Oh my gosh, Bianca Olthoff is fire. You are about to experience fire, and I’m so excited about it. So I met Bianca, honestly, we shared the stage together at this event called the Global Leadership Summit, which is probably the biggest speaking event in the world. And I saw her and I was like, gosh, she looks a lot like Jasmine Starr. And I was like, I swear they look a lot alike
And now I’m following Bianca. And I just, I love Bianca’s content. And she has a book coming out called Grit Don’t Quit. And we’re gonna talk about this today. This is the topic of perseverance. Now this is Bianca’s third traditionally published book. Her first two books have done great. And she is a bestselling author. She is also a lead pastor of a church. So we’re gonna hear probably a little bit about that, maybe a little bit about speaking in the kind of the Christian circuit and Christian conferences. But mostly I want her to talk about how do we persevere and how do we overcome when we wanna quit? And anyways, we just become friends and I feel like she’s family even though we’re really technically meeting for the first time. So, Bianca, welcome to the show.
I am so excited. And with that introduction, I mean, I’m ready to throw some fire here. I mean, en Fugo. All right, we’re gonna have some fun. I’m gonna light some stuff up.
So, all right. So tell me, let’s talk about perseverance and grit, I guess, and walk me through what, walk me through your definition of what is grit? Why are you writing this book? How did this all come about?
So let’s start from the nitty gritty, if you will. I think over the last couple years, I have seen so many friends and so many people that are in the same field or people of faith that have just given up. And it’s so easy in our culture and society right now to throw in the tell, if you will. And I didn’t realize how pervasive the message was until I came to some really hard blows the last couple years. And I was having a conversation with a friend and she was going through a divorce, and I’m looking at her and I’m wa we’re walking through this really dark valley, if you will. And sure. She looked at me from across the coffee table and she said, well, I’m just not like you. I go, what do you mean? She’s like, well, because of your life and your background, like you just were forced to be resilient.
Like, I’m not born like that. And then I was hit with the reality that I think people think that resilience and grit is something that you’re born with, not something that you build. Hmm. And so a little bit of context. I know that you’re a good friend with Jasmine, and you know a little bit about this, but for those that are listening to the podcast, and I am new to them, new friend my background is peppered. I am a daughter of immigrants, and we are a large Hispanic family on one income, a dire straits being raised in urban environments. I like to say like we put the urban in suburban and our family was raised in East Los Angeles. See, west LA is where all the fancy bougie people were. We’re in East la. So Jasmine and I, I don’t know if you even know this, but Jasmine and I struggled academically to read right and spell.
We were I litter at the age of 12. I th Oh, and couple this with being obese and homeschooled and people of faith living in a non-faith culture. Mm-Hmm.
And I’ve read so many books. I mean, Dr. Angela Duckworth’s book Grit was phenomenal. I loved it. It was amazing. Changed my life. It came out like 66, 7 years ago. But one of the things that when I closed the book, I realized, okay, so she defined grit, but she didn’t teach me necessarily how to build it. And she gave so many different examples of people that were like gritty. And she gave medical analysis and, and, and psychological understanding. But I left the book feeling very inspired, but I didn’t have practical handles. I’m the girl that likes to put the cookies on the lower shelf
Yeah. And and personal brands is something you, you, you understand, you know, this intersection, right? Like, talk to me about some of the endurance that you’ve had to have to build your personal brand. I mean, you’ve got so many file followers online. You’ve got this thriving church, this thriving community. You’ve got three books. You self-published a book and then, and then two books that you wrote, and now this is your third. Like, how do you think this applies specifically to the personal brand journey?
You know I never set out to try to build something, and the least of that was to build a brand for myself. However, I have a wonderful sister who was like, Bianca, it’s you. You are building something. You are building. I am a woman of faith. And so forever out there that may not share that I, I totally understand it, but this is my journey, so I’m gonna give you a little peek. So I started teaching bible studies and my sister was like, Bianca, I really do think that you need a website cuz you’re basically like that person that’s selling fake rolexes, like a fx in an alleyway out of the trunk of a car. Like you have to legitimize yourself. And that simple conversation really sent me on this journey to be like, you know what? I am very proud of the abilities and the skills that I’m cultivating been given and are wanting to increase and get better.
So like, why not put intention behind everything that goes out there? Not just my words, but also what’s associated with that. And so it’s been wildly, wildly important. I think for those that are not familiar with the faith space it’s been largely dominated by men and largely dominated by a certain type of men. And so for me to come in it, I, I kind of stick out like a sore thumb. But that’s actually worked in my favor now because in building a brand, I realize that not everyone likes vanilla ice cream. Not everyone likes chocolate ice cream. Some people like cookie crunch, malted cookie crunch, and some people like bubble gum ice cream. Some people like Get ready pistachio ice cream. I just realize that I might not be everyone’s flavor, but the people who are out there that like my favor, they will love this ice cream.
So I’m going to build a brand, whether that is in visual assets, digital assets, audio assets or, or biblical assets. I want it to reflect a person, the person who I am in the best form. And again, if I like putting things on the lower shelf, the cookies on the lower shelf I wanna make, whether it’s brand building or biblical principles as easy for people to understand. So I’m passionate about it, I love it. And also my background is in art. So when she started talking about brand building, I kind of viewed it as like painting a portrait. And any portrait that lasts is gonna have a je eso underneath that is like a primer. And I think that brand building needs to have that brand building is the primer. If you want something to last, you need a good primer. If you want your business to grow, you have to have a good brand. So I view it like that.
Yeah. Well, and I just, I think people don’t realize how much the road to building a personal brand is just littered with rejection and self-doubt and going, you know, you get turned down for this speaking gig and this, this literary agent tells you your idea will never sell. And this publisher says the book is no good. And you know, you do this email campaign and nobody buys and you, you know, spend your, all your money on a website and then like it doesn’t work. And there’s just, there’s just, to me, this is such a, such a walk of perseverance and grit just to even be in the game, right? Like just to, even to just to even have a chance. You, you, you have to go. So I, I know you talk a little bit about neuroscience specifically and the connection to grit. Can you take us, take us a little bit into that, cuz I kind of feel this as like, you, you mentioned Angela Duckworth as sort of like the handoff of going, you know, there’s this academic piece of grit and, and then, you know, we’re gonna talk about, I wanna talk about the three piece of perseverance and all that, but there’s sort of like this, this piece of neuroscience. And tell me about how the neuroscience of our brain connects into us being gritty.
Okay, so you said before we went live on this podcast, you said that you were a nerd and I am a nerd. So from one nerd to a nerd. Nice. We’re gonna nerd move about for a second.
Neuroscience in the study of the brain and neuropathy is something that’s becoming more on the forefront of everyday nomenclature, language vocabulary. Like we’re understanding it more. And so for those not familiar with it, the, the easiest way to kind of break it down is neuropathy is this study of like our, the brain grooves. The grain brain pathways. And so in taking a little bit of neuroscience background and applying it to the idea of grit is that no matter what failure comes our way, we get to determine what we tell ourselves about that failure is that, do we say our failure is final or failure is part of the process. And every time that we choose a different narrative, one that is life giving one that is believing that the best is yet to come, as cliche as that sounds, we’re actually building neuro pathways in our brain that can actually rewire our brain to have us view situations like perceived failure or maybe being dismissed by somebody or being rejected or not g getting the job.
We can rewire our brain with truth when we tell ourselves, this is not the end of me. Mm. When we tell ourselves that this is actually strengthening me. And when we do that, it’s not. And this is the difference between just so you know, like, oh, positive confession, I’m just gonna will myself to think this. It’s actually knowing that there is a purpose for this failure. I mean, this goes into, I think when we talk about perseverance, when we talk about grit, it feels very nebulous. Like what does that really even mean? And I love some science that’s coming out of Harvard right now. Actually it’s, it’s act probably about a decade old, but I think it’s just gaining popularity that when we try to talk about the word resilience, what are the components of resilience? You had mentioned the three Ps and we can talk about that in a second.
But I think that’s been really pivotal in like how I understand failure because it’s perspective, it’s the ability to pivot and then there’s the purpose component. That has been wildly just fascinating to me because it’s changing the way that I think. And by changing the way that I think it changes the way that I live by changing the way that I live, it changes how I lead. And so I think all of it is interconnected and it begins with this rewiring of the brain. And that’s been really fascinating to, to un uncover. And I go a little bit into it. It’s only one chapter that I talk about that I talk about it in the book, but I think it’s so important, the power of what we’re thinking, the power of what we’re saying, the power of what we’re believing about, what perceived failure actually means in our life.
Yeah. I think that and that it was empowering for me to sort of wake up and realize this idea that it is up to me to define the way I think about what has happened to me. Right? You don’t always get to cho choose what happens, but you get to choose how you respond to it. And, and more specifically how you process it, how you, the, the story you tell yourself about what happened. One alternative is, man, I’m a total failure
Like this is making me so resilient cuz there’s so much, so much rejection. So let’s do, let’s walk through the, the three piece cuz I know that there’s people out there, whether it’s an author, you know, who feels hopeless about how do I get this book out into the world or the attention of a publisher or an aspiring speaker or a lot of, you know, maybe it’s coaches going, how do I just, I I need more clients and I feel like I I I don’t know where they’re gonna come from. Or we also have, you know, a lot of professional service providers that are, you know, part of this community of lawyers and accountants and doctors and things where they might just be feeling burnt out. Right? I’m just going like, I don’t wanna keep going. Like I’m already, I’ve been going for so long and I’m burnt out. So walk us, walk us through the three P’s.
Okay. So before we dive into that, you had said something that was so impactful and I don’t want someone to miss this. It’s like the podcasters flipping it on the podcaster, but you said something so good that I think people need to hold onto. You had 20,000 doors that you knocked on and you had so many nos and so many slammed doors in your face. Uhhuh
I cried every freaking day, every day I cried
That resistance is the thing that builds resilience. And so I think that the door slammed in our faces mm-hmm.
And so again, cookies on the lower shelf friend, I made them all start with P because I was raised on Sesame Street and p is the letter for the day. Okay? So of the first P of resilience is the understanding of perspective. So perspective is, and this is where we get into like the neuro pathways and what so perspective would pause and say, okay, even though this is bad, whatever the bad is, you didn’t get the job, the pitch in the boardroom epically failed. The C-suite that you wanted was taken by someone who everyone thought was more qualified. Whatever your perceived failures, your perspective is like your per your chosen perspective. You can walk in and say though that it’s not now that doesn’t mean that it’s not e never your perspective will shift and say, what are areas of growth in my life that I maybe don’t see?
Your perspective would say, Hey, this is resurrecting something in me that I would like to work, work through with a trained professional. I’m gonna go see a therapist perspective is saying, what am I not saying? And then perspective allows you to pivot the who are, what’s the characteristics of people who are resilient. Not only do they have a healthy perspective of life and themselves, they have the wild ability to pivot to say though this is not working. I am going to turn and I’m gonna go in a different direction and I’m gonna make this work when life gives me lemonade. Life can me lemons. It’s not just for lemonade. It’s so that I could save the seeds and plant these seeds in the future for trees that will produce more lemons in my life. This is the ability to pivot. The French word is brico.
Most people are familiar with like collage, but brico is when we’re taking different strands of different things and we’re making something beautiful. This is the lemons to lemonade. Those resilient people will just, will have an ability not only to have clear perspective, but the ability to pivot. And then last and finally is an understanding of purpose. So if you’re familiar with the Austrian psychiatrist out of Auschwitz that survived the Holocaust, oh my gosh, why am I blanking on his name? Please help me. Rory. Do you know what I’m talking about? It’s brilliant.
Victor Frankl. Victor
Frankel. See, I knew what you came through. You are, come on homie. You are a homie. Who is
Vic? Who is Victor Frankel for 500. Yes.
Yes. Well done. You’ll win Jeopardy. You’ll be my phone a friend. Okay. So Vi Frankl really helped frame this understanding of acar pain having purpose. Nobody wants to say that. And again, it sounds so cliche, but what he did is he found that people that understood that their pain actually produced a purpose in their life. That they went on to live not only more fulfilled lives, but more successful lives. And I think wow, if we’re giving people handles on how to be resilient, it’s those that have a healthy, healthy perspective on self and life, have the ability to pivot and then can see a greater purpose beyond whatever trauma trial or tribulation has faced them. That’s what makes me passionate and that’s what makes me so excited. I’m like, wait, there’s actual he handles to build this for our lives.
Yeah. And these, these are so good because I you know, like with perspective, part of how I’ve always thought about it is like if you have a flat tire, that seems like an awful event. But one day when you go to heaven, if you real, if you learn back and you go, oh, that flat tire actually prevented you from a fatal car accident mm-hmm.
All that has changed is your perspective. Mm-Hmm.
Unan answer prayers
Thank you Jesus.
All things work together for good
In all things. Yeah. God wor things work together, together for good, for those who love God and called his purposes or something close to that. There’s is that you can choose to go, even though this awful thing has happened. Yeah. There’s gotta be some payoff as to why. And, and, and it is always the way, right? Like you can look back on things that happened 20 years and go, man, I actually am quite thankful that I got fired from that job. Like mm-hmm.
All, first of all, you are taking us to church today. Okay. I’m about to bring my podcast Oh yeah.
Oh, you’re talking to me? Yeah. Oh. Well, I, it’s funny. I would, my honest answer to that would be programming. It would be programming going back to the, to the, to the neuroscience neuro
Yeah. We, we, we used to, they, they taught us to say this, this phrase, the answers behind the next door, the answers behind the next door, the answers, the answer to every problem is behind the next door. And they like beat it into our heads. Whoa. And I, I actually would say it out loud between houses, the answers behind the next door, a always. And so I would say it was less of a feeling. I never felt like going to the next door. It was more of realizing, okay, my brain is a computer system, it’s going to do whatever it’s trained to do, and I need to program my brain that whenever something bad happens, the answer is behind the next door. So to just keep going. And, you know, I I would also say, you know, to that person that’s listening right now going, if, if they’re sitting there thinking, oh yeah, you know, this is all nice and tidy, wrapped up in a bow, like your pain turns into purpose and perspective, what I would say is just create an alternative version of how the story could end, right?
So if you’re sit, if you’re sitting on the corner with a flat tire right now, it, it, it, it feels awful, right? Like, I’m not telling people to fake their emotions. Like, it sucks when someone slams the door on your face. It sucks when you have a flat tire. It sucks when somebody dies. It sucks when you get fired. But, and this is part of where, for me, I think faith comes into it, which is in all things God works for the good of those who love him and who are called according to his purpose is to go. I am consciously choosing to believe that even though I can’t see it, even though I don’t understand it, even though I don’t feel it right now, what is a potential explanation for how this could be used for good? Or even just having the thought that it could somehow be used for good, I think gives you enough to go to, to go to the next door to go, yeah, I don’t understand it, but I’m just gonna keep going versus otherwise, I’m, I’m just searching for an explanation. And the explanation is, oh, I suck. I’m not worth it. I’ll never succeed. You know, I have bad luck. So I, I love what you’re saying there about perspective and purpose and I mean, those, those tie together really, really, really well. Well,
Thank you for knocking on the 20,000 doors because I think that what you’ve learned in that, in that season has equipped you to help so many other people in their season of not wanting to knock on the next door.
Well, thanks, Bianca. I mean, I think I, I think this is the not, I think I’m a hundred percent certain. I, you know, I’ve now interviewed thousands of people between my various podcasts over the years. This is a hundred percent the story of success there. I have not found one person who has been extremely successful who doesn’t have some version of that story. In fact, in your book you talk about Paul from the Bible, and this is, I know it’s a, I mean, hey, you’re a pastor, like, there’s gonna be a few biblical references. So
So can you like describe why you chose Paul as an example of this?
Well, I refer to Paul as my Bible boyfriend. I just feel like there is no one else and the page. And yes, my husband is aware that I have a crush on a
And before this, he’s a murderer. He’s a, he’s a, he is murdering Christians, persecuting them. Mm-Hmm.
So he’s the prosecutor and the prosecutor against people of the way as in those following Jesus. So he is on his way, he’s breathing hot threats down the neck of believers, and he’s stopped, he’s halted on the Damascus road in the desert, dusty, dirty road. And he has an encounter that really changes his life. And suffice it to say you can read his story all throughout the pages of scriptures, but the man goes on to Penn, two thirds of the noon testament, and the one who was a prosecutor and the prosecutor against the people that were people of faith. He becomes one of the, if not the chief crafter of our theology that we understand today. Now that sounds lovely. When we say theology, we think of like an ivory tower. No, this man was beaten. This man was stoned. This man was imprisoned multiple times.
This man had allegations come up against him. And there’s this one one specific account where he is just falsely charged. He’s put in a boat, he’s sent over on his way to Rome, their ship wrecked, their ship runs runs afloat against an an island called Malta. They finally make it through this storm that’s supposed to take their life. And as he’s there, they’re trying to drive themselves off and warm themselves off, and they build a fire. And as they’re building a fire, he picks up pieces of wood to start the fire. And then out comes a, a snake that bites him and everyone’s expecting him to die. And he doesn’t die. He doesn’t die. In fact, the hand that is bitten soon will be the hand that he lays on people that will experience supernatural miraculous healing. I mean, this man’s story is absolutely insane, and he has such a conviction about what he’s called to do, that it’s nothing can stop him.
I’m not saying that he walks, you know, skipping along and desires to eat bomb bonds on a beach. No, the man endures so much, and yet it did not stop him from doing what he was called to do. So the reason why so much of this book is framed upon the life, if, if there’s a through line in this book, it’s the life of Paul the Apostle where we are all gonna have this arresting moment. No, there’s not gonna be a, a light that shines down from heaven and a voice that’s like, why are you persecuting me? But there’s kind kinda a moment in our life and maybe even multiple times in our life where we’re stopped and we’re arrested and asked, what are we doing? And it’s those moments that I kinda wanted us to pause and take a take a a, a a, a pulse check, if you will.
What am I doing? What am I doing? Because there’s going to be resistance that comes along with the way when we are pursuing the call that’s upon our lives, whether that is sitting in a medical practice or whether that’s going to law school, or whether that is being a stay-at-home mom who is an entrepreneur running a business out of her kitchen. I, there’s going to be resistance. And the reason why I’m absolutely beaded with this man named Paul, is that nothing stopped him and thwarted him from not just pursuing the call upon his life, but encouraging others to do the same. So I look at Paul’s, which is the end of his life, he says, I poured myself out like a drink offering. Now this is very poetic. But he was also speaking to the philosophy during that time that during that time in ancient Greco-Roman culture, they would pour out their wine to the gods as a sacrifice. And he is saying, I am pouring myself out for the benefit and the sacrifice. Sacrifice unto the Lord, be benefit of you. And I wanna get to the end of my life and say, I have fought the good fight. I have poured myself out like a drink offering, not only pursuing the God call that he’s put on my life, but inspiring others to do the same no matter what comes my way.
Amen. I love it. Bianca, where should people go if they wanna learn about this book or connect with you, like see all the things that you are up to?
Absolutely. I’m so excited about the project and it launches August 28th. People can pre-order and get a bunch of amazing gifts and incentives and resources, not just stuff that’s gonna sit on a desk, but resources that will enable people to build resilience and grit and perseverance. So they can go to bianca ov.com/gdq for grit, don’t Quit, and also at Bianca ov on all social media platforms,
Grit, don’t quit, bianca ov.com/gdq. We’ll put a link to that in the bio as well. And I would encourage you to follow her online. I mean, I follow her on Instagram and I just, I love it. It’s just encouraging, encouraging words. So thank you for your encouragement, friend. Thank you for your example. Thank you. Thank you for boldly pursuing your calling and, and what you’re doing, and we just we’re praying for you and, and we are pulling for you. And we, we wish you the best. Thank
You. Appreciate you.