1756 – The Linguistics and Mindset Makeover with Sara Gilbert

In this episode of The Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks to the Business Strategist & Certified Coach of Strategist Business Development, Sara Gilbert.

Gilbert wide

Sara Gilbert is not your average business strategist. She believes that the success of a business is not solely dependent on its strategy but also on the mindset of its leaders.

According to Sara, the alignment of the business and the direction of the strategy are crucial, but they can only go as far as the mindset of the entrepreneur and leaders allow. This perspective emphasizes the importance of psychology in the success or failure of a business.

Sara works closely with her clients to develop a strategic framework for their business. This framework includes the positioning of the business in the marketplace, its brand promise, values, and vision.

Leveraging her expertise in psycholinguistics, Sara understands how words influence behavior. She strategically positions linguistic elements in the framework to engage both the entrepreneur and their team.

By repeating and embodying these linguistic elements, they become part of the organization's vocabulary and guide decision-making.

One of the challenges Sara addresses is the disconnect between organizations' mission statements and values and their daily operations. She suggests using linguistic techniques to bring these elements to life.

This exercise helps create a standard and a sense of identity within the organization. By incorporating these linguistic elements into meetings, brainstorming sessions, and physical or tangible outputs, the organization can consistently live its values and demonstrate its positioning in the marketplace.

Key Points from the Episode:

  • Sara Gilbert's work as a business strategist and mindset coach
  • The importance of business strategy and mindset in entrepreneurship
  • The alignment of business strategy and mindset
  • Sara's strategic framework for businesses
  • The use of psycholinguistics in strategic positioning
  • Bringing mission statements and values to life through linguistic techniques
  • How to know if someone is ready for disruption and change in their life or organization
  • Recommendations for individuals resonating with the conversation

About Sara Gilbert:

Sara Gilbert is a distinguished business strategist, mindset coach, and keynote speaker, recognized as a “Top 10 Up-and-Coming Entrepreneurs in 2023” by Success Magazine.

Holding a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Marketing from Concordia University, she boasts top designations in wealth management and double certification in personal and professional coaching with neurolinguistic programming (NLP).

Sara is among the select Canadian coaches invited to the Forbes Coaches Council, an honor reserved for eminent business coaches. She's also a Harvard Business Review Advisory Council member and the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers.

A multi-passionate entrepreneur, Sara is deeply intrigued by business, consumer psychology, and human behavior. Her unconventional journey led her to create a unique business model that addresses the intersection of business, mindset, and behavioral patterns.

Sara's turnkey approach assists entrepreneurs and business leaders develop a growth mindset, implement efficient processes, and execute profitable marketing strategies.

As a trusted coach, she empowers individuals and corporations to structure their businesses for success and a balanced lifestyle, earning accolades for her impactful work in business development and coaching.

Tweetable Moments:

09:03 – “Being an anti-drifter is about bringing intentionality into our life and bringing life into our life and our business.”

9:30 – “Complaining is not a bad thing. Complaining is like, ‘I know there's more and I know there's more in me as well.'”

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Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Want to learn more? Check out Strategist Business Development website at

Check out Strategist Business Development Inc on LinkedIn at

Check out Sara Gilbert on Facebook at

Check out Sara Gilbert on Instagram at

Check out Sara Gilbert on LinkedIn at

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Josh (00:00:05) - Hey there, thoughtful listener. Would you like consistent and predictable sales activity with no spam and no ads? I'll teach you step by step how to do this, particularly if you're an agency owner, consultant, coach, or B2B service provider. What I teach has worked for me for more than 15 years and has helped me create more than $10 million in revenue. Just head to up my influence and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. You can even chat with me live and I'll see and reply to your messages. Also, don't forget the thoughtful entrepreneur is always looking for guests. Go to up my influence and click on podcast. We'd love to have you. With us right now it's business strategist and mindset coach Sara Gilbert. Sara, you're found on the web at Sara Gilbert. Dot coach Sara, thank you for joining us.

Sara (00:01:10) - Well, thank you so much for the invite.

Josh (00:01:12) - Absolutely. Well, give us a quick overview of the work that you do, who you work with and the outcomes that you help create.

Sara (00:01:18) - So I work with established entrepreneurs on two very important aspect. First of all, the business strategy aspect. So the alignment of the business, how are we going to position ourselves in the marketplace? What's our brand promise and everything. All like the alignment of the business and the direction of the strategy and the mindset of the entrepreneur and the leaders, because the the strategy can just go as far as our mindset goes. We know this.

Josh (00:01:45) - Yeah, I would imagine that the second thing that you mentioned would likely be where you focus first, right? Or is that not the case? Take me through what that journey looks like, because what you just described, I would argue probably the two most important things you got to have locked down is, like, Tony Robbins spoke for the Tony Robbins organization. And Tony will talk about, you know, 90% of the success or failure of the business comes down to the psychology of the business owner. I agree with that.

Sara (00:02:16) - Oh, yeah. Totally. Totally. So actually work hand in hand in both of them.

Sara (00:02:20) - So I with my clients I develop, we work on what I call the strategic framework, which is a really a one framework for the entire business, like the direction where we're going to do it, how are we going to position our values, our vision, way more than what our business does? Like what's the purpose behind it? The contribution, the legacy that we want to leave behind. And in the mindset is, how are we stopping ourselves to do it? But one of my expertise really is in psycholinguistics. So it's understanding how words influence behavior. So we use it in terms of how we talk influences how we behave, but also how are we going to positioning all the linguistic in our strategic framework in a way that we are engaged and it engages also our teams. So it actually brings purpose to it in a very strategic way of this is how the brain functions. And that's what the brain needs to be able to attract and really attach to different aspects of the business that after that, we can actually put it into action, because a lot of frameworks and a lot of plans and things like that just end up in a drawer where I put it in a practical way that it becomes part of our linguistics.

Sara (00:03:32) - So the more we repeat it, the more we embody it. And at the end of the day, that's what we need to do.

Josh (00:03:39) - Yeah. And I think that you pinpoint a problem that can sometimes exist within organizations where, you know, we may have our mission purpose values. It's up on the wall. People look at it, but we're not necessarily living it. And we're certainly not speaking it with regularity, except for maybe when things might be going real haywire. And then maybe it's like, wait a minute, what's going on? Oh, yeah. Remember those mission purpose values? Why don't we bring that out and have a conversation about that? We hope that that's happening. But what we really hope is that they're living it on a day to day basis. Can you talk about what that looks like and how we might make some steps where we can make that happen? Because I believe you that if we can do that and we make that a part of our regular vocabulary, it just makes things more consistent and it feels less like lip service, where it feels more like if you ask anybody within the organization, do you live your values? Oh, yeah, we live our values.

Josh (00:04:34) - How do you know that? Yeah, sure. A bit on that.

Sara (00:04:38) - Oh. So I'll take one box in the strategic framework is our business positioning. So I'm also an NLP coach and it's like a linguistic expert. And so for example when you talk with an entrepreneur how are you going to position the business in the marketplace? I always asked them if you were a car manufacturer, who would you be? Because you see, the brain works in image first and in words and second. So if ask you if you were a car manufacturer, who would you be? If you tell me Porsche, it's completely different than if you're telling me Toyota. Both are good. It doesn't matter, but it gives me an idea of where you are in the marketplace. It gives yourself an idea of where you are in the marketplace. It gives everyone on the team an idea of where we are in the marketplace. So now the question becomes, well, if we were Porsche. What would we do differently if we were poor? How would we do this? And I get to say, okay, well describe me.

Sara (00:05:30) - What are the three criterias describing for Porsche for this example. And they'll say luxury performance and reliability. Everyone will give me three different words. But okay so those three criterias are standards. So how do we demonstrate reliability. Well we can do this in the linguistics and our client experience and things like that. So then these words these three criterias and we are Porsche become part of our vocabulary because whenever we're brainstorming is like would Porsche do it like that. Would Porsche do that. How would does this feel like Porsche? So it gives everyone a standard of who we are in the marketplace and how we want to position ourselves. So this becomes part of our vocabulary whenever we're in meetings, whenever we're in brainstorming, whenever we produce anything physically or in foreign tangibly, does that feel like Porsche? Does that demonstrate reliability? And with linguistics, then work with leaders of how do we convert all these words that we have? Into our language, and it's always about how can we bring it back in. Questions for our team.

Sara (00:06:42) - How could we demonstrate reliability? How could we demonstrate performance? And that opens up to the world of potentiality. And we have one straight line. We're not trying to be everything for everyone. We're push. This is who we are. This is who we embody. So in this, simplicity is the key. Yeah.

Josh (00:07:06) - You know, on a similar note, I'm just looking. By the way, Sara, you're a great follow on LinkedIn. So you could do a search on LinkedIn. Or actually the best way to find you on LinkedIn is just go to Sara Gilbert coach and then click on. You've got a link to LinkedIn directly on your website. But one thing that you had talked about was this concept of being an anti drifter. Right. And I feel like it can be really easy. Let me just kind of ask the question a little bit more open ended fashion. What does it mean to be an anti drifter. And you know obviously kind of take into account, you know, this topic of intentionality versus, you know, just showing up in a responsive way to the world is presented to us.

Sara (00:07:47) - Yes. Because 90% of humanity just lives on autopilot. I work with people who live with intention and who want to make a difference, and not just make an impact, make a contribution. So drifters are the majority of humanity population that just goes along, you know, same thing, different day. And they're just like fit in the box and fitted the status quo. And don't you know, ruffle feathers too much. And this is how we're supposed to do things and this how we're supposed to do things. And my thing is always, like we said. So my life, my rules. So I love working with people who are not for the status quo that they want to make a difference. So being an anti drifter is about bringing intentional into our life like and bringing life into our life and our business. The business that we build are created because we want to make a difference, because we want to make a contribution, because we want to have an impact. So if we want to have that, we can't be a drifter and say, well, you know, and this is comfortable and I shouldn't complain and I shouldn't, I'm like, complaining is not a bad thing.

Sara (00:09:03) - Complaining is like, I know there's more and I know there's more in me as well. So one of the questions I often ask myself and ask my clients as well, it's like on your deathbed, is it going to matter? And answering all your emails won't matter. But maybe there's a different thing on your project list that actually will make a difference. Yeah. How do we go and get that motivation and that energy, inner power to go sometimes against green, to have the courage of saying, that's what I want, that's what I don't want, and that's who I work with because those are changemakers.

Josh (00:09:38) - Sara, what is it like working with you? Like what does engagement look like?

Sara (00:09:42) - So we have a six month engagement. It's pretty intense. Okay. So we have have with my clients. I have a six month engagement where we have meetings every other week. So every other week it's time enough to do some work but not enough time to drift off anyway. And we actually fill in.

Sara (00:10:00) - It's a six month process. So we fill in the strategic framework and I challenge and I challenge and I challenge it because that's what I do best to get clarity on where we're going so we can have focus on what are the biggest needle movers, and then we can move into intentional action. Like this whole thing. Being busy is like, that's a drifter thing, you know? So we move on with the strategic framework. Week after week after week, we polish. Sometimes we go back, we polish, we polish, we Polish to be able to after that, like, I have clients who actually frame the strategic framework because that becomes their decision filter of everything that they're going to do in the business. The clients are going to serve the marketing, the initiatives are going to do the business development initiative. They're going to do the process that they need to put in place. Everything in the business comes through that filter of decision. So it is intense, but we have quite a good time doing it.

Sara (00:10:54) - Yeah.

Josh (00:10:55) - Sara, what might someone who's listening to a conversation, they say, well, I like what I'm hearing, but what might be some ways that they might know that they're ready for a little bit of not just disruption, but, you know, they're ready for you. Like how might the pain might manifest in their day to day life or maybe organization or operation only.

Sara (00:11:18) - So, you know, often in business we say we're we're a solution to a problem. I don't agree with that because sometimes we just want more of better. So the client that I tend to work with is they've already have an established business. So it's not about a worry about paying the bills and they're tired of eating, crafting or they're already established in their business, but they know that there's something more. They know they can have a greater impact. They know that they can have a better, I want to say, work life balance, but there's more purpose to be in there. They know that they want to bring more intentionality in their business.

Sara (00:11:57) - They want to have clarity. They know that a business as if it's bigger, it doesn't need to be more complex. It's actually on the opposite. It should get simpler as we grow.

Josh (00:12:06) - So I agree with that.

Sara (00:12:09) - You know, and that they get that those are the people that I love working with because we're ready to enter. We went from like good to great to outstanding. And that's what we bring home. And it's like, what's a legacy you want to leave? That's what we're going to work on.

Josh (00:12:26) - Sara, your website is Sara Gilbert coach, and I know that in addition to providing great services, I think it looks like you've got some resources or things that someone that might be listening to this conversation says, okay, I like what I'm hearing. I want a little bit more. What would you recommend they do?

Sara (00:12:43) - Well, actually, right now we just launched recently on our website a quiz that's called Are You Wired for success? And it's really separated in three different sections of your business clarity or you clear on where you're going in the business.

Sara (00:12:57) - And you'd be surprised how many entrepreneurs think that they're clear, but they're not clear. So do you have clarity? What type of entrepreneur are you and what are your linguistic patterns? Because your linguistic patterns will help you also become a greater leader with the people around you, with your clients and everything. So it's really it's really complete in those three aspects to give it more clarity of where you're going in your business and how to get there, you know, what do you need to be? Who do you need to be surrounded, and how are we going to get there?

Josh (00:13:30) - Yeah. And then Sara, over the next 12 months, where are you going? What are you doing? What are your big goals and who are you becoming?

Sara (00:13:37) - It's a very good question. Well, speaking is clearly a part of my business models, but I love working one on one with entrepreneurs. And so I do have some one on one clients that I take don't take many, but I do take some one on one clients and we dive deep and like we become super close because everything has to be there.

Sara (00:13:53) - But I also have programs that are coming up. So I have one program that's all about the mindset. So we really look on behavioral patterns, who you are, what's stopping us. And so I call it the exponential vortex. How do we get stuck and then how do we get unstuck. So that one is on the mindset I have another program that's actually on linguistics. It's called impactful. So this is where we understand how to talk. What are the words. How do the word different words and different sentence structure influence our behavior and influences the behavior of the people that we are talking to? And then there's another one that's called unshakable, which is all about the business strategy itself. Yeah. So those are online group programs. They're delivered live, but anyone can take them there from all over the world that take them and really brings different clarity on all the aspects that we actually have to undertake. As an entrepreneur, our mindset, our business and our communication.

Josh (00:14:48) - So which stage business owner would be appropriate for the group programs versus working with you directly?

Sara (00:14:54) - Working with me directly is clearly established entrepreneurs because it is an investment, not just financially.

Sara (00:15:00) - It is investment of time, but also you have to be able to have that experience of, you know, and you feel kicks in the face and you're like, okay, now I know what I don't want. So now I know more what I want. Then the group program, we have clients from every level that actually enjoy the group programs because I'm there on present and yeah, I'm there.

Josh (00:15:22) - Yeah. Excellent. All right. Sara Gilbert, your website, Sara Gilbert, coach as Sara Gilbert, coach. And then Sara again, when they go there, what would you recommend they click on? What do they do? What are their next steps?

Sara (00:15:36) - There's going to be a pop up that says take the quiz to see are you wired for success? Start there. It's such a beautiful. It brings a lot of clarity. It's such a beautiful quiz. We put a lot of work in it, and I work with like a social scientist to really get all the results for people can actually gain clarity and actions because I'm a very action driven person.

Josh (00:15:59) - Sure. Sara Gilbert, business strategist, mindset coach, keynote speaker Sara, it's been delightful having you. Thank you so much for joining us.

Sara (00:16:07) - Well, thank you so much and continue the great work.

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