The Day Dave Went All “Barbara Walters” On Me

In Chronicles of a CEO by Rebecca Liston

It was an ordinary Wednesday. Nothing happened at all in the course of that day that suggested to me that business, as I knew it, was going to change dramatically. No bird tweeted in my ear that I ought to be ready for a shift, no dream the night before was significant enough to set me at the ready.

Nope. It was just an ordinary Wednesday.

And then Dave* called.

Dave, who was known to me only by name, was introduced to me through an email from a mutual friend. She had suggested that Dave and I would likely enjoy getting to know one another as we both work in the world of business consulting, and she just had a feeling that we would hit it off.

Right. So. I am expecting to “hit it off” with Dave. But I wasn’t expecting what actually happened.

Seven minutes (yes, I looked at the clock) seven minutes into our conversation and I was in tears.

I am having a professional “Meet and Greet” Skype call (with video no less!) with a virtual stranger and I am crying.


Because he went all “Barbara Walters” on me! (insert reverent chuckle here)

The man asked me The Question of All Questions right off the bat (just like Barbara likes to do – get ‘em crying right from the start, keep ‘em talkin’ from that deep emotional space – it’s great for ratings!). He asked, “So, could you tell me a bit more about what you do?”

(Yes, I know…not the most profound question you’ve ever heard…you kind of have to laugh at the simplicity of it, actually, but hang on to see what it brought about!)

I started out just fine as I answered him…talked about my work history (which is kind of a long tale) and how I wound up here, working as a business consultant, using my intuition as the cornerstone of my work…it was the same conversation I have had a million times.

Until it wasn’t anymore. Until it changed. Until I looked up, leaned in towards my screen, and said, “You know, Dave, I’ve told this story more times than I can count but what I haven’t always added was this: I freakin’ love what I do. I mean, I really, really love it. Some days I cannot believe I am so lucky that this is what I do for a living. How did I get so damn lucky?”

And that’s when the tears started.

And he looked back at me, just as Barbara would have, and with tears in his own eyes said, “I feel that. I feel your love for what you do. And it’s amazing.”

And we nodded quietly for a moment, just honouring the fact that I had allowed myself to really reveal the depth of my love for my work to a virtual stranger, and then I chuckled and called him Barbara and the conversation moved on from there.

But here’s the thing.

That conversation moved on from there, but I was forever changed.

I had finally experienced the true “sinking in” of the feeling that I really am the luckiest person in the world to be doing what I love most of all and doing it to earn a living, each and every day, with incredible clients who inspire me in every moment.

I had said it before…had written about it, even, but there was something in that Barbara Walters Moment in which it “clicked” in a way that it hadn’t before.

Now I can feel it down to my toes. I can feel it in my very cells. And if ever you’ve had this experience yourself, you know what I am talking about. There is knowing, and then there is KNOWING. And now I really KNOW.

And that KNOWING has changed things for me. I feel less worry about the things on my To Do List that haven’t gotten done. I am less concerned about the timing of my Facebook posts. I am not too caught up in the hows and the details, and I am not even questioning “if” certain things will happen in the business, I’m focused more on “when” they will occur.

And so it is that that deep connection with the Knowing that I am doing my life’s work in just the way that I want to be doing it is actually allowing me to do more of it.

Funny how that works, isn’t it?

So if it’s been awhile since you’ve felt that same depth of connection with your work and your clients, you may want to take a moment or two to reconnect. That could be as simple as looking up your mission statement for your business, or dusting off that vision board you made for the company last year. It could be time to reach out to clients and ask for some new testimonials so that you’re reminded of all the great work you do. Or maybe it’s time to even re-write your vision statement or re-do that vision board. Things change. We change. Our work changes. Perhaps some of your “support pieces” need to change, too, to reflect that. So maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your marketing message, get some new headshots taken, dust off that plan to send birthday cards to all of your clients and just send off a batch as a way of reconnecting with those clients you love.

Whatever it is, I encourage you to find it. Because there is nothing quite like KNOWING that you’re doing what you’re meant to do, with the people you’re meant to be doing it with, to propel you into a world of happiness and fulfillment.
*Dave’s name has been changed to protect his anonymity in case Barbara wants to sue him for “doing her schtik.”


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Rebecca Liston helps her clients predict, pivot, and compete in an increasingly complex global marketplace. Her clients quickly uncover the root of their challenges and know the actions to take to overcome them. A six-time nominee for the RBC Canadian Woman Entrepreneur Award, Rebecca combines business strategy with intuition, giving her clients the edge on forward-thinking, elegant answers to their most complicated problems. Her clients are entrepreneurs with CEO-mindsets and executives with entrepreneurial instincts. She is based in London, Ontario. What if you could get the answer to your biggest business challenge, in one sitting? Visit to find out more.