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IAM1917 – Keynote Speaker Provides Ideas and Materials to Help Spark Creativity and Innovation

Podcast interview with Izolda Trakhtenberg

Why it was selected for “CBNation Architects”:

In this episode, the guest speaker is Izolda Trakhtenberg, who is a keynote speaker, author, and host of the Creative Mindset podcast.

Key Points:

About Izolda Trakhtenberg: Born in Moldova, Izolda learned multiple languages during a year-long immigration process. She is a well-rounded professional, having traveled the world as a NASA trainer. Trakhtenberg now gives keynotes and presents programs which help people unlock and master their leadership, creativity, and communication skills. She is also the author of five books, including “Speak From Within: Engage, Inspire, and Motivate Any Audience”.

Programs and Services: Izolda's programs are helmed to aid individuals in tapping into their innate leadership potential, sparking creativity, and honing communication skills.

CEO Hack: She remains organized and grateful by using a daily journaling practice.

CEO Nugget: Her advice to entrepreneurs is to keep the best and let go of the rest, signifying the importance of discernment and adaptability in business.

CEO Defined: To Izolda, being a CEO means being of service, highlighting the necessity of empathy and attentiveness in leadership.

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Izolda Trakhtenberg Teaser 00:00

And then when I went to NASA, I started doing training and traveling the world, training environmental science for them. Out of all of that, I started really thinking about what if I took this on the road myself?

Because then I would get to focus on my great passion, which is creativity and communication and helping other people learn how to communicate across borders, across languages, often using creativity.

Intro 00:29

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview?

If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you the information you're in search of. This is the IAMCEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:56

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the IAMCEO podcast and I appreciate you listening to this episode. If you've been listening this year, you know that we hit 1600 episodes at the beginning of this year. We're doing something a little bit different where we're repurposing our favorite episodes around certain categories, topics or as I like to call them business pillars that we think are going to be extremely impactful for CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business owners, or what I like to call CB nation architects who are looking to level up their organizations.

This month, we are focused on innovation, disruption, women entrepreneurship, DEI, gig economy, remote economy, even the cannabis industry. Think about these industries and these disruptive technologies that really sometimes aren't as disruptive, but there are people that are just paying attention to what the market needs and they're providing that. So really think about the things that are quote and quote outside of the norm, but really help entrepreneurship to grow and fully develop.

I think it's an extremely exciting time when you're talking about any type of innovation or disruption, because I think that there are so many opportunities and needs that aren't felt that are starting to be filled by different groups, different organizations, or even different industries. So what I want you to do is sit back and enjoy this special episode of the IAMCEO podcast.

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the IAMCEO podcast, and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have the Izolda Trakhtenberg of ZoldaT.com. Izolda, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Izolda Trakhtenberg 02:21

Thanks so much for having me, Gresh. I'm really, really looking forward to speaking with you.

Gresham Harkless 02:25

Yeah, me too. I'm super excited to have you on. What I wanted to do is just read a little bit more about Izolda so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing.

Born in Moldova, Izolda learned how to communicate in multiple languages through a year long immigration process. Today Izolda, gives keynotes and presents programs that help people tap into and master their leadership, creativity and communication skills.

She traveled the world as a NASA trainer. She is the author of five books, including Speak From Within, Engage, Inspire and Motivate Any Audience and the host of the Creative Mindset Podcast. Izolda and her husband and their cats live in Maryland, United States of America.

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Izolda, are you ready to speak to the IAMCEO community?

Izolda Trakhtenberg 03:07

I absolutely am.

[restrict paid=”true”]

Gresham Harkless 03:09

Awesome. Let's do it. So the first question I had was to hear a little bit more about what I call your CEO story and what led you to start your business.

Izolda Trakhtenberg 03:16

It actually grew organically. I started doing trainings and workshops all the way back when I worked at the National Geographic Society and moved on from there and they were Within the National Geographic Society. And I thought, wow, I love doing this. I love helping people learn. In 2001, literally right after 911, the week after 911, I was teaching a singing class and we used singing to process and to heal. We made that a journey together and I realized that the power of creativity and the power of teaching was something that we all can share and make use of.

And then when I went to NASA, I started doing training and traveling the world, training environmental science for them. Out of all of that, I started really thinking about what if I took this on the road myself, because then I would get to focus on my great passion, which is creativity and communication, and helping other people learn how to communicate across borders, across languages. Often using creativity, it grew out of a real desire to help people be able to connect and really interact on those fundamental levels that we all share.

That's how I started the business and it's been growing ever since.

Gresham Harkless 04:41

Awesome. That kind of, go across different parts of the world and different races and ages and all of that creativity seems to be its own thing.

Izolda Trakhtenberg 04:49

Absolutely. It is. And it's really funny if you have the courage. Whoever you are, if you have the courage to offer up something you've created, it's a story you're telling to the world, whether or not you're using words to write a book or you're painting or you're doing music or marketing. It doesn't matter what it is.If it's something that you have created, that's creative. So as soon as you offer that story up into the world, everyone else is going to have some sort of reaction to it.

Now, if it's art, if it's a painting or a sculpture, everyone is gonna have their own ideas and everyone's gonna have their own filters. But then when they communicate those ideas, that's when the juicy stuff really happens. When everybody can participate in the discussion, everybody can participate and give their viewpoint or their opinion and learn from others. And that's how we connect and interact as we start understanding each other.

One of the things I love to say about creativity and communication in general is that once we understand each other, it becomes impossible to be indifferent to one another.

Gresham Harkless 05:57

That's really powerful. It sounds like creativity and those creative projects that we work on are a catalyst for that.

Izolda Trakhtenberg 06:04

Absolutely. And what's really funny, what you just said, it's a catalyst and creativity is a catalyst, but also any kind of reaching out. If you're reaching out in a sincere attempt to connect with someone, it doesn't have to be creative. It can be something that is a conversation that you begin because you really want to know about the other person and about their experience.

And if you find it someone that you want to know more and you're curious about who they are and where they come from and their culture and their history and their background, then reaching out in that way, either through creativity or through language, whatever it does, that part doesn't matter so much.

What matters is that it's an actual, sincere, beneficial curiosity. That's when we can really begin that kind of interaction.

Gresham Harkless 07:00

Absolutely. That makes perfect sense. I wanted to drill down a little bit deeper, I know we touched a little bit more upon your business. Could you talk a little bit more on what you do to support the clients you work with and what you feel sets you apart in your secret sauce?

Izolda Trakhtenberg 07:13

Wow. Good question. So what I do is I teach workshops. I go into organizations and businesses and churches and schools depending on who the client is, if you will. I help them solve their problems. Often our problems are communication issues. So I support my clients by providing workshops that will help them resolve issues or solve problems or innovate. I can do it through negotiation workshop or through a communication workshop or sometimes, and I'll be honest, one of my favorites is creativity. It's about how to tell your story better. So we might do storytelling or we might do singing. We might do something that allows the people themselves to find their inner voice and bring it out.

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What's really fun is when the most shy or hesitant person ends up discovering, or at least showing to everyone else a talent that they didn't know they had and it's magic. Then that's the secret sauce is the magic of having the courage to stand up, having the courage to create, and more importantly, having the courage to share what you've created. I facilitate that kind of finding that courage and that kind of innovation and the spark of wanting to create and then wanting to tell your story better, whatever that story is for each individual person. I believe in providing a lot of supplemental materials because I often feel you read a book and then it's over. Or you go to a workshop or a seminar and then it's over, but I want to give a lot of supplemental materials.

So I provide a lot of things on my website, for example, the most recent book I wrote, Speak From Within, it's a sort of a multimedia project, if you will, because I developed a number of audios and videos that people can listen to and watch and participate in to keep progressing, to keep developing their communication skills long after they read the book, long after they attend the workshop, for example. I do the same thing with creativity. I do the same thing with negotiation. I provide a lot of materials for that.

And then of course, with the creativity, there's the Creative Mindset podcast. It's a daily micro show that I want to support my clients and customers with and also my listeners with to give ideas on not only how to be creative but how to have the creative mindset, which I think is really important because when you have that means, you're open to inspiration, you're open to innovation and you won't judge yourself because when you are being creative, when you are in that part of your brain, there is no room for judgment.

It's a completely different part of the brain that's being used when you're creating. That's why they say, don't write and edit at the same time because you're using different parts of your brain. I help people find that part, that spark so that they can then go out and create themselves and innovate and solve problems creatively. And also want to, again share their new knowledge, share their creations, and that way improve their communication and interactions with the people around them, whether it's at work or in their personal lives.

Gresham Harkless 10:39

Absolutely. No, I absolutely love that.

Izolda Trakhtenberg 10:41

And what's really interesting, what you just said earlier about it being a catalyst, that's very true. It doesn't even have to be whether or not they're shy or hesitant sometimes. They're not shy or hesitant, but they don't know where to start, and sometimes it's almost like by participating in a workshop to become more creative or to learn how to communicate a little bit better, you get permission to actually make that endeavor. Oh I went to this workshop and now I have some tools and now I can go start creating or I can go push past the limit of my shyness and actually reach out.

The best way to reach out, of course, is never to just talk. The best way to reach out is to listen. The best way to make a connection is to find out more about the other person. I actually attended a festival once and I made a conscious decision that I would not really offer anything else. Other than my name and a how are you about myself. Instead, I would ask questions of everybody I met. I would just ask about them, really sit in that curious place and ask about who they were, what they did for fun, what they loved, what they wanted.

What was really interesting is how many people during that festival told me what an amazing conversationalist I was, which I thought was wonderful because I wasn't really saying anything except for to want to know more about them. And if you cultivate that curiosity, that is when you really can make those connections.

Gresham Harkless 12:15

Absolutely. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. This might be an app, a book or a habit that you have, but it's something that makes you more effective and efficient.

Izolda Trakhtenberg 12:26

I'm always striving to be more efficient and more productive and to that end, I developed my own thing and I'll tell you about it. I call it the show up journal because I think that's the most important thing that we can do for ourselves as CEOs or as anyone who is trying to do something that's entrepreneurial that's starting something for themselves or by themselves and that is you have to show up. So I developed this journal. It's every morning, first thing before I even get out of bed, I do a one page free, right? I write about anything that comes into my brain, it's a brain data dump.

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You need to get rid of all the gunk that's in your head. So before you can start really planning and processing your day, you need to get rid of whatever the dust is, if you will. So I do a sort of a brain data dump first thing and then I turn it over, turn the page over on the very top of the next page is three things I'm grateful for. So every day I think about what I want to spend time actively being grateful for. As someone who has her own business and any CEO will tell you, I'm sure it takes energy to do all of the things we're doing to try and make our businesses grow. But taking a moment to be grateful for what you already have is something that sort of builds that foundation and builds a platform from which you can leap into the unknown. So I do that gratitude.

Then I do an affirmation, which is something that I'm trying to bring into my life. I'm always trying to learn. So often it's about something that I'm curious about or something that I want to learn. And then I do three projects. The projects are divided by threes. I believe three is a really lovely, easy way of doing things. Morning, noon, and night. So I have these three projects, and each of them has three action items that I want to achieve that day, and I write them down.

I'm a big believer in the satisfaction of crossing off what you've accomplished, so every time I achieve one of those things, I mark it off. I put a big X through the little box next to the thing I wanted to achieve, and it gives me a real look at what I've done, every week I go back and I figure out what I've done and it helps me plan what's next.

Gresham Harkless 14:38

Absolutely. Now I want to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. This is a word of wisdom or piece of advice. Or if you can hop into a time machine, what would you tell your younger business self?

Izolda Trakhtenberg 14:47

I think really what I would say is keep the best and let go of the rest. That's probably it.

Gresham Harkless 14:54

I love that. Now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. We're hoping to have different quote and quote CEOs on the show side.

So what I want to ask you, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Izolda Trakhtenberg 15:04

It means focusing on the most important thing, which is being of service. I have a lot of contractors, for example, and they don't work for me. I work for them. So I have to do what is going to help them shine.

Gresham Harkless 15:20

Absolutely. I think those are the best leaders and the best CEOs, definitely a great reminder. So Izolda, I truly appreciate your time. What I want to do is pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional to let our readers and our listeners know. And then, of course, how best they can get ahold of you.

Izolda Trakhtenberg 15:36

Oh, terrific. Thank you so much for that. The best way to get a hold of me is through the website is izoldat.com. Or you can find me at IzoldaT on Twitter or at Izolda Trakhtenberg on LinkedIn or at izoldat on Instagram. I'm pretty consistently boring or boringly consistent, and that's probably the best way.

If you want to email me is izolda@izoldat.com

Gresham Harkless 16:06

Izolda, I truly appreciate you. Thank you for the consistency. We'll make sure to have those links in this show notes as well. And I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Izolda Trakhtenberg 16:13

Thanks so much Gresh for having me. This has been wonderful.

Outro 16:16

Thank you for listening to the IAMCEO podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co. IAMCEO is not just a phrase, it's a community.

Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and everywhere you listen to podcasts. Subscribe and leave us a five-star rating. Grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the IAMCEO podcast with Gresham Harkless. 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(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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