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Unleashing Abundance And Doing Service with Julie Lineberger
This is the show that dives into conversations about going beyond who we are as leaders through the lens of vulnerability because sometimes we feel alone and we fall. When we feel alone, when we fall or when we feel alone when we arrive, we understand that we’re all together. We’re all one. My mission is to connect us all at our core level of humanity as leaders. Perhaps we can lose the idea of status and gain the idea of kindness and connection. Your life begins where your ego ends. With the beyond ego mindset, we recognize that opportunity is a possibility. If you’re reading this, you’re now called OnBeyonders. This is our tribe of individuals who are ready to up level with personal and professional freedom. You’re going to do that with our guest, Julie Lineberger. Julie, you’re in luck because this episode’s theme is abundance and service. Julie, how are you doing?
I’m very well. Thank you, Elizabeth.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do every day to go beyond?
Some days it’s getting up in the morning. Like you, I feel excited. I’ve been given the opportunity to create and grow two businesses. My first business is LineSync Architecture, which is a sustainable green firm in Southern Vermont. That started in 1988 when green was still a color. With LineSync Architecture, we go beyond by trying to stay on that edge with which we were founded. We’re trying to always push the social responsibility envelope in terms of what we spec for the houses and buildings. We did a ski lodge, a school and a bank. We keep pushing the envelope on the sustainability of what we need to have sustainable buildings as a culture of humanity. My second business as a start off from that is called Wheel Pad. It’s a 200-square-foot eco-friendly, sustainable, accessible bedroom and bathroom that can attach to an existing home. There are many people with mobility issues who are languishing in facilities or the living rooms of their own homes because their homes are not accessible. With the advances that we have in medicine and the lengths of people’s lives, more and more people are dealing with mobility issues. Wheel Pad is about inclusion and accessibility about including people with mobility issues into everyday family life.
You and I met and we both got an award. We were recognized by Leading Women Entrepreneurs. I won in 2018 as Brandpreneur and you got the big award there. What was that award?
It was called the Socialpreneur Award. It was the first Socialpreneur Award and it was a joint venture between Leading Women Entrepreneurs and Woman’s Day Magazine. I was quite honored to do that. Someone had sent me a Facebook message and said, “Julie, Wheel Pad needs to apply for this,” so I did. It helped to pass on the message of inclusion and Wheel Pad and the importance of having all of our buildings be accessible.
I was at that event and there were many powerful women in the room, maybe 100 to 150. Julie got up and she was the one woman that I wanted to meet there. She spoke at my TEDxHobokenWomen event and she did a great job. Now, we’re connected for life and you inspire me. You inspire many people, which is why our theme is about abundance and it’s about being of service. As a professional development coach for many powerful women out there, I always try to tell my clients to be of service when we’re fearful. When we’re thinking, we’re not getting ahead and when we’re not in the right place, it’s always great to remember what our purpose is. What are we here for? I believe that you’ve hit it on the nail. You’re working in service for people and you’re then seeing abundance.
You have such a wonderful story about building these modular homes for people with disabilities and you’re changing people’s lives. The idea of going beyond itself, it’s about owning your vulnerability and weakness. You sparked something for me about the green movement. We all know what green means and you said something, “I started this when green was just a color.” I’m sure you had a few obstacles and struggles along the way with egos that would tell you that you couldn’t do what you were doing at that point. Do you have stories to tell with us about how you met with certain egos? How you went beyond to overcome any obstacle in your way with that green movement in the beginning?
My daughter and I were talking about the difference between wealth and abundance. A lot of people have wealth, but they still don’t feel abundance. They don’t share the philosophy of abundance because abundance is not only about the financial and material gains that people have, but it’s also about how they live their lives. How do they do it? You can’t eat money. Abundance is not only about making sure you and your family and everything is living with this abundance of joy and energy and the material wealth that you need to maintain, but also in sharing that. There are many wealthy people that don’t feel abundance. Therefore, they don’t feel like they have anything extra to share or even energy. What you’re doing is an energy that you’re sharing to people. It’s one of joy and abundance and support. There are many wealthy people that don’t have that abundance. That was an interesting topic my daughter and I were having.
We want to talk to those wealthy people because we want to be able to transform their energy and their mindset to go beyond the ego, go beyond the money, go beyond the green per se. Understand that perhaps it’s not about what’s in your pocket, but what’s in your heart. You started this movement before green was green and it was a color. What were some of the obstacles that you faced? I know that our audience wants to know how to get beyond that wall.There’s a difference between wealth and abundance. A lot of people have wealth, but they still don't feel abundant. Click To Tweet
We decided when we graduated from graduate school, my husband and I in architecture. I’ve worked in international development, but I figured I could run a company as well. We moved to Southern Vermont and we had all of our ideals that the architecture firm is known for overworking their interns, not paying them or paying them a pittance and making them work 60 to 80 hours a week. We said, “We’re going to pay our interns hourly so that we don’t look over their shoulders to make sure your 40 hours and that they don’t feel they’re being abused.” Everything we spec is going to be energy efficient. We’re going to go back to the old ways. That it’s not about putting on solar panels, it’s not about wind energy. It’s about conservation. It’s about passive solar and insulation and making it so energy is not required rather than adding on these bells and whistles for energy. We said that we were going to be involved with the community. That we would be involved with schools to inspire good design. Not necessarily only at houses, but in businesses, in community centers and good design in the way one lives their life.
What were some of the obstacles you faced while you were doing those things? It’s all fine and dandy. You can sit here and tell our audience, “We did this and we did that,” and roll off a bunch of bullet points about how great you were. It’s not about how great we are. It’s about how great we are when we overcome what we’re faced with and it’s important to share. What was your biggest mess up in life?
The obstacle was everyone laughing at us. Everyone told us that we were naïve. That we didn’t know what we were talking about with predictions that we would be out of this within a couple of years. Joseph and I looked at each other and said, “No, because that’s the way they’ve done business.” People love to have you do things the way they did it to reinforce themselves so we went with it. People laughed at us and interns at first weren’t sure. People we employed were like, “What do you mean you’re not going to pay a salary? You’re going to pay us hourly?” We paid everyone hourly. We live in a resort area. If there’s an emergency ski day, we wouldn’t want to be looking over someone’s shoulder and saying, “Did you get your 40 hours in?” We made these policies. At first, it was a struggle. Now people love it. We always have a waiting list of people wanting to work for us.
In going beyond, you went beyond the norm and the traditional mindset. Most people don’t understand that beyond mindset let alone how to go beyond. They are comfortable. The idea that I’m putting out there, the truth I’m sharing with people like yourself and with your stories inspiring our audience. It’s about understanding the uncomfort that comes with breaking beyond the normal. How did you feel at first when people were laughing at you? It was an insecure moment.
It was a pit in the stomach. I was like, “Are we naïve?” I’m from California. I get called naïve all the time and I smile. Even in serious business meetings, I smile. That was a little bit of a trigger, but we went for it. We had the two of us that was good. We also found this amazing organization called Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, which is the most active BSR in the entire country. There I found a group, I found support. I had to look for it, but I found support for our principles. In terms of the architectural firm, we wanted to do everything to remain sustainable. Our clients were worried that they were being taken advantage of or that it was going to cost more money and this and that.
It’s like eating organic, “It’s going to cost more,” but you’re eating healthier. Everything has a fine balance.
Then you have fewer doctor bills. We worked with this one client who was like, “I don’t know about that. I don’t want it. Make it regular.” We stuck to our guns. We were a young firm and we said, “This is what our practice is. If you want us to do this project, then it will have to be with sustainable features.” We had to push our clients for him to go beyond.
Julie has something going. I live in a building. I’m working overlooking the Lady Liberty on the Hudson River over the harbor. I’m in a green sustainable building. I’m on the 24th floor. It gets windy out here. It is in the middle of winter, but I am warm here even with low heat. In my other building where I also lived on the water, it was not green and I was freezing. My bills were about $230 a month during both the winter and the summer for heating and AC. Here, it’s been about maybe $20 to $40. Julie has something with this green sustainable model. As you’ve grown your business, you’ve understood that the people that don’t want to invest more, they’re not your clients.
That’s a hard thing to do when you’re starting out your business. Everyone defines who their clientele is going to be and then you get someone that you either have to push them beyond their ego so they don’t feel they’re getting taken advantage of or you have to capitulate yourself.
It’s the entrepreneurial process. It’s the up and the down.Love is a universal energy that courses through and connects most profoundly to all. Click To Tweet
This particular client decided to go with us anyway. By our ninth project with this client, he has a hedge fund in New York City. We were redoing his hedge fund. He gave us carte blanche and said, “Do whatever you want.” There was a brown out in New York City and this man’s brother is also a trader. His brother calls him up and he says, “Roy, what are you doing?” Roy says, “I’m trading.” He says, “How can you be trading? There’s a brownout.” Roy laughs and his brother said, “Your effing Vermont architects.” That one-day trading when other people couldn’t because Roy believes in us, let us push him beyond his ego. He then made more money in that one day to cover not only the cost of our fee but of the cost of the entire renovation. Now we’re on our seventeenth project with him. We pushed him to a place that it’s better for the world.
I know that there are many people out there reading, whether they’re an executive working in an office or they’re an entrepreneur out there trying to find out, “What is my audience? What is my target?” They go out there and they find out, “That’s not my audience at all.”
You have to pivot and find out. The second thing I want to say about that whole process is to be strong, but there’s something else that you have been promoting. We are very strong but we are very kind. We never put anyone down because we don’t feel that’s the way to get what you want. That is an old model, the bullying model. For us, we catch more bees with honey on a stick. We feel that as we promote what we believe is good for the world, which is the community, which is sustainability, which is people and how we treat our employees. We don’t ever want to put anyone down for where they are. They’re in a different spot, but we do what we do with kindness because we like to be happy and people aren’t happy when they’re doing all that.
Some people are just mean. What Julie is referring to is my new book called The Kind Communicator. It’s out on Amazon, Kindle and iTunes. It’s a wonderful book for business professionals and leaders in general to find the compassionate leadership style that is within you that we don’t necessarily practice and we don’t necessarily know because we’re not taught those ways. We’re taught to go above and beyond and work harder. They make their interns work hard. You can’t do that anymore. Millennials are way too smart. They want to do what they want to do. There’s a certain fine balance between entitlement and being humble and working smart and getting your feet wet. It is about being kind and being a kind communicator is something that is not necessarily a snap of the fingers to do. It’s a step-by-step process. I have a whole mentorship available to anyone who is looking at themselves and maybe is a wealthy leader out there that is not thinking in those terms of kind communication. It is attainable and it does lead to a better life. You allowed yourself to kindly communicate your vision to this man. You’re on your seventeenth project with him who has given you the honor and the opportunity to help him grow as a person and as a leader in his field.
It’s spun all the way around.
You’ve changed people’s lives. What’s your greatest piece of advice to others who have an idea that also wants to change lives, but is hitting a wall like your green wall? People making fun of you and laughing at you, what is your advice to them to overcome and bring that idea to fruition?
Every morning or evening or whenever, once a day, visualize how you will feel and then feel it when you attain your goal. Keep visualizing it. Keep telling your body, your mind, your spirit, “This is where you are.” Your body, mind, spirit and the entire universe helps you get there, that visualization and understanding. The first few times you do it, it’s like, “This is funny. This is fake.” By the fifteenth time you do it, you’re starting to believe it and when you believe it and your body, mind, and spirit believes it, it slowly happens. Your question at the very beginning was, “How do you feel? What are you doing?” There are days still after many years that if I get up in the morning, put one foot in front of the other, brush my teeth and get out of bed, it’s an accomplishment and I have to allow myself those days.
We have to give ourselves permission to do small tasks with serenity and guidance. You are right, it’s that visualization. For my OnBeyonders, Julie, you’re an OnBeyonder now. This is our new tribe of OnBeyonders. Not everyone has the beauty of looking at the Lady Liberty or living out in Vermont and the snow is falling down. If you’re out in a place that you don’t have the visualization in front of you, it’s a mindset. I have a gratitude painting that I asked my friend to paint. I have Buddhas. I have little rocks. I have an antique typewriter. I have a salt rock lamp. It’s these little reminders that we can have within our home, on our desk, on our bedside that provides that reminder to ourselves to have that visualization. Give yourself the permission to let go and to find that abundance however small that may be. One of my life mentors, my favorite author is Wayne Dyer. He passed on so much great information over his lifetime from books and live events and videos. He had a quote that I thought was relevant to you and this episode’s theme. He said, “Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into.”
Julie, you’ve tapped into abundance. You’re changing the lives of those in wheelchairs and all of the sustainable projects that you’ve gotten people to go from a place of laughing at you to laughing with you. Toasting to seventeen projects to being on a mission with a theme of abundance and tuning into that. I appreciate you being on this show and sharing your service to our OnBeyonders. You just have so much more to give in this world and you’re going to be doing great things. Hopefully, one day you’ll be doing big projects for all of us. Until that moment, I want to ask you a few things. Let’s have a little fun here. If you had a music intro to your board meetings at one of the architecture firms that you would walk into, what song would play?
It would be something about joy and finding joy. I’ll put it on a Facebook page.
I’ll tell you a funny story about that. While I was doing my business, I teamed up with a digital agency and I was doing sales. I was a digital sales director and brought in $1.2 million. We were doing all these big deals. One day out of nowhere, my sales director came in and he said, “What is everybody’s song? We’re starting with a song.” Here I am, this little yogi. I start my days with meditation and yoga and your visualization tactics. I was listening to piano music so I didn’t know what he was talking about. I was like, “Opus 23 by Dustin O’Halloran.” He played my song first and it was this piano song. I didn’t know what he was talking about, but everybody else was like, “Hell’s bells.” How they start the day, I was taken back. I wasn’t embarrassed, but it was a funny day because everyone was going for Guns N’ Roses and this and that and here’s mine by Dustin O’Halloran. Julie, if you had an autobiography, what would it be called? What does your heart say? Say something fun. What does your architectural vision say?
My heart says love because there’s this universal energy that courses through all of us and it connects us most profoundly. When I tap into that whether it be with my children, my business, my visions, my future, when I tap into that love, there are countless ways of expressing that. It sounds cuckoo coming from a businesswoman for some people, but to me, that is the core.
I’m going to open that book of love for you and dive in. What are you curious about in life?
I am curious about what this entire podcast is about. What is it that helps people get over their obstacles to live in that point of interconnectedness with all sentient beings? What is it that can move, whether it’s someone’s struggling with wealth issues or someone who’s struggling with, “I’m not enough issues,” or someone who’s starting a business or someone who’s successful in these days’ US culture terms, but is still feeling lonely or alone or unsure of themselves? What is it that we can do not only to motivate, but to support people through to being their best selves and contributing to this ever-advancing civilization of humankind?
It’s a curiosity for all of us, which is why I decided to go on this mission to share Beyond Ego and talk about ego healthily. Everyone is usually scared of the word, but I feel like it can be a collaboration and connectedness. I talk a lot about connectedness versus separateness in my book, The Kind Communicator. It is having the opportunity to abandon the fear and to discuss these things with someone like myself who’s a personal professional business coach. You wouldn’t necessarily talk about these things with your wife or your husband or your colleagues because we’re scared. We’re scared of feeling less than or not good enough. When we tap into that energy and we look within, this is why it’s about going beyond. A lot of us are going 24/7 on a cycle, but what if we stopped? What if we went beyond? The word beyond means something so different to all of us and that’s the magic of what we’re putting out there. I know that they learned so much from you. If there’s someone reading this who wants to get into the green movement, they’re going to contact you. If they want to learn more about Wheel Pad, they’re going to search you or listen to your TEDx Talk. Her TEDx Talk is in TEDxHobokenWomen 2018.
I hope too that these business schools tap into this entire thing that you’re talking about.
If you’re in a business school, message Julie or message me. Is there anything that I haven’t asked you that you want to share with us about ego, abundance or service?
They all go together. Taming the ego, unleashing the abundance and doing it all through service makes for a wonderful life.
Julie, you’ve been an incredible guest. It’s such a blessing to be here with you. I hope everyone checks out her business and talk to her about their vision of green and sustainability. It’s not about solar panels, it’s not about wind energy. It’s about conservation, connection and community. The more we can understand that, the more we can get rid of our fears about investments in money and understand that when we go beyond and maybe invest in that green movement, we get what we deserve and even more. I’m in a green building on the 24th floor. On some days, it can be windy but I’m as warm as a little pie in the oven. We’ve come to the sun setting on this episode. I ask you to ponder the thoughts that Julie shared and welcome abundance and joy and service into your life. If you’re looking to make that happen and need a business coach or consultant, you can visit me at ElizabethBarryConsulting.com. You can follow me on LinkedIn for tips on living what I call the life fulfilled. Don’t forget to join our BeyondEgo Facebook Group. Let’s go beyond.
- Julie Lineberger
- LineSync Architecture
- Wheel Pad
- Leading Women Entrepreneurs
- Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility
- The Kind Communicator
- The Kind Communicator on Kindle
- The Kind Communicator on iTunes
- LinkedIn – Elizabeth Barry’s LinkedIn
- BeyondEgo – Facebook page