MDH 65 | Empathy

MDH 65 | Empathy


It’s easy to talk about buzzwords like motivation and resilience, but without proper action steps, they are fruitless. Joining Victoria Wieck is Asia’s #1 Business Coach, Daniel Tolson. In this episode, Daniel defines emotional intelligence and empathy and their impact on sales. He also breaks down the four fears business owners have that hinder them from success and counters them with tips to help you overcome and deliver. Plus, Daniel shares actionable, achievable goals to help you translate emotional intelligence and motivation into your life. Get a look into Daniel’s inspiring journey from overcoming learning disabilities to now helping others succeed by tuning in.

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Daniel Tolson On Emotional Intelligence, Empathy, And Overcoming Fear in Sales

I’m so excited to share this time with you with an amazing business coach. In fact, he is Asia’s number one business coach specializing in emotional intelligence. Ladies and gentlemen, can we all agree that we all need more emotional intelligence? The world would be a better place if we all exercised more emotional intelligence. I want to introduce you to Daniel Tolson. I’m going to have him explain a little bit about himself and his amazing journey. This is where I’m going to have him speak to you about it directly. He has an amazing story that’s very powerful. Daniel, welcome to the show.

Thank you for having me here. It’s a great pleasure.

Tell my audience a little bit about your journey and specifically all of the learning disabilities, fear, and limiting beliefs that you have had to overcome yourself, which has fueled your passion for helping other people overcome similar obstacles. Tell me a little bit about yourself.

I remember running at school in the school carnivals. I will be running, and my knees will collapse. My mom would be saying, “Daniel, what is going on?” I said, “I don’t know. My legs collapsed.” At age eleven, one day, I came home. I stood in front of my mom at home, and my whole body collapsed. She said, “Daniel, it was like a bag of bones on the ground. You collapsed. We started to get some medical treatment. We noticed that your hips are out of alignment. Your spine and neck were twisted. They discovered the platelets in the cranium were pushing down on the left and right hemispheres of the brain. That was giving you all those constant nosebleeds that you had.”

As I started to do these checkups, they realized that I was visually impaired. Albeit I had a 20/20 vision, I still couldn’t see properly. I was going for music lessons and constantly make mistakes playing the guitar. I was repeating mistakes over and over again. They realized I was tone-deaf. I’ve got diagnosed with a linear sequential learning disability. It was one of these interesting disabilities where you could see everything on the blackboard at school but when you write it down, nothing matched on the paper. When I would read what was on my paper, it was all jumbled up.

I could remember the kids laughing at me, and the teachers started to think, “Maybe there’s something wrong.” The teachers did some work with me, and then I was diagnosed with a linear sequential learning disability. For five years, I sat in remedial therapy. I remember going to one special school. They sent me down with a big piece of butcher’s paper. I was probably about twelve. All the other kids were about age five. I knew there was something wrong.

All I had to do in this room was to draw a figure eight on a piece of paper. By doing this, it was supposed to be re-aligning the left and right hemispheres of the brain. I was doing that, and this went on for five years. After five years of remedial therapy, I’ve got Epstein-Barr Virus, chronic fatigue, and teenage chickenpox. I dropped out of school and never finished school. In the following two years, I had reconstructive knee surgeries. The first nineteen years of my life were a mess.

MDH 65 | Empathy

Empathy: Once you figure out what doesn’t work, you find the one thing that works, and you start to put all of your energy into that. That’s why you need the resiliency because you’re going to fail a lot, and you’ve got to keep getting up. You just can’t stop.


That’s what makes it amazing because most people could have and would have given up. It would have been so tempting and easy to limit yourself and say, “It’s because I have physical limitations, and I can’t think clearly. It’s because something is wrong with my brain. I was medically diagnosed. I’m doing the best I can. I’m doing great for people that are disabled.” It wasn’t enough for you. You decided that nothing was going to stop you, and you were still going to find your maximum potential.

You found a formula that worked. I’m sure that there were a lot of professionals that helped you along the way. If you, the patient, aren’t willing to work with that and experiment and be constantly in search of excellence, you wouldn’t have come to where you are now. The word emotional intelligence is something that seems to be a lot of people are now using as buzzwords. In your opinion, what is it? Why do we need it? How does it help you get ahead in life?

It’s a buzzword, and people throw it around. We’ve got to get back to the roots of it. It’s being street-smart. That’s what it is. My parents were pawnbrokers. They bought and sold secondhand goods. We used to buy and sell secondhand jewelry. My parents were not formally educated. My father was a farmer. My mother was a hairdresser. They were street-smart. They could read people. They also knew their strengths and weaknesses. When we look at emotional intelligence, it’s being street-smart. We can use that intelligence in business and get rewarded for it.

Dr. Daniel Goleman said, “Emotional intelligence contributes to 58% of your success in your daily life. It’s a huge contributor to success.” When we look at somebody who is confident, confidence is a part of emotional intelligence. Imagine trying to do a business, and you lacked confidence. Imagine trying to do a business, and you don’t believe in yourself, and you are comparing yourself to other people.

What happens is you feel worthless. You don’t feel that you deserve the good things, so you don’t take action. The first part of emotional intelligence is that self-awareness, “Who am I? What are my strengths? What are my limitations?” Instead of focusing on what is wrong with you, you focus on your strengths. What we say is, “What you focus on grows.” You focus on your strengths and apply to them. That’s where you start to grow your business around that strength.

That’s interesting because you say that something like 58% of your emotional intelligence is directly responsible for your success. I would argue that’s 80%. I have a Master’s degree and all that, which I don’t use. Thank God. I had to unlearn how to do that. When you say the word street-smart, how do people get street-smart? In my opinion, it’s people that have a pulse on other people’s emotions.

If you look at a customer and you are going on about something, and your customer is staring at you like blank-stare, somebody who is street-smart is going to go, “I have lost this person. I need to get back on track.” Where somebody with a PhD in Communications might go, “I’m doing fine. This person doesn’t understand. They don’t realize that the customer is what matters to you.”

If there is no empathy, there is no sale. People are 100% emotional when it comes to purchasing.

I tell people in marketing, “If you can’t convince a fifth-grader, then you have lost it. The fancier words you use, somebody you are talking to is either confused or they have to look up a word in the dictionary, that’s each and every opportunity to lose a customer for good. If they don’t understand you, they are not going to buy anything from you.”

Street smart is having a pulse and understanding how to read body language. It understands when I say, “Daniel, welcome.” We shake hands, and everything is great. All of a sudden, he started staring at you. You know he is either confused or he doesn’t like what you are saying. He is not interested or something else is distracting him. You don’t have his attention. You’ve got to do something right.

A street-smart person would be pivoting and thinking about, “When was the last time he was smiling at me? When was the last time he seemed so excited?” and you want to go back. On TV, we do this all the time. We have to read the screen. The host is talking in your ear like, “When you set a soccer mom, all the phone lines in California went through the roof.” I would pivot, “When I took my daughter to the soccer games, you keep on doing this.”

Street-smart is not something you have to go get a degree on. It’s caring more about people and understanding your plan. That’s an important part. I don’t have any problems with people who have all these academic degrees. A lot of times, when you get that, you hide behind those papers, certificates or whatever you’ve got thinking that you are on a higher-playing ground or that what you are saying is intelligent. I feel like some people lose something in the process of getting all those degrees.

What you are talking about is empathy. Empathy is the ability to read other people’s emotional makeup. That comes through sensory acuity. I will unpack what you are saying. You have heard the voice in your ear. It’s soccer moms. A lot of people hear soccer moms. It will go in one ear and out the other but you’ve got that sensory awareness to say, “This is emotionally interesting to people.” You focus on that. Also, it’s hearing that and saying, “This is important to others.”

What people don’t understand about empathy is that if there is no empathy, there are no sales. People are 100% emotional when it comes to purchasing. We become logical in the left brain, and we make the decision in the right brain. When you find those little things, you drill down into them. It’s like following that seam of gold. It might only be an inch wide but it could go a mile-deep into the Earth.

Daniel has written a few books. My favorite is the Mental Detox. He has another book called How To Win a Sales Now. They go both hand-in-hand. A lot of people who teach you how to gain sales will teach you all these manipulation tactics on digital media, digital space, or all the marketing buzzwords. Whenever you are doing marketing campaigns, even advertising or giving a speech, when you don’t have empathy, and you are not authentic, it shows through. Believe me. Those people that are buying from you know when you are full of BS, and you have never cared about anybody. If you learn all these buzzwords, they know.

MDH 65 | Empathy

Empathy: If we’re optimistic about our future and believe in what we can achieve, we become more resilient.


If people don’t like and trust you and don’t think that you care about them, they are not going to buy anything. In America, we have a 30-day money-back guarantee for everything. You are not going to do it. It’s caring about what other people think and always having that pulse. It’s caring enough to know their temperature when they are angry, starving or confused. What you are asking is to invest time to understand that.

In that sense, people like you and me with learning disabilities had to work extra hard. Back then, in the 1970s, when I left, we were second-class citizens to men. I watched my mom watch body language in a room. I watched my mom and grandmother not only pay attention to what was said in the room but also what was left unsaid in the room. Between that and my learning disability, I’ve got pretty good at being quiet and a great active listener.

That’s something that our society needs more than ever before. Daniel, let me get back to overcoming fear, the lack of confidence, and courage. It’s all these things that limit not only your beliefs and performance but also your potential. Give me 2 or 3 tips on how we can handle this. You could go to Daniel’s website. It’s Share with us a few nuggets here.

The first step is self-awareness. Self-awareness is being able to name the fear that you are experiencing. We say, “If you can’t name it, you can’t tame it.” There are four fears that are going to be triggered when you start your business. The first one is the fear of being taken advantage of. If you are experiencing the fear of being taken advantage of, you won’t be asking for help. You will hear messages from experts and authorities. You won’t ask for help because you are afraid of being taken advantage of.

The second one is you will feel the fear of rejection. Rejection comes when you are about to stand up, pitch your product and service. You will say, “I don’t want people to disagree with me and say no.” You experience that fear of rejection. Thirdly, it’s the fear of losing your stability. Many people who have got a side hustle are afraid to go all-in because they say, “What if I try then lose my financial stability?” They get stuck in their comfort zone.

The fourth one is the fear of trying and then making a mistake. They say, “What if I try and make a mistake? What will people think of me if I have a temporary failure? My whole world is going to fall apart.” The first part is self-awareness. The second part is being able to regulate these fears. That’s the key thing. When it comes to regulation, one fear that’s triggered can impact your performance for four hours. You may get the fear you triggered, and then for the following four hours, you are like a deer in the headlights. You have frozen and you are not productive. All business virtually stops.

Thirdly, you need to have resiliency. In business, you are going to fall over many times. The majority of the things that you do are never going to work but I can promise you that 1 thing out of 100 that you do will pay back so handsomely. It’s like you’ve got more than half a billion dollars in sales. I bet the majority of things at the start didn’t work.

If you can’t name it, you can’t tame it.

Eventually, once you figure out what doesn’t work, you find the one thing that does work, and you start to put all of your energy into that. That’s why you need resiliency because you are going to fail a lot, and you’ve got to keep getting up. You can’t stop. You’ve got to keep moving forward. Those are the three things. It’s self-awareness, self-regulation, and motivation.

Here is the thing. Of the things you named, self-awareness, as hard as it sounds, it’s probably one that most people don’t have a problem coming up with. In fact, they are going to come up with too many things that they are aware of, “I can’t sell. I’m not a salesperson. I’m not good at accounting.” There are all these things that they can’t do. Of all those, resilience and motivation are the two things that consistently people have problems dealing with.

In the first few years, I would send out 50 letters that were manually typed. This was before computer days. I would send out 50 letters every single day. The conversion rate was at 10%. At that time, they were telling me, “You are lucky if you get 10% of the people to respond and 90% of the people who respond will respond with no.” Your conversion rate of getting a maybe or yes was at 2%. It was very low.

If you look at someone like Michael Jordan or you can take LeBron James even. I’m not a basketball fan. I don’t even understand it. Whenever you do watch him play, every other shot, they don’t make it. They are not making 90% of their shots. They are making 30% of their shots. If you think about that, they are the best. Can you imagine the professional basketball players who are not legacy names? They are missing 60% to 70% of their shots.

Someone like Michael Jordan is given a lot of the Hail-Mary shots when the clock is winding down. They’ve got no shot at all. He is making whatever. That’s similar to our business environment. A lot of the stuff that we do are Hail Mary. Do you see somebody like Babe Ruth? When you read his stories, he was batting 400 or 500. That means 5 or 6 times out of 10, he was missing as well. They have made such a name. Don’t be afraid when you fail and when something doesn’t work out.

Rejection is feedback. What I do always is to ask people, “Thank you so much for writing back to me because most people never take the time to read my letter. Of the people that read my letter, very few people take the time to tell me no. Thank you so much for even doing that. If I can indulge you a little bit about why you don’t want it, is it too expensive? If there is any feedback you can give me, I will be so blessed. You don’t have to buy a thing from me.”

When they give you that feedback, you incorporate that. You can go back months from now. You can go use it with other pitches because they are giving you some good feedback. That’s how I’ve got my business started. The resilience factor doesn’t just mean that you have to have thick skin. It means that you’ve got to make that commitment no matter what. Don’t let those temporary rejections and failures or whatever outcome that you didn’t get to set you back because you’ve got to stick to it.

MDH 65 | Empathy

Free Drugs for Entrepreneurs

I listened to Denzel Washington when he gave a commemoration speech at graduation. It was such a befitting thing that he was giving this speech at that very stage that he had assumed was going to be his last audition. He said, “I have been going to audition after audition forever. I’ve never even got a one-liner.” People said, “You are not a good fit.” He said, “I had booked this audition.” He realized for the audition before that, that he was never going to be a good actor. He was never going to get a break.

He said, “I gave my word that I’m going to come to the audition, and there were people waiting for me. I will give my best and let it be. I’m going to go and be a taxi driver or whatever life has waiting for me.” That’s the one he got a breakthrough role. He said, “Had I quit the day before or had I not shown up to this one because I was disappointed, there would be no Denzel Washington.”

He was giving that speech at that very auditorium that he was not going to show up to. He showed up to this one. Resilience is a huge thing. The last thing is motivation. I don’t know about you. I’m going to ask you a little bit about this now. You are suffering from anxiety with all the fears and everything else and then something doesn’t work. You are like, “Everything I fear came true.” It’s so easy to do.

If you are lucky enough to have a wife, son, friend or colleague and say, “Daniel, that’s not true. Look at what you have all accomplished so far. You didn’t get exactly what you wanted but look at all the stuff that you learned. You’ve got to keep going.” You keep going, and then the second time something doesn’t work, that definitely gives up. You don’t even ask anybody. That’s what I see a lot, especially with Millennials. They don’t have patience, resilience, commitment or persistence. How would you advise someone on the best way to motivate themselves in that situation?

I wrote a book called Free Drugs for Entrepreneurs. Free Drugs was all about releasing this competitive advantage in your body. The first thing about motivation is our goals are in the future. We are going to spend the rest of our life in the future. If we are optimistic about our future and believe within ourselves what we can achieve, then we become more resilient. There are a couple of things we’ve got to do. The first one is we have to set a goal. That goal has to be realistic for us.

If you have a goal that is totally unrealistic for you, then your subconscious mind says, “This is not true. I reject it.” You will cause fears, doubts, and limiting beliefs within yourself. We say, “Inch by inch, it’s a cinch. By the yard, it’s hard.” Have a big vision but have goals that are achievable. When you set a goal, you get dopamine. Dopamine floods through the body, and it gets you excited. It’s that thrill of the chase. You haven’t started yet, but you get excited. Secondly, you take one step towards that goal, and the body releases adrenaline. The heart starts to pump, and you get excited. Once you achieve a little win or one small step, and you succeed there, the brain releases serotonin. That is nature’s happy drug.

Once you’ve got these three neurotransmitters and positive chemicals in your body, dopamine, adrenaline, and serotonin, you can’t feel depressed and anxious. Your enthusiasm levels start to rise and you say, “If I can take that, I can take the next step.” It’s one step at a time. If you can do those one steps, then you will keep that motivation. It’s not just it’s going to stick around for a day. It stays around for weeks, months, and years. That’s a competitive advantage.

You have unlimited potential. You can do more than you ever thought you could.  

What you are saying is to take that next measurable step, and then it’s a cumulative effect of training your body to release happy chemicals it uses on its own. I enjoyed our conversation. You brought some incredible knowledge. A lot of times, when we talk about things like emotional intelligence, motivation, and resilience, these are very vague words. A lot of people don’t use it. I’m sick and tired of listening about motivation, inspiration, encouragement, empowerment, and all this stuff.

If they are not matched up with action and goals that are achievable, then they just become words. They don’t transform your life and your way of thinking. You can’t then impact other people, which is depressing because you are working pretty hard to do that. I appreciate all the knowledge that you shared. For any young entrepreneurs, would you like to say 1 or 2 words that are key to how they would succeed that you haven’t discussed before? It’s a little tip if you want to leave with the parting.

You are so much more than you think you are. Your DNA is what you are made of. If you could stretch it out from where you are, it would reach the sun and back 300 times. You have unlimited potential, and you can do more than you ever thought you could.

I completely agree with you on that, whether you are talking about Elon Musk, Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos, each person came to Earth, born with the potential to be whoever they wanted to be. Some of us have it easier than others. The other thing that you and I didn’t discuss and that we probably would agree on is the quality of life that we desire too by doing this right. It’s not just grinding it out all the time pointlessly.

Ultimately, all the entrepreneurs want freedom from our horrible bosses. We want freedom from feeling like a slave to a paycheck. We want to be able to live our life the way we design. Thank you so much for coming. Once again, would you tell us how the audience can reach you and all the freebies that you offer on your website?

Come and play. My website is There are a ton of resources. There are my free books, Mental Detox and How To Win Sales Now. Set that goal. There are a lot of free webinars and training also, so you can develop your emotional intelligence.

Thank you so much for joining me here and coming to the show. For all of you reading, I always say, “Be happy. Happiness is your choice.” I hope you make great choices. Have a wonderful week.


Important Links


About Daniel Tolson

MDH 65 | EmpathyI am a former Australian Champion Athlete. I co-lead a team of more than 17,000 Cabin Crew and currently serves as a consultant to more than 17,500 business people globally.
With more than 6,500 case studies into the science of Emotional Intelligence I am considered as one of the worlds leading business coaches specialising in emotional intelligence.
I show people how to become successful, by providing scientific and evidence based methods on how to catapult your influence, accelerate your impact and unleash new income levels.
MDH 29 Dr. Roseann Capanna Hodge | Child Mental Health

MDH 29 Dr. Roseann Capanna Hodge | Child Mental HealthIt is often said that you are only as happy as your happiest child. That’s why when parents pay little to no attention to child mental health, you can expect that it will hurt their own lives as well. Victoria Wieck sits down with Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge, a trailblazer on a mission to change everyone’s perspective when treating children’s mental health issues. She explains how investing in your kid’s unseen challenges and helping them achieve happiness will lead to positive changes in your professional life. Dr. Roseann also explains how this mindset can transcend into the corporate setting, giving more effort to uplift employees and increase productivity.

Watch the episode here

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The Effect Of Child Mental Health On Corporate America With Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge

The guest that I have is absolutely adorable. She is a special person and I couldn’t wait to have this interview with her. Nothing was going to stop me from interviewing her. I’m going to release this episode ahead of schedule because we feel that the topic is completely necessary and so relevant. Who are we talking about? We’re talking about a mental health expert. She has been considered the mental health trailblazer, Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge. She’s also known as Dr. Roseann. You can Google her. She’s interviewed by about 300 different broadcasts. The demand is very high but more than anything, Dr. Roseann is the most authentic, genuine, caring, heartfelt individual that you’re going to fall in love with. If you have any kids, you have friends who have any kids or you work with people who struggle with the compassion for their children and childcare, you’re at the right place. Without further ado, let me introduce you to Dr. Rosanne. Welcome to the show.

Victoria, thank you for that. That was beautiful. I’m going to give you a big hug for that. I’m a woman on a mission to change the way we view and treat mental health. That’s why we’re having this conversation because mental health, whether you’re a parent at home, an entrepreneur or a C-level executive, in this time, mental health has to be a priority for everybody because nobody is unaffected by the stress of the pandemic.

Let’s go back up a little bit. I know that you probably would agree with me that mental health was probably exasperated more by the pandemic. I’m a parent of two children. When I was raising my kids, I will say this. As an immigrant coming to this country without speaking English or anything like that and running a business, as you know you’re an entrepreneur yourself, entrepreneurship has many challenges. A crisis happens every single day. We’re fighting fires all around us all the time. When it comes to any business decision, whether it’s a $100,000 decision, $5 decision, $5 million decision, I can handle it. When it comes to the stresses that come from my kids, it’s the only thing that could stop me in my tracks.

I want to say that, first of all, thank you so much for working in this space. Children’s mental health is an absolute necessity. Every school district should have it. This is an unknown fact in my humble opinion. In my show, people can disagree all the time. I don’t have answers and plenty of people have. Wouldn’t you agree that our inability as a society to deal with the mental health of children is costing corporations tons of money, billions of dollars, don’t you think?

Every employee is your biggest asset besides your reputation.

When we talk about prior to the pandemic, one million workers missed work a day due to stress in general. Look at what’s happening. The American Psychological Association does a survey every year called Stress in America. This 2021 survey said that 70% of parents have moderate to severe levels of stress due to the pandemic. Who are we employing? Most companies are employing people with kids. We’re having difficulties getting our employees back into work. We’re losing highly skilled trained and workers, especially women. This is serious stuff. Forty thousand kids in America lost a parent due to COVID. We’re having single parents going back to work. They lost their partners. All of the challenges of working from home are still going to impact us to some degree. This pandemic is not over.

Victoria, you’re 100% right. We walked into this pandemic and it was terrible, the mental health of our kids. In January of 2020, I created the Global Institute of Children’s Mental Health because I’m so concerned. Here I am in this Ridgefield Connecticut Center. We see people virtually and in person. How many people could I help? Not that many. That’s why we need to have a global impact. Every single company, every single organization, every single school needs to be proactive. We are ill-equipped at what is going to happen as we’re reentering the workforce. People are going back to work and kids go back to school in August and September of 2021.

COVID pandemic was a good excuse for a lot of corporations, a lot of people, a lot of companies to overlook the problems they had going in family and schools. They did the same thing. It was the one convenient excuse for everything. Let’s step back a little bit. I want to also talk a little bit about what impact social media has on our kids, as well as in our schools. I was lucky because my children missed it. They still had Myspace and I thought that was dangerous. I thought, “What am I going to do with Myspace?” Those are the good old days. Now with Instagram, correct me if I’m wrong, but I feel like society as a whole, even grownups, we’re posting things like, “I’m drinking the $6 coffee.” It’s so shallow.

Let’s unpack that, Victoria. Let’s start with the adults. Let’s start with the top here. First of all, there’s a toxic component to social media. First of all, they call Facebook fake book. People are presenting fake images, unrealistic images. There’s a lot of pressure. People also feel very comfortable hate posting and putting negative speak. I don’t even understand why people would go out of their way to be rude. It’s so much easier to go out of their way to be nice. When you’re nice to people, it has a positive trickle effect. From the brain perspective, when you smile at people, all these neurotransmitters are released. You feel good stuff on you, with them. They start smiling and somebody else. It’s the same thing when we write positive things. I put heart emojis on every comment I make on my post to put love out in the world. We’re role modeling for our kids.

MDH 29 Dr. Roseann Capanna Hodge | Child Mental Health

Child Mental Health: Mental health has to be a priority for everybody because nobody is unaffected by the stress of the pandemic, whether you’re a parent at home, an entrepreneur, or a C-level executive.


What’s happening with all of this overuse of technology? First of all, let’s start with, “I’m more concerned about what kids are missing out on by being on their devices.” They’re missing out on socialization, exercise, hands-on skills and also had self-regulate their brain and body without technology. What do they do when they’re stressed? What are their problem-solving skills? We’re creating this culture. Everybody was joking about overeating and binge-watching Netflix during the pandemic because that was their unhealthy coping mechanism. Not to say that you can’t have a weekend where you watch Netflix but if you’re doing it every day, you’re not doing what you’re supposed to do to take care of yourself.

When it comes to technology, here’s what the research says. Not all technology is bad. Not all social media is bad. The more interactive it is like if we’re having conversations with our friends. Kids use an app called Discord and they use it while they’re gaming and have fun. It’s been found to improve mental health. If we’re passive scrolling like YouTube and social media, it’s associated with anxiety and depression. The reality is before the pandemic, the average teenager in 2019 was spending 7.22 minutes on technology every day and the 8 to 12-year-old was spending 4.75 hours.

I know you’ve written a book and I know you’ve done all this research. I’ve written a book myself. When you write a book, you do have to make sure that every word has been vetted, counted and researched. Hopefully, millions of people are going to buy your book because it’s needed. Do you think that a lot of parents, the kids are using their devices as almost like a babysitter? Where do the parents fit in in this whole thing?

In my book It’s Gonna Be OK, I’m a research nerd, so there are over 40 pages of research citations. It’s what I tell every parent that I worked with. Every parent I work with is worried about their kid. You are only as happy as your happiest kid. If your kid is struggling socially, emotionally, academically, with their siblings, whatever is going on and they’re stuck, you feel stress and anxiety that is indescribable. You can slay business. You can do whatever obstacle but when it comes to your kids’ mental and physical health, if they’re struggling in any way, shape or form, it’s hard. When it comes to kids, understanding what’s happening to them and the struggles that they have, not all technology is bad. It’s here to stay. It’s evolving but you can’t let your kids be on there for seven hours because it’s convenient for babysitting.

You can’t have them for seven hours without supervision. If they’re doing the Google search with their academic problems or even problem solving themselves in a healthy environment, that’s different. I agree with you that technology is neutral. It doesn’t have the power to corrupt you completely. Only who uses it and how do they use it?

If you’re a large company, encourage your employees to lift each other and focus on wellness.

They’re not doing physical activity or socializing. We can’t be in a world. We saw what it was like to be isolated. It wasn’t fun. It was brutal on people and even employees. I saw changes in a lot of companies with how do they keep their company culture when people weren’t together. Company culture is important for a business. Whether you have a small business or a big business, we all need to think about the culture of our company. It’s so important and often missed. That’s why we’re having this conversation because more people come back.

I’ve reached out to many companies in the first month of the pandemic. I was connecting with companies and they were like, “It’s too early to bring in employee stress management.” What’s happening is they all want to talk to me a year plus later because people are struggling. Your every employee is your biggest asset besides your reputation. They are an extension of your reputation. If we’re going to get somebody else, let me tell you Mr. Employer or Mrs. Employer, every person in America is completely stressed out for the most part.

You’re going to go from one stressed employee to another and instead, you’re going to have to reinvest training time for them, depending on what industry you were in. I have a team of psychotherapists. It takes me a good eighteen months to get somebody up to speed on the Dr. Roseann methodologies because we’re doing things so differently. Whenever I lose somebody, I’m like, “That was eighteen months just lost.”

I have a question. I understand the corporate world because I used to be in corporate and I deal with a lot of large corporations who are my customers. I see that they’re more likely to tell me because I’m not a co-employee. Sometimes they’ll say, “I’ve got problems with my kid.” I remember one of my buyers had a kid and then she was pregnant with the second kid. She had received word because she knows something was wrong with her older child. He was sneezing. There was a bunch of things that were happening. We were flying to Hong Kong for a trade show.

MDH 29 Dr. Roseann Capanna Hodge | Child Mental Health

Child Mental Health: If your kid struggles socially, emotionally, or academically, you will also feel indescribable stress and anxiety.


By the time we got there, they had run a complete check on her son. The son was cared for by her husband and her mother while she was traveling for three days in Hong Kong. During this whole time, they diagnosed him with autism. This was tough news for her at that time. As entrepreneurs and employers, when an employee is hurting, whether they got financial problems, marital problems, children’s problems, we want to be very compassionate. We want to be there because, in my own company, it is like family. I’m not a huge company so the thing that I could offer my employees is that family environment, where we care about every employee and their members.

We want to be very compassionate, be there for them and be present for them. When somebody’s sick, you don’t want them to worry about the work and the sickness. We want them to get well first. At the same time though, it isn’t fair for the other employees to have to pick up the slack because a lot of companies are running pretty tight. Your customers who come to you, deserve the service that they’ve paid for. What happens is when you have more than one employee out on any given day, in a large company, you could have 10, 20 people out, it does create stress to your system. For entrepreneurs who are aware of the necessity to be compassionate and to be supportive, how do we then balance all of this? Do you have any coping mechanisms or a way that we can implement a system that would be fair to everybody?

First of all, it’s like a family. I think of my company as a family too. We treat people even better than your family members. They are always these people. You want to front-load it. People will go through different struggles at different times. You’re 100% right. You’re smaller. There are strains to the system, whether you’re large or you’re big. When people struggle in different ways, depending on how they’re communicating with others, if they bring a toxicity component, they start faltering and falling down at work, this can spread like cancer at work. That’s important. I’m all about front-loading. It’s all about regular communication. It’s about meetings that talk about things. I use a protocol called the REPS Protocol. I teach REPS to kids, to individuals and to corporations. It is a four-step process to cut stress. Cutting stress and emphasizing stress management on the individual level and on the corporate level is going to be a necessity going forward.

If you were not doing this before, you better get a motor on it because we need to help people regulate their nervous system. To be a science geek for one second, our autonomic nervous system controls our stress levels. If you are stressed out, you’re in a sympathetic dominant state. If you are relaxed, you’re in a parasympathetic state. I call it the hot tub state. We want our people to be in a hot tub state for themselves, for the corporation, for the people that they’re interacting with. In my REPS Protocol, it’s four steps, Respirate, which is breathe, Envision, which is seeing success and setting that tone. Every entrepreneur already does that. P is Positivity. It’s using positive language with visualization and S is Stress Management. I teach people how to breathe first.

Parents must be the children’s anchor in learning how to take care of themselves, shaping them to become successful and happy adults.

When we do that, when we have control and we’re in this relaxed parasympathetic state, we can think and act more clearly. When we emphasize this, whether this is something that you’re like, “It’s REPS time at work,” or you’re teaching people. That E, the Envision and the positivity, I put together. It’s saying positive things and you create a culture at work where you have positive speak. You’re like, “I know this is hard for you. What do you see ahead of you now? What do you see reducing stress?” This is how you start talking to people. We hack into the brain to get people feeling better. We want to support our employees.

The S is regular Stress Management. Whether you’re doing breathing breaks at work, your yoga or you’re having everybody walk. Whatever it is, we need ten minutes a day to help keep that nervous system regulated so people are less reactive and less irritable. They’re sleeping better. They’re thinking more clearly. They’re a better employee and human being. That’s what I teach people because it’s simple and everybody can do it. There are no barriers to time, finances or experience. Truly, anybody of any age can do the REPS Protocol.

When I hear you talk about the REPS Protocol, it seems like it’s a system that’s going to work but more than anything, when you talk about how things are communicated, I live by this one quote. I’m an avid reader. I love reading books. I’m going to get your book too because even though my kids are older, I feel like mental health is something that you’ve got to constantly improve. Situations arise all the time. There is a quote by Maya Angelou. She’s written tons of quotes but the one that I loved the most is, “People will forget what you did but they will never forget how you made them feel.” What I’ve noticed when I wasn’t working corporate and I’ve implemented that in my own company after I formed my own company, I learned a lot of things and what not to do. In a smaller company, you’ve got much better control over who you hire. A lot of times with bigger companies, HR hires somebody and you end up with someone that may not be a perfect match for you.

If the employee is having issues with their children, whether it’s at school or they’re sick, it doesn’t take a lot for a parent to be stressed out over their kid as you know. If your first thought is, “I’m going to get fired. What will happen if my customer complains?” If your first thought going to that, then it adds to the stress exponentially. You’re less likely to talk about it and get some help. Whereas if you create an environment or culture where if you have one person who has a problem, it’s everybody’s problem. If you feel like you’re supported, if you feel like, “I need to get my child to school. I know I’ve got two coworkers that are going to cover for me. When they need some help, whether it’s with their mother or maybe they need help with their grandkids or whoever, I’m going to be there for them.” It’s those little things. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune or a whole program but it’s being conscientious about how you’re heard and how you’re supported are simple ways. Low-hanging fruit to a better culture.

MDH 29 Dr. Roseann Capanna Hodge | Child Mental Health

Child Mental Health: Those who bring toxicity to work will spread that same mindset to others like cancer.


Don’t wait for your employees to break down. I saw one of my employees who didn’t look like her perky self. I’ll make up a name. I said, “Amy, what’s going on? Is there anything I can do to help you with?” She was like, “I have not been myself. I need to get out more.” I was like, “Make sure you go for a walk at lunch.” All of a sudden, that one comment turned things around. I didn’t criticize her. We’re a team and we know each other. If you’re a large company, encourage your employees to lift each other, to focus on some wellness.

Give them reward points for being that like Ms. Congeniality or whoever. Have little recognition for going above and beyond. The other thing too is we went through probably decades of people. It was not just a corporate culture but culture as a society, as a country. Maybe it’s global because I traveled quite a bit. We went through decades of people comparing each other and competing with one another. None of us are going to get that far by doing that. If that’s your go-to mechanism for succeeding, I got news for you. All those people who did that to me, they’re still trying to pay rent and I’m here sitting nicely.

They’re in a scarcity mindset. You said to me, Victoria, a rising tide lifts all boats. Isn’t the journey so much nicer when you’re with people that lift you?

My dad passed some time ago but he used to say that being able to help people is a privilege and a joy but also being able to get help. Being an inspiration for somebody is great but being inspired is a whole other thing as well. It is a give and take. You’re the only mental health professional I’ve had on because I feel like so many other people do it so much better than I do. It’s something I don’t understand well but I do know there’s a huge need for it, especially at the children’s level. I feel like children are the most vulnerable. They were vulnerable long before COVID.

Simple communication shifts can create confidence in kids and provide them with unlimited possibilities.

When people are working and they’re focused on their careers, women are now going and getting their doctorates, PhDs and multiple doctorates. They’re not even making any money until they’re 30. They feel like they missed out on things. They missed out on travel and making money, all that. I’m not judging anybody over this but there was a thought that the best way I can take care of my kids is by being successful at my work so that I could be an inspiration. I could be somebody they can look up to and I can make a lot more money so I can impact them.

In the meantime, mentally, they feel like they’re abandoned and don’t matter or they feel like the best thing they could do to help their parents will be out of sight. This vicious cycle keeps on going on or at least that’s what I witnessed. When I was raising my kids, I saw that quite a bit. My kids got raised in a very affluent area. My children are in their late twenties. I’m seeing that the impact of what those parents didn’t do.

There’s a false message to families and women in particular that it’s okay to spread ourselves thin. It’s okay to not have any self-care. During this pandemic, what people brought to the table is what helped them get through it. We say this when we do drama work. I was one of the approved providers for Sandy Hook. I got to see who did well in that awful tragedy. Even in my years of trauma work before that, was that if people had good resiliency. They knew how to cope with their mindset. They didn’t use stress in the same way. You’re able to get through everyday stressors or huge stressors completely differently than somebody who has no stress tolerance.

When it comes to families and particularly working moms, when you spread yourself thin, I have a girlfriend who was sleeping 2 to 3 hours a day. She said, “I’ve been doing it through my twenties.” I said, “You have three kids under age six.” She’s like, “What did you do when your kids were little?” I go, “I worked 2.5 days a week.” She was like, “What?” I’m like, “I’m not farming my kids out. I wanted to be with them.”

MDH 29 Dr. Roseann Capanna Hodge | Child Mental Health

It’s Gonna Be Ok: Proven Ways to Improve Your Child’s Mental Health

We reprioritized our lives and Dr. Roseann said no to work, said no to things. I never worried of the opportunities. I made enough money. This is different when you’re in poverty and you don’t have a choice. We have to understand that you’ve got to put your own oxygen mask on. Like a computer that needs to reboot, you got to turn it off. Before you blink, your kids will grow up. You want to be there as their anchor. You want to be there to teach them about how to care for themselves and how to have coping skills. That is what’s going to create a successful and happy adult. When you ask a parent what they want for their kids, they don’t say, “I want them to go to an Ivy League.” They say, “I want them to be healthy and happy.” Let’s do that. It starts with you by role modeling. Parents have so much power over how their kids develop. I don’t want you to be overwhelmed by that. I want you to be excited about that.

Let me ask you a question though. Your book is already finished.

It’s out. You can go to or you can go to Amazon and search it and it will pop up.

We’re coming to a close but I want all of you to go ahead and get the book. Honestly, if you’re a mom, a grandma or about to be a grandma, Dr. Roseann’s philosophy doesn’t apply only to kids. It applies to grownup adults who never grew out of the childhood stage. I worked with a lot of them. I believe that mental health is something that all of us can improve on because of those little things that we could do. Let me ask you a question. I understand that as parents, we have a lot of control because everything starts at home. What are the things that we could do with our kids?

If you are struggling with your life, take a step back and create a change for yourself. Don’t let the overwhelm eclipse you.

For example, at my home, we always have dinner together. We’re not allowed to have separate dinners. Sometimes we don’t have dinner until 7:30 or 8:00 because if one person has to Zoom internationally, we wait until everybody’s ready. We go around the room, talk about your highlights for the day and then your lowlights for the day. Everybody has to come up with one. We talk about that because at least it’s the sketch for you to think about. It’s one thing that we do in my family. What are the things that parents can implement on a daily basis that let them know when they’re stressed out? What are the coping mechanisms? What’s the go-to?

First of all, in my book It’s Gonna Be OK, I dive into exactly how to improve mental health and give you step-by-step tools that are actionable and easy. The number one thing I say all the time is this book is exactly what you’re doing, Victoria. Little ways create big waves. We often think there’s a magic pill and I have a magic wand that I put on my desk and pull out in every appointment to let them know. It starts with what are you doing at home.

For you, that’s a communication point. This is how we’re going to connect. What I say to parents is the number one thing that they can do in small ways is to flip how they’re talking to kids. We have to empower kids to cope. Kids have zero stress tolerance. You cannot walk around in the world regardless of your level of affluence. Trust me. I see every income point in the world. I have had kids that are billionaires. You have to have internal resilience and grit. We need to get kids comfortable with being uncomfortable. It comes from making mistakes.

Every entrepreneur is like, “My best learning has come from my mistakes.” It’s safe, little ways to make mistakes. For example, your kid gets an F on a test or gets a C and is totally upset. Instead of saying, “I’m going to call that teacher.” What are they going to learn from that? Nothing. You’re going to say, “You got a C. You got an A last time. What did you do differently?” You got to get them thinking. They might be like, “Last time, I studied.” “What are you going to do next time? How is that going to look different?” That is completely different.

When you do the first thing, you tell your kid they have no power and no control. This is probably the most important thing a parent can do. I cannot highlight this more. Those simple shifts create confidence in kids. It creates this comfortableness with being uncomfortable. It wins that. When you have confidence, your kid has unlimited possibilities. If you lack confidence and you think, “My kid’s going to inherit $100 million,” they will not have the same outcome in life that you think they will. It all starts with that resilience and grit. You have that power by shifting your language.

MDH 29 Dr. Roseann Capanna Hodge | Child Mental Health

Child Mental Health: For the longest time, women are taught to spread themselves thin and that it is okay for them not to practice self-care.


That’s interesting too if you have multiple kids in your family. I grew up in a family of five. I’m the oldest of the five. Some of us are neurosurgeons and others, just couldn’t cut it in school. My youngest sister tried going to college four different times. She flunked every class. In fact, it got so bad that my dad, when he was alive, she came back with a D-minus or something. Instead of being upset like a typical Asian parent would, my dad sat her down. She thought it was going to be like, “I’m going to be disowned or something.” It’s the second time she got a D-minus and the same subject. It was algebra. He said, “Don’t try so hard. You tried way too hard for this.” She thought he was joking. He said, “If you worked B on every single thing, you look at 50% but instead you try so hard, you got 30%. You always try hard.”

He had a very different perspective of looking at things. Math wasn’t her thing. His whole solution to this was that, “The national average for SAT was X amount and you are 20% below that, let’s work on your strengths,” which was her language. He said, “To your favor, main languages are 2/3 of your SAT score. If we can get the math thing to the national average,” which is not that difficult for most people but for her, this is a monumental thing, “Then would be okay. What can we do to get you to the national average, which is 50%?” He got her some tutors and all that stuff but she still didn’t cut it. Do you believe that a lot of parents work so hard? We feel like we’re making all the sacrifices for our children and that they owe it to the parents to how hard could it be to get a stupid A in a math class. Do you think that goes on? If so, is it wrong?

We are using grades as a benchmark of mental health. We are saying that if my kid is a straight-A student, there’s no way they can have anxiety, depression or suicidal thoughts. Are some kids A students? Of course. Your sister could have tried and tried and me too. I would have never gotten an A in algebra. We did okay. I graduated a year early in my doctoral program. You can’t push and push. With my CHAMP Technique about raising successful kids, I talk about honing in on your strengths. We have to hone our strengths. I’m not saying grades are unimportant. It’s, “What are we putting ahead of these grades?” We need to put how our kids feel about ourselves. It’s not that your sister wasn’t trying. She did. Your father put his common sense and was like, “Let’s be strategic.”

At that moment, he taught her a lesson that was like, “I’m good at this, so why do I work a little harder on this to show how I have the strength on this?” Instead of punishing her, blaming her and shaming her. Grades can’t be everything and we’re missing out on some of these amazing gifts our kids have. My kids are super kind. Teachers write comments on one of my kid’s report cards. “It’s hard to describe how amazing it is to have your kid in my class.” It’s not because of his grades. He’s a good student. He’s very conscientious. He is so kind. His teacher wrote, “He is a friend to everybody.” I’m like, “I could die and go to heaven. I’ve done my job.” Let’s rethink what are the values of our kids because we know that emotional intelligence is one of the biggest determinants of financial and academic success. Let’s emphasize that.

I know that you have been on every show. I’m talking about Fox News, CBS, NBC, Forbes, USA Today, Yahoo News. You’ve been on everything, Washington Post and The New York Times. I am so glad that you’ve made time for my audience. For those of you who are reading, go in and read this again. I wouldn’t say all of our society is ill but a very significant portion of what we are experiencing in terms of the cultural, racial and social income divide has to do with the past generations, specifically in my generation where people have not done before. We didn’t know any better but we still have a chance to impact things. I’m glad that people like Dr. Roseann is out there trying to shift the dynamic, not just for the parents here but for the world.

This is also global. I traveled millions of miles with my business. A lot of the people I deal with are female professionals. That’s our number one worry. I remember sitting in Dubai with women that are completely covered up. We’re discussing our kids and our worries. It’s exactly the same moms. Women are DNA coded to be nurturing. We have that maternal instinct that transcends our age, religion, geography or culture. I’m so glad that you gave us a healthy dose of your experience and your advice. Good luck to you with your books. I’m going to get it. I’m going to invite you back for Christmas time because I know that as hard as we try, we’re going to be all stressed out by November and December, for sure. Thank you so much for coming by.

Thank you for this conversation. For anybody who’s struggling, all it takes is starting with one thing, whether it’s breathing. Just do it, move and create change for yourself. Don’t let the overwhelm eclipse you. You have to start small.

Other than people Googling you, do you want people to come to you? Do you have free webinars or anything like that where people can meet other parents even?

You can go to and you can see what we have going on, but I have a community. You can go to The Get Unstuck Program. You get our program and you can join our community to get support on how to create successful kids at home, in school, in life and how to implement these ways to nurture your kid and hone in on their strengths. Every kid is different and every strength is different. I’ve got years of experience. I’m sharing this with you so that you can take these little hacks and help to blossom your family. It doesn’t matter who you are. If you’re a parent, that’s where your heart is. Nothing is more important than the mental and physical health of our kids. If we concentrate on that, that’s when the magic happens. That’s when our kids have success in friendships, academics or maybe they’re an Eagle Scout. There are so many different ways. When we start to open that, we change the impact of stress on this generation and the next.

Thank you so much for coming by. Until next time. Stay healthy. Stay happy. Remember, happiness is a choice. Bye-bye.

Important Links


About Dr. Roseann Capanna Hodge

MDH 29 Dr. Roseann Capanna Hodge | Child Mental HealthA mental health trailblazer, founder of The Global Institute of Children’s Mental Health, and media expert who is, “Changing the way we view and treat children’s mental health”.

FORBES magazine called her, “A thought leader in children’s mental health”.

Her work has helped thousands reverse the most challenging conditions: ADHD, anxiety, mood, Lyme, and PANS/PANDAS using PROVEN holistic therapies. She is featured on dozens of media outlets.