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IAM1668 – Psychologist Helps People Handle High-stress Occupations

Podcast Interview with Dr. Ganz Ferrance

Why it was selected for “CBNation Architects”: Dr. Ganz understands stress and burnout and to be able to help people in high-stress roles like CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business owners navigate stressful situations is huge. He spoke about “managing your state” and “proactivity” and how powerful that has been for him and his clients. Also, we spoke about how powerful it is to deposit into your “happy bank.”

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Dr. Ganz Ferrance Teaser 00:00

If you're a CEO, you're a leader who is responsible for the people that have given you the right to lead, right? That's the people downstream for you, the board, whoever else, your customers, your suppliers, everybody. And your job then is to have the vision, cast that vision, and then support all the people around you. To do their very best.

Intro 00:23

Are you ready to hear business stories and learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and level up your business from awesome CEOs, entrepreneurs, and founders, without listening to a long, long, long interview?

If so, you've come to the right place. Gresh values your time and is ready to share with you the valuable info you're in search of. This is the I am CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:51

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast and I appreciate you listening to this episode. And if you've been listening this year, we're doing something a little bit different where we're repurposing our favorite episodes under certain categories or topics that we think are gonna be extremely impactful for CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business owners.

This month is going to be about not forgetting about the human part of business. Often we forget about the human part of life. We often forget about the human part of business. So look forward to self-care tips, fitness, burnout, purpose, biz and personal, personal branding, motivation, drive, success, understanding your why, and of course, how important customer service is. But at the heart of it, it's all about, remembering the human part of business. So sit back and enjoy this special episode of the I am CEO podcast.

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Dr. Ganz Ferrance of Dr. Gantz, it's great to have you on the show.

Dr. Ganz Ferrance 01:48

Hey Gresham, thanks so much for having me here. Really happy to be here.

Gresham Harkless 01:51

Yes. I'm super excited to have you on as well too. Before we jumped in, I wanted to read a little bit more about Dr. Ganz so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing. And registered psychologist Dr. Ganz is a speaker, author, and coach. Since the early nineties, Dr. Ganz has been helping individuals, couples, families, and corporations beat burnout, reduce their levels of stress, improve their relationships, and enjoy more success. Known for working with the toughest of the tough, including fourth-generation gang members, hardened oil and gas workers, and battle-tested CEOs and entrepreneurs, and stresse-out law enforcement officers, Dr. Ganz is truly a master at showing people in high-stress occupations, no-nonsense, practical strategies to stay focused, make healthy decisions under pressure, and boost communication skills to reduce conflict during difficult times.

We connected through the Evolutionary Business Council so super excited to hear about all the awesome things you've been doing over the years, Dr. Ganz, and of course having you on the show. Are you ready to speak to the I am CEO community?

Dr. Ganz Ferrance 02:45

I'm so honored to be able to do that. So thank you for sharing your audience with me. Love it.

[restrict paid=”true”]

Gresham Harkless 02:49

Yes, absolutely. Well, thank you for sharing your gift as well too. And speaking of that gift, I wanted to rewind the clock a little bit, hear a little bit more on how you got started, what I like to call your CEO story.

Dr. Ganz Ferrance 02:59

Yeah, so, for a long time, I wanted to understand how people function, what is it that makes us tick, right? And so I went into psychology and after being in prior practice for quite a while, but also being on the other side of the couch, so to speak, I was also in therapy for quite a while and I still am in therapy. 40 years later I started to really see certain patterns that would show up for people, and especially in my own life. And so what I did was I realized that, okay, if I can put a system together, not only could it keep me straight, but it could also do a lot of good for a lot of people. And, so this is where my me factor system developed.

But I also realized, talking to, cause I got this entrepreneurial bend right to me. So it's like I'm always looking to see if I could do better, build a business here and there, and stuff like that. And I realized the business is always a reflection of me, right? It's always a reflection of who I am, and how well I'm doing. You know what my thought process is, what my paradigm for life is. And I realized that when I had a better paradigm for life, when my state was better, I was in a calmer, more healthy state, I could recognize opportunities better. I acted on them faster, I was way more creative, and I had this huge buffer for stress.

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When I was not in that state, things didn't go as well. So, this is what prompted me to put all this stuff together in a system really for myself and then I wanted to pass it on to my kids, but then I realized that a lot of clients could benefit from it. Then a lot of my CEO and entrepreneurial friends also could benefit from it. And that's what got me started.

Gresham Harkless 04:29

I wanted to hear a little bit more about your lane, and the race that you're running. Could you take us through a little bit more on how you're working with your clients, how you're making an impact, and how you serve them?

Dr. Ganz Ferrance 04:37

So my three big areas are burnout, burnout prevention and recovery, and relationships and communication. And one of the things that really helped me is I burnt myself out a few times in my past. One time I was actually doing this crazy kind of circuit in the northern part of this, the province where I live up in Canada, here in Alberta, Canada. I woke up in a hotel one day and I had a splitting headache for like two weeks and I woke up and I didn't know where I was and it was scary. I thought I'd had a stroke or something bad had happened. Right. And that was one of the big motivators to say, okay, I got to do this differently. Because at that point, I was doing things the way it was early in my career and it was like, oh, I was doing things the way I was expected to, or told to, or what everybody else was doing. Right. Work hard, make your boss happy, that sort of thing.

I realized that no, I can't do this. If I'm broken, then whatever service that I can give is also broken or gone, right? And so I had to really rethink how I did my life and also my business. So that really helped me create this system for myself to keep me on track. And when I did that, then I realized that it wasn't just to like recover and help me, not be burnt out again, but it actually enhanced my life. It actually helped me to be better, so I was better in spending time with my wife, I didn't have kids at the time, but when the kids came, it's like, okay, I can actually be present for the kids. That's awesome. My health was better. I started making better decisions at work, and more opportunities. I don't know if more opportunities came or I just probably just recognized those opportunities more and I was able to act on them better.

And so this really solidified how powerful this idea of, well, two ideas really. One is, Managing your state is one of the core things. If I can manage my state, then everything else tends to work better. And then the other one is proactivity, which is, if I can start to think ahead, if I can not be reactive, which unfortunately much of the world is reactive. Especially my Profession psychology tends to be built more on, and especially people's perception is it's built more on reactive. Right, it's built more on the sickness spot. Well, you go see a shrink, and they're gonna tell you that something's wrong. Right, and so really focusing on being proactive and positive. Because I really believe that the best defense for a lot of the stuff that we deal with, stress, anxiety, depression, all these different things that are common cold of our minds and our emotions. The best defense to that is a good offense.

When I find that I am working well on myself, I'm choosing the direction of my evolution, and I'm working towards my own enhancement. I tend not to have room in my life for these things. And they don't really come up very much. And then when I teach my students to do this is what they find too. And they find not only are they able to avoid this stuff, but their life is way better and they actually enjoy what they're doing more, and they can be creative and have more success that way. And so that's the core of what it is. Really positive, proactive, and really, life-enhancing as opposed to, trying to find something wrong and fix, quote and quote, fix what's broken.

Gresham Harkless 07:41

Yeah. And I think so many times you mentioned, in your industry, but I think in so many ways people aren't necessarily proactive. Like, and we talked a little bit about being a leader and being more in the middle of the road or being in that middle spot so that you don't disrupt. Exactly. You keep things status quo. You keep things as they are. You can just go with the flow. But I think when you are being proactive, a lot of times it is putting things in place, putting habits or practices of those things in place so that you're able to understand that when that stress comes up.

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Then you're able to navigate that because of you, for lack of a better term, worked out the muscles and built that so that it is able to withstand certain times whenever they might come up. So I love that you're able to do that with your students and the people that you work with, because I think those are skills that you'll always need and never go out of fashion or out of style.

Dr. Ganz Ferrance 08:22


Gresham Harkless 08:22

So it's something great that you help people to build.

Dr. Ganz Ferrance 08:25

Yeah, exactly right. Simple concept, I like to think of it as a happy bank, right? It's like if we have lots of deposits in our Happy bank, then when the tough time comes and we need to take some withdrawals, we got some buffer, right? Most people unfortunately live in overdraft. They really constantly have an overdraft in their Happy bank, right? And so, just like a simple thing, like if you have a big meeting coming up that will be a little bit stressful either because you got to prepare or whatever difficult people you're dealing with, whatever it is. Do some things ahead of time to make some deposits, right? Go and play some golf if that's your thing, or get some extra sleep or hang out with the family or eat some food you like. Whatever it is to build that account in your happy bank so then you are in a better place to deal with these difficult people and even the presentation.

But then you want to create some time, I would say recovery after that, right? So, yeah, after a big thing like that, maybe give yourself a few days to pace yourself. Don't jump right back in and, oh, I got to catch up with the emails. I got to do one. No, take your time. Ease back in. Do the same things. Maybe a little extra sleep on the back end. Some things that are gonna feed your soul, your spirit on the back end, get some exercise and then ease back into your regular routine. Just by doing that, what you're gonna do is that particular incident, whatever that is, that meeting's gonna go way better, but you're gonna have way more energy and so your longevity expands.

The next meeting's gonna be better, and how you treat the people back at work when you get back there is better and all this other stuff starts to be a synergistic kind of positive cycle that creates more health, better culture, all that stuff in your company, but then gives you more longevity in your career. And you tend to just let your wins run and you also cut your losses short when you're able to have an approach like this.

Gresham Harkless 09:55

I absolutely love that. That's kind of like having that, short-term memory and understanding. I think a lot of times, we first of all don't realize how sometimes if we're blessed, of course life can be, and opportunities can be, and that the things that we think are fires or things that are gonna completely destroy us or our business are sometimes things we'll forget about in the next five minutes, or let alone five years or five, weeks or whatever.

Dr. Ganz Ferrance 10:16


Gresham Harkless 10:16

We forget about that aspect, but also I love that and I don't know if that might be a hack, something you feel makes you more effective and efficient, but the ability to build out that happy bank.

Dr. Ganz Ferrance 10:24


Gresham Harkless 10:24

And be able to go to that. Not knowing when that might happen, but having that practice and that habit in place, that muscle built, so that you're able to go back to that would be like what you would consider a hack.

Dr. Ganz Ferrance 10:32

Absolutely, I consider that a hack. The bigger concept on that is state management, right? And that's one of the things I think is, anything you do to manage your state then a happy bank is one of those things. You make sure that you build yourself up so you have the extra. Okay. If I got $10,000 in my bank and I got to write a $5,000 check, I'm okay. If I got $2,000 in my bank, ah, I'm gonna be in a little bit of problems. If I'm in overdraft, then I'm really screwed. Right? So, you wanna manage your state and that's the thing. And I actually have an owner's manual in my system that people go through. I go through with people to help them figure out, okay, what is it that gonna help you be your best. How do we get optimal performance from you so you can be happy most of the time and perform your best?

And honestly, when things start to go well, you just know that you're doing these things, but when things start to fall off, you can go back and check and say, Hey, well wait for a second, what haven't I done? Or what do I need to do more of to get me back at that prime state? Because once you're in that state, all that brilliance gets to flow. If you're not in that state, I don't care how smart you are, how good you are, you're gonna fall apart. It's like if you're going into your house and you got your keys, you've done that thousands of times, right? But if a dog's chasing you or you really got to pee or something, you're like dropping the keys, they' re upside down. Like it takes you forever to get into the house and it's not like you lost the skill to open a door. It's just that your state is wrong. And that's a simple process, a simple concept, but it's one of the most powerful hacks that I can think of.

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Gresham Harkless 11:58

I appreciate that. And so, you might have already touched on this, but what would you consider to be, what I like to call a CEO nugget, which is a word of wisdom or piece of advice, something you might tell a client or if you were to hop into a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

Dr. Ganz Ferrance 12:11

My younger self? Yeah. Honestly, I would say that, and you touched on it actually, Gresham. You said, you're gonna laugh about this in five years, or five months or whatever. Don't take yourself so seriously at the moment. One of the best ways to manage your state is to be able to cultivate a sense of humor and to be able to laugh at your situation and also look for opportunities.

If I've been through this, I've lived long enough now, I've been through this enough times that things that I thought were at the time, horrible, things that happened in my life have really turned out to be a blessing in disguise, right? They've really come out to be something that has been as powerful and positive in my life.

Gresham Harkless 12:47

It actually brings me to my favorite question, which actually I love because a lot of it is built upon, like looking from the center, which is the definition of what it means to be a quote and quote CEO. The goal of that question is really to look at it from different perspectives, for everybody to see and define it for themselves, what it means to them.

So I wanted to ask you, Dr. Ganz, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Dr. Ganz Ferrance 13:05

It means having the courage to be the leader. I really believe in servant leadership. If you're a CEO, you're a leader who is responsible for the people that have given you the right to lead, right? That's the people downstream for you, the board, whoever else, your customers, your suppliers, everybody. And your job then is to have a vision, cast that vision, and then support all the people around you to do their very best. Give them the tools they need, and not just the physical tools, but the emotional tools, the environment, the mindset, and the support that they need to do their best.

And so by doing that, you're like the conductor of an orchestra. You might be able to play some of the instruments, but your real job is getting the high-level picture and making sure all the instruments play together and make sure that there's harmony. And I think that to me, that's what a CEO does and who that CEO is.

Gresham Harkless 13:53

Awesome. Well, Dr. Ganz truly appreciate that definition and I appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do was just pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional that you can let our readers and listeners know, and of course, how best they can get ahold of you and find about all the awesome things that you're working on.

Dr. Ganz Ferrance 14:08

Thank you. So the best way to get ahold of me is my website. It is if you're from Canada or England. And also, I have a free gift for people who are interested. It's And what that is my 12 stress-busting strategies. And you also get an ask Dr. Ganz component where every week he can ask questions and I pick a question and I answer. I give you a video answer to your question. So you get to touch and feel a real psychologist, that's not too scary. In the privacy of your own computer. So that's how best to get ahold of me.

Gresham Harkless 14:46

Absolutely. I love that. Dr. Ganz. We will definitely have the links and information in the show notes so that everybody can get ahold of you, and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Outro 14:53

Thank you for listening to the I am CEO podcast, powered by CB Nation and Blue 16 media. Tune in next time and visit us at I am CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Don't forget to schedule your complimentary digital marketing consultation at This has been the I am CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless, Jr. Thank you for listening.


Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(, podcasts, ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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