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We Talk Productivity, Purpose, & Fear w/ Alli Worthington

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“If time management was the real cure for busy-ness, we wouldn't all still be busy.”
— Alli Worthington

Greetings, SuperFriends, and welcome to today’s show.

Today we are joined by Alli Worthington, the author of the book Breaking Busy: How to Find Peace & Purpose in a World of Crazy. She’s also the founder of BlissDom, the world’s largest international women’s business conference, the cofounder of the BlissFul Media Group, and the executive Director of the Propel Women leadership initiative. You may have even seen her on The Today Show, Good Morning America, or featured in Sheryl Sandberg’s website, Lean In.

In this episode, we talk about how to break the endless cycle of busy-ness to discover your life’s true meaning and purpose. Given that I’ve recently released a course with one of my mentors on the topic of creating a meaningful life, you guys probably know that this topic is something near and dear to my heart – and so I was very excited to learn from someone as accomplished and thought-provoking as today’s guest. It’s absolutely PACKED with actionable tips and tools that you can implement TODAY to be more productive and feel less stressed. I think you’re going to love it.

As always, please share your thoughts with me on Twitter @gosuperhuman, and if you haven’t already, please remember to leave us a review on iTunes or Stitcher.

This episode is brought to you by the all-new online course, Creating a Meaningful Life. Use this link to save 20%

This episode is brought to you by the all-new online course, Creating a Meaningful Life. Use this link to save 20%

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Alli Worthington's amazing story of overcoming adversity and finding her purpose and calling
  • A discussion of stress and how we all try to thrive on it
  • What 2 symptoms alerted Alli Worthington that she was too stressed?
  • How did Alli Worthington learn so much in such a short time to become an expert?
  • What is the underlying cause of all of us being so busy, and how do we escape it?
  • What are the most powerful productivity tips Alli Worthington uses?
  • The power of “firing” customers
  • What are the biggest barriers standing between people and their dreams?
  • Self-talk and some practical tools for overcoming your fears
  • Who are some of the most influential authors and thought leaders that Alli follows?
  • The “story arc” and how important it is in business and in life
  • What is Alli Worthington working on next?
  • A tool-by-tool discussion of how Alli Worthington works (surprising!)

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Favorite Quotes from Alli Worthington:

“We lost everything before losing everything was cool.”
“If we're not in a storm right now… we're either coming out of one or about to move into one.”
“Once I was paying attention to what I was doing, I was able to cut my work day down by 3 or 4 hours a day.”
“Just like we have to remind ourselves to do things, we have to remind ourselves to stop doing things.”
“Fear weighs us down and keeps us from reaching our potential.”
“Nobody loves to wear pink high-heeled shoes and kick down doors more than me.”
“We need to live the life that we are meant to live… Not the one that we think we should live.”
“For most of us, we need to break the busy-ness in our minds – before it breaks us.”


Introduction: Welcome to the Becoming SuperHuman Podcast. Where we interview extraordinary people to bring you the skills and strategies to overcome the impossible. And now here's your host, Jonathan Levi.

Jonathan Levi: Before we get started today, I want to let you guys know that this episode is brought to you by the online course, Creating A Meaningful Life. Now, this course is the culmination of 20 years of work and research by my personal mentor and University Professor Linda Levine, and myself. Now in it, we teach not only the skills and strategies that we've used and taught and which are being used by life coaches all over the world to create a life of fulfillment and balance.

But we also go into how you can design your lifestyle, how you can improve in every aspect, all eight of the aspects that make a complete and rich life. And really we share a lot of our wisdom. So if you've been inspired by the show, by some of the guests on here who seem to have these incredibly rich, fulfilling lives, I do encourage you to check it out. And of course, it is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. So to take advantage of a special coupon for listeners of this podcast, visit All right, here we go with the show.

Greetings, SuperFriends, and welcome to this week's show. Before we get started, I want to read you a review that definitely brightened my day from Klick Reflex over in Germany, he says it's totally worth listening just to get some book recommendations that are well worth reading. It's unbelievable how Jonathan manages to always find new and great interview guests that offer exciting insights into so many topics. I've learned a lot and I'm looking forward. To each new episode, every Tuesday.

 Toda which is thank you in Hebrew. Thank you to you, Click Reflex. Although I do have to give credit, actually most of the guests on the show are being found either by our teammate Mina, who is doing a fantastic job researching new guests, or by you guys sending in your recommendations.

So if you do have any recommendations, send them to All right, onto today's episode. Today, you guys we're joined by the author of the book Breaking Busy: How to Find Peace & Purpose in a World of Crazy. Love that title. She's also, by the way, the founder of BlissDom, which is the world's largest international women's business conference, and the co-founder of the Blissful Media Group, as well as the executive director of the Propel Women Leadership Initiative.

Absolutely amazing resume. You may have seen her on the Today show, Good Morning America, or featured on Sheryl Sandberg's website, Lean In. Now, in this episode with this amazing woman, we talk about how to break the endless cycle of busy-ness to discover your life's true, meaning and purpose. Now, given that I've recently released a course with one of my own mentors on this topic of creating a meaningful life, you guys probably know.

That this topic and this focused attention and dedication towards designing your life is something that is very near and very dear to my heart. So you can imagine that I was very, very excited to learn from someone as accomplished and thought-provoking as today's guest. It absolutely is a packed episode with tons of actionable tips.

I definitely took away some useful and applicable strategies and frameworks that I'm going to be implementing in my own life today. And I know that you are just going to love this episode. And so without any further ado, let me present to you, Alli Worthington.

Alli, welcome to the show today. We are so, so excited to have you. Thank you so much for making the time.

Alli Worthington: Thank you. Thank you for having me. I'm really excited.

Jonathan Levi: Yeah. You know, actually, someone on our team found your book and told us, you know, we absolutely have to interview you because we're all about productivity, you know, within my company, given that that's something that we hold in high esteem.

So I'm really looking forward to learning some of your tips.

Alli Worthington:  Oh, that's awesome. Whoever that person is, I need to send them a thank you card.

Jonathan Levi: So Ali, I understand that you actually have a pretty incredible CV. Tell us a little bit about your backstory.

Alli Worthington: Well, sure. I have a very unique story. I am the mother of five sons.

They are ages 8 to 17. My husband and I, we live outside of Nashville. I spent 10 years as a stay-at-home mother and when our fifth son was born, my husband's job came to a very drastic end. I like to say we lost everything before losing everything was cool. And the recession. Um, we ended up losing our home to foreclosure.

We lost literally everything we owned, except for what fit into two stores, pods. And we essentially became homeless. We were living with my family members while my husband was interviewing for new jobs. So that's 2007, 2008. I decided that I was going to teach myself how to start my own business, get built some sort of online income so I could help support my family.

So we wouldn't end up in that situation again. And I just was fortunate enough to be in the kind of the boom and the beginning of the social media craze, where I understood it, I spend a lot of time on it and dove into it. And that allowed me to build not only an events business but a consulting business, where I helped individuals and big companies learn how to use social media in a really human way and learn how to engage with people online and build marketing campaigns around that.

Jonathan Levi: Interesting. And then as a virtue of running the business, raising the five boys, being a homemaker, you've also become known as really an expert in kind of productivity and time management. Right?

Alli Worthington: Right. And it's just out of necessity, but if you had asked me say four years ago, what my secrets of productivity are, I would have laughed and said, well, I just do everything and I don't sleep. Which led me to, you know, hitting the proverbial wall and going, okay. I really have to figure out how to balance all of this. So I don't go crazy.

Jonathan Levi: That's awesome. And I think I actually, wasn't surprised to see that you've been featured in the Lean In website. I'm a huge fan of Sheryl Sandberg.

I think she's a wonderful role model for so many women out there with this huge message of time management and being able to balance career and family and all that stuff I have to ask. How is it that you came to be featured on the website? I'm so jealous.

Alli Worthington: Oh sure. I'm a big fan of hers. I was approached when the site was launched to see if they could feature my story, the story of, you know, us losing everything and me learning how to lean into difficult situations, to not back down from them and still be able to build a successful business, you know, as not just women, women, and men.

We all go through. I feel like if we're not in a storm right now, whether it's in our business or our personal life, we're coming out of one or about to move into one. So learning how to face, what life throws at us with strength and to keep going, I think is a great message for people to hear over and over and over again because it's really the human experience.

Jonathan Levi: Absolutely. You know, it's funny. So I've done some writing on productivity myself, and I'm writing a course currently on endocrine health. Right? So how to optimize your testosterone. And one of the things that I'm covering is stress because, you know, cortisol messes with the hormonal play in the body. And what I'm realizing is a lot of us.

We just stress because it's kind of like, we treat it like caffeine. Well, this stress and this adrenaline in this cortisol is going to make me get more stuff done under pressure. And people don't realize how unhealthy that is. That actually are more effective from a place of calm. I think.

Alli Worthington: Oh, absolutely. And this is going to sound so vain and I wish I had something a little bit more poetic to say, but one of the things that made me take a look at my life and how I was living and running so hard and so fast and not sleeping was I started gaining weight, which, you know, too much cortisol make you gain weight.

But I just, I started getting wrinkles around my eyes and I went okay. Of all the things that could make me actually take care of my health. Those were the two symptoms for me that made me go, okay. There's actually something to this. I can't just run my body into the ground all the time. I have to learn how to work smart.

Jonathan Levi: Incredible, so that's a really nice segue because I love that we've kind of done this hero's journey. You've discovered your purpose at this point in the journey and that's to help people escape this busy-ness not business, but busy-ness, and find their own true purpose and calling and pursue that from a place of calm.

I think you and I are definitely aligned on that. So since we're so interested in learning on the show and my background is in learning. I want to go a little bit through your learning process, right? You know, you start experiencing these changes in your physiological health. And if we fast forward to today, you're considered an expert and you've published a book on the topic.

So walk me through how you learn so much about these skills and what it took to actually become a master in the field if you will.

Alli Worthington: Well, sure it started very innocently. It was 2011. I had made new year's resolutions to learn how to manage my time and set up systems. And I never did any of it. I mean, nothing.

So in 2012, I made the new year's resolution. Just very simply to figure out how I was spending my time. Because years of trying to learn how to manage it, we're not working. So that gear, I just started hang attention to what I was doing. So it was just collecting data. I didn't try to change my behavior at all.

I just collected all the information on what I was doing and then started putting the patterns together because I believe until we know what we're doing wrong, we can't really fix it. So yeah. The first thing I did when I had all of this data together, looking at it, I realized I was working a really long, long workday because I wasn't managing my time.

Well, I was in group chat on Skype. Now everybody's group chatting on Slack. I can't tell you how many people want me to join Slack. No way it would kill my productivity. Right?

Jonathan Levi: Funny. I just joined.

Alli Worthington: So, sorry. Well, let's talk in six months and you'll be like, it's brilliant or it's sucking up all my time. So I look at it and I realize I'm working so much because I am in group conversations with people or, you know, I'm on YouTube because I have to watch a baby sloths video or something.

And once I was paying attention to what I was doing, I was able to cut my workday down by three or four hours a day. Simply by giving myself guidelines, like, you know, I'm going to be in and out and social media in the morning and use it again at night, but I'm not going to check in every hour because we're very Pavlovian with our notifications.

If we see a red dot on any of our apps, we're going for it, right? Yeah. So that was the first thing I did. And then when I decided I was actually going to write a book about how to break out of this hamster wheel of busy-ness, that we're all on. I read just about every book on busy-ness and time management out there.

And I had this epiphany that if time management was the real cure for busy-ness, we wouldn't also be busy. And what I found in all of my research is this underlying psychological reason for busy-ness everyone's is a little different, but for most people, it comes to not wanting to disappoint others. So whenever we are asked to add something to our schedule, whenever we are asked to take on a responsibility, instead of being very systematic about it and going and thinking about it is this the right decision, you know, and do a cost-benefit analysis where humans were emotional. We don't want to let other people down. And so we add to our to-do list. We add to our responsibilities because we want to help other people. We want to be nice to other people.

You know, we want to be great people, but it becomes a cycle that we get in. The more we do, the more we get great feedback for it, which that's wonderful. We're going to add more of that to our, our schedule and then so on and so on until we wake up one day and we're actually miserable. Because we're doing way more than we ever should have and our work suffers and our happiness suffers.

Jonathan Levi: Right. And then we end up disappointing those people anyway, with mediocre performance, showing up late, forgetting things. I mean, it's like damned if you do and damned if you don't, I think.

Alli Worthington:  Exactly. Yes.

Jonathan Levi: That's so interesting. I mean, I think a big part of my productivity toolkit is exactly that is actually learning to say, no. I think that's the most important thing and giving people real reasons.

For example, you know, I don't think I'd be able to devote the full amount of attention that this project deserves. I'm going to have to, you know, throw my name out of the hat kind of thing. And that's a huge skill. Just that saying no, but what are some of the other ways Allie, that people quote-unquote break busy?

Alli Worthington: Well, one of my favorite ways I learned from Suzy Welch, she developed this 10, 10, 10 analysis. And at the core, it's you ask yourself when you're making a decision, how am I going to feel about this in 10 minutes? How will I feel about it in 10 weeks? And how will I feel about this in 10 months? So I like to play the game of what will future Alli feel about this.

And they're very often, you know, future Alli in 10 minutes is going to be happy if I take on more responsibility or if I decide to do more things because it feels great in the present, but then in 10 weeks feature, Allie's going to be kinda torqued. That I took on more responsibility. Cause I don't really have the time or the resources.

Right. Right. And then when I picture myself in 10 months, then I'm super annoyed. That I've taken on all this extra stuff. Cause I don't have the capacity to do it. So when I use that 10, 10, 10 analysis, it takes me out of the present, helps me picture myself in the future, and go, okay, does this new thing really fit into my life?

If it's not something where I go, yeah, I'm going to be happy in 10 months or 10 weeks or even 10 years. Then it gives me that courage to say no very nicely, but to say no and turn it down in the present.

Jonathan Levi: That's interesting. You know, so often on this show, a lot of the folks we talk to are talking about living in the moment and presence, mindfulness, and stuff like that.

I think that's the best and first argument I've heard for actually stepping out of the present moment, if even just for a minute, and how that can actually be such a beneficial tool. I think it's interesting. The exception that makes the rule right.

Alli Worthington: Right. Absolutely. I mean, I actually have a post-it note up in my office and it just, under the post-it note, a hilarious picture that someone sent to me a wonder woman, you know, old school on wonder woman, not from the Batman movie, with my head photoshopped on it.

And then the post-it note says, what would feature Allie say? Cause you know, you kind of think of yourself as a bit of a superhero. So I'm always asking myself like a future Alli is going to be really torqued in the future. If I do X, Y, and Z, which leads me to the next tip for breaking busy, it is making a stop doing list.

So, everybody that's creative entrepreneurs, you know, high performers. We want to work our way into things. We want to make a list of, you know, one, two, three, how we're going to take over the world and conquer everything. But what I had to learn was to identify two or three things at a time. That I wanted to either stop doing right now or when these situations came up in the future, I was supposed to remember to stop doing them.

So I know for business coaching and consulting, there are certain types of clients I just don't enjoy working with. I actually, before I take on a new client of very often have them take the disc profile and send it to me because. Yeah, I'll kind of get a gut feeling like I don't want to help anybody that I don't think can be helped because it's not a good experience for them.

It's not a good experience for me. It's not great for my reputation. So, I have on my stop doing list, like a certain type of client that I just, I want to stop taking them because the experience doesn't go well for anybody. So it can be as easy as not having that extra piece of carrot cake after dinner or a certain type of client, you don't want to work with whatever it is in your life. I think just like we have to remind ourselves to do things, we have to remind ourselves to stop doing things.

Jonathan Levi: Absolutely. You know, there's so much wisdom there that I want to unpack really quickly that I found to be true. One is when it's a do-less list, it's so kind of gray area and flaky like, Oh, drink less.

Or, you know, so I did a stop doing list, which has stopped drinking alcohol because you know, people don't seem to respect, I'm only having one glass of wine. People want to be loving and kind, and they want to make sure your glass never becomes empty, and so on. So as a stop, it's much more powerful than as a do-less.

And I think that applies to many, many things. And the other thing that I thought was brilliant is this idea of firing customers. I've always been a big advocate of it in my undergraduate career, I took a marketing class and we studied a case study of best buy in Magnolia, which are two branches of the same company and how Magnolia routinely fires customers.

We'll send them out of the store and just say, look, I don't think we're able to help you, I'm really sorry. And ever since that message and realizing that. I'm very deliberate about only taking on students and only investing my time and energy in building products for the students that I think as you said, can help themselves.

And I always like to say to people, you know, it can sound very cruel, but there are enough people in this world who need your gift and are willing to put in the effort or willing to self motivate are willing to do the homework, focus on them. There's no shortage of people in this world who need help coaching motivation, inspiration, love, whatever it is that your gift is to give.

So I thought that was right on point.

Alli Worthington: That's awesome. I do love the businesses that are brave enough to go. You know what? We love you, but we're obviously not a good mix. You know, let's part ways and roll with it. It just makes everything so much easier.

Jonathan Levi: Absolutely and especially for the clients who do stick around the service is not been diluted for them.

You know, it is exactly what the core customer wants. I think that's really, really cool. I want to touch actually a little bit on, you mentioned coaching, so yeah. You know, in your experience, working with people from all over the world, what would you say? Because you go so far beyond just the productivity, but also into the goal setting and the dreams and all that good stuff.

What do you think is the biggest barrier that you found in the most common barrier standing between people and their dreams?

Alli Worthington: Great question. There's two things that I see very often. The first is a focus on the wrong things and business. For instance, people get sucked up in vanity metrics, right? So, you know, everyone wants a hundred thousand Twitter followers. But if people are only clicking through at 0.05% or, you know, whatever it is, it doesn't really matter, but that metric stands out and it makes people feel good. So focusing on the right things and learning what things really matter are key for business. It's all about focusing on our life's work and then cutting out the busywork.

That's the real key. And then the second thing is fear. Fear of so much it cripples business owners. So fear of failure, fear of not being good enough. Sometimes it's just this overwhelming sense of doom about future events. So I think we all have a tendency if we're not careful and we don't train ourselves to get away from this to be our own false profits.

Yep. Um, because it is so easy to say, Oh, things are going to go bad. I'm not going to be up to the task. You know, everything's going to fall apart. Fear weighs us down and keeps us from reaching our potential. Don't you think?

Jonathan Levi: Yeah, I would absolutely agree. And I think the other thing, you know, I just worked with one of my mentors on taking her a University course about creating a meaningful life.

And one of the quotes that I loved so much, she gave this Mark Twain quote, which was something along the lines of like “I've had many great tragedies in my life, almost all of which have never happened”. This is the same idea that like, we spend so much time fearing and like living through these horrible tragedies of unbelievable failure.

You know, I just got off the phone with one of my dearest, dearest friends in the world, and I'm an investor in his company and stuff like that. And he's going through some hard times might have to, you know, live in the office might have to make some real choices and yet he's perfectly happy guy, perfectly upbeat because the fear of failure and the fear of not making payroll this month or whatever it might be. It's so much worse than actually going through it. I think.

Alli Worthington: Yeah. Yes, it really is. It is that anticipation of this doom that's coming as you, that steals your happiness and your energy and your whole thought process and the present for something that may or may not ever happen.

Jonathan Levi: Absolutely. Allie, do you have any other tools or kind of tips for people who, you know, they heard you talk about that fear? They heard us mention that fear and they're like, yep, that's me. That is why I'm not doing X and X. Doesn't have to be starting your own business. X could be putting your artwork on exhibit. It could be quitting your job and finding one you love, but where that fear is something that they recognize in themselves.

What would you recommend people do?

Alli Worthington: It's all about mindsets. So very often we talk to ourselves of course, more than anybody else ever talks to us. And so we have in breaking busy, I talk about false scripts that people live under. Um, it's as if we're all actors in a play and the script is wrong. And we hear these things in our heads all the time.

Very often, we believe, for instance, that happiness is just a few steps away. That, you know, when you go through your life. When I get my college degree, I'll be happy. When I'm married, I'll be happy. When I have children, when I have a house, yada, yada, yada. So we're putting off our happiness. At the same time, we keep getting more and more successful and then we realize we're not happy.

So that's where fear comes in. Like. I'm not happy. I'm supposed to be happy. I'm supposedly doing it. Yeah. Right. And when those fears come in, it is key to repeat the lies of fear. You know, the lies of fear are things are all going to fall apart. You're not up to it. All these visions of failure that go through everyone's head at some point and to be really practical and kind of step back a couple of steps and go, this is what I'm thinking.

But in reality, I know it's probably not going to come true. And I'm going to replace that lie that that's going through my head with truth. And here's what I know to be true. And you have to just go through. No, here's who I am. Here's what the business is. If X, Y, or Z happens, this is what I can do. And just prepare yourself, fortify yourself with that truth to replace those lies that go through your head.

Jonathan Levi: Awesome. I love that. And I think that's so important, you know, we've heard about self-talk a little bit on the show and it seems to come up with so many experts in the field. And so many top performers that really, you need to put a lot of thinking into the, I like how you call them the scripts that you're playing out in your mind every single day, because it's, you know, thinking makes it so.

Alli Worthington: Absolutely. Absolutely. And once you start to become aware of the scripts that go through your head, you'll recognize patterns. If every time you get in a situation, you hear yourself say to yourself in your head, no, this is going to be a failure, or I'm going to make a fool of myself, or I'm going to lose my investors' money, whatever it is, you can go, Oh, there's that voice again.

Right, right. And say, that's what I tell myself. But however, I know this to be true. And you just, it's a discipline and it doesn't feel comfortable. It feels a little awkward at the time, but once you start practicing it, it is life-changing.

Jonathan Levi: Yeah. My mentor calls them gremlins, which I think is kind of this cute little way to turn them.

They're just these like little nasty, tiny little elements of yourself that aren't the full self, but there are these perverted little ugly creatures inside of you that are like, no, you won't look good in that. Or, you know, like that. And I think that's just shining light on them. Seems to kill them a little bit.

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. That's awesome. Ali, since you're sitting force of nature and you're doing so much in the worlds of business, and I know you're also coaching and you're also working with a nonprofit organization, I wanted to bounce something off of you actually and I think this is a bit controversial, but on Saturday I was reading a David Data's book, The Way Of The Superior Man.

And I had a little bit of a struggle with a lot of the stuff that he says, and, and at least the way he says it, I think he can come off a little macho, almost a little bit, not sexist, but in, in a way that like he's very clearly enforcing gender stereotypes. That's kind of besides the point, but he suggests that we all have these masculine and feminine energies.

And then in order to succeed in business, we need to channel our masculine energies, whether we're male or female, just in the same way that say, you know, to succeed in art, you're said to need to challenge your feminine energy. So I want to bounce this off you, right? Because you're obviously a mother of five, you're obviously very in touch with your feminine energy and yet you're kicking ass in business.

So do you think that that ambition and that purpose and sense of mission are part of channeling, a mash skill in energy, or you think that's kind of BS.

Alli Worthington: Okay. Uh, preface it with, I have not read it, but it seems like total BS to me, everyone has ambition and no purpose and a mission in life. This is something that I think we all are born with inherently.

Like I understand maybe it's a great hook to say relationships and, you know, creation as being a feminine thing, but we all have it. Now, I will say that I do think sometimes we are raised in a way that makes us believe there are these two different energies. And if those of us who kind of believe that way, if we look back to our childhoods, we can probably remember kind of being socialized in that way.

So a lot of it is just breaking those socialization scripts. But yeah, I don't get that at all. I mean, nobody loves to wear pink high-heeled shoes and kick down doors more than me. So I really do think it's kind of silly.

Jonathan Levi: There's something interesting there, you know, because we want new age men to get in touch with their inner feminine and there isn't, you know, so much talk, I guess, maybe in sports, encouraging women to get in touch with their inner kind of masculinity.

He paints this whole dichotomy, which I think is kind of besides the point that we all have these two energies and we need to learn how to use them, but I kind of agree with you. I think there's something incredibly feminine in a way that women pursue their goals. And it's very different perhaps than the way that men pursue their goals.

I think that's interesting on that note though, tell me about some thought leaders or books that have most inspired you along the way. You mentioned one before, but who are some of the most influential authors or thought leaders that you followed?

Alli Worthington: Well, four years ago, I read a book that really changed my life.

I read Donald Miller's Million Miles And A Thousand Years, and it's Don's journey of learning to live a better story where he actually, it looks at his life at step back. It's a memoir and just learns to live in a better way by using the elements of story. And that challenged me to want to live really well with more purpose.

And I wanted to challenge myself every day was the question. Am I living a great story? So that was fantastic. So that book was four years ago. And then a couple of years ago, Don started doing StoryBrand. So that was his book and then from the business perspective, he is teaching these elements of story, the narrative arc and how we can market our business as  well, by using these elements and he has a StoryBrand podcast and he does in-person workshops and there's an online StoryBrand. Course that you can take too, but he teaches, you know, the character, the character has a problem, you know, how does the character solve this problem? He meets a guide. The guide has a plan and he can either rise to the challenge and be successful or fail.

And so he teaches how like even movies. Like Star Wars follows this arc and Tommy Boys follows the arc and it really teaches you how to, whether it's a book or a product, how to market by using the elements of the story. So it's just fascinating what he's done from learning in his personal life to live a better story to researching it.

And now it's become an entire business for him and his company. I love what Don's doing.

Jonathan Levi: That's super cool. Actually, a friend and mentor of mine, Anthony Metivier is a former story consultant and has really influenced me on the importance of storytelling in my own work. And I was just, just doing a coaching call two hours ago, where someone was asking me, Hey, I'm in this new space.

I really want to become an expert and a thought leader and an influencer in this new industry. How do I do it? And I was like, man, you got to tell the story of what brought you here. So really, really cool. I got to check out Don's work.

Alli Worthington: That's great.

Jonathan Levi: Yeah. So Alli, what's next for you? What are you working on right now?

Alli Worthington: Right now I'm doing my work with a nonprofit and I am just beginning this month to write book number two. And I'm, it's funny we talked so much about fear today. It is going to be around the topic of fear. I think this is the first time I've publicly admitted that. And if I'm not embarrassed to say it scares me a little to a better, it's a tough topic, but I think it's just, it's so necessary.

That's what I'm working on. That will probably be out and about a year and a half.

Jonathan Levi: That's awesome. That's awesome. Good luck on the journey. I know writing a book for me at least is a labor of love. It's a kind of like what I imagined giving birth would be like, it's like a long process.

Alli Worthington: It's really awful.

People say, what's it like incidents like punching myself in the nose repeatedly. That's what it's like. Yeah. It's tough. My husband sees me paced the dining room often and he goes, Oh, you're writing. And I go, yes, I'm writing cause I'm pacing because you know, you have all of this inside of you and you really have to wrestle through.

What's the best way to share it. So the reader can best understand it. You know, it's all in our heads, but getting it out can be so tough. So yeah, a lot of pacing.

Jonathan Levi: Yeah. So I have my own process. It doesn't involve pacing, but it does involve sitting at a cafe and staring out into the street. I have like a writing cafe where there's a lot of foot traffic.

I mean, what's your method. Do you start with outlining or how do you get all this knowledge out onto paper? Once you've decided to write a book?

Alli Worthington:  I do, I go through, I use base camp and I'll make a text document and base camp for every chapter. And so I'll map out what story I want to tell in that chapter, what teaching points I want to use in that chapter, and then what the takeaway is for the audience.

So I want to make sure I get story in practical teaching for the audience and then what their takeaway points are. And I'll fill all of that in like what I'm going to use for story, what the teaching points are, yada, yada, yada, then I'll write the chapter and I write it all longhand. I can't deal with the word document.

I have to write it longhand and then type it later. And very often it's completely different than what I've prepared. I said better hopefully, but just the process of me mapping it out in advance helps get my brain firing on all cylinders to be able to come up with great teaching points. And that's kind of my rough draft and base camp.

Then my second draft is handwritten. Third draft will be typed by the time I get to the third draft of a chapter. It's decent. I hope.

Jonathan Levi: Wow. That's really interesting that the handwriting thing particularly surprises me, but also surprised me about base camp. And it's just fascinating to me. I mean, everyone, I know seems to use a different task management tool, a different word editor, and a different file storage app.

So things it's super interesting for me, especially to realize that my way isn't the only way.

Alli Worthington: Well, and I'll say I left at one process. I do say research and articles. And Evernote just all the time. So I have like 10 different book topics, folders in Evernote, and I'm constantly saving research in there.

So before I even get to base camp, I'm gathering up all my Evernote notes to pull over to base camp for that chapter.

Jonathan Levi:  Well, it's funny, you mentioned Evernote because I was going to say you could, theoretically, I don't know what your handwriting looks like. Mine, it doesn't work half the time, but theoretically, you could take your handwritten versions and Evernote we'll do optical character recognition, so you wouldn't have to type them.

Alli Worthington: I've tried, but here's the thing. Once I'm writing and writing a book longhand, you kind of get in the flow. So I become a doctor and my handwriting becomes illegible.

Jonathan Levi: I see. I see. So then finding maybe someone to do the typing for you as opposed to a machine might be there. The only way to make that more efficient.

Alli Worthington: Absolutely. I think I may try out dragon software for this book.

Jonathan Levi: Oh, cool. I've actually outsourced to people of outsourced a lot of my, like the small admin stuff around formatting, typing things up, creating subtitles for my courses. I've been pretty happy with it. So I'd be happy to chat with you offline about the services that I use and stuff.

Alli Worthington: Oh, that's great. Thank you. Love that.

Jonathan Levi: Awesome. So yeah, I know we're coming up on time here. If people want to learn more about you and about your work, I know you're doing a lot of different things, so I'll ask you what are the different websites we should send them to or social media profiles or any of that stuff?

Alli Worthington: Sure, Alli Worthington, ALLI Worthington is my home base and on Twitter, I'm just Alli, ALLI and everywhere else on social media, Alli Worthington.

Jonathan Levi: Oh wow, you aren't kidding. You were in the early days of social media.

Alli Worthington: It's a blessing and a curse today, I've received three different notifications to change my password on Twitter. People are always trying to hack that thing.

Jonathan Levi: Wow. But that's their username. Super impressive. Well, Alli, it's been such a pleasure chatting with you. I want to close on one specific question that we always like to ask, which is if people take away one message from this episode and they carry it with them for the rest of their lives, what would you like for that message to be?

Alli Worthington: That's a great question. I really believe that we need to live the life that we are created to live. We're meant to live, not the one that we think we should live. And for most of us, we all need to break the busy-ness in our lives before it breaks us. So being proactive about it really helps us to live the life that we're meant to live.

Jonathan Levi: Awesome. That's a fantastic message. Alli, your book Breaking Busy, as I understand is on Amazon now, already on sale?

Alli Worthington:  Yep.

Jonathan Levi: Awesome. And we will link everyone in the blog post to that, and hopefully, they'll use our link and support us. It has been such a pleasure chatting with you today. Thank you so much for making the time.

I definitely learned quite a bit and uh, I do hope we keep in touch.

Alli Worthington:  Thank you. It's been wonderful. Great to be here.

Jonathan Levi: All right, Alli, take care. All right, SuperFriends. That's it, for this week's episode, we hope you really, really enjoyed it and learn a ton of applicable stuff that can help you go out there and overcome the impossible.

If so, please do us a favor and leave us a review on iTunes or Stitcher or however you found this podcast. In addition to that, we are always looking for great guest posts on the blog or awesome guests right here on the podcast. So if you know somebody or you are somebody, or you have thought of somebody who would be a great fit for the show or for our blog, please reach out to us either on Twitter or by email or email is Thanks so much.

Closing: Thanks for tuning in to the Becoming SuperHuman Podcast for more great skills and strategies, or for links to any of the resources mentioned in this episode, visit

We'll see you next time.




  1. Luiz
    at — Reply

    Thanks, I learned a lot of interesting things in past episodes.

  2. Shivaditya Purohit
    at — Reply

    loved th heart and the depth of the conversation. The way that Dr. Metivier shared from his enormous experience and insights was just amazing. Thank you Jonathan for doing this podcast!! 🙂

  3. Rob
    at — Reply

    Great interview with Dr. Greg Wells! He mentioned a doctor from Colorado around the 42:30 point of the podcast, discussing turmeric and black pepper. I couldn’t make out the doctor’s name. Can you provide me with his full name and maybe his website or contact info. Interested in his products.



  4. Muhammed Sani Ibrahim
    at — Reply

    I am new here, and learning really fast.
    Thank you.

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The Basics of Total Personal Transformation W/ Stephan Spencer