Mental Health and Career Development.
Ariel McGrew is the Owner of Tactful Disruption.
Tactful Disruption advocates for military members, millenials, and minorities. Ariel teaches that mental health and career development have the potential to affect each other reciprocally.
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Welcome to The Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show. I'm Josh Elledge, Founder and CEO of UpMyInfluence.com. We turn entrepreneurs into media celebrities, grow their authority, and help them build partnerships with top influencers. We believe that every person has a unique message that can positively impact the world. stick around to the end of the show, we're all reveal how you can be our next guest on one of the fastest growing daily inspiration podcasts on the planet in 15 to 20 minutes. Let's go.
Right with us. Right now. We've got Ariel McGrew and Ariel, you are the owner of Tactful Disruption, LLC. You're currently working on your PhD in business psychology. And so you are what you do with tactful disruption. You're kind of at the intersection of mental health and career counseling, but you also do some really cool stuff for the military and we're going to talk about That and I'm hoping maybe you can share some of your, your your insider knowledge and in kind of this very specific set of skills that you've learned and you teach, so thankful, thank you so much for joining us. Thank you for having me. So Ariel, I'm just kind of starting off, can you share a little bit about your background and include your military bona fides as well?
Sure. I am a master's in clinical mental health counseling. I was a career counselor, I specialized in transition. So I was a TAP program career counselor for the Oh yeah. And then I became a Veteran Business Outreach, Associate Director side, three states 1800 clients, then I was with bunker labs as a community outreach and Support Manager. And now I'm with Illinois joining forces as the women Veterans Program Manager, in addition to pursuing school, but been in the army 12 years. I'm a psychological operations specialist and I'm airborne.
Yeah, let's talk about that. Because when someone has the The job the job title of psychological operations specialist, my ears perk up. What that means.
I like to say it's just a really high level overview of marketing, but for foreign populations, foreign country, so it's about learning how to ask for information and then turning that information into something that's digestible for the appropriate community. So to help us meet the objectives, so whatever our mission is, as far as us goes, making sure that we get that done by enlisting the support face to face engagement with people in different countries.
I know that you can't tell me of any real operations or you'd have to kill me. I'll just get that joke out of the way first, but what would be a kind of a hypothetical like example of what that might look like?
Something as simple as like a tip line. So hey, you know, did you can you know, just going into a committee and finding out Hey, there's abundance of IEDs on the roads, you know anything about it, watching how the villagers talk to each other, paying attention to those nonverbals in our culture, being invited in understanding that, like, you might have to BS them first before they give you information and then giving them the tip line and watching the numbers and watching people say, oh, they're gonna guarantee me safety, I'll call them I'll tell them about it, but marketing in a way where it's, it's safe for them to do it.
Hmm. So how, I mean, what are the basic principles of, of building up that trust or that rapport so that they feel like oh, it's totally fine. And by the way, use anytime you use acronyms, I'm going to ask you so use an IED an IE D is impulsive, an improvised explosive device, okay, it's a thing that goes Vic could go boom,
So, um, so how do you take someone who might not otherwise be wanting to be very cooperative? Like, how does one do that and where I'm really interested in is how Can a business owner who obviously is, you know, they would love to be persuasive in their messaging? And so what I'm hoping we can kind of get to is how we could use some of those skills.
Well, number one would be cultural competency, right? You know, your audience understand the why, what are you trying to get out of it? What what outcomes are you actually looking for when you approach the person, the situation, the scenario, and then being very thoughtful about how you do that. So how can you make somebody own what you need them to perform, it's not about changing your mind. It's about changing your behavior. So think about like Instagram marketing. Sometimes it's the color that you use that gets you the likes. It's not necessarily the content immediately after a while somebody is just like really engaged with the pictures that you're presenting, then they go back and read the content and then before you know it, you know, have a fan you've converted them now they want to pay you for what you do.
Sure, and so In the case where So again, I, you know, first step is just kind of really knowing your audience. And I would imagine, you know, knowing what they want and knowing what your audience wants, what's their pain point? I would imagine that's a huge part of
it. That is, I mean, that's really where you start, right? That's a different type of market research and Fiat, right. It's about knowing the country, you're going into what certain things do and don't mean, and how to really like assimilate how to fit in integrate, how to be a part of the country without causing a commotion, and then being invited to participate in the communities.
Wow. So then, obviously, kind of the goal then is to get them to participate and say, say for example, listen, we have a tip. So you said tip line. So I would imagine this is just like a phone number that they can call and share information that might be valuable, is that right?
That's right. Like directory for us.
Oh, okay. And so, um, so it's, I guess, kind of normalizing that next step. And and so what would you do? Or what would you say to someone, once you identify who they are, what their sensitivities are, what they want? How do you then normalize like, you know, the fact that no, this is actually a good thing when you do this, as opposed to? Oh, will you just mark it out? Some? Yeah. Someone else?
That's a really complicated response. It's a great question.
It depends, like so part of setup is loudspeaker operation. So maybe you know, by by an increase in phone calls to that tip line, we play less loud noises, crying babies smashing glass and you feel at ease because that has stopped. Yeah, it's because the number that like the the use of the line has increased. So we'd have to change your mind just to change your behavior.
So you're incentivized. So in that case, it would be less stick. And I would imagine there's probably opportunities for more carrot as well.
okay. So, in how have you used, what you've learned in psyops to your current work, and you do a lot of work now, first of all, just real quick, it just one more time kind of explain exactly what you do with tactful disruption.
Basically, we function as a strategic resource at the intersection. Where like mental health and career meet, yeah, so we work with people who have diagnostic challenges, say schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, we help you manage the symptoms, but we think about how that how to elevate you and your distinctiveness like, what does it mean for you to have that diagnosis in a workplace? Are you being compensated well enough for Have you learned to actually utilize, utilize your challenges to your advantage? So, for example, we had a young lady call us she had been misdiagnosed. So we worked with her found that it was a different diagnosis she was making 800 a month on disability. We helped her recognize that, hey, if you believe that your gift is spiritual, you're divinely inspired. Let's find out if we can put you X, Y and Z. We put her on teen psychic power network, a couple of like intuitive Facebook groups and she went to 150 something dollars a month to $3,000 a month. Just that's what tackle disruption is, it's like it's not a challenge if you don't look at it that way. So we coach you through managing those symptoms to your benefit.
So what would be some other examples of say someone that is so you know, someone that's like borderline or bipolar, obviously, they can have really high highs and really low lows, which can absolutely impact the work that you know your work in the workplace. would be one way that we could that someone could harness that, you know what some people might say? Well that's a disability. No, in fact, I actually gain a lot of superpowers from that and like how would you leverage something like that?
Put me you know right place right seat right fit right what what type of work can you do where it's okay to have those type of highs and lows? Like where would that benefit you most? For like I have ADHD. So I have a hard time staying focused, but I've learned use my calendar mind what matters. Don't get off task. immediately respond if it is off task, let people know like I can't do that right now. It's on the calendar. You know, just learning that those are my strengths. It's actually a strength to just be like I need I have to actually stay focus. It's it's no disrespect. It's just for my literal mental health. Yeah, um, same thing with someone with a because b said borderline bipolar, two very different.
I only mentioned them because they do kind of have wild swings.
Sometimes it depends like, how has the person been managing? Are they taking medication? Are they working a job where it's really not healthy for them like, like, if you maybe have symptoms or traits that you think look like bipolar, and you're in a prison, maybe we need to consider that it's not the best fit for what you're trying to manage. And if that is what you decide you really want to do, how can we make it so that you can monitor when you're about to have maybe a dip in mood
for regular people, like let's say for example, I hope you don't mind me asking. So things like anxiety like so many people suffer with anxiety, depression, like these are really common things. What would be a great way that we could say, you know, and I like what you're talking about. And I think that there's a really great message for someone that's listening is like, sometimes I just get it just knocks me out or I just do not want to work at all like How can I guess? How can they bring the awareness of the mental health stuff? And by the way, totally normalizing this? Guess what? We all have mental health stuff. It's like, yeah, it's so join the club. If you don't have it, you're the weird one. I really like this message of what how can you adapt? How can you take, you know what, you know, your tendency you may have? And how can you make that a string? And, and what if someone's like, oh, like, No, I'm in business for myself. Like, I can't just walk away from this thing. Or maybe maybe I can pivot or whatever I'm doing. But if
you said that, it's, it's actually quite common for many entrepreneurs to have ADHD or to have a certain type of diagnosis of depression is well depression is very religious because it's a real risk when you jump into entrepreneurship. So you have to deal with the reality that likes Well, I needed to pay for that. So I skip this pavement. You know, in the beginning, eventually when you you know, you get stable you break even you find new ways to manage things, but also, you know, the more money you get, the more expenses you have. So learning how to deal with with with those type of areas as they pop up. But I would say for anyone walking around who's like, well, I get really sad around you know, maybe September through January, maybe I should look into it. It's like, yeah, seasonal affective disorder is real, like, we call it fat, right? But just going to talk to a provider and and or somebody you could relate to and then like, you know, looking at finding out like, okay, am I meeting this criteria and say, you don't want to go to a therapist that will tackle disruptions for we may not you know, he can get you right there on the spot we can do we can find out you need us to behavioral text coach you through it, or do you need to like set up maybe three sessions? Were not a lifetime resource. We're just having a moment. And so We alleviate a lot of the stigma because we're going to coach you through it. You could even be your most honest, they'll tell us what you're working on in the business, and then we'll help you with that part too.
Yeah. Um, what about when somebody is you know, for someone that does suffer with depression and I'm just wondering like, what things they can do in their business to mitigate the the impact of let's say they lose a client or they lose a big sale they lose some something like listen, it we all know like in business, you're gonna have bad news like it's Jay you know, it's like it's like like it's like seasons of like it's like clockwork you know, that that you know, you're gonna have a lot of ups you're gonna have a lot of downs
right? So a framing just some some framing techniques like how are we thinking about this? What like this client that we lost how much money was attached to it, but like, now that's just the money side of it. What about the energy in the emotional parts was was clean. I Like a dick, like, was it really hard to work with the client? Because that's probably what's affecting you anyway. So let's look at the silver lining here. Now we know when we work with people who provided these type of experiences and feedback for us that we should probably draft contracts in the future prevents that level of contact as far as like our boundaries go about, like how we're going to conduct business. So that way, we can manage whatever pops up.
And so how have you been able to grow tactful disruption?
Well, I say I got really lucky.
Well, we don't want to hear that good for you. Okay, let me ask you this way. How does someone get lucky the way that you did?
Yeah, I got lucky because I was. There's a company called West that and they started off as a visionary startup. But what they do is they look for innovative solutions for everyday challenges and problems people are facing. So when I started tackle disruption, it was generally Just around like the social justice piece for people who would have hidden disabilities not making it in the workplace because that support is really not there. So I had a few people reach out to me and say, Hey, can you help me with this person? Then that person and I developed a curriculum that I've partnered with someone we wrote a curriculum together. And it just took clients started pouring in and then West that said, Hey, do you have they said to a client in the community we're working with? Well, we can pay for the services. So before you knew it, we were getting clients and they were cutting the checks for the client services. So as I said, we got lucky. Yeah, you know, typically it's service for fee and the realm of mental health but we do fee for service so we will work with the clients will six sessions for $65 we use the career construction, interview style, so six sessions, and then they can do up to two sessions with us. We want to make sure they're getting what they need, but if they need something more intense, we do refer them out like so if you need more like EMDR or some like Movement desensitization, I can't think of the whole name but it's a really deep trauma. We focus on career and mental health specifically. So how can we how can we get you to a place where everybody at work is not against you, people aren't disrespecting you or you perceive that they're disrespecting you based on how you you're just naturally situated. But that like, you know, you can be empowered and feel good about what you do. And now you have techniques like you have a real lived experience of being able to overcome challenges that weren't necessarily yours to begin with in the first place is just you either inherited them or, you know, something happened in life and you got to work through it.
Now, so I mean, I think, you know, you really identified a need in in the marketplace for for this. And so how do you get your new clients then?
We get a lot through Facebook. We get referrals, I would say maybe month, three referrals
Lots of referrals. So just making sure we always everybody gets a free 30 minute consult, I do think that you should interview your therapist just as much as your therapist take you on to make sure it's a good fit. Because if I don't hear that, we're really challenged. And typically, you know, it's not just career, it's a simultaneous thing. It's not just like you showed up to work, you had challenges just like everybody else, people challenges, right, but it's probably the way you're thinking about it, it's probably like not the job for you. It's a variety of things. So we want to unpack all those things in that first 30 minutes where you do most of the talking. And then we find out if we should do the next steps. And then we find out Hey, can you know and we make it affordable to actually say that we so we don't necessarily have a scale listed, but we do make sure that like you know, if you might just need to find out about the history of work in your family, you could afford that that's $55. But if you need a gap analysis, that's $75. Let's look at where you are looking at where you want to go. And let's figure out how to fill in those blanks. So it really just depends on where you're at. But if you can't afford Right away, you know, we do tell you, hey, there's companies that pay for that, especially those who are on social security disability, we make sure we let them know, Hey, what's that actually will pay for you to come see us?
Yeah, you know that I guess that could be another lesson for a business owner is like, Listen, you know, if if you offer a product, you're encountering a lot of issues with clients wanting your services, they can't afford it, you know, what are some other ways that you could make it, you know, they could, you know, whether it's offering financing, whether it's, you know, coming to, you know, having them come up with creative ways that they could offset the cost of that. I know, that's, you know, it's obviously that's kind of baked into what you provide. But that could be another takeaway, I think, for business owners.
Yeah. Well, it depends on your industry, like I'm in mental health. So typically, you know, a lot of people will say, Oh, well, I couldn't get a provider unless I waited three weeks, right. Like the beauty of SC we have an app. You can go and send me an email. I'll respond typically I'm solopreneur, I typically respond. And if I can't see you that day, I can see you the next day, I just I have to make sure that it's going to be conducive. So even if you reach out and say, hey, I want to talk to Mike, he still has to give that 30 minute consult, we still have to make sure it's a good fit. Yeah, because what that does is it actually gets you to owning it. And so same thing with the people, different business owners. Think about your industry in ways in which people want to start owning being a part of the process. That is what you offer. How do you make that so that like, you know, you give them some give them a taste, and then they come back for the whole meal? Yeah, we give everybody a taste up front, like here's, you know, and I tell everybody, I come in three flavors real wrong, ridiculous. So you got to put up with me too. Because I'm not you're not a very straightforward person. So I do care, but I'm not gonna be like, Oh, well, we can think about it tomorrow. No. Why did we make that choice? Let's talk about that. Let's unpack it. Like we got to figure this out.
Yeah. McGrew You are the founder of tactful disruptions. You're on the web at tactful disruption.co. Thank you so much for joining us. Thank you for having me.
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