Today’s Guest is Dale Furtwengler, CEO of Teaching Confidence. Dale is a wealth of information. He talked about how you can improve your confidence level in certain areas of your life. He also gives some tools on how to more confidently navigate our lives during the time of uncertainty we live in today.

Today’s Guest

Dale Furtwengler

Dale is a former CPA, 3 yrs with a national firm, 17 yrs in corporate as CFO in a variety of industries, 20 yrs providing part-time CFO services, 6 yrs focused on helping companies get higher prices regardless of what their competitors or the economy were doing (author of Pricing For Profit), 3 years teaching confidence including a trilogy of books on the topic, online courses including a program to certify others to teach confidence.


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Dale Furtwengler: [00:00:00] Too many people think that confidence is binary. Some people possess that others don’t in reality, we’re all confident and confidence is spectral and situational. So the spectrum runs from rarely confident to consistently confident and where we fit on that spectrum at any point in time. Depends on the situation that we’re facing.

Craig Staley: [00:00:26] Hello and welcome to the small business school. My name is Craig Staley, 20 year retail veteran e-commerce practitioner and entrepreneur. Each week I will interview a new small business owner that we can learn from to take our businesses to the next level. Now let’s go.

My guest today is Dale Furtwangler founder of teaching confidence. During this episode, Dale was a wealth of information. He talked about how you can improve your confidence level in certain areas of your life. He also gives some tools on how to more confidently navigate our lives during a time of uncertainty, especially in the one we live in today.  A ton of great information and a really interesting guy to talk to. So without further ado, Dale Furtwangler.

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You never pay any more. And it just helps me a little bit. If you choose to use my link, I’d like to welcome my name guest today. His name is Dale Furtwangler. Dale is the founder of teaching confidence. Thanks for joining us today, Dale.

Dale Furtwengler: [00:02:56] My pleasure. Thanks for inviting me

Craig Staley: [00:02:58] to give a little bit of your personal background to the audience.

Dale Furtwengler: [00:03:01] Okay. I’m a CPA by background spent three years with a national firm, 17 years in corporate and chief financial officer positions in a variety of industries. Then I went into business for myself, providing part time CFO services to small to midsize businesses did that for 21 years. Then had the good fortune to have a book on pricing published by the AMA comma division, American management association rebranded my company into pricing and did that for six years.

And for the last three, I’ve been involved in teaching confidence. So my business has taken yet another direction. Wow. Well, it

Craig Staley: [00:03:42] sounds like you’ve done it all.

Dale Furtwengler: [00:03:45] I’ve done a lot. Yeah.

Craig Staley: [00:03:47] So why don’t you give us a little bit of background on your current business?

Dale Furtwengler: [00:03:52] Well, it’s, uh, it’s interesting. The reason I got into this business is that all of my pricing clients told me exactly the same thing.

They said that the. Clarity they’d gotten about who their ideal customer is and what it was a valued and humble watch. They valued. It gave them the confidence that they needed to hold firm on their pricing. And they were having more fun doing business because they felt more in control. And at the same time that was going on.

I had over half a dozen people say to me, I want your life. You know, I mean, it’s the right one for me, I’ve structured it for what I want it to be, but I never considered it enviable. So it got to thinking about, well, how did I get there? Because I truly have lived that way for more than three decades now.

And I realized it was confidence. So I put together a little 15 minute program on confidence for a group of business people. And over half the audience came up afterwards and said, you need to write a book on this because. We don’t look at life and confidence the way that you do. Wow.

Craig Staley: [00:05:00] Yeah. That’s something you were naturally doing and, and you didn’t think it was anything special, but obviously people took notice.

Dale Furtwengler: [00:05:07] Absolutely. Yeah. Like I said, I was astounded because when I would, when they tell me they wondered my life, I would challenge that. And what they would tell me is that, well, I want to be able to do what I want to do. One-on-one to do it like you, or I want to take advantage of opportunities and not worry about the consequences, the way that you do, or I want to take off one more time and to travel and not worry about the money.

So what they were really telling me is they wanted to be free of fear, anxiety, and frustration. And that’s what led me to the awareness that that confidence is what had gotten me there. Which was also surprising because despite having grown up in one of the most loving, nurturing households, any child could hope to have, I was a very shy, insecure kid.

Sure. And so, you know, it’s the old, uh, Segall of, uh, you know, your greatest weakness becoming your greatest strength, you know? So that’s, as you make that journey, develop a skillset that you weren’t aware that you were going to.

Craig Staley: [00:06:11] That’s impressive. You know, I think to some degree, everyone wants to improve their confidence level in one area of their life.

They may be a confident person, but there might be a, a certain area where they, they lack a little bit. What would you say is the key to increasing your level of confidence?

Dale Furtwengler: [00:06:27] Well, first is what you just pointed out and that’s awareness, you know, too many people think that confidence is finery. Some people possess that other stones, reality, we’re all conscious and confidence is spectral and situational.

So the spectrum runs from rarely confident to consistently confident and where we fit on that spectrum at any point in time. Depends on the situation that we’re facing. Sure. But once we’re aware that we’re confident, then we can take that awareness. Of the situations where we are confident and bring that to play and the situations where we’re less comfortable.

Craig Staley: [00:07:11] And what, what do you think people that you’ve seen or what do you teach people to do to, to bring it to those situations that they’re, they’re less comfortable or confident? Is it just come down to experience the answer? What is it

Dale Furtwengler: [00:07:23] actually, you know, the background and experiences where most people look for their confidence and that’s the wrong place to look and the way I get people to realize that as I asked them a very simple question, I asked them when in your life have you faced a situation in which you’ve had no background, no experience, and you failed to produce a positive result.

And I always get the same answer to that question. The answer is never. Now we might not have gotten the answer on the first or second iteration or even the fifth, but we ultimately find a way to deal with every section  that we’re facing. Sure. And so when people again become aware that they have a history of dealing with that, then what they begin to realize that their real source of confidence, their real power comes in their ability to learn and adapt.

And, you know, again, one of the ways that I demonstrate that to people in the programs I do in the classes that I teach is I asked them to imagine a world in which background and experience were a prerequisite. For progress, what would that world look like? It’d be very static, wouldn’t it? Yeah. And we wouldn’t really have to go back to many central to get a sentence for that.

You know, a few centuries back. If I were a cobbler son, I was going to be a cop Poplar and there’s not a lot of progress that gets made in that kind of environment. That’s true. And if we had to have that ground and experience, how would we have all the medical advances we have today? How would we have learned to fly?

How would we consider colonizing Mars?

Craig Staley: [00:09:09] Yeah. You look at someone like Elon Musk. He, he wouldn’t exist without the confidence to do something that, you know, no one has done before really.

Dale Furtwengler: [00:09:16] Right. And what he’s really confident in is this ability to learn and adapt.

Craig Staley: [00:09:22] Yeah, that makes a whole lot of sense. Well, you may have just answered.

My next question is, you know, how is it that some people are just naturally confident it’s just the, their adaptability?

Dale Furtwengler: [00:09:32] Well, I think a lot of it’s just genetic. Yeah. There’s a genetic predisposition to one or the other, but. Confidence is a skill it could be learned and taught. So wherever you are are on that confidence spectrum.

At this point in time, you can move to the consistently confident area. As you learn to trust your ability to learn and adapt, and you quit limiting your potential by looking at your background and experience.

Craig Staley: [00:10:01] That makes sense. You know, we’re, we’re in the middle of a pandemic here. It’s August 18th and you know, my kids are going back to school.

A lot of people’s kids are going back to school and some of them are learning virtually, you know, it seems like there’s a lot of misinformation right around every corner. How can we more confidently navigate your life when, when there’s so much uncertainty going on?

Dale Furtwengler: [00:10:23] One of the things, um, that we can do.

And there is a lot of uncertainty here, so we can only work with the best information that we have available. But one of the keys is to make the decisions consciously too many decisions get made from emotion and emotional decisions are rarely effective. So what we have to step back. From the emotion set aside the emotions and do in a conscious evaluation of the alternatives, the pros and cons of each based on the information that we have and then make our decisions consciously based on that analysis.

And that way, what I find is that people are a lot more Constable. With whatever choice that they’ve made and they’ll learn and adapt from there as they get new information,

Craig Staley: [00:11:16] more information or different information comes. Right. That makes sense. In your book one with the university, talk about tapping into your subconscious mind.

What would you say are the benefits of, of doing that tapping into your subconscious.

Dale Furtwengler: [00:11:30] Well, there are actually two benefits that come out of that. One is that when you tap into the subconscious mind, you can solve problems more quickly. We’ve all had experiences where, you know, we’ve been wrestling with a problem all day long and to no avail and going to bed at night, wondering how, what we’re going to do, how we going to fix it.

And the next morning in the shower, boom, the answer shows up well, in essence, by wondering. How we’re going to solve it. We assigned it to our subconscious mind and the subconscious mind works on that even though we’re not consciously focused on it. And when we realized that we can tap into the subconscious to do that consciously and at will, anytime the day or night sleeps not involved, then we can optimize both the conscious and subconscious mind.

So if I’m working on something and I hit a block, I assign that to my subconscious shift, my focus to something I know that I can accomplish consciously. And then do that, that way. I’m optimizing both.

Craig Staley: [00:12:37] This may sound silly, but how do you assign it to your subconscious mind? What, what do you do? What, what’s the process you go through,

Dale Furtwengler: [00:12:43] you simply plant the question in your subconscious mind.

How am I going to solve this?

Craig Staley: [00:12:49] And then just let it go.

Dale Furtwengler: [00:12:50] Let it go. Yeah, you’ve got a little onto the next thing. Yup. Yup. And we’ve all had that experience where we’ve gotten frustrated. So frustrated we’ve just walked away from whatever it was we were doing. And with them a matter of a few seconds or a few minutes, the solution presents itself.

Yeah, so we’ve done it. We’ve all had the experience. So it’s, now that we’re doing it consciously and intentionally

Craig Staley: [00:13:15] yeah. Consciously assigning it to our subconscious

Dale Furtwengler: [00:13:20] NFS is that when we tap into the subconscious, the emotions that we’re experiencing our messages from the subconscious mind, and when we learn what those messages are telling us, Then we can more quickly convert the emotions into productive behaviors.

So if I’m procrastinating, then the message that I’m getting is I’m trying to force myself to do something I don’t like to do or feel an app that, so then I can, once I realized that that’s the message then okay. How I can ask my subconscious, how can I make this more fun so that I’ll enjoy doing it.

Yeah. If I don’t get an answer that I’m looking for there, then, well, what other resources can I call on? Is there somebody I can contract with to do some of this work? Because I just really don’t like it or, you know, go online and find a YouTube video that will show me how to do what I need to do,

Craig Staley: [00:14:22] make it easier

Dale Furtwengler: [00:14:23] once I understand what the motion is telling me what that message is.

Then I can see alternative solutions to it and use the one that feels right. That’s

Craig Staley: [00:14:35] great. What is something that you recommend to your clients to do every day and exercise or otherwise to maintain or enhance their confidence?

Dale Furtwengler: [00:14:45] One of the things is to spend a little time shortly after they rise. And again, shortly before going to bed, just remind themselves of situations that they face.

In which they didn’t have any background or experience. And I still produced a good result because by reinforcing their memory of those situations, it enhances their awareness that they can deal with anything that comes their way. And we never know what’s going, what we’re going to be facing down the road.

Craig Staley: [00:15:18] Yeah. Again, to your point, it’s being adaptable. So that’s, that’s definitely a good exercise to just reflect on it at the end of the day and try to remind yourself. So you have a ton of business experience, obviously. What has maybe been the biggest challenge that you faced in business and how did you overcome it?

Dale Furtwengler: [00:15:36] I guess my biggest challenge was, um, frustration. I would, I would know that I was doing all the right things to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish, but I wasn’t getting the results yet and I’d get frustrated. And when I’d get frustrated like that, I’d asked myself two questions. The first question was, have I ever enjoyed the work more than what I’m doing today?

The second question was, do I really want to put my faith in somebody else’s hands again? And the answer to those two was always a resounding no, I was doing what I love and I really didn’t want to put my fate in somebody else’s hands again, just like that. I was able to get back to doing what I needed to do in order to get the results I was looking

Craig Staley: [00:16:25] for.

That’s a great tip. What would you say has been, you know, on the other side of the coin, what’s been the best moment in your, your business history?

Dale Furtwengler: [00:16:33] Wow. Is there been a lot? I’ve been very fortunate. We’ve been in a lot. One that, that I really enjoy was it was the CFO part time CFO client that I had for 13 years saw them every month for 13 years.

And she wrote me a testimonial and said, During the 13 years that we’d worked together, there had never been a question that she asked that I wasn’t able to answer, and I just never looked at it. And that I thought of it in that light, but I thought, wow, that made me feel really good. Made me feel really good

Craig Staley: [00:17:10] when you get that feedback like that that’s sometimes the best times you remember.

Dale Furtwengler: [00:17:15] Yeah. Yeah. That’s great.

Craig Staley: [00:17:18] Who do you consider? Who’s been a mentor for you and, and what’s maybe the most valuable lesson they taught. You

Dale Furtwengler: [00:17:24] I’d have to say my dad, my dad was an automotive mechanic for a Ford dealer in a little town in Illinois that I grew up in his commitment to excellence the day, every week.

Ford would publish, but some of the more recent problems they’d had and the fix as far, the minute he read it cover to cover weekend, week out. And he was also a great encourager. And I think that those are two qualities that I picked up from him that have served me very well over the years.

Craig Staley: [00:17:57] Well, that’s great.

And I’m sure it, was it something that you just learned from watching him? He didn’t probably sit you down and say, Hey son, this is, this is the way you do it. It was just watching him over time. I’m sure.

Dale Furtwengler: [00:18:08] Yeah, it was just observing them. I mean, kids that’s one of the best ways to teach kids is by living the example, you know, and that’s one of the things I teach in my confidence courses.

Cause I really want to get the confidence training to kids as young as eight to 10. Uh, not that I have to do it, but that I’m, you know, teachers are people that work with kids develop are, learn how to teach confidence so that the kids can gain that. But yeah, kids learn so much from what we do and actually trust what we do more than what we say and that long we live that way.

And he did, he lived that and I observed it, you know, over. What 15, 20 years. And, um, you know, it, it, it sunk in

Craig Staley: [00:18:58] that’s great. So that, that kind of brings up a good point. So you not only teach confidence to business clients, it sounds like, but also to other people too, so that they can go teach confidence either to kids or other clients as well.

Dale Furtwengler: [00:19:13] Right. Yeah. I’ve got a certification yeah. Program. We’re actually certified instructors to teach confidence. And right now I just recently completed the, a second certified instructor. So I’ve got two now. Great. And we’re, you know, so I’m expecting as this pandemic eases up, that we can accelerate that again.

And these are both, uh, one of them’s dealing with kids, excuse me. The other, this dealing with business people. Well,

Craig Staley: [00:19:42] that’s, that’s definitely a, a great angle to take is with the kids. I never even thought about that, but for whether it’s kids or adults, it’s, it’s definitely an important lesson to learn.

Dale Furtwengler: [00:19:51] I really think that, you know, being one of the reasons I’d like to get it to kids around the ages of eight to 10, is that I feel like if we can teach them these lessons, then as they get into the.

Teen years, the hormonal state changes that go on and all the self-deprecation that, that might be easier for them to navigate that, to mitigate some of that. And I’ve had good. Um, I taught 10 kids at Parkway’s spark entrepreneurial program on the second level of confidence and it’s a six week program and one young woman, and I frame it as.

Training your mind to think counterintuitively. And so one young moment, and out of that, 10 wrote me a testimonial and said that she was now seeing things that she had never seen before, making connections she had never made before. And she was doing it so automatic, medically that it didn’t seem counterintuitive any longer.

It just seemed like the natural way of thinking for her. That’s great. And, uh, one young man took a selfie with this certificate and the me and posted on Facebook and said that he had learned more in six weeks with me than he had in any prior six weeks of his life. And, um, what I love about what I’ve learned and about teaching confidence is that with these 10 kids, I only spent a half hour of classroom time a week.

Wow. They did a 15 minute daily exercise associated with it. And that was the result I got in just a half hour, a week of interaction.

Craig Staley: [00:21:36] Well, that’s great. So if you could go get an a time machine, this is something I ask everybody and, and go back to the day when you, you launched your first business, what’s one thing that you would tell your past self, maybe a piece of advice.

Dale Furtwengler: [00:21:52] Yeah. I don’t look at things that way. I don’t look back and wonder what if, because what I’ve discovered over the years is that every thing that I learned along the way was essential for my success. Sure. And so, you know it, and I learned more from my mistakes. I think we all do then. Well, so to wish away some of the things to help propel me to where I am today, this doesn’t seem like the appropriate approach to me.

Craig Staley: [00:22:25] That’s a great answer. I mean, for sure, we, we take those lessons, those hard lessons, more to heart than like you said, some of the successes, so yeah. So I’m sure that stuck with you

Dale Furtwengler: [00:22:37] learning and growth, or it’s an interrupt iterative process. And, you know, so that, to me, learning is part of the joy of living, knowing that I’m going to learn something and develop new capabilities and find new ways to help people.

And that’s all. Makes life worthwhile. So for sure, I wouldn’t want to forego that.

Craig Staley: [00:23:01] So no, no time machine for Dale.

Dale Furtwengler: [00:23:04] No time for now. Perfect.

Craig Staley: [00:23:07] So where can our listeners find out more about your courses, your book, some of that type of stuff. Do you have a website? Social media?

Dale Furtwengler: [00:23:15] Yeah. I’ve got a website teaching

And it has, uh, information on, on the three books that I’ve written on confidence, one for each level of confidence. And as well as you know, the online self study courses and the certification program, I write a weekly blog. Entitled for our kids, but I write it in a way that the message is really written for the adults and then with tips on how to use it, you know, and then teach their kids along the way I’m on Twitter and Facebook.

So Facebook is teaching confidence. Twitter’s at Dale Wrangler and I’m LinkedIn is stale for at Ringler.

Craig Staley: [00:23:59] Great. I’m going to have to check out that blog. I have a couple kids and I’m, I’m sure I can find some, some great information on there. Cause the conversation with you today has been. Been more than great,

Dale Furtwengler: [00:24:11] so, well, good.

I’m glad to hear it. You know, the goal is always to provide something that will help somebody, right?

Craig Staley: [00:24:18] Yeah. And I think you’ve, you’ve provided a lot of value and definitely I’m going to listen back to it and think some more on it because you, you have some great perspectives.

Dale Furtwengler: [00:24:27] Oh, good, good.

Craig Staley: [00:24:28] Well, Dale again, thanks for being on with me today.

I appreciate it.

Dale Furtwengler: [00:24:32] My pleasure.

Craig Staley: [00:24:35] I really liked talking to people like Dale. Talking to Dale was like reading a book. He makes you think, and you walk away with new information that you didn’t have before you met him. What really got me thinking was the idea he shared that confidence can be found in our ability to learn and adapt.

I agree with Dale, to an extent, we all have our limits. I mean, I could train eight hours a day for a year and get much better at basketball, but no matter how hard I train, no matter how well I learned and adapt a year from now, I’m not going to be playing in the NBA. I definitely agree with Dale that we should have the confidence in our ability to learn and adapt.

To new situations, but we also need to have the self awareness to understand where our true skills and abilities lie. If you’re a small business owner or looking to start a business, join the small business school Facebook group, it’s a private community of people focused on helping each other, grow their businesses, join the community and let’s help each other.

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