Recently I did a series of interviews with people on the theme of transforming hopelessness.  I had the pleasure of interviewing Tad Hargrave (  In particular, he had some great things to say about hopelessness as it comes up in business marketing (his specialty).  Tad is an amazing resource for conscious business owners who want to market with heart.

1) Can you tell us a little about how you help clients shift out of their hopelessness and back into their power?

Hmm. I think there are a few levels. Part of what’s needed by most folks is context. They need to know the bigger picture of how marketing works. It can feel totally hopeless-making to be in a big new city without a map and no one to give you directions. Sometimes that’s all people need.

On a deeper level, people are often working really hard to climb the ladder or success only to find it’s leaning against the wrong wall. Like, they’re trying to grow their business but, deep down, they’re not excited about growing that particular business, or growing it in the way they’ve been told they should. So, sometimes we need to get people free from all the shoulds and find out what they really want to do and how they really want to do it.

When people can can find their authentic voice and direction in their work it’s amazing how their own hopelessness changes.

Learned helpless means we think three things about our problems.

First, that they’re PERMANENT (they’ll never go away), second, that they’re PERVASIVE (it’s every area of our life) and third that they’re PERSONAL (it’s who we are deep inside).

Sometimes people need to see a lot of inspiring examples of what others like them have done. Sometimes they just need encouragement that their ideas aren’t crazy. Sometimes that need to be reminded of how much wisdom they already have – how much they already know.

In one of my recent blogs: – I shared this story about a woman who was feeling really stuck in deciding her direction and by going a bit deeper she got some freedom:
A few weeks ago, I led a little workshop at Hollow Reed here in Winnipeg. I was here leading a workshop last October and was completely charmed by the place and the people running it.

We had an intimate little group of seven people who were all just the cat’s pajamas.

A highlight of the evening for me was when we were talking about this whole question of niche.

Because it was a small group we could go around and have everyone share what niche they wanted to fiddle with. One woman – a spiritual counselor – shared that she felt kind of stuck.

In the winnipeg workshop 300×225 you deepest wound is your truest niche“I love to work with the entire family to help them resolve things. Get everyone together. But, I feel like a bit of a fraud because I wasn’t able to do that with my family. I’ve done all I can but they’re not wanting to fix things.”

I could feel where she was coming from. How can you promise to take someone on a journey you were unable to complete yourself. If you’ve ever tried to position yourself in that way – it’s really stressful.

“Well . . . maybe,” I offered. “Your best niche is to work with people who’ve been unable to heal the difficulties in their family and are now left with trying to heal themselves and deal with the realities of that. And maybe you might even end up working with the whole family down the road . . . but why not start with those people? That’s a path you’ve absolutely walked down yourself.”

Her eyes widened, “I could do that and feel so authentic about that . . .”

2) What resources or suggestions do you recommend people refer to or do when they are feeling stuck or overwhelmed?

That depends entirely on what they’re stuck with.

Emotionally – I’ve been loving The Work by Byron Katie.

3) As someone who values the connection between the personal and the global, how do you see the work people do on their helplessness as connected to what is happening on a global level?

Wow. Interesting question.

I’m a big believer that we need every kind of response to what’s happening in the world from direct political action to healing work to creating alternatives. And I think the natural response of humans to the suffering of life is to want to help. But sometimes people tell themselves that they can’t help, that it’s too much, that they’re not ready or worthy yet to help. And that just means less people directly involved in the healing of the world.

i work with green, local and holistic businesses – I want to see more of them thriving. there will be less of them if people let themselves get stuck in their helplessness.

And as we liberate ourselves – others are liberated. I think the Marianne Williamson quote nails it. I know that whenever I’m around someone who has really done their internal work, or has created some sort of masterpiece project – or is just beginning one and is so full of excitement and commitment – that i’m reinspired. like a log on a campfire -relit by the logs around me rather than a torch on my own. the relighting isn’t intentional. it just happens. we inspire people we’ll never know we inspired. unintended consequences.

For more information about Tad, check out his website: