PP 574: Design Your Dream Life with Lauren Zander

“Use your dark side for good.” –Lauren Zander

Lauren Handel Zander, a life coach, university lecturer, and public speaker, joins Kim Sutton for this episode of the Positive Productivity Podcast. Not only is she smart as a whip and quite funny, she is also the Co-Founder of The Handel Group and is the developer of their company’s Life Coaching method, used and trusted by celebrities and business entities and in 35 major universities and learning institutes. Can you believe she’s even worked with Hugh Jackman?

Listen as Kim and Lauren have a lively and entertaining chat about dreams, promises and personal integrity. You won’t want to miss Lauren’s Promises and Consequences strategy!


02:17 Meet Lauren
08:44 How to Guide Your Children to Their Dream Life
12:04 Do You Have to Have a College Degree?
15:30 Executive Life Coaching
21:28 Lies and Truths
28:54 Promises and Consequences
42:08 12 Areas of Life
49:22 No to Spontaneity

Learn to Human Better with Lauren Zander’s online coaching course, Inner.U.

Sign up now with your POSITIVEPODCAST75 coupon and get $75 OFF!

Receive lifetime access to Inner.U with your subscription which includes: 12 audio coaching sessions from Lauren Zander, one free private coaching session with an HG coach, 14 homework assignments, and the interactive Promise Tracker to accelerate your accountability and track your promises and consequences. Get Started at: https://bit.ly/POSINNERU

Talk to a human and see if Handel Group coaching options are right for you: https://bit.ly/POSCONSULT

On the web: HGLife.Coach


On Instagram @handelgroup


What are the consequences if you break a promise to yourself? Listen as @TheKimSutton and @LaurenZander discuss dreams, promises and integrity. Subscribe today! https://www.thekimsutton.com/pp574. #positiveproductivity #podcast #consequences #promises #lifecoach #InnerUClick To Tweet



Lauren’s Online Course

Inspirational Quotes:

06:20 “If I was going to stop being a coward in my own life, then, I was going to invent the dream of my life.” –Lauren Zander

08:09 “No one cares what hours you’re working. We just care you get your work done.”   –Lauren Zander

08:35 “It came from an intuitive desire to be successful and grow, but also to accommodate what people wanted to do most in their lives.” –Lauren Zander

09:43 “I really believe in the nuance of a child and laying out all the options and not being controlling.”  –Lauren Zander

11:23 “So what I think matters most is you if you have a great marriage, with two really healthy, fun parents that are really enjoying and living a full life, your kids are going to do what you do. They’re not going to do what you say unless you’re really the type that does it.” –Lauren Zander

14:13 “It’s a very interesting phenomena having the luxury of studying.”  –Lauren Zander

14:43 “If you have the mindset to do it, you can do whatever you want.” –Kim Sutton

15:51 “Personal integrity is when I define it, is an ability to keep a promise to yourself.”  –Lauren Zander

21:32 “Humans create reality by creating secrets all the time.” –Lauren Zander

26:05 “It’s not because we don’t know how to actually be true to ourselves in ways that really matter. It’s because we got ourselves into very serious lying binds.” –Lauren Zander

29:15 “But what I do is I put in promises with consequences.” –Lauren Zander

33:36 “Use your dark side for good.”  –Lauren Zander

44:39 “Spirituality is the mystery of being alive. –Lauren Zander

50:13 “Actions are the only thing that changes things.”  –Lauren Zander



KIM: Welcome back to another episode of Positive Productivity! This is your host Kim Sutton and I am so happy to have you here today. I want to give you a little disclaimer before I introduce our guest of the day, Lauren Zander. Before we jump into our undoubtedly awesome conversation, if you are listening without your (ear)buds in today and with kids nearby, you may want to wait to listen to this episode until a little bit later because there is a cursing disclaimer for this episode. This is going to be a great chat, but there may be some four letter words that you don’t want your little’s learning. Without further adieu, I want to introduce our guest Lauren Zander who is the founder of The Handel Group. I know I told you I would say it wrong, but there we go. Lauren, I’m so thrilled to have you here today. I would love if you would do yourself more justice, I know that’s horrible, but you know your story better than everybody else, anybody else and for you to introduce yourself to our listeners.

LAUREN ZANDER: All right. I am a very happily married mother-of-three woman who lives in New York, in Westchester. I have around 60 employees and I’m actually a co-founder. I started my executive life coaching business with my sister and that’s a good thing. We love each other very much and we built this company together. I think we’re at 15 years now. If you really think about it folks, you would be life coaching 15 years ago you would go: “Oh, she was a pioneer.” Right? There was no such thing as life coaching 15 years ago. The answer is yeah, there really was no one and I was there when no one knew what it was. I am a very proud builder of pretty much one of the only companies that’s doing executive life coaching as a group with a methodology that isn’t like two people and consultants. It’s a real business and I’m very proud of it. We teach in universities, we also teach in high schools. That’s one division. We are life coaches, which is we work with individuals about designing their lives. Where we truly make money is in our corporate coaching business, our executive coaching business. We do all three and I developed the method at two different universities. One was MIT and we still teach at MIT and that’s where it got the great name Designing Your Life. The other place I’ve taught and developed my content was at Stanford Business School and that was Leading Your Life and that was much more business. I did business and personal lives about how to design your life. That’s basically everything I’ve been doing for 20 years.

KIM: Wow! Okay. I have so many questions off of this.


KIM: My sister actually just recently joined my company, so I would love to know how did you even consider starting a business with your sister, one of you already life coaching. Were both of you life coaching? Did you already have the business and then your sister came in? Do you mind sharing a little bit more?

LAUREN ZANDER: Absolutely. So, first of all, I have two sisters and they both work for the company. I have a sister Beth and a sister Marnie and we’re all in the business together.

KIM: Awesome.

LAUREN ZANDER: My sister, Beth, and I started the company. Beth was a management consultant and she still is a brilliant management consultant. I was the one accountable for all the content. I developed a method. I was already life coaching for six or seven years before my sister – she had just had a baby. She was married, just had a baby, and I was dying to move her from the west coast in California, to come east and raise her babies with my babies and my other sister because my family is really on the East Coast. I have a great family and I want it all, right? I basically hijacked my sister to come back east and then we figured out my business and what I was doing according to Beth, she thought it was epic. I was a sole practitioner at that time and she was like: “You’re an idiot. Let’s build your business. Let’s build this business. I’m a management consultant. I love sales. I love growing. I love corporate.” Right? And then we basically had one conversation where I said: “Well, if I was going to stop being a coward or chicken in my own life and I was going to invent the dream of my life.” Then I blurted out the dream of my life, which is the one I’m still doing right now and we’ve been well on our way for a very long time. That’s how my sister Beth and I started.

KIM: Oh my gosh! Lauren, I could give you a huge hug right now.


KIM: My sister just had a baby who’s about six months old.


KIM: She is a Cornell graduate, living in the Hudson Valley. I’m actually trying to hijack her and bring her out to Ohio.


KIM: I will just leave my thoughts to where she is in the Hudson Valley to myself.


KIM: You know, it’s not Westchester.


KIM: All our family is in western New York. I would still love to bring her out to Ohio so that she can raise her baby with my babies.


KIM: Even though my babies are four and five (and 14 and 16) and that we can have pow- wow sessions together. She is completely left-brained and I am completely right-brained. So even in the last two months, she has kicked my butt into just bigger and better things. I’ve already seen –

LAUREN ZANDER: Awesome! Awesome!

KIM: – the transformation in the business since then. This whole online space has been a complete blur for her because she was a grocery store manager for 15 years in the Hudson Valley, one of the big chains in the Hudson Valley. The whole management experience, that’s what she is so good at and being a creative person myself, that just doesn’t work for me. But I love hearing how you’re now at 60 employees, you said?

LAUREN ZANDER: Yeah. At least. Yeah.

KIM: Oh my heavens.


KIM: That’s so exciting.

LAUREN ZANDER: It’s a virtual company. It doesn’t really matter where anyone lives at all.

KIM: Right. Yeah.

LAUREN ZANDER: Yeah. It’s wonderful. That’s the beauty of the new era and especially women working together. We are mostly women, a few good men, but mostly women and overachievers, who love their kids. No one cares what hours you’re working, just get your work done, right? It’s so beautiful to change how business is done by doing it in my own natural way.

KIM: Right.

LAUREN ZANDER: Right? And being able to create a company. I don’t know corporate America. I coach huge companies now and I teach people how to do business. It’s even hysterical that it came from an intuitive desire to be successful and grow, but also to accommodate what people wanted to do most in their lives.

KIM: Oh, I love that. I shared with you in our pre-chat that before I moved out to Ohio, I was living in Westchester and I was traveling two hours each way up to Greenwich, Connecticut to work with a two year old in tow. It was completely exhausting. I thought that that was my dream career, but I didn’t know anything about my dream life. I mean –


KIM: – and as a mom of three, meaning you.


KIM: Sorry that came out so wrong. Sorry, but not sorry that came out not as I intended it to. I would love to know your thoughts regarding college and career development for our children now, because as I mean, my oldest is 16. In two years, if he were to –

LAUREN ZANDER: I would like.

KIM: – find the path that I grew up in, I mean –


KIM: – I would have been guiding him already on going to college, but now I haven’t even said a word to him.


KIM: Because I think it’s important that he chooses his path, unlike the sort of very guided, it’s not even –


KIM: -sort of the very guided path I had.

LAUREN ZANDER: I really believe in the nuance of your child, right? Laying out all the options and not being controlling. And so, in my three kids, my oldest is a girl and she works two jobs she found on her own. One in a beautiful gourmet tea shop. She loves learning about fancy foods and all different kinds of fancy things I could care less about. She also works for this other woman who is a gluten-free baker, right? As far as this woman is concerned, anything that you buy in the market still has gluten in it. So my daughter bakes and is a gourmet and then you go: “Well, what happens to her life at school?” And I go: “Oh, you mean like is she gonna make it through 10th grade? I don’t know.” Right? I let her manage her life. I really do let her manage her life. My son, who’s a year and a half younger than her, straight A student. I mean honors classes, straight A. Do I do anything different with him than I do with her? Absolutely not, right? Does he already think he wants to go to a really good university? Yes, he does. I have nothing to do with that, right? Does my daughter think she wants to go to college or she wants to be an entrepreneur? She already thinks she’s an entrepreneur.

KIM: Right.

LAUREN ZANDER: She’s already making money like an entrepreneur.

KIM: Right.

LAUREN ZANDER: Right. What I think matters most is if you have a great marriage with two really healthy, fun parents that are really enjoying and living a full life, your kids are going to do what you do. They’re not going to do what you say.

KIM: Yeah.

LAUREN ZANDER: Right. To do unless you’re really the type that does it. Right? I’m really not worried about – so college is something that I definitely went to, but my husband never graduated from college. His father never graduated from college and it had nothing to do with whether they had businesses, were successful, or love their lives. I think it really is nuanced and individual and I think that’s very difficult for many parents, right? Because of how much they believe in education. Right?

KIM: Right.

LAUREN ZANDER: I do believe that’s even ridiculously fair because there really are people who have met, like my family, no one’s ever gone to college. I want my son to go to college. It still has a lot of meaning in it and I do think it’s truly legitimate, right? I don’t know if everyone’s hiring at many businesses if you didn’t go to college, ever.

KIM: I had to be honest, besides my sister, I have no clue if any one of my team members went to college because I hire on personality and I train for skills.

LAUREN ZANDER: I think it’s really, “you had me at hello.” You’re like “Lauren, do people have to go to college to work at your company?” The answer is no. I think someone who works in a bank, if you ever want to do money, banking, wall street, no you will –

KIM: Yeah.

LAUREN ZANDER: Accounting, lawyering, social work, right? There are many places, there are advertising. That’s a little tricky. You’re right on the border. It depends on your dream of your career.

KIM: Yeah.

LAUREN ZANDER: If college is – do I think college is going out of business? I think it really will keep shrinking.

KIM: Yeah, I agree.

LAUREN ZANDER: And vocational schools will keep growing.

KIM: Yeah. You’re not operating on me if you don’t have a degree.

LAUREN ZANDER: Oh, please! Do you want doctors to (go to college)? Exactly! Yes, I believe in education dramatically and I love that my son’s going to likely go to an incredibly good school. And the four years my sister’s kid spent at Wesleyan, right in the front, like if you ask “what did you get out of college?” I go “I’m still best friends with at least two of the people that were my best friends there. And it’s 30 years since then.” Right? I wouldn’t live without those humans.

KIM: Right.

LAUREN ZANDER: Right. It’s a very interesting phenomenon having the luxury of studying.

KIM: Yeah. My 16 year old has a job. He’s been umping little league baseball for six years now, even though he’s only 16, he started as soon as he could and he gets paid double minimum wage here in Ohio for –


KIM: – being an ump and that’s what he actually wants to do. And I had no idea until he actually wrote the school paper on it. That major league umpires, if you can cut it and get up there, which I think that if you have the mindset to do it, you can do whatever you want and –

LAUREN ZANDER: Oh my god. Yeah.

KIM: – the entry level is like $300,000, like by all means, if that’s going to light you up inside, then go for it Jake, I’ll support you.

LAUREN ZANDER: Yeah. No, no, no. Yeah.

KIM: I got great friends and some of my earliest bosses out of college are just extended family. I mean even closer to them than I am to some parts of my blood family, you know?


KIM: Beyond the family, I got a whole bunch of student loan debt, which I’m still working on it. [laughing]

LAUREN ZANDER: Yes. No way. Yeah.

KIM: Yeah. Well, life has its twists and turns and that’s –


KIM: – what makes us stronger. But I would love to hear more about your executive life coaching.

LAUREN ZANDER: So what happens in my methodology is I am all about inside out. What you say to your – I teach people to break into their inner dialogue. I deal with what I would call the emotion, like the emotional intelligence, personal integrity. Emotional intelligence, personal integrity. Personal integrity is what I define is an ability to keep a promise to yourself.

KIM: I could give you a big hug for that, too.

LAUREN ZANDER: Okay, so most people know how to keep promises outside or do the right thing outside, but when they’re alone with themselves are resentful. I don’t believe in outside in, I believe in inside out. I believe in knowing what you say to yourself. I believe that the only way you can actually be happy with yourself is if you’re keeping promises to yourself that you want to be keeping in your life. Most of us suck at keeping promises to ourselves, we’re really good at excusing ourselves. What’s that all about? All of my work that I’ve been studying has been how to break into your own inner dialogue. In a corporate setting, I not only do the inner work – how I do it is I get a person to dream in 12 areas of life. What do you mean there’s 12 areas of life? There’s 12 different areas of life. Most people push life into three areas and then it’s pretty good because 1) I’m healthy, 2) I don’t hate my job and 3) I really love my kids, right? No, I’m not asking you are you good enough? I’m asking you to have a vision for each of the 12 different areas of life. Then when you get a corporate individual to care about their life and the business, it changes the culture, if you can get the culture to do it. It changes everything. We’re pretty rock and roll, and legendary, and dangerous, because we also teach the end of lying, social grease, and fakeness. Say yes, but really mean no.

KIM: Yeah.

LAUREN ZANDER: We teach people how to have hard conversations. We do a whole lot of work on hard conversations in corporations. How to tell the truth. How do we ask the questions you’ve never been willing to ask? We get the inner dialogue that everyone’s fake about – out. Then we get everybody to do the right work on themselves and each other, so that the team is really not doing jobs they don’t want, is not faking it and hating each other. It’s like literal intimacy and honesty and fixing bad relationships until they actually work. No one gets in trouble. We give nicknames out, we call our bad traits out. We’d make everybody laugh hard at every last thing we do that isn’t wonderful. We teach people to “human” better. And human in my company is a verb, not like this thing. You’re a human. You’re a noun. No, you’re not. You’re a human. You’re becoming, you’re developing, like you’re a verb, right? You’re not done.

KIM: Wow. I’m thinking about my own life right now. I mean, I divorced almost a decade ago and I remarried a couple of years later. I’m thinking with the integrity and with the truth and with conversations and pardon me listeners, this is so TMI. But I’m even thinking about how – with my first husband – there was never conversations about intimacy and about what we liked between sex and what we didn’t like and it sucked, like flat out sucked. And that’s not the case with my husband now and it rocks.


KIM: That was because there was that truth and that communication and being truthful from the inside out. Okay, I don’t like that. I think I’m going to tell him. Then when I finally tell him, the next time it’s gotten so much better. I can see how the same would happen in a business the same way.

LAUREN ZANDER: It’s the last thing people are betting on, the truth will set you free. The last thing, because most people are scared because of how long a person hasn’t told it. My entire method is teaching people things. Once I teach it to you, you’re like: “Oh that’s true” and then you never forget it, right? It’s uncommon knowledge that I say it and then it becomes common knowledge because everyone can use it.

KIM: Right.

LAUREN ZANDER: Right? Okay, so this is a little version of that. What I teach people is that the senses create reality. If you can smell it, it must be real. Taste it, feel it. That creates reality. Guess what else creates reality? Ready?

KIM: Thoughts?

LAUREN ZANDER: Wait, ready? But if you can think something and then you go, I can’t tell them, because it’ll hurt their feelings. I’ll get in a fight. It’s a confrontation. If I think it and I can’t tell it, I’m going to keep it a secret. It must be real. I must be right. It literally validates. I can’t tell him that didn’t feel good because then he’ll get hurt, which then really means he sucks at it and I can’t tell him how to get better. Then he becomes someone who can’t handle the truth and you become someone who’s too nice to deal with getting what you want. All of those things create reality and you just fixed it all because you’re too much of a chicken to test if what you just thought was true or false and you don’t ask or say, right? Humans create reality by creating secrets all the time, which is really another way of saying omissions, which is really another way of saying lying. In my book and in my method, I make every human do lie lists from their whole life, like styles and ways you lie and you have no idea how much that suppresses your freedom to feel true to yourself. No idea. And then you don’t have to worry human, because guess what? You have a lie list, don’t you think they have – everybody in your life has – the same lie list you have.

KIM: Right, right.

LAUREN ZANDER: Right? Right. And so we all – and then my next joke is where’s the lying section in the bookstore? Right? Anybody happy with Donald Trump? If you’re not, it’s because of his lying. Even the MeToo movement is people who are done hiding the truth. They’re coming out about the lies they’ve been covering up for, right? We, as a human race, tolerate our lies and other people’s lies and if you want to know what revolution I think I’m causing, it’s the breaking out, stop ending lying on earth.

KIM: Wow.


KIM: Oh my goodness. Okay. That’s a minor one. But my husband and I just disclosed to each other this week that neither of us can’t stand, okay, please don’t sue me Velveeta or Kraft or whoever makes –


KIM: But the Velveeta sliced cheese, I asked him please don’t put that on my sandwiches anymore. I don’t like it. And he’s like: “How long have you not liked it?” And I said “Forever. It’s okay on macaroni and cheese, but I don’t like it on my sandwiches.” And he asked “it took you nine years to tell me that?” He’s like “I don’t like it either.”

LAUREN ZANDER: Hysterical.

KIM: Then on the flip side, I just want to ask, I had started a business partnership with somebody who was very out of integrity. I asked them to stop what they were doing once and they stopped for a few months and then started it again.


KIM: I was married to my husband who I’m married to now, and my husband now’s the love of my life. That person, also a man, kept on asking me to send pictures of my boobs and I was like, what? What? When it started back up again, I just dissolved the whole thing. I know it’s going on out there around other people. But I gotta be honest, I’ve kept it quiet because –


KIM: – Well, I didn’t want to hurt him if it actually wasn’t going on in other places. I would love to know your opinion on that. I mean, should I have been more forthcoming? And I’m not the type to just go put a rant on social media, go along with the MeToo movement. I mean, it goes both ways. I’m not going to say that it’s just men towards women because women can be inappropriate as well.

LAUREN ZANDER: Everybody who’s cheating is cheating with someone who knows they’re cheating. So obviously that’s a fake, a male and a female role or you know, unless you’re two women and blah, blah, blah.

KIM: Yeah.

LAUREN ZANDER: Right. But everybody, there is no cheaters happening without another one. Right?

KIM: Right, right.

LAUREN ZANDER: Yeah. The math is bad and that means both sexes are in. Okay?

KIM: Right.

LAUREN ZANDER: So obviously my joke is humans are Liars Anonymous, right? And then science says that every human lies 11 times a day. The average amount of lies is 11 a day, everyone!

KIM: Really?

LAUREN ZANDER: A day. Even if you’re like, you look beautiful, but in your mind you’re like, you look like you’ve gained 10 pounds in Italy when you were there. Right? Whatever you’re saying to yourself but what you say on the inside is different than what you’re saying on the outside, that’s lying. If you smile at someone and you really are like, I’m still mad at you from last week, that’s a lie, right? Then we wonder why we need a cocktail or why we get lost in Netflix for hours, right? We’re not in love with our very lives that we pretend we’re happy with, right? We get used to things we don’t want to get used to. We get over sex. We get more into eating. We’re not a happy society, if you just watched the rates to which people are taking Prozac. People, the world is drinking a lot, right? And overweight a lot. That’s not a happy bunch, right? It’s not because we don’t know how to actually be true to ourselves in ways that really matter. It’s because we got ourselves into very serious lying binds.

KIM: So is there a healthy line between saying everything that’s on our mind all the time?

LAUREN ZANDER: You’d be better off, right? The way people edit. The way people edit is at like on a scale of 1 to 10, most people are truly editing, right? They’re editing and just because you’re telling your best friend what you really think, but if you’re not telling the person you think it about, or dealing directly with them, you’re still a gossip and on the hook for being a liar. Most people are two faced and running double lives. I call them double agents and they’re working against their true self, right? Because your higher self would tell the truth, would ask for what you want, would not be a chicken about getting things you deserve, what you want. What you want from your husband, what you want from your kids, and then they get to talk too, right? There’s a world of people avoiding having deep intimate conversations or the only time you’re talking, as if you’re in a rant about making the other person feel wrong, like you’re wrong for doing it this way. This is not – intimacy is not right and wrong. In my book, and how I teach it, it’s two people hearing each other deeply about the stuff you don’t want to tell, the stuff you really do fear they’re gonna think or say, the stuff you’re embarrassed or ashamed of that you really do, right? Most people are not in love with each other, in love with themselves, or dealing with having lives that they love because you’d have to get that inside out. Most people are very gifted or fake on the outside and whatever is going on in that inside, you don’t even know what’s real. It’s not like I think the voice in your head is actually doing a good job. It doesn’t even know what it thinks or feels. Usually, it really doesn’t. It’s quite a little ego maniac, right? Like it’s all my fault. I don’t have to tell her. I didn’t do it. He should have done that, right? Every last thing is somebody else’s fault. And according to that voice, including why you didn’t get to the gym today.

KIM: [laughs] You’re calling me out right now. I’m staring at my recumbent bike. This is just a lesson of mine, literally from the last week about personal integrity versus public integrity. It had never occurred to me before that every time I tell myself that I’m going to get up in the morning and ride my bike and then I don’t, that’s out of integrity with myself. Well, I got to be totally honest, last night I told myself –


KIM: – that I was not getting up this morning because I was just tired and I wanted the extra sleep.

LAUREN ZANDER: Yes. But you’d be amazed that – so what I do for a person is we actually put people with accountability buddies in our program at InnerU. This whole digital online thing where you can meet other people and get together and learn all this together. What I do is I put in promises with consequences. So ready? Ready everybody. Is this true? I have a promise. I’ve been with my husband 22 years. I love my husband madly, but ask me if I would skip sex? Ba ha ha ha ha. Yes, you already heard the answer. Okay, so I have a promise to have sex twice a week with my husband and I’m accountable for it. Do you understand? It’s not his fault.

KIM: Yeah.

LAUREN ZANDER: It’s mad. And guess what? If I don’t have sex twice a week with my husband in that week. If I miss one or two times, I lose whatever episode, and you get Game of Thrones everybody. Right? Like I would lose one of my episodes of any show I’m in love with and binge watching like [laughs]

KIM: Really?

LAUREN ZANDER: Yeah. And I never get to go back and watch it again. So you can ask, did you have sex twice this week? Right. Everybody knows I have that promise, and if I don’t, I lose my television show that week. And you’re like: “When was the last time I skipped having sex twice a week?” I’m like: “I don’t.”

KIM: I can’t imagine giving up last week’s episode of Game of Thrones.


KIM: [laughing]

LAUREN ZANDER: Okay. Well, so what happens in the method? So you go: “Lauren, do you exercise?” I’m like: “Five times a week.” Right. I have three kids, running the company, and I’m still exercising five times a week.

KIM: Right. Right.

LAUREN ZANDER: Is it because I don’t have – I have a consequence if I don’t keep a promise. What I do in the method is not only do I have you figure out your dreams, like real dreams. It is a dream of mine to have a hot body and I’m 50 and you saw my little toosh. I’m not skinny, skinny. I’m like, I look great, right? I care about looking great and feeling great and I eat (like) Dr Mark Hyman, I am religious about my health and well-being. You’re like: “When was the last time you got sick?” And I’m like: “I don’t remember the year.” I don’t get sick. I had three kids, I didn’t get sick then either. I’m health monster. But I teach it and you’re like: “Do you need promises and consequences so you keep all your promises?” The answer is yes. So I teach people how to make dreams that they really care about. And then what are the easiest? What promise do you have to keep so you are being true to that? Then I’d put in consequences, right?

KIM: Right.

LAUREN ZANDER: I put in consequences that you tell other people that are funny to you. Do you think I would die if I don’t watch Game of Thrones, anyone? No.

KIM: No.

LAUREN ZANDER: And here’s another funny one. I can bite my nails. I understand it sounds pathetic. Okay. But I can bite my nails and it’s embarrassing to bite your nails for me. The only thing that stops me from biting my nails is manicures. If I get a manicure once a week or even almost twice a week, I will not bite my nails because I like how they look. Right?

KIM: Right.

LAUREN ZANDER: You goof. Lauren’s a goofball. If I get caught. If I get caught by that sister of mine, you’ve heard about her. If I get caught by my sister with shitty looking nails, 75 bucks.

KIM: Oh, wow.

LAUREN ZANDER: Right? So I can’t get caught with chewed up nails. If someone catches me with them, they get $75 and I could lose $75 three in a day. If someone goes –

KIM: Ouch.

LAUREN ZANDER: – show me your nails. Right?

KIM: Yeah. Yeah.

LAUREN ZANDER: So I want my nails to be beautiful, so I put in the consequence and then I let everybody in on the game. And so now everyone’s supporting me and we’re like “catch me if you can!” It’s fun to be that kind of culture.

KIM: You’ve got me thinking about the promises that I could have right now.

LAUREN ZANDER: When I built the company, everyone goes, well, what about rewards? Why do you have to give a consequence, not a reward? Right? The reason is because we’re already used to living without the thing, that’s a reward. So when you touch one of your vices, television, you know which one works great in America? Alcohol, right? If you have a drink every night, if you haven’t exercised, you don’t get your drink. Ha ha ha. Everybody will work out before their drink. Right? It’s like there’s a great, whatever your thing is that is your vice, use your dark side for good. That’s how I roll.

KIM: Wow. Wow.

LAUREN ZANDER: Right. Here’s another great one that’s hysterical. You’ll appreciate this if you have children. So I have three kids. I have a rule. I am not allowed to get hot. I don’t want to yell. I don’t want to be that bitch. I am not that mommy. Right. I have to use my words, right? I have to talk. I have to be calm. I can’t be vindictive or really mean and shitty. You can tell from my tone, I probably could get pretty nasty.

KIM: Yeah, you’ve got my full attention because –

LAUREN ZANDER: Yeah – yeah.

KIM: Listeners, I can be mean Mama.

LAUREN ZANDER: Exactly. Like I can scare the – I can get you to cry and I could just look at you funny.

KIM: Oh, I get the right tone  and my kids run.

LAUREN ZANDER: Oh, yeah – yeah. So I have a rule. I am never allowed to get hot. Right? And they can call me out if it feels hot. Right? I can be warm, like I’m really not hot like, but I’m not hot. And if I get called on being hot, I owe anyone, which means I get loud, right? I owe anyone in earshot, including the mailman or the cleaning lady or anyone who heard me scream, that I saw hear me scream in any way, shape or form gets 20 bucks in earshot and I have to apologize within the hour and they have to accept my apology because I gave a good apology. Not one of those like –

KIM: Fake apologies.

LAUREN ZANDER: – I only yelled because, no, no, no. I yelled because of you. [laughing]

KIM: Right.

LAUREN ZANDER: You are the reason I was so mad, but if you didn’t do that, I wanted to, no that is not an apology. No matter what. I do not have permission to make you feel that way. I do not have permission to turn into that bitch. I do not have permission and I don’t want to be that mommy, ever. There’s nothing you did that ever deserves that. I am so sorry that I was abusive and shitty with you. It’s just bad of me and would you please forgive m? The minute I even start to boil, I’d make a joke. Oh, mommy has to leave the room. I’ll be back in a minute.

KIM: Okay. I was about to ask because I’m just thinking, I just heard a story about one of my 13 year old son’s teammates who was expelled from his private school because he was making jokes about shooting people up. If that were my kid, that would be automatic hot. There wouldn’t be a warm mommy, mommy has to leave the room.


KIM: I would have more than a few four letter words.


KIM: Like, what the hell were you thinking? You know, that’s not something to be joking about and it would be 10 times decibels as that and whoa.

LAUREN ZANDER: It’s more that I personally do not believe, I don’t believe in not having a serious conversation, right? I’m not saying they’re not getting punished. I’m not saying oh, there’s a lot that will go down, but I am not going to be some crazy screamer or yeller or not like my behavior. I have employees that get in trouble and I’m not like, I’d much rather go, listen, we are in a lot of trouble because what you did didn’t work and we need to put you on probation because you…  do you understand? Oh, there’s no lack of intensity or importance going on.

KIM: Yeah – yeah.

LAUREN ZANDER: It’s just, do you really think the screaming or getting cray cray is what I nickname it, helps and I go, I never want to be that person. My mother used to be that person. There is not one moment where she ever screamed or stomped up the stairs that ever made a – I just looked, I literally could write her off because she looked insane. Like what a crazy lunatic. All I did was this. I [inaudible] so what? I [inaudible] I’m a kid, I don’t know. It’s like, but if she came in and sat down and said, “I’m really disappointed in you.” How much more effective is “I’m disappointed in you” than “Are you kidding me?”

KIM: Yeah.

LAUREN ZANDER: Yeah, one of them.

KIM: Wow. You just gave me so much perspective because I gotta be totally honest. My sister and I hit the – and using your words, we had the cray cray mom and she still is.

LAUREN ZANDER: No, no. They don’t lose that. They don’t mean to have – they, you know.

KIM: And that was [inaudible] to myself, I don’t want to be that mom. I never thought about the fact that having just the sit down, maybe strong worded but not have the decibel that the whole neighborhood can hear it if my windows are open.


KIM: I just never really thought about that. And now you’ve even gotten me thinking about quantity of sex with my husband per week and I’m thinking all the different things. And this is a very embarrassing example, in 2018 I think it would be an overestimate to say that I ate dinner with my family 10 times because my business practices were so screwed up –


KIM: – that I was eating at my desk.


KIM: More days than that. I want to think about what punishment.

LAUREN ZANDER: Consequence. I like the word –

KIM: Consequence.

LAUREN ZANDER: – consequence. Much better word.

KIM: I can give myself if I am eating dinner at my desk.

LAUREN ZANDER: Another thing you can do, which is the best use of kids.

KIM: Yeah, please?

LAUREN ZANDER: Okay, so there’s two other great promises that I kept when my kids were younger and everybody was growing up was we all had a jerk jar. There was a family jerk jar and the kid with the least amount of jerk stickies won the money at the end of the week.

KIM: Really? I love that.

LAUREN ZANDER: Right? And so we would, if Parker was a jerk, everyone who was a jerk, $5 went into the pot and the least jerky kid won the money.

KIM: Wow.

LAUREN ZANDER: Right? That was hysterically fun, right? That was hysterically fun. And it worked wonderfully because it got us all to talk about that we’re all jerks. Oh, that was Parker and they get one warning. Parker, you’re being a jerk. You want to put money in that jar because you’re a jerk, right? You’re up to three. There really was allowance. We actually had allowance so they were losing their allowance. We used to play with money and a jerk jar and who could win the jerk jar for the three kids, right? Who could win the money at the end of the week? They got called on it and then they really would stop and so it was not bad to be – it got us all to get – we all could be jerks, right? So that was fun. Jerk jar was fun and money in the jerk.

KIM: Lauren, last night every single one of my children would have put money in the jerk jar.

LAUREN ZANDER: Exactly. But all of a sudden it starts to be normal and someone wins least jerk of the week.

KIM: Yeah.


KIM: I think we are implementing a jerk jar tonight too. Oh my gosh.

LAUREN ZANDER: Mommies and daddies are jerks, too. David and I used to put money in if we did our thing. So the other thing you can do is this – I have a promise because I’m a workaholic. I have a promise that I have to spend an hour a week with one of the kids alone doing whatever the hell they want. Right?

KIM: I love it.

LAUREN ZANDER: Because I just want to do what I want to do on my free time, right? What a jerk mommy, right? So I take Daisy to go get, she loves getting her nails done. So my youngest and I always go get our nails done every week. I take my son to one of my workouts with me, right? My 15 year old comes to that. My daughter, we played together, we hang out together, but I need promises or else I will not be fulfilling on my dreams. I will be overachieving in the three areas I overachieve in and underachieving in the other areas. Then what happens in The Handel Method is you really have to design out your whole life and learn personal integrity to be true to that vision. It’s so much better than leaving it up to your little brain who always prefers to be lazy and comfortable and excuse shit, except for where it overachieves.

KIM: Yeah. Lauren, I am curious and –


KIM: – I understand if we need to sign up to work with you to find out what the different 12 areas are, but would you be able to share the 12 areas with us?

LAUREN ZANDER: Of course, but the funny part is, can I remember all the 12 while I’m just listing them? There’s money, career, relationship to self, spirituality, vices, family, love, which includes sex, friendships, community, fun and adventure and learning.

KIM: Wow.


KIM: Yeah.

LAUREN ZANDER: Huh? There’s one more. I can’t think of it right now, but these are your – I swear there’s one more everybody, you know. When you do community, like the fun of caring about your community in the world, your friends, your – where is it? Okay, now I’m going to just, I’m going to stop looking at this list because I wrote it down as I was running through it. Ha ha ha. I don’t know. I want to see if I have a client homework anywhere I could look, anyway, forget it. I won’t. I mean, if you guys, I have a book and then I have a program that are my cheapest ways to get into coaching, right? Where the book is obviously easy to download or buy. You can literally listen to it and it goes through the whole method and my basic homework, really. It gives stories and examples of homeworks and it’s life altering. It took me 20 years before I put out my first book, right? I waited to learn the method and develop the method before I decided to write the book. Then I’ve been teaching this around the world and other people have been teaching it. It’s really something you can learn and practice and it will change your perception of what it is to be alive. You’ll also be fulfilling on your own dreams. Most people, when you have to write a spiritual dream, you’d be amazed at how many people – when they read a spiritual dream – all they write is, I don’t believe in religion or I was raised Catholic. That’s not spirituality. Spirituality is the mystery of being alive. Where do you think you come from? What do you think is true? Why are there all these religions? If you love your religion, love your religion, rock on. Right? But what’s spirit? Don’t write-off an area.

KIM: Right.

LAUREN ZANDER: Right? Most people have never even explored a vision or a dream for themselves, for their life with friendships. For example, I’m the type of person that only has two good friends, but it’s really a bummer because one lives in New Mexico. Do you want to be someone who has friends? Do you want to make friends? Do you want to have a rich community? You want to have a posse of girls. Most people never ask themselves what would their dreams be? They just think they are born into these personalities or these styles that they’re stuck with or adjusting to. I don’t believe in that. I think if you haven’t answered or dealt with what I teach, you haven’t even begun to love yourself.

KIM: If you could hear the gears in my brain spinning right now, they’d be deafening to you.

LAUREN ZANDER: Ah! Well you, first of all, anyone who’s doing podcasts in the world, I coach for free and as long as you bring me back on, if you start doing the work,you bring me back on in six months and we do another episode on what you’re learning. I’m game. I think podcasts are the new radio stations in the world. I love that you’re reaching people and that people care about listening to everything you’re teaching and making sure they get it, so I think you are the bomb. I would love to like I give away my coaching to everyone who’s leading podcasts. I do. They don’t always take me up on it at all because I’m a little scammy.

KIM: Lauren, I will take you up on it. You can kick my ass. Okay. Because you –

LAUREN ZANDER: I, as you can imagine, I will.

KIM: Yes. Which is why I’m tired of the gentle, treat me kindly and try to gently coerce me, if that was working.

LAUREN ZANDER: Yes. No, that is not me. My style is literally promises and consequences. I’m coming for your cookie at night. Right? I’m coming for whatever you think makes you happy. Yeah. We’re going to make you really happy by getting you to deal with what really would blow your mind. Just so you know, I’ve coached some of the most famous people in the world. Hugh Jackman regularly. Alicia Keys. The CEO of Live Nation. It’s an $18 billion organization that runs all the concerts in the world and TicketMaster. I coach these people and you’re like, “They do this method?” Yes!

KIM: I love it!

LAUREN ZANDER: Yes. Promises and consequences. Making sure they’re like really dreaming in all areas of their life, like no shit. Right? Everybody needs this.

KIM: Wow. I’m just mind blown. Okay. Yes. Sign me up! Listeners, be prepared!


KIM: Six months or we’ll figure out our schedule and then you’re going to hear about this.

LAUREN ZANDER: I love it. Oh my goodness, you know who’s going to be super excited about this though? Your husband. Your husband. [laughing]

KIM: [laughing]

LAUREN ZANDER: Oh my god. That is my funniest joke. This is the joke that everybody makes about me. It’s like something weird starts to happen when I started coaching in the couple, like start coaching one. The first experience is like they’ve changed my person, there’s this new weird remote control happening. She’s doing different things or he’s doing different things, they’re like “What happened and who’s in my bedroom?” Then they’re like grateful but like slightly weirded out that it could happen so quickly?

KIM: Yeah.

LAUREN ZANDER: Right? Because people have adjusted that change is hard. People think no one’s changing.Rather than change him out is one conversation away.

KIM: Well, I think sometimes my husband, and I’m sorry, I know we’re going long, but I think sometimes my husband thinks that our life is still like it was eight years ago when we didn’t have businesses and we didn’t have all these extra kids, because he tried waking me up last weekend, four o’clock in the morning. I’m like: “Dude, it’s four o’clock in the morning and I had been sleeping for three hours.”


KIM: Do Not Wake Me Up, are you serious? [laughing]


KIM: But if it was on the schedule like that and I don’t want it to be planned, you know what I’m trying to say –


KIM: – boring, but when I know that that’s what I’m going to do, then I know that that’s what I’m going to do and I don’t have to get woken up at five o’clock in the morning for it during my happy sleepy time.

LAUREN ZANDER: I really want you to know that planning sex is not unsexy. Right? Like every affair is like: “I’ll meet you at the hotel on Thursday night.” I have no idea what people are talking about, “Thursday night, you and me baby!”

KIM: Yeah.

LAUREN ZANDER: Right? Like shut up people! That is not how you get to the gym. That is not how a business runs. You don’t want to see if your kid gets their homework done. You want them to get their homework done. We do not really believe in let it flow, right? We like integrity. When there’s a place in your life you don’t have it, it’s missing, right? Is your sex life hot, sexy and happening frequently? And if your answer is no, you’re missing integrity. Is your body making you proud and you feel sexy? If your answer is no, you don’t have integrity. Is your relationship with your kids making you proud and happy. If your answer is no, you don’t have integrity. That means you’re not hanging out enough, having conversations, knowing each other. It’s like actions are the only thing that changes things and the odds are if you’re unhappy in an area, you’re not taking the right actions. It’s not negotiable. You’re divorced. You want a new boyfriend or girlfriend, and you don’t have one, I promise you’re not dating enough. How do you date? You get on the sites. How do you get dates from being on the site? You practice.

KIM: Right.

LAUREN ZANDER: How much, right? So everything can really be solved with the right plan. If something isn’t working in your life, you don’t have a dream or a plan for it.

KIM: Wow. Okay. I’m ready for you to kick my butt.

LAUREN ZANDER: Oh ho…let’s do this.

KIM: Listeners, stay tuned, but in the meantime, I want you to share the ahas that you have gotten and what you want to know more about in the show notes for this episode, which you can find at thekimsutton.com/pp574 so again, thekimsutton.com/pp574. Lauren, seriously –


KIM: – my mind is blown when you were going through those 12 and now I’m just thinking, okay, that one’s not so good. That one’s not so good. That one’s not so good.


KIM: Okay. I know where – and I know I can’t even see the full picture, but –


KIM: – yeah. Oh, whoa. Why is that? I can’t wait to start, could you share again where listeners can get in touch and learn more?

LAUREN ZANDER: Well, so what I’m gonna have you do and what I’m going to have them do is this – I just launched for the second time because I rebuilt it on all the notes of everything I wanted to fix on the first four years of this product. I rebuilt InnerU.coach and any of your listeners who hit your code will get $75 off. It’s a lifetime program – so if I ever do an upgrade or two, and trust me I upgrade shit and add shit all the time – you’ll get it for free once you pay to be in the community, it’s yours for life. You get a buddy, we run free, like I show up once a month and lead classes there. I develop new content. I play games on there. You get accountability buddies, it’s called Inner.U and it’s 12 sessions. There is homework and what’s called a promise tracker so you can track your promises and your accountability buddy can see them whether they’re in this group or not. It’s like I built a beautiful techno system to do my coaching process. For those of you who would like to make new friends that are into this kind of thing, wait until you see how great the community is online, right? You will meet great people from all over the world and so please come to that InnerU.coach

KIM: InnerU.coach. Fabulous and that will be in the show notes. I cannot wait to jump in!


KIM: Oh my gosh!

LAUREN ZANDER: That’s what you will listen to, then you’ll do the first (homework), I’ll tell you what to do. I’ll have Jill set you up and then you and I will get together.

KIM: Fabulous.


KIM: Now Lauren, do you have a parting piece of advice or a golden nugget that you can offer to listeners for this conversation? I can’t wait to have Part 2 with you.

LAUREN ZANDER: My favorite thing that people don’t get that it’s like, if I were sitting with someone and all I had was 10 minutes with you, I would hunt down the one promise that if you made to yourself and got an accountability buddy with that one promise and you put in a consequence, it would radically change your life, right? It could be go to bed by 11. It could be to only have two glasses of wine. It could be don’t eat after seven. What promise could you make right now that you know you need to make that would change your life? Do it for six weeks and make it with another person. My parting advice is change something!