Business Owner Mindset Habit Formation Episode 264

Ep #264: Biz Owner Mindset: Habit Formation

Habits are important, and entrepreneurs and business owners everywhere talk about how specific habits have contributed to their success. But it can be overwhelming to think about making a change and establishing a new habit when you don’t know where to start. In this episode, we have Linda Fogg-Phillips, M.S., Director of Tiny Habits Academy, who will share the ABCs of habit formation.

Why should we care about our mindset? According to Linda, our mindset influences our behavior. If we constantly think negatively and believe we can’t achieve something, it holds us back. On the other hand, a positive mindset helps us overcome challenges and build the business we were meant to create.

Whether it’s a good habit or a bad one, habits begin with emotions. By tapping into our emotions and attaching positivity to a new behavior, we can quickly form good habits.

Links Mentioned During the Episode:

Learn More & Get in Touch with Linda Fogg-Phillips:

Join the Free 5 Day Tiny Habits program

Tiny Academy Website

Pearl Habits Website




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Next Episode:

Next episode is #265, and the summer series of the business owner mindset continues. 

Download The Full Episode Transcript

Read the Transcript Below:

Stacey Brown Randall: Oh, habits, habits, habits. Oh, how I have a love-hate relationship with you dear habits. But that is changing, now that I know and apply the ABCs of habit formation.

Hey there and welcome to episode 264 of the Roadmap to Referrals Podcast, a show about helping you build a referable business.

My journey from a business failure to a successful business, now 10 years in. I know generating referrals naturally and consistently has made all the difference.

Working with clients around the world, we leverage the science of referrals, protect relationships above all else and help you build a referable business.

Welcome back to another episode. I’m your host, Stacey Brown Randall.

Alright, we are moving right along with our Business Owner Mindset summer series. If you’re like, “What is she talking about? I’m here for referrals.” Head over to episode 261, you’ll get the overview of the why for the summer series, what’s behind it and of course what we’re talking about.

What we are talking about the mindset that a business owner needs to not only perform well through this journey of business ownership but enjoy it throughout the entire process.

That’s my ultimate goal, for it to give you tidbits and give you tips and to expose you to experts that can help you understand not only how to perform and to do what you want to do within your business owner journey, but to enjoy the journey, because that is the whole point of everything, is enjoying the journey, not being so focused on the destination.

Okay, for today’s episode, we are talking about habits. And this is a very, very fun conversation that I get to have with Linda Fogg-Phillips.

First off, and you’ll hear her say this as well. First thing she wants you to know, she’s the mother of eight children. I call her crazy because I can, and she’s my friend and I think that’s crazy. And I have three and I think having eight is crazy. I think having three is crazy. But to each their own.

Here’s what I love about Linda. She knows how to design systems that work and of course she was actually able to do that with all eight kids, so I’m pretty sure she knows exactly what we need to all be doing if we want real life behavioral change.

Linda’s expertise includes behavior change in the world of health and wellness and she has been leading the Tiny Habits Academy since 2012. You may have heard of that book, Tiny Habits that was actually written by her brother, BJ Fogg. And she runs his academy and together that brother sister duo, they are quite the pair.

And today we get to hear from Linda talking about the ABCs of habit formation because within this series, not only have we talked about, Are You Operating in Your Executive State or Your Survival State?

We then went deeper into understanding how this all connects to our belief formation and now we’re going another step further to talk about this and our habit formation. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the interview.

Linda, I am so excited to welcome you here to the podcast. I have to say this, I said I wasn’t going to say this, but I think it’s funny, so I have to say this, you’re the only person I’ve ever had on the podcast other than my husband that I have shared a hotel room.

Linda Fogg-Phillips:     You know what? Maybe we don’t want to go there, but I’ll take that as an honor. Thank you, Stacey.

Stacey Brown Randall:          I appreciate you seeing it as an honor. We’re attending the same event and we’re going to get to know each other even better. What better way to do that?

Linda Fogg-Phillips:     Well, you’re a very good roommate. I will say that. So, I would do it again.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Well, I appreciate that. I try, I try. I actually had a friend one time tell me, they were like, “You don’t move? Are you sure you’re breathing when you’re sleeping because you don’t move.” And I was like, “I’m not sure that’s true, but if it makes me a good roommate, so be it.”

Linda Fogg-Phillips:     Absolutely.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Now we’re completely off course for what this topic is going to be about.

Linda Fogg-Phillips:     That’s okay.

Stacey Brown Randall:          But why don’t we start off, Linda, with you just sharing with the listeners a little bit about yourself and really about the work that you do.

Linda Fogg-Phillips:     Well, let me start off with bragging a little bit. It’s my biggest accomplishment in life. And you might not think it has anything to do with my work, but it has everything to do with my work and that is that I am a mom of eight children. And the work that I do is in the space of habit formation and behavior design.

And so, as you can imagine, raising eight children, we really had to design for the behaviors that I wanted for my children to help them excel and help them to succeed, as well as functionality behaviors within our household. And of course, that all comes down to habits.

And one of the most important things that I’ve learned over the last 10 years of being focused in the space of habits and human behavior is really the habit of resilience and how to create that as an automatic behavior, especially as a business owner because there’s so many things that knock us down or throw obstacles in our course almost on a daily basis in our business, that we need to know how to overcome those and do it with positivity.

So, I work with my brother Dr. BJ Fogg, who’s a behavior research scientist. The methodologies that I teach and that I use have originated from him. And they’re called the Tiny Habits method.

And then I’ve taken it one step further to develop what we call the Pearl Habits method, which is creating beauty out of challenging situations or obstacles.

Stacey Brown Randall:          I love the fact that you started with that you have eight children because instantly my sarcastic nature goes to who would do that?

Linda Fogg-Phillips:     I don’t know.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Raising eight kids is one thing, birthing eight children is another thing. I mean, I know I have three, but I only had to birth two of them. But I think that’s amazing because I do think that gives you a really unique perspective on everything that you do in life.

But in specifically with what we’re talking about within this mindset of a business owner and specifically for your area of expertise with habit formation, because I can just see from that perspective of raising that many kids. I wouldn’t even know what that would be like on a day in and day out basis of what it would be like managing the household and managing their lives and all those pieces.

But I can imagine that you have not seen it once, but eight times with eight different children and helping them develop to be the best that they can be. So, what a gift they were, all eight of them to be born into your family.

Linda Fogg-Phillips:     Well, they were a gift to me. So, and there’s two words that would summarize that experience and that would be organized chaos. And that I think is reflective of our lives no matter if we have no children or a dozen children, of course I didn’t get to the dozen point.

But it’s how do we organize our lives and create routines and habits that help us function and be productive as well as be profitable. I mean, even within the household, that’s an important aspect.

And so, I think as I see it everything relates to each other and there’s a blending of our personal lives and our work lives and the habits that we have and the behaviors that we develop in both arenas.

Stacey Brown Randall:          So, before we kind of dive into some of the stuff I want to talk about from a habit perspective, let’s just kind of stay on the same kind of theme that we’re in right now, kind of a big picture look.

You’re a business owner yourself. So, when you think about a business owner that’s working on their mindset, why do you find that that’s really important and not just … and its mindset and all the ways that we’re talking about.

As we kind of think about this series that we’re doing here on the podcast, we are kind of paid attention to lots of different nooks and crannies when it comes to mindset in general.

But specifically honing in onto it for the mindset of an entrepreneur or a business owner. As a business owner yourself, why do you think it’s so important that people actually pay attention and do something positively about their mindset?

Linda Fogg-Phillips:     Because how we think really dictates how we behave. And our mindset is all around how we think. And if we let in those defeating thoughts or those thoughts, “Oh, I can’t do this,” or “This is going to be hard,” or “This is a challenge, and I don’t know how to work through this.” It is going to keep us stuck.

And so, having a positive mindset and knowing how to bounce back or to respond to negative situations, even negative mindsets, is going to give us the strength to really build the business and touch the lives that I think each one of us individually are called to do.

The Pearl Habits method really touches on creating positivity and giving you that resilience, that strength, that courage to push forward even when things are hard. And let’s face it, as business owners, things are hard.

Sometimes we feel like we’re in the battle by ourselves and we’re trying to move a great big boulder up a hill that is icy and snowy. And it’s just like, “How are we going to do this?” I think it really comes down to mindset. And there are habits that you can incorporate that will help you have a stronger mindset and show up as your best self as opposed to your defeated self.

Stacey Brown Randall:          And it’s so important because like you said, so perfectly, there may be easy days as a business owner, but most days are going to come with some bumps along the road, whether they’re tiny bumps that you’re like more of an annoyance or the big ones like, “What do you mean the entire website is down and it may not be up for a few days?” There’s a big spectrum here of the bumps in the road.

I think that business owners, that we have to deal with and that we have to be able to get ourselves back to a place of forward movement. Because if not, then that’s when things start to spiral and everything goes to, “You know what?” and it’s a mess to pull yourself out. So, I’m so excited we get to have this conversation.

So, I want to start off with this question that is … I’m going to be honest, a number of these questions are very specific for me, but I do think the listeners will appreciate them.

So, I want you to kind of just give us, not in the super confusing scientific terms, but in like the layman terms, basic English. Most of us probably have this love hate relationship with habits because the bad habits are so hard to break and the good habits that we know we need are so hard to start.

So, why is this? Why do we have to deal with this?

Linda Fogg-Phillips:     Well, spoiler alert, good habits and bad habits start the exact same way. So, let’s really dive into the science behind habits. And this is what BJ has studied for most of … he’s a behavioral scientist at Stanford. He’s spent his whole career studying human behavior.

The Tiny Habits method was developed in 2011. And as you look at the science behind habit formation, the one thing that people don’t really realize and even now other “habit experts.” I mean, look at their credentials. Are they journalists? Are they curators of content? Have they studied this from a scientific standpoint? And BJ has.

What really creates habits is our emotions. And so, the phrase that I often teach my clients and the individuals that I work with are, emotions create habits. And once you realize that, then you can see even how our bad habits start.

Because our bad habits sometimes will take an uncomfortable or a negative emotion away from us, so there’s a positive net gain on that. And even creating a good habit, if you learn how to tap into your emotions and your positivity and attach that to that new behavior, you can form a habit very, very quickly. It does not take 21 days. There’s no science behind that.

Actually, there is a study called the Lally’s study that tried to establish that, but it was a study that actually did not prove that it takes 21 days to create a habit. What it proved is it sometimes would feel more habitual, but it doesn’t create a habit in that period of time.

The secret is how you use your emotions and attach those to a behavior in order to create a habit.

Now the tiny Habits method has capitalized on that, in that it goes back to also a model that BJ designed probably I think about 25 years ago and it’s called the Fogg Behavior Model. And what that model tells us is behaviors happen when motivation, ability and a prompt come together at the same time.

So, often we get stuck in the belief that it’s only about motivation, that our behaviors are dictated by motivation. Motivation is one of those three elements.

But the other two elements, the prompt, which is the call to action, some people will call it a trigger. We don’t use the word trigger because that tends to be associated with negative responses, so we use the prompt, but that’s a call to action. And when that call to action occurs, the behavior needs to be really easy to do. That’s the increase of ability.

And of course, it needs to be a behavior that you want to do, so that is where the motivation comes in.

I work a lot in the field of health and wellness and even a lot of health professionals are still stuck on the belief that it’s all about motivation. That you need a amp up motivation or decrease in motivation. And that really, in my opinion, in my experience is a failing theory because it doesn’t work.

And Stacey, you mentioned that habits are hard, but they don’t have to be hard. And sometimes habit has a negative association with it. And the reason why is because oftentimes we try to create habits and we fail.

It’s not our fault that we’re failing, it’s just that we’re using the wrong approach and the wrong methodology. And so, we’re set up for failure from the very beginning.

Now, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could learn how to create habits — positive mindset, habits of getting referrals, habits of productivity within our business on a basis that actually works and that we’re successful with.

Stacey Brown Randall:          So, I did not prepare you for this question, but I am dying to ask it. So, if you would just forgive me in advance, I’m going to ask for forgiveness now.

Linda Fogg-Phillips:     Stacey, anything is on the table with us. We shared a room together.

Stacey Brown Randall:          We shared a room, we are roommates, yes. So, I keep thinking about the science stuff that I’ve heard you talk about. And of course, I’ve read BJ’s book and so I understand a lot of those pieces. And it’s just like duh, I feel like sometimes I’m having these duh moments.

But I want to take an example of a tiny habit that I have created in my life that very much now feels like a habit. I’ve been doing it since the end of last year. And that model you just talked about, the motivation, the prompt, and what was the third piece?

Linda Fogg-Phillips:     It’s the prompt, ability and motivation and those three elements need to be together for a behavior. The tiny habits was born out of that model. Where the prompt is an anchor moment in existing routine, the behavior needs to be really tiny, so the ability is easy.

And then as far as the motivation part of that, we coach people to do things that they already want to do not those shoulds, those shoulds will come later, but do what they already want to do.

And then like I said, the real secret sauce is attaching a positive emotion immediately after that behavior occurs. It’s not a reward, it’s not a delayed gratification, but it’s an immediate attachment.

And through our research we found that needs to happen within six seconds or less. But it’s an immediate pull up of a positive emotion that you then associate with that behavior.

So, go ahead. Sorry, I interjected all that there.

Stacey Brown Randall:          No, this is so good because I thought that it would be helpful, maybe not, maybe it’s just helpful for me, but I thought it would be helpful if I take this what I would, I guess traditionally refer to as a habit, but maybe it’s just more of the behavior that I have been now consistently doing.

And it’s funny because I feel like those pieces were there and that is why it has aligned itself so much. For me, I typically think like, “Okay, if I want to do something, I’ve got to be motivated enough to do it. I’m just not going to.” Like, if the motivation isn’t there.

So, for me it’s taking (so here’s the example), a boat load of vitamins, every day. Now taking a multivitamin once a day is like, not something that’s like new to me. And I have definitely had fits and starts with when I … I know this is not a business example, but it’s the best one I came up with.

But for me, taking multivitamin is something I did religiously prior to both my pregnancies typically while I was pregnant, after. And then I would fall off and then I’d get back on it because the motivation was always there.

But lately there, the motivation came when I looked at myself in the mirror, really up close. And I was like, “Whoa, what is happening?” I’m not happy about that. What can I do? What deficiency do I have inside of me that will help me fix some of those things?

And so, that motivation, that was strong. It was like, “Where’s the collagen? Where’s all the stuff for your skin, hair and nails? Where’s all the D3? Where’s the fish oil? Let’s just do it.” And so, on a buying spree, I bought all the vitamins.

And then for me it’s like, the ability to take vitamins is actually, I don’t really consider that ability. But I did what I knew I needed to do to help myself do it every day and I got one of those medicine little tabs where you put all the medicines in each of the things or whatever and the day and night.

I sometimes feel like it’s so full. Can I press the lid down? But this idea, and it’s there and then I have times of the day where I pull it out so that I remember to take it.

So, I feel like the motivation was like vanity run amok, was the motivation to do it. The ability, very easy and then making the prompt so that I can do it on a daily basis, morning and night.

And where I’m going with this is I find that I’ve now kept it going right for months and months and months and months and have no intentions of ever stopping it. That doesn’t mean I don’t miss days from time to time or whatever. I’m not perfect.

But what I have found is that it’s then allowed me to go to the next level with what you guys teach, which is that kind of concept of stacking your habits. You get one in place and then there’s another one that you can add to it, which is then to take those vitamins I have to eat.

And so, that’s forcing me to do breakfast in the morning. And then because I have to take one pill individually, I can’t just toss them all back at one time, it forces me to drink a whole glass of water and like all positive things that I just find.

But it’s crazy how without that motivation, I never would’ve been here, what, five, six months later consistently doing that.

And I think people have to really pay attention to that motivational piece, but also the prompt and then making sure the ability is there. For everything that we’re doing, I wish I had that kind of motivation like I had when I looked in the mirror for all the things in my business, I should probably be doing and a little more consistently.

Linda Fogg-Phillips:     Let’s break this down Stacey because this really is a very good example that I think most people can relate to and then see how the Tiny Habits method can then help them achieve other things that they want to achieve.

Now, in the Tiny Habits method also what most scientific things there are two maxims. Maxim number one is help people do what they already want to do.

Now, what you wanted to do is you wanted to take vitamins and that was because you wanted to be healthier. Because you wanted to make sure that your appearance was always as beautiful as it is today and that you continue down that path.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Thank you, I appreciate you.

Linda Fogg-Phillips:     I speak truth. I’m not saying that motivation is not a part of it, but it’s not the only piece and honestly, I don’t think it’s the most important piece, but it does need to be one of the elements.

So, yes, that was a behavior that you wanted to create. And as I mentioned earlier, if you had a doctor that said, “Oh Stacey, you should start taking vitamins.” But you thought, “I don’t really want to do that, that’s a lot.” Guess what? That would be a very difficult habit that probably wouldn’t fall into place like it has for you now.

The second thing that you did with this, which I love that you shared this, is you went and bought all the vitamins that you decided that you wanted to take.

Now, if you didn’t have those vitamins at home, even if you were motivated, even if you had a prompt where you knew what time of day you’re going to take that vitamin, meaning maybe right after you drink your first cup of water in the morning or right after you have breakfast, whatever that might be, if you didn’t have the vitamins available, you don’t have the ability to do that.

So, you got yourself set up for success, congratulations. And I love the fact that you even put the vitamins into the little containers, that makes it even easier for you to take those.

Now, if you had to take the lid off all those vitamins and sort them out every time that you were going to take them twice a day, guess what? You would be relying on motivation and willpower to do that. And it probably would not happen.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Right. No, it would not.

Linda Fogg-Phillips:     So, you’re doing all the right things to create that as an automatic behavior, to create that as a habit. And so, congratulations, yes, you broke that down.

Now, as far as why that’s been able to lock in as an automatic behavior, I’m going to ask you a question. When you take, even now and when you started to do this, when you took your vitamins, and I heard you say twice a day. After you take your vitamins, how do you feel?

Stacey Brown Randall:          I’m proud.

Linda Fogg-Phillips:     Yeah, right?

Stacey Brown Randall:          Because I could easily not be doing it. And I know taking vitamins isn’t going to do all the things I’m hoping it’ll do tomorrow. It’s going to take time. I have a long-term mentality when it comes to these vitamins.

But in the moment, I feel very proud of myself that I am taking that step of doing something that is going to make me or continue to make me healthier.

Linda Fogg-Phillips:     Well, that was the key element that locked this habit in for you, is feeling proud. And so, you have, in the Tiny Habits method, we have the Anchor Moment, we have the Tiny Behavior and then we have the Instant Celebration. We call this the ABCs of habit formation; Anchor, Behavior, Celebration.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Hey there, pardon this interruption. I know this summer series we are jamming on the Mindset of a Business Owner. But you don’t want to ignore your referral mindset as well.

In our Building a Referable Business coaching program, we help you implement not only the mindset and the strategies and the individual tactics, but also tell you exactly what to say when you need it. When you’re looking to build a referable business.

Go to to learn about everything you receive inside BRB and submit your application. The link again is

Now, back to the interview.

Linda Fogg-Phillips:     And so, you actually did all of those pieces, but the most important pieces that you felt proud and you recognize and maybe you didn’t recognize until I asked you that, that you had that emotion and because that emotion occurred immediately after you did that behavior, that helped that lock that behavior in. And so, as you see, it works.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Well then there’s something to be said for watching it, the look back over the week and be like, “How good was I?”

And then people who know me really well, they know that I do have a competitive nature to myself. So, that kind of helps to like … no, she’s not competitive, she’s not sarcastic either.

But to look at that and be like, “How well did I do?” And then my poor sweet husband Norm, he was like, “Hey, will you do that for me too?” So, of course I make his little thing for him. So, he’s probably missing some of the steps he needs, but then I’m always just peeking over at his being like, “I kicked his butt this week.”

Linda Fogg-Phillips:     Oh, you’re so perfect to talk to about all this. Alright, let’s talk about what happened with Norm. That’s what we call the ripple effect.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Yes, okay.

Linda Fogg-Phillips:     And that’s a real thing too. And this happens within family dynamics. It also happens individually with your own dynamics. But when you feel successful, maxim number two, help yourself feel successful, help people feel successful.

So, when you’re feeling successful, then other things start to fall into place as well or other things start happening, it’s what we call success momentum.

And as Norm recognized and observed you being successful and feeling successful in creating this habit, he wanted that too. That’s a ripple effect. Pretty amazing, so start watching for those, they happen all the time in our lives as we start creating positive changes and other things start falling into place. The other … oh, go ahead.

Stacey Brown Randall:          I was just going to say, I got to take that ripple effect and take it one layer out. Of my three children, my son is the most likely not because he is like all into health and stuff, but he just is the one that’s more likely to do what mom says which is awesome. But I should see if I can make that ripple effect go a little further with him, maybe get him his own container.

Linda Fogg-Phillips:     That’s it. Make it really, really easy for him to do and then what’s the time of day that can act as a prompt? Maybe you sit down as a family for breakfast. I don’t know, that’s sort of a thing of the past I think for a lot of families.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Dinner, unless there’s a baseball game or my daughter’s in acting class. Dinner is more family time than morning. I mean, I’ve got one who leaves at 6:30 in the morning and the other two don’t leave until 7:30. So, there’s some chaos to our morning.

Linda Fogg-Phillips:     Well, and as is in all families, believe me, I know with eight kids it was like I said, organized chaos is what it was.

But maybe there’s an anchor moment. If you take your vitamins at night after you’ve eaten dinner, maybe even as a family, maybe as you set the table, you each have a vitamin container right by your plate. And maybe the habit as a family is, after I take my last bite of the food on my plate for dinner, I will open up my case and take my vitamins for the day and celebrate.

So, it’s a very specific point in time. And I know we’re talking about vitamins, but this principle applies to anything in your life that you want to create as a habit.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Everything.

Linda Fogg-Phillips:     Exactly, everything. It’s finding that time of day that you want that behavior to occur on a automatic basis. That’s what we call a habit or on a regular basis.

And then finding what’s an existing routine that you have that can act as a prompt that can tell you to do the next step. And how can you make that next step, that new behavior so easy and tiny that there’s no resistance to it. And then afterwards feel positive or feel good or even with your child or with your son saying, “Wow, good job, you took those, good job.” Help him start to celebrate.

Now, kids tend to celebrate a lot more naturally than adults. As we get into adulthood, we start poo-pooing some things that we did as children or as teenagers. But it’s a really important element to know how to tap into and release endorphins and dopamine on demand to associate them with a new behavior.

Now, the other thing I wanted to just touch on as well. And this is one thing I caution my clients with, if they want their habit tracked, I think that’s great. A lot of us, and I know you’re probably one of those type of people, I’m one of those type of people as well.

But oftentimes when we habit track like you said, you might do this habit, you might take your vitamins every day, but you look back and maybe there was a morning that you skipped for some reason, guess what we focus on?

Stacey Brown Randall:          That we missed one.

Linda Fogg-Phillips:     Yeah. And so, help retrain your brain. And this is again, a mindset thing. Focus on the days that you were successful in creating that habit not the one or two that it didn’t happen because those are a given.

Our lives are not always the same day after day, in fact they’re very rarely the same, things are going to happen and occur. So, you need to be flexible to the point you go, “Okay, some days my habit might happen and I’m okay with that.” I’m focusing on the days that it does and feeling good about that instead of beating yourself up over the days that it doesn’t happen.

I too am very competitive. So, I love the fact that one of your motivations, and this is a motivation, is that you’re competing with Norm to see how well you do versus how well he does.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Poor guy, probably doesn’t know I’m competing though, has no idea. But let’s keep going.

Linda Fogg-Phillips:     Yeah. So, the example that you’re using is a really good example to teach the principles of the Tiny Habits method and you need to make the behavior that you’re wanting to do really, really easy to do.

And then you need to design for the desired outcome, meaning you’ve got to have a prompt that’s going to tell you to do the next step and then reinforce it with a positive emotion. And it could be even saying “Good job,” or “Wow, I’m so proud of myself.” “I’m moving forward, I’m actually creating this as a habit.” And so, that will help lock that habit in.

Now the celebration is a part of the Tiny Habits methodology that once that behavior is an automatic behavior, you don’t need to celebrate anymore because it’s served as purpose. You can.

Now, for me, I do celebrate simply because I have found a lot of benefit on demand releasing those emotions and releasing those endorphins and dopamine. It keeps me in a better mindset since we’re talking about mindsets, it helps keep me positive throughout the day. So, I keep my celebrations.

Stacey Brown Randall:          I think we can get really busy and once the celebration becomes automatic, it’s almost probably something that’s the easiest to forget.

But I find that I probably am not, now that I’m six or so months into this, or maybe longer, I’m not so like cognizant of the feeling proud or whatever. But the truth is I do feel good.

So, maybe to your point, I’m not consciously thinking about it because I’d never verbalized that I feel proud until you asked me that question. But I can definitely see how that is helpful, it’s like a nod. It’s like take that … that you’re doing it.

Linda Fogg-Phillips:     And a celebration, it can be like good job or way to go or something verbal but for me, my most powerful celebrations are things that are not verbal.

For example, on my cell phone, I have a picture of two of my granddaughters, they’re hugging each other. I use that as a celebration. I tap on the screen of my cell phone; it pulls up the picture of Penelope and Eloise. It makes me feel good and I associate that good feeling with that behavior.

There is another type of celebration that we have been researching this past year, and it’s called Purpose Focused celebration.

So, for example, Stacey, this could be a celebration for taking your vitamins. The purpose of taking your vitamins is that you want to be healthy, you want to look good, you want to feel good. And even reflecting on that purpose, when you do that tiny behavior, that helps you feel like you’re accomplishing something, that helps you feel good.

So, that’s sort of a higher level, it’s not the why because why is a little more shallow, but it’s the purpose what is the purpose of creating this habit? And when you reflect on that, if that purpose is meaningful to you, then that can be a celebration in and of itself.

Stacey Brown Randall:          So, I’m assuming that my purpose should probably not be vanity run amok, but aging gracefully would be a potentially better purpose.

Linda Fogg-Phillips:     Yeah, exactly.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Oh my gosh, I love that. I love that. Okay, so there is so much more that we could unpack, but before I have you share with the listeners where they can learn all that stuff, that I know all that more stuff that they want to consume for you, let’s take this into a specific conversation regarding this from a business perspective.

I feel like the habits that I am intentional about creating or the ones that I wasn’t intentional about creating and I can’t seem to stop them, when I think about habits, they have a lot to do with the health and wellness which is important for how we show up to run our businesses from a day in and day out kind of place.

But do you have like thoughts or examples or anything to share regarding where you see business owners implementing habits that maybe aren’t health and wellness in nature but are helping them with that purpose-driven celebration for moving their business forward?

Linda Fogg-Phillips:     The answer is yes. And that’s a really big question to unpack. Let me divert a little bit to give you an example in my own life and here again, this goes back to mindset.

Now, as far as habits as a business owner you have habits. They’re going to help either make you or break you. I mean, that’s just the rule of life.

And especially when you’re a small business owner and whether you have a team or whether you’re a solopreneur, it doesn’t matter you still need to have those automatic habits in place. And so yes, the Tiny Habits method can help you create those habits.

And here’s the other thing that some people get a little confused on. Yeah, they’re so tiny. It’s like, sometimes people say, “Well, it’s so tiny, why should I even do it?” It’s like a little tiny seed you need to plant that little, tiny habit somewhere in your daily life where you want it to grow and expand and be a bigger behavior. And it will do that organically. Trust the process, it’s a scientifically proven process that works.

One of the numbers that we track and study on a weekly basis is how people’s confidence increases in creating habits after doing our free five-day Tiny Habits program.

And the number of the people that actually go through the five-day program, anywhere from 89 to 93% of the people that respond to the survey indicate that their confidence has increased in creating habits.

Confidence even in running a business is huge. That really is what’s going to help us be successful or not, is if we have a belief in ourselves that we can create the behaviors, the habits, and do what we need to do to be successful. So, confidence is paramount.

Where it’s going to go with my personal example, and this is why I’m so passionate about helping others gain the skill, when we look at habits as a skill, gain the skill of habit formation and help them realize that they too can have hope and evidence that they can create habits and create changes in their life.

And Stacey, you know a little bit of my backstory, 12 years ago I lost my 20-year-old son to an accidental OxyContin overdose. It was devastating. Shortly after that, I had a serious horse accident that should have killed me. Fortunately, I came through that with a lot of broken bones, primarily all my ribs and was able to recover without any long-term effects from that.

But there were so many challenges in my life during a short period of time that I felt defeated. Shortly after my son passed away, for 25 years we had a home building business here in Las Vegas. The housing crisis in 2008, 2008 is when we lost our son through 2012, completely wiped us out.

We had to file chapter seven bankruptcy. We had to start all over. We lost our home; we lost our business. We had to lay everybody off in our business, which were mostly family members. It was a devastating time.

And in the midst of that time, my husband was diagnosed with Early-Onset Alzheimer’s. I just wanted to curl up in a corner and just let the world go by me. It was just so difficult that I thought, “There’s no way I can do this.”

I was immediately, not immediately, but, well, I guess it felt immediately. I was taken from the position of being a full-time mom to thrown into being the primary provider for my family, my husband could no longer work. And so, it was a sink or swim situation.

But I also had a mindset where I felt very overwhelmed. My brother, BJ who I’ve always been very close with, and at the time that Tiny Habits was being developed, when he invited me to work with him in Tiny Habits, he also knew that my mindset was a very defeated mindset, that I also felt like, “I just can’t do this.” I was depressed, I was apathetic.

Well, nobody can build a business around a business with that kind of a mindset because we’ve already lost. And so, he suggested that I practice a tiny habit, which I’m going to share with you in a minute. I always recommend this to my clients.

But it was a tiny habit that at that time I thought, “Well, what difference is this going to make?” And it’s now what we call the Maui Habit. And the habit is, after my feet hit the floor in the morning, I will say, “It’s going to be a great day.” And then celebrate.

The anchor moment was, hitting up, standing up. Then the tiny behavior was saying, it’s going to be a great day. And then reinforcing that. What I did to reinforce that is I just do a two thumbs up, I say, “Yes,” or “I got this.”

What I saw happen is my mindset shifted. It went from that of a victim to a victor. I also started looking at my day differently. I started looking for the wins as opposed to the defeats. And I think I started to attract and I’m not one of these woo-woo people, but I do feel like we attract to us what we’re putting out.

And because I was starting my day with a win and feeling positive and releasing those endorphins and dopamine at the very beginning, instead of dreading getting out of bed, I started attracting more abundance. I started attracting more positivity. I started focusing on what was right with my life, my family and my business as to where my deficiencies were.

And so, that has propelled me forward. I’ve done that habit now, I think I’m going on eight years, maybe even nine at this point. I did that this morning.

And then I learned to bookend my day with gratitude. Gratitude is a very trans formal habit. The gratitude that I started practicing is after my head hits the pillow at night, I will think of one thing that I’m grateful for and then celebrate that even in the midst of chaotic days, there’s always things you could be grateful for.

And so, these are two of the habits, I have many habits, but these are two of the habits that have been really transformative for me in moving forward. And also transformative in me, in building confidence in myself that, “I am, I can do this.”

One of the other, and this is a Pearl Habit, oftentimes, especially during all of the turmoil in our family’s life and unfortunately, we did end up losing my husband in 2020 to Alzheimer’s. And that here again was a very upending type of experience. It’s like the rugs all of a sudden pulled out from underneath you yet again. It’s like, “Oh, you just took another punch in the stomach yet again.”

But having the skills of habit formation of the Tiny Habits Method and the Pearl Habits method, it’s given me the strength and the ability to bounce back. It’s given me the strength to show up as my best self as opposed to a crippled or self that is encumbered by, I can’ts and I don’ts. And just feeling defeated.

Another one of the habits that I incorporate, and this I think will help business owners quite a bit too, is I’m faced with different situations all the time. Situations that are scary and in business we face situations that go, “Oh man, I don’t know how to navigate through this.” Or, “I don’t know what to do here.”

And what I’ve learned to do is instead of being afraid, it’s not that we’re not afraid, but you can’t be fearful and positive at the same time. Instead of being afraid when I’m facing a new situation, I look at as an adventure. So, I reframe it.

So, when I’m thrown into a situation or I come into something that is unfamiliar to me that might be scary or intimidating, I tell myself, “Oh, this is going to be a new adventure. I wonder what I’m going to learn.”

And as a result, it changes how I view that adventure, that situation. And I’m in more of a learning mindset and a positive mindset than, “Oh, I can’t do this.” Or “This is overwhelming type of a mindset.

And that’s an example of a Pearl Habit where you take a negative anchor moment or a difficult situation, it can even be a negative emotion, and you design how you’re going to respond to that in a positive way instead of reacting.

When we react, typically we think, “Oh, that was dumb. I should not have reacted that way.”

But when you anticipate these situations and you think ahead the behavior, how am I going to respond when this occurs and you design your response, then when that anchor moment or that situation comes up, that prompt, you’re already prepared and then you pat yourself on the back, it’s like, “Alright, I handled that a lot better than I thought I would.”

Stacey Brown Randall:          Listening to you talk, it kind of reminds me of that whole idea, I think about this from my perspective. It’s like everything we do to set ourselves up for success, to having a healthy, growth-oriented mindset that can be resilient and can bounce back and stuff. It’s like everything that we do, that’s actually what helps us when we step into our office on a daily basis.

And then we deal with all the things we didn’t see coming or all the things that we knew were coming that were going to be hard or easy or whatever.

This whole idea of that mindset piece and what this whole series has been about is to get business owners to be thinking about the things that we do in life, so to speak. That really, even though business is part of life, that really support us when we’re stepping into business as well.

Whereas we try to separate in some areas business from personal life, in this case, when we talk about mindset, it’s like all ever flowing, mixed together and always going to be together because we need that mindset and those skills or those habits or those behaviors that allow us to really deal with all the things, which will be a lot of things that will happen as we’re running our business, particularly the longer we do it.

So, and it’s like you think, “Oh, when I get all this figured out,.” You’re never going to have it all figured out, there’ll always be something new.

For me it’s like, “Oh, when I finally get this algorithm figured out.” Who cares? Because there always changing it and there’s always a new thing.

The reality of it is, I think you’re right. I think that mindset of all the things we do in some cases in our lives before we step into “the office” helps us handle and deal with all those things.

Linda Fogg-Phillips:     Yeah, exactly. I agree a hundred percent. I agree.

Stacey Brown Randall:          So, okay, as we’re wrapping up, I am sure my listeners are going to be like, okay, I need to know a little bit more.

I know you mentioned BJ’s book. I know that you talked about the free five-day course that you guys have. Why don’t you tell folks where they can go if they just want to start consuming more information? Of course, we’ll put this information in the show notes too.

Linda Fogg-Phillips:     So, there’s three places that you can go. If you want to go through our free five-day Tiny Habits program, which we run every single week of the year, we even pair you with a real person to guide and coach you through that. You can go to So, that’s where you can join that.

If you want to go more in depth with the Tiny Habits methodology, you can go to This is where we do all the teaching and training. We have some courses up there. We have three panel recordings up there.

We do panels, we once or twice a month on different topics where we have some of our expert coaches share some habits that they’ve helped their clients create using the Tiny Habits method. That’s another resource that’s available.

And lastly, is where you can go if you want to really dial in on Habits of Resilience or Habits of Positivity, that’s a new website that we’re just launching. We also have a podcast that’s being launched with that website as well. Yay.

And so, Stacey, you’ll probably see yourself on there sometime soon.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Fabulous.

Linda Fogg-Phillips:     Yeah. I just invited you.

Stacey Brown Randall:          Linda, I don’t say no to you. So, of course.

Linda Fogg-Phillips:     I know. So, BJ and I, know that we have a purpose in life, and our purpose is to help people gain that hope and evidence that they can change and help them create habits that bless their lives and bless the lives of their loved ones.

So, please reach out. Please let us help you as needed or as you so choose, and just know that you can design the life that you want to live and it’s not as hard as you think it is. You just have to have the right approach.

Stacey Brown Randall:          So good. Oh, my goodness, Linda was talking about all the things that I really do when I think about, like the habits I have that I am proud of and the habits I have that I am not proud of.

I think for me it is a great struggle. It is one of those struggles. It’s like, “Why can I not just stop drinking the Coca-Cola in the afternoon?” Those great struggles come down to you really having a strategy to know how to form the habits you want.

And as you know, we learned, really stop focusing on the habits you’re trying to avoid, because sometimes you can just smother them out. My words, not Linda’s, smother them out with good habits as well.

So, I loved this interview. Definitely, we’re going to link to everything that Linda shared. If you want to take her five-day mini program about establishing some tiny habits, that would be amazing, we’re going to link to that in the show notes page. You’ll get the title of the book for her brother’s book Tiny Habits as well, which is really like most people have heard about Tiny Habits.

So, we will link to all that in the show notes page. And the show notes page for this episode is

Alright. Next week is episode 265, and our summer series on the Mindset of a Business Owner continues. But we’re switching gears just slightly, stay tuned.

Until then, you know what to do. Take control of your referrals and build a referable business. Bye for now.

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