Wendy Bjork

 talks about the importance of advocating for your own health. The system and the people in the system simply aren’t setup in any way to advocate for patients as a whole. The whole health care system is geared on CURE symptoms, and rarely focus on cause. TODAY more than ever you need to make your own choices, check in with your own body and keep track of the impact of things like food, sleep exercise and the things you use around your house. Self care is SOO Much more than just a massage and a manicure.

A little bit about Wendy...

Wendy Bjork is leading a global revolution to change the face of Multiple Sclerosis.

In living with MS for over 30 years, she wishes to bridge the many gaps in care.

She empowers women by sharing the keys to begin their healing journey as well as igniting their most dynamic self.

Wendy has authored two books and co-authored a third, “Fired Up!” which is a #1 International bestseller. She contributes to the National MS Society’s Momentum Magazine and is regularly invited on discussions, podcasts and is a regular contributor to the Price of Business.com digital network to share her story.

Check out more of Wendy

The Empress of MS, founder of heartsofwellness.com/you

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Wendy Bjork
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Show Notes

Robert Peterson 0:23
welcome to the add value to entrepreneurs podcast, the place where we help entrepreneurs to not hate their boss. Our mission is to end entrepreneurial unhappiness. If you dream of changing the world, but you're not sure where to start. The Add value entrepreneurs podcast will help you transform your life in business. This podcast is for entrepreneurs who want more freedom and fulfillment from their work so they can live the life that they desire. You deserve it, and it is possible. My name is Robert Peterson, Farmer passer turned CEO and the smiling coach. I believe that success without happiness is failing. But there is hope. Join us each week as we bring you an inspiring leader or message to help you. Thanks for investing time with us today. Our guest today is an extreme pioneer in advocacy and mentorship. Wendy Bjork is leading a global revolution to change the face of multiple sclerosis. And living with MS for over 30 years, she wishes to bridge the many gaps in care. She empowers women by sharing the keys to begin their healing journey, as well as igniting their most dynamic self. Wendy Bjork talks about the importance of advocating for your own health, the system and the people in the system simply aren't set up in any way to advocate for patients as a whole. The health care system is geared on curious symptoms and rarely focus on cause. Today, more than ever, you need to be your make your own choices, check in with your own body and keep track of the impact of things like food, sleep, exercise, and the things you use around your house. self care is so much more than just a massage and a manicure. If you're an entrepreneur who started their business with a purpose and a passion that has been lost in the busyness of the daily grind, we get it. That is why we've opened up our free strategy calls. A lot of entrepreneurs, probably including you just want a sense of clarity on the barriers holding them back, that you need to overcome in order to accelerate your growth and achieve your dreams. These short 30 Minute Calls give you a chance to work with one of our coaches without any commitment or pressure. Scheduling is easy, just go to smiling cole.com. Let's jump on a call and get you the help and clarity you need. Select a time and let's build your business. It's time for you to add value. Well, Wendy, thank you so much for joining me today. I'm excited to have this conversation, just look forward to sharing your journey and the impact that you're making.

Wendy Bjork 2:59
Well, thanks for having me. Absolutely. And I want to thank Anna for

Robert Peterson 3:03
for introducing us. And it's just fantastic connection and her episode was was so good. So I typically let each guest just share their own personal journey and their entrepreneurial pathway. And we kind of use that as a jumping off point for the rest of the conversation. Okay. So I guess just if you wouldn't mind sharing your journey?

Wendy Bjork 3:29
Sure. So I started having what was later found out to be symptoms of MS when I was probably 16. And I would tell my doctor about it, you go for your sports physical and you tell a doctor, you know, you have weird feelings in your legs, or you're realizing that it's triggered by heat, or cold. And they tell you you're just being dramatic, or you're still growing, or any other reasoning that they would give you. And it took about six years for something big to happen, which the doctors are all waiting for apparently, something to really drill down what was going on with me. And by the time I was 22. I've done with college. I'm in my first real full time job, and it was a stressful insurance office. And one day I just had an angry customer yelling at me and I was just stressed and overworked and tired probably and all of a sudden I couldn't talk it was like someone had their hand over my mouth and I just could not speak. So I didn't know if I was having a stroke or what was happening. So I just hung the phone up on the guy and kind of went to the ladies room to just figure out what I need to do next and within a couple of then it's, you know, I got my voice back and things seem to be more normal. But that's what sent me to my first neurologist appointment. And I think I saw six more before they pinpointed what it was just because the symptoms can reflect other illnesses. And I think there's still a huge problem with diagnosing these chronic illnesses just because they overlap so much. And knowing now what I know, then I would have done things a lot differently, but we can't move forward if we're still looking backward.

Robert Peterson 5:40
This is very true. Well, and I think there's a, I mean, obviously, there's a huge challenge, but there's also a huge spectrum of symptoms that now pretty much we eliminate everything else and then say, okay, then it must be MS. Yes. And so it's, it's really big, the catch all for, for brain, things going on that they have no other explanation for. And so they, they rule out all the other explanations. And then this is where you end up. And obviously, there's a long a wide range of spectrum of people with MS. I had a very good friend who I worked for, while I was going to Bible college, and in his company, and his first symptoms was losing his balance and falling off of a roof. And, and of course, at the same time, as soon as his first symptoms came up, then it impacted his ability to run his company, his wife decided, well, if you can't make any money, I'm divorcing you. And then, of course, created a stress multiplier. And, and I think that there's very clear evidence that this is a very stress sensitive disease. And he, he very rapidly declined from, you know, being able to work to being bedridden to losing his muscles in his eyes to no longer you know, no longer being here. And so the, the there definitely can be rapid progression. But I think the stress, the stress is a is a huge amplifier or multiplier, to the impact and consequences of people that are living with. Ms.

Wendy Bjork 7:33
Yeah, I agree. I mean, I, I, before I knew what it did to me, I could just tell, you know, you can just feel it creeping up and affecting you, whether it's your vision, or your walking or your strength or balance, you know, it's all correlated. And I think just realizing that is huge for a patient.

Robert Peterson 7:59
Well, and I think the challenge is that, because the symptoms don't make a lot of sense. They're not like a cut, they're not like a, a wound that you can see or an x ray that you can take. And, and, and it is very challenging, because patients describe it like feeling funky, or I feel wrong. And of course, now we have all the depressive disorders as well that I just feel wrong. I don't feel right. And, of course, how do you it's there's so many challenges to a proper diagnosis. And it's, it's challenging for patients to keep track of symptoms to be able to give a good history to the doctors that that could help them identify all those pieces, because we report what we feel right now. But it's challenging to report. Oh, I felt that the other day, what did I eat that day? Or what did I do that day? And all of the things that can impact? Something like that, as serious and long term is ms can be.

Wendy Bjork 9:05
Yeah, and I think it's really important to keep a notebook with all your symptoms. Because by the time you get to the doctor, you don't have any idea. I mean, you don't have any idea what you had for lunch yesterday, you don't remember how you really felt or what was going on with your body. And to connect those dots more easily. I think that's a big thing. And it doesn't have to be a fancy journal, you can just grab a notebook from the store and just start, write the date, just write the things that were going on. And I know it takes time, you know, might take five or 10 minutes a day. But I think it's really important. And then take that notebook with you to write down your questions to write down the answers that you're told. Because how many times we leave the doctor's office after our 20 minute visit and we don't really know what they told us. Exactly.

Robert Peterson 9:53
And you need to be your own advocate. I think too many too many of us or content to say, Well, I just trust the doctor, the doctor is just going to do what he's supposed to do and, and now with the way that most insurances and most health plans are set up is you don't necessarily see the same doctor, even if you see the same doctor, he seemed like 5000 people since he saw you last. And so he's not going to remember any more than he can read in his chart. And so we have to make a commitment to be to be our own advocate, to be our own tracker. And, and I think there's a lot to be said about tracking the impact of your sleep cycle, the impact of, of how you feel during the day, the impact of other stress things, and if you just make some notes, that can go a long ways to help recognize some of the triggers for yourself and things that you can avoid, without even touching the medicinal side of things. And so I think encouraging people to be their own advocate, and if you're in a medical situation, emergency situation where something's happened, and Trump, you know, traumatic, make sure you have an advocate with you in the hospital, because because you don't remember what's going on when you're, you've had a surgery or you've had this, you know, treating a major wound or, or even a an incident, right, a seizure from MS and having an advocate that can be writing notes and keeping track of wait, they give her this medicine, no, wait, you just had this medicine, now they're doing another blood pressure medicine, and making sure right, they just being able to ask, Is this safe? Is this really the right? The right medicine at the right time? And not to not to question their ability, or it's just man, there's a lot going on, nurses are treating, you know, four or five patients even in intensive care. And, and yeah, you just I think you need to be your own advocate and recognize that the system's got a lot going on too. And so protect yourself choose to put some protections in place like an advocate that's taking notes. And in most cases that can still be you, and take your own notes to know what's going on. It's a great idea, take it with you and write your questions down, write your answers down. And then when you leave there, you got something to look back at when you get home. Oh, oh, that's what the doctor meant. I understand now, who's so good. Alright, so how did we transition from dealing with our own ms to making it into our own our own business and becoming an advocate for others?

Wendy Bjork 12:27
Well, I think what you said about being your own advocate, and maybe looking for more answers, and not just taking what they tell you as your truth, that when I had that moment of, you know, you tell the doctor, you have this condition, or this symptom or that symptom, and just immediately they are looking at what kind of medicine they can give you. And I would ask the questions of does what I eat affect my MS. Does, you know, certain things affect me and they were just, I, you know, I love my neurologist, but he would say, No, eat whatever you want, or do whatever you want. And, you know, until I really decided to take a step back and do my own, you know, digging in and researching. I was, you know, for how many years already 20 years into this and just listening to the doctor and doing what they told me because they're the doctor. But we do have answers inside us, I believe, and we know what's best for us. And, you know, alongside of having an advocate or somebody that you can trust, just doing a little bit of research on your own, you know, not just with the medicine, but you know, read about the side effects and reading labels on anything you're eating or bringing into your home. I think it's all really important.

Robert Peterson 13:55
Well in and that's where the journal can be beneficial. Because if you can track your sleep cycle, and you can track the food that you're eating, and then recognize, whoa, wait, I had this symptom Wednesday to and looking Oh, I had the same thing for breakfast on Wednesday. Oh, my, or I didn't sleep very well, that night. And my sister had had a brain tumor. And the doctors neurologist, same similar situation said there's no there's no way you can control your seizures. And my sister proved through her journal, that if I do these things, I don't have seizures. If I do these things, I have seizures, and the doctor is like, wow, that doesn't make any sense. It's doesn't fit right. And she actually had a referral to Johns Hopkins because her journal proved differently than what the doctors believed. And and they wanted to, you know, do more tests and figure more stuff out and, and in her case, this tumor that was going to kill her in three to six months and Three months if she didn't, if she did radiation and or six months if she did radiation and chemo three months if she didn't, disappeared on its own. And so, so she's, you know, she basically and the doctors have no explanation, of course they, you know, we declared you dead basically. And now you're still alive. And that was in 2008. And so, and she still has seizures, she still has some issues, but she doesn't have a brain tumor, she has side effects that began to brain tumor, but she's still alive and still very active. And, and the journal made all the difference in the in, in her treatment, and I think for herself because she took ownership of the diagnosis and rather than the diagnosis becoming an identity, and I think that the challenge for people, right, because at doctor in this professional white coat tells you that this is wrong with you, and this is what's going to happen. Your brain says, Okay, let's make that happen. And I don't think very many people understand the power of words and the power of a person giving a person of influence, that kind of power in our head. And so it's, it's challenging to, to want to be an outlier and say, Wait, you're just a person just like I am, who has a great education and a great skill set. But are you sure this is exactly how you think it's going to come out. I mean, their their experience is based on a their schooling and the history of their understanding. But so many of these diseases and things that are happening, are constantly evolving. And, and the doctors typically can't keep up. They're not treating somebody with MS every single day, they're not treating somebody with a brain tumor every single day. And so every, every human body is different, every human being is different. So I love that you recognize that power and, and helping people see that wait a minute, just because the doctor tells you that you have something wrong. It's just like a mechanic telling you that there's something wrong with your car doesn't mean that your car changes into cancer, your car is not cancer, right? Your body is not cancer, you might have cancer, but you don't have to be cancer. And I think a lot of people end up identifying with this disease and with the diagnosis or the outcome that the doctor declares. And, and they're not exactly right. And they don't have to be right. And even if they are right, you can still choose out how to live out that time.

Wendy Bjork 17:48
Exactly. You know, you don't like you said about not being your diagnosis, you actually have to see this thing that you now are dealing with as a separate entity, entity, I believe in order to navigate it. Because once you take ownership of it, which is what they tell you, you, you have this thing now. And now you're telling your brain, okay, I have this and then you just ruminate on it. And then you start fearing all the things that might happen, which probably won't happen. And I was guilty of this too, you know, I was 20 2am I going to have kids? Am I going to end up? You know, stuck in a chair all day? Am I going to be in a wheelchair? Is my life over? You know, you just, it's natural, I think for us to have all the questions, but I think it's important to have someone to talk to about it, to not only reassure you that, yes, you can change your course, with your mindset. And, you know, you can change the whole course of it just by taking steps, you know, like your sister did, keeping a journal know watching everything that you're surrounding yourself with, and having the support.

Robert Peterson 19:04
Well, in recognizing that the power of your mind and, and choosing to control what you can control and let go of what you can't control. And, and so much of it is outside of your control, like all those thoughts, right? Like, am I going to be able to have kids? Am I going to be stuck in a wheelchair? Am I going to those Gunas impossibles. You just have to let go of and and deal with what's right in front of you deal with the symptom you're dealing with today? Not the future possibilities of who knows what could come. And I think you're right. I think many people get caught up in in Oh no, it's going to take me away and it's interesting I was I was listening to a book and recently that the author was talking about the number of people that basically got a diagnosis and six months to live. Then they quit their job and decided to live those six months doing the thing they wanted to do their whole life. And, and, and live out that dream. And the disease goes into remission, because they're actually doing what they were meant to do. And that's not to say that you stop going to your doctor and you stop, you know, acknowledging the medical side of things, because that's still a reality. But recognize that there's huge power in your brain and into in the energy inside of you, that wants to heal you and wants to make you whole? If yes, if you choose to let it

Wendy Bjork 20:38
Mm hmm. Right. Yeah, you know, it all starts in our mind. And then I believe all healing starts there as well. And just having the faith and belief in yourself that you can do these hard things that you don't just have to lay in bed, you know, you're equipped with these inner thoughts and beliefs in yourself for a reason, you just, you know, embracing that. And choosing to maybe take a different look at how you do things, and not just being honest roulette wheel have tied to medicine and all those side effects. And, you know, I'm not saying don't go to the doctor either, but be open enough to take a look at what else you can do to make yourself feel better.

Robert Peterson 21:29
Well, it's interesting, obviously, in this age, right now, in 2022, we have so many options, right? Functional healers, who can, who can do some of the tests and testing in your blood and what's going on inside of you and in, you know, the doctor's office as well to get this giant safety range. But it compares, you know, every human being on the planet between age 54 and 60, and says, this is their range. But maybe your range is here. And until you sit down with somebody that can look at a lab report and say, well, we can we can focus a little tighter and know what's right for you and what's right for your situation. So there's some incredible ways to naturally focus your body's natural healing and natural can't blood chemicals, right and brain chemicals that are designed to help us the brain has the best medicines for pain, the brain has the best medicines for depression. And I think we block them and hide them and don't take advantage of them the way that the brain was designed to, and it seems crazy, that is the case. Most of the time. Yeah, we will be right back after this short break. This episode is sponsored by perfect publishing a different approach to publishing a book. Perfect publishing carefully chooses heroes of Hope, who exemplify living a life they created through faith, hope, patience, and persistence. No matter what page you open to, in this mini cube of hope, you will find a leader with a big heart, you will see you are not alone. The authors may share similar challenges that only hope and action could resolve. Get your free ebook at get a dose of hope.com Welcome back, let's get back to more greatness. Let's talk a little bit about how you help how you come alongside folks that are walking the same path that you

Wendy Bjork 23:32
Yeah, and I think just going back to when I was figuring this all out, you know, it didn't happen overnight. That was 20 years of in the know at least 20 years of living with MS by then. And I just slowly started kind of resetting my life. And you know, everything from the chemicals in my house, no laundry detergent, the stuff you clean your bathroom with the stuff you clean your kitchen with. And to the shampoos you're using, you know, everything has so many synthetic chemicals in it. And that's where I started was my laundry room. And then I went to the foods, you know, and then I went to the inner work. So I think, you know, just connecting all the dots together. And that's how I help people is, you know, just to be with them and to listen to them because so many people just aren't supported. They're not listened to. And, you know, people might intent have good intentions, you know, whether it's friends or family, you know, when they ask how they are. And if they dare share what their symptoms are, then they're just told that well, that person feels tired too or that person tripped and fell to and it's not the same. You know, because they don't really have a mess. They're just, you know, we're clumsy at that moment. But I think just so many people I just feel like they're downgraded, you know, when it's like they're not important. And that causes disbelief in themselves. And so I just really want to lift people up to know that, yes, you're here for a purpose, and you're meant to live your best life. You know, and taking these steps, you know, it's a commitment to yourself. But none of it's really that hard. It's just being willing and open to looking at life differently, perhaps, and choosing to have, you know, positive thoughts, because we have, you know, 1000s of thoughts each day, and most of them are negative, because that's just how we are as a human, we are always talked out of things that might be good for us. And it's hard to ask for help. And just, like I said, being open, and for me, it was hard to ask for help. It was hard for my first mentor to, you know, to open up to my first mentor, I should say,

Robert Peterson 26:05
well, that's and that's, that's the challenge, right is because you've tried, you've tried to share it with other people, and they don't understand and you've tried to, to, to get people to hear that, no, it's different than what you're doing. And of course, people want to be empathetic, and they want to, although the truth of most people is we're so selfish, that, you know, oh, they broke their arm, oh, I broke my arm once to oh, you know, we we want to switch it to our story from from their story. And so it is very challenging to find someone that truly listens and, and truly wants to, wants to help. So let's talk about that the challenge of for yourself, because you talked about cleaning out the chemicals cleaned and changing, you know, changing the detergents and the things that you use and then changing the food. But then you recognize the need to change your thoughts. What helped you there?

Wendy Bjork 27:05
It was kind of funny how it happened. I have one of my really good friends recommended a book to me. And it was called unstoppable influence. And it was I think the tagline was, like be you remember what the rest of it is, but it's all about being your true self. And the author Natasha Hayzlett, actually had a think it was a 21 day challenge where she took you through the steps of being your true self, you know, to stop being a people pleaser, to just shine your own light, and come to like to know who you are, you know, instead of just being a mom and a wife, and a daughter, and employee, all these things. You know, we're we're all just so much more than that. And I think that was just my first step into really getting to know who I am. And to realize that our thoughts matter. Like what we tell ourselves. And back when I was diagnosed, you know, was the early 90s. And my boss was in the personal development. And that was before it was cool. But you know, that was my first initial exposure of you know, he would send me to conferences like Stephen Covey, or Jack Canfield. But you're just you're surrounded at those, you know, that time is mostly surrounded by professional men, there weren't women that would go to these. So I think just connecting with people who understand you and get it, it's just so important for your own healing process.

Robert Peterson 28:41
Well, there's so much in there. I mean, obviously, you mentioned the identities that, that our culture creates around us a mom, a secretary, a wife, we even talked about it before we got on the air, but your last name is well, it's not really mine, I married into it in, in women's surrender their, their identity, they surrender their family name in this country anyway, when they when they get married. And and so there is this identity, and all these labels that are put on us. And the labels come with expectations of a certain way of being or acting. Even though many of those labels are up inside our head. Right? We we create the expectations ourselves, what does a mom look like? And how does she act? What does a wife look like? And how does she act and and you mentioned people pleasing. And so it's interesting how to make that shift from the negative thoughts and I think our our, it's part of our survival brain, right the brain was the brain is not evolved as fast as our technology or as fast as I think the brain is still concerned that there's a line outside the door that's going to consume us. The minute we go online and do a live presentation or we do you create a YouTube video or the brain is saying, no, no, no, that'll get us eaten. And, and the reality is that those negative thoughts are a part of the brain trying to protect us and keep us in a small little box that that keeps us alive. And when you recognize that, that you can, you can use the mind for so much more than just survival. It's, it's the greatest computer on the earth, it's got the greatest capabilities, and can do incredible things. And so I love that what you tell yourself matters. And words are really, really powerful. those limiting beliefs, those things that you believe about yourself, the stories that you've told yourself, were given to you by somebody else. And you get to choose what those stories mean, you get to choose those stories that you repeat to yourself, and the impact that that can have on you. And, and for, for those that are listening, that haven't taken control of your thought life. This is the most powerful exercise that you will ever do for yourself. And I think it's really, really important to have that awareness that, that your thoughts, that little voice in your head is not you and you can you can change it, you can change. Even if you've had traumatic experiences, you can change the stories that you tell yourself about them. And it's really that transition from living life as a victim, living life at the mercy of everything and everyone around you to taking control for yourself. And so when do you've taken control for yourself, and now you help others to recognize that they can take control too. And that includes the ability to question doctors the ability to question what's best for you the ability to, you know, just search for your own information. And I think the ability to question your body, like when your body feels that pain and body feels something awkward and odd ask it what what does this mean? What is going on and, and hold space for the answer? I think the challenge is, many times we ask, Oh, my foot hurts, I wonder what I did. And then we don't hold space to for the body to tell us what happened and tell us what thing we did. And so I love that power of curiosity and the power of, of changing, changing those thoughts. So now you've, you've gone through some personal development yourself, you've started to recognize your ability to transition yourself out of this space of sick to this space of well. So what made you decide to start your own business and launch into helping others?

Wendy Bjork 32:41
I believe I was just, it was divine. I was divinely led, you know, I hear a voice in my head, you have to share this with others. You can't just keep this for yourself. Even though that would be the easy thing to do is just like you said, stay in your box, stay in your corner. And just live out your life knowing this, but I just feel like I'm, I've beat the people that you know, I need to meet like, through and I met you and I get on these platforms. I don't have my own podcast yet. But you know, I just think everything is divinely designed and like I meet the people that are here to help me share my message of hope of knowing that you don't have to live your life, like you're told you should live it or that you're going to live it or this is what you know, happens to people when they get this diagnosis. And MS was first recognized and I think like 1396. So we really haven't made much progress getting to the root of the problem. And that's what I feel like I'm here to do is help people just get to the root of it, you know, figure out what, for yourself, what triggers these things? And how can we level it for you balance it?

Robert Peterson 34:05
Well, and it really is so exasperated by stress. And so just helping people to recognize that stress is controllable. Stress is based on your reactions in your thoughts. And so you can choose to live a stress free life, or at least 99% stress free. But then you can equip yourself for that 1% That is crazy stressful to deal with it in a different way. And that's empowering. I think. I think what you're talking about is empowerment and empowering people to take responsibility for their own health in their own body and their own diagnosis, and how that how that's going to play out in their own life. So you mentioned divine appointment and divine opportunities of meeting people. So let's talk about the power of connection in growing your business and creating these opportunities.

Wendy Bjork 35:00
I think that, like I said earlier, we're here, we're all each here for a purpose. And we meet the people that we were meant to meet. And I just believe that through my faith, and through the work, the inner work I've done, that it's possible for anybody to do it. And it's not just for me. And it's not just for the movie stars that have it. It's for everybody. It's everybody's meant to live a happy, stress free, blessed life.

Robert Peterson 35:33
Yeah. Interesting. So many of us think the movie stars are stress free, and yet they're the ones overdosing on medicines and drugs and living lives that on the surface, we see, we see these characters that they play, but we don't really see the misery that they're carrying around on the stage, and set. But the truth is, we can design our life. And I think helping people recognize that you can design your life and then build a life, build a business, build a support system to maintain it. And I think that's the piece that more and more people need to hear. because entrepreneurship is freedom, and it creates these opportunities to even for people with disabilities and handicaps, there's opportunities to build a business that supports your life, in whatever limitations that that you may have, whether they're medical or physical, or, and I think that's the, that's the incredible thing about entrepreneurship, especially in this day and age with this online space. And so, so much power. So with all the business success that you've had, what is what is your biggest challenge.

Wendy Bjork 36:46
Um, I think just regulating my boundaries and my time, and just doing the things that align with my message and how I feel. And I think like you said, about, you know, the possibilities for entrepreneurship are for anyone, and it's, I think, the perfect job for anybody that does deal with this. Because, you know, you create your own schedule you do you do as much as you can, with the energy that you have. And you also learn about a lot of your inner strength through that may mean, maybe you may or may not have recognized earlier. And I think, just, you know, like I said, creating the boundaries for your own space for, you know, doing the things that you want to do.

Robert Peterson 37:37
One recognizing that, that, yeah, energies, energy is limited. And so why not create a business that allows you to work at your strongest time, and when you have the most energy when you're able to, and then making sure that you're resting when you need to be resting so that you can recover and, and be prepared for the next the next cycle? I think that's, that's part of the design is recognizing your body's natural rhythm. And, and of course, it's amplified when you have a disease and other things going on. But you can still work and build a business around that right design intentionally around the things that are going on. So you mentioned questioning whether or not you could have kids. And so were you able to have kids, you have a family? Yeah,

Wendy Bjork 38:29
I did. I did end up having two boys, and they are two years apart. So they're now 17 and 19. But when they were little, that was hard. I'm gonna say that. I mean, my husband used to have to drive us all home after working all day, because I was exhausted and you know, you get home and then you have to make a meal and do all you know you still have to be supermom, even though you're dealing with this illness. And that's really what I help women do is besides letting go of being supermom, you don't nobody has to be supermom, you know, just doing things that you can do, and asking for help back to asking for help from others. So it's just really just standing in your truth and owning, owning it.

Robert Peterson 39:21
Well, that creates opportunities to change the expectation, right? Because the expectation is supermom she cooks breakfast, she gets everybody up, she gets the clothes ready. She gets the backpacks ready. They're out the door. She cleans the house and then and then of course picks everyone up and and we start all over again and evening cooking dinner and getting the family cleaned up and ready for bed and all of those expectations. And the truth is that that's overwhelming for a healthy person, let alone a person that is carrying around this extra this extra burden. And so being able to, to have conversations and and I think that's why it's important. For somebody who's journaled, right, who can show look, I have the most energy during this time of the day, this is when I should be cleaning this is when I should be doing these other activities, or being able to say, look, let me build the business and do the business in these hours, and let me hire somebody to clean or let me hire somebody to do the cooking and, and create other opportunities. And I think families can have different discussions today than they had 20 years ago. Because we can talk about the expectations and talk about sharing the load and, and and how different it can be. And so encourage people that are listening certainly to, to have conversations about those expectations, and, and not step into a role that's based on you know, what we saw on television. Right, right.

Wendy Bjork 40:55
So you mentioned, oh, go ahead.

Robert Peterson 40:58
No, go ahead. You're continuing. Oh,

Wendy Bjork 41:00
I was just going to say, I think we do our kids a favor when we help them be more independent. Because you having something like Ms. You know, you don't have a choice you have your kids have to start helping themselves. You know, whether it's folding laundry, or, you know, packing their own lunch. And it all kind of happened by accident. My son didn't like how I packed his lunch. So I said, Well, here's the stuff, you can make your own sandwich and put these things in your lunch. And, you know, he was probably in third grade, maybe second grade when that started.

Robert Peterson 41:33
And it's perfect. Like, you don't have to feel guilty over that. And I think that's the challenge is so many people would feel guilty, right? Oh, I made my kids do their own laundry. Boy, they had to make their own bed. They had to make their own lunch. Those are, those are all empowering things, not negative things. And yet, and yet there's this pressure inside of us to meet some expectation that doesn't exist. And I think that's why it's so good to recognize Wait, that accident was really? That's a really good thing. I should have done that last year.

Wendy Bjork 42:05
Right? Yeah. And as I think, you know, looking back, they, I really had to have them help me, you know, I was working from home part time and just didn't have the space to do something. And looking now, I mean, they're both really independent. And, you know, we love our kids, but they have to leave some time anyway. So they might as well start learning these skills. No,

Robert Peterson 42:32
absolutely. Don't wait till it. Don't wait till they're, it's time for him to go, then it's too late. For sure. And then they end up sleeping in the basement playing video games. Yes. So I think what most most entrepreneurs recognize the power of routines, and I'm assuming in your case, routines are even more important. Can you share how some routines have helped you and what's what routines are non negotiables for you.

Wendy Bjork 43:00
I'm starting my day with meditation and prayer, whether it's five minutes, whether I get 30 minutes, it has to be something. And even when I first heard the word meditation, you think of somebody that's, you know, sitting in a corner, cross legged, and they have this fancy practice, but it's more about just clearing your thoughts, letting the thoughts that need to come in, come in. And we each have, you know, I have a prayer list of people that I want to know, mentioned for the day or send strength for the day. And I think starting out that way, and then if I have extra time, then maybe I'll read a little bit. I'm, I've always been an avid reader, and I love to read, and I think doing it in the morning, you know, there's much less risk for falling asleep while you're reading. And I stopped eating like cereal for breakfast probably 10 years ago, you know, back when I started realizing, you know, what we eat and put in our body makes a difference. And now I make a healthy smoothie. No, so then I don't need to eat again until lunch. And just recognizing the small things that really add up for our personal success and our choices. We have a new day each day of 24 hours of choices.

Robert Peterson 44:31
Absolutely. And and I think some people feel like obviously right now I think we're we're choiste out like there's so many options for for everything from from menus at the restaurant to college courses in the in the course description book and to of course online and all these streaming platforms that have you know, unlimited. When I was a kid, we had three channels and you Have, you had to get up and turn the knob to change him. And so it's it, I think decision fatigue is, is overwhelming for all of us. And then I can't even imagine how it is for somebody whose mind is already being handicapped and held back how much avoiding decision fatigue can be of benefit.

Wendy Bjork 45:26
Yeah, and I think having I have a paper planner, still I know, it's, you know, the night, it's not the 90s anymore, but I need to have a paper planner to write down the things I need to do the things I want to do. And it's just a really good tool to keep track of life. And my other non negotiable is exercise, you know, whether it's, I have a rowing machine, and I live, you know, we live in a forest. So just going outside. And using nature to reset is so important for me. And it can have so many benefits, I mean, you don't have to go on a 10 mile hike, you can just look up, look up and appreciate, you know, what's above you, the sky, the trees, the birds. And that's what I really encourage my clients to do is just take five minutes and go outside and just, you know, add to it, if you can, you know, make it 20 minutes, at some point if you can, because you just feel so much better.

Robert Peterson 46:29
That's yeah, it's so powerful to just connect, disconnect from all these plugged in things and and connect with, with nature has has huge value. All right, Wendy. So audience, entrepreneurs, business people listening for the last 40 minutes, and you want to leave him with Wendy's Words of Wisdom, what would you share?

Wendy Bjork 46:55
When we make changes, you're not going to see symptoms or symptoms, you're not going to see results overnight, most likely, it took time to get to where you are. And it takes time to unwind all this and reset and just allow yourself the grace and space to recognize the small changes that you're making positive changes, you're going to see positive results.

Robert Peterson 47:23
Wendy, thank you so much for joining me today. This has been a fantastic enlightening conversation. I appreciate you.

Wendy Bjork 47:29
Thank you. And I hope someone is helped by what we talked about. I hope they feel empowered to stand in their truth and stand up for themselves.