most of the time, something's not on fire, it can wait

Taylor Shanklin  20:46  
100% Agree, I've turned off almost every notification on my phone. The only one that I get that really like buzzes me is a phone call. Otherwise, I don't have any more dings or sounds at all on my phone. And I don't have anything that comes down on like the drop screen. All gone. I love that you call that out as a limiting belief. I agree. We do. And maybe it is a servant's heart, like, because I feel that like, Oh, I got a reply right away. And like, that's some self talk that I've been working on myself. No, I don't know, I don't, I'm busy. I'm gonna, I'll get to it. But it doesn't have to be right this moment.

Katie Appold  21:28  
And the worst thing is like we train our teams and our contractors and our boards, anyone we're working with, when we do that instant response thing. We're just training them to expect that and so it like builds on itself and it becomes this vicious cycle. Need to break it.

Taylor Shanklin  21:46  
Absolutely. All right, Katie, this has been really, really good. I enjoyed the talk about limiting beliefs if you have one recommendation to leave us with on like, how to just instill that confidence in anyone out there doing the hustle for their cause, like one thing to really, you know, just own your competence and own your voice. What would that be?

Katie Appold  22:14  
Your cause? Whatever your cause is, it's worth it. get embarrassed, put yourself out there. This world changes so fast has such a short memory. I mean, you can do just about anything nowadays and recover from it within six months. So just be fearless and go ahead and do it.

Taylor Shanklin  22:37  
I love it. Yes, this world does have a short memory know what people don't remember? Good idea. Try it move on. All right. If people want to get in touch with you learn more about Nonprofit Hub. What's the best way to do that or to reach out or to learn more,

Katie Appold  22:52  
so they can check out Nonprofit Hub at nonprofit and connect with me on LinkedIn. I love to grow my network.

Taylor Shanklin  23:00  
Awesome. I'll thank you so much, everybody. We hope this was a helpful episode. Katie appaled Thank you, and join the discussion on limiting beliefs. We will see you next time for another episode of talking shizzle Well, hey there, that was fun. I love how much mind blowing and mind opening shizzle our guests bring to us with every episode. We hope you enjoyed the conversation as much as we did. Make sure you hit that subscribe button on your favorite podcast player so that you don't miss a beat of the talking shizzle podcast. And if you're listening on Apple, be sure to let us know what you thought and leave us a review. We'd love to hear from my listeners so that we can bring you all the good juicy Business Growth shizzle that you would like to hear about. Get in touch with us and follow along at Creative or email us at podcast at Creative Until next time, keep making your shizzle happen.