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Feb. 12, 2021

Setting Apart High Achievers With Dr. Fern Kazlow

Setting Apart High Achievers With Dr. Fern Kazlow
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In this episode, Andy interviews Dr. Fern Kazlow of Integrative Therapy on the topic of being and ultimately becoming a high achiever.

Listen as Dr. Kazlow shares what sets high achievers apart as well as different characteristics that high achievers have in common. In addition, in this episode you can learn about Peak Performance Resistance. What it means and how you can overcome it in your own life.

Dr. Fern Kazlow is the Founder of Integrative Therapy, one of the first holistic centers globally based in NYC. Her experience includes over 100,000 hours of researching, teaching, training, mentoring consulting and providing psychotherapy. She has been featured in The New York Times, New York Magazine, Natural Health and Working Mother. She is a clinical psychotherapist, a peak performance mentor and a business strategist.

Episode Action Items:

You can reach Dr. Fern Kazlow visit Signup for VIP updates or email Dr. K to let her know what your interest is or if there is anything you want to share including volunteering to be interviewed for her new book.


Andy Splichal is the World's Foremost Expert on Ecommerce Growth Strategies. He is the acclaimed author of the Make Each Click Count Book Series, the Founder & Managing Partner of True Online Presence and the Founder of Make Each Click Count University. Andy was named to The Best of Los Angeles Award's Most Fascinating 100 List in both 2020 and 2021.

New episodes of the Make Each Click Count Podcast, are released each Friday and can be found on Apple Podcast, iHeart Radio, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts and


Andy Splichal  0:02  

Welcome to the Make Each Click Count Podcast. This is your host Andy Splichal. And today I'm being joined by a special guest to discuss the topic of being and ultimately becoming a high achiever. Today's guest is the founder of integrative therapy, one of the first holistic centers globally based in New York City. Her experience includes over 100,000 hours of researching, teaching, training, mentoring, consulting and providing psychotherapy. She has been featured in The New York Times, The New York Magazine, Natural Health and Working Mother. She is a clinical psychotherapist, and a peak performance mentor and business strategy. Dr. Fern Kazlow, aka Dr. K. Hi, Dr. K, how are you?


Dr. Fern Kazlow  1:42  

I'm doing great. Great to be here with you. Thanks for inviting me.


Andy Splichal  1:46  

Thanks. Thanks for being here. Did I get all of your intro, correct?


Dr. Fern Kazlow  1:50  

Yeah, I think you covered the most salient points.


Andy Splichal  1:54  

Oh, fantastic. Now before we dive into today's topic, which is setting apart high achievers, Let's first hear a bit of your backstory and and what ultimately led you to doing what you're doing now?


Dr. Fern Kazlow  2:08  

Okay, so let me give you the backdrop, and then we'll kind of lead into that path that led me to what I'm doing with high achievers now. So first, for, you know, backdrop, I've been somebody who has always hated limitations. And I used to have a mantra I used to say, help me support me stay out of my way. Just don't tell me it can't be done. And then I realized that the last part about don't tell me it can't be done. Actually, that was okay. Because like most high achievers, all it did was spur me on to prove that it could be done. So that's where it came from. And from very, very early, I was always interested in doing, being accomplishing and just, you know, being at peak potential wherever you are. And so back in the second grade was when this path really got clear. This was a time that teachers it was very different than it is today in school, teachers had a lot of authority, they literally used to hit the boys, they take them over their knee, hit them with a paddle. And I was very lucky that I wasn't a boy, because I had a very big mouth. And we had a little girl in my class. And this was also in the days, it makes me even cringe to say it now. When kids that were not intellectually the level that the school wanted would be called retarded, right? I mean, horrible when we think about that now. And so there was a little girl with that label. And the teacher pretty much ignored her. And I just couldn't stand it that she had just been written off as she wasn't going to be able to do much. So one day, I went up to the teacher and I said, you know, excuse me, but this is not right. I said, You're not helping her. She could do more. You know, this isn't just it's not right. It's not okay. And so the teacher glared. I mean, she just glared. It was like, things came out of her eyes at me. And she said to me, you think you could do better? And I said, Yes. And I have to remember, it was a little second grade. I was little. And I say yes, 


Andy Splichal  4:06  

Yeah, only like seven or eight, right? 


Dr. Fern Kazlow  4:09  

Yeah, that's about and it's interesting. We'll talk about that later in terms of entrepreneurs, but I was seven or eight. And I was particularly small seven or eight. And I stood there, you know, really firm and I said, Yes, I can. And she said, well, then she's yours. She said, From now on you do your work. And after that, you take care of her. You teach her that she's your responsibility now. And I said, Great. It's boring here anyway. I didn't like think about the things. I said, it kind of makes sense why I was thrown out of my high school or they tried to throw me out twice, which is a different story. But she became my charge. You know, I worked with her every day after I finished my work. And then the school started referring other kids to me who are having issues. No, so she wasn't, Yeah, so she wasn't a high achiever, but she had potential that was not being tapped. and today we're looking at her in a limited way and sort of these other kids. So I got, you know, into like the path of or onto the path of what I was doing early. By the time I was in ninth grade, I had a paid private practice doing tutoring, which then led to psycho educational therapy, and then later, excuse me late lead to therapy. So I started really being interested in peak potential wherever somebody was. And then it shifted to high achievers. And the shift came about from a number of things. One is my personality. I like to move quickly, I like to do things fast, I like to accomplish a lot, I like to have big impact. And so high achievers, you know, tend to do that. So I started focusing there, my, my practice in my centers, you mentioned was in New York City. And so being in New York City, I had performers, I had high achievers, and interesting, I had a number of them in my practice, that were anxious and depressed because they couldn't build their businesses. Well, I love marketing, which is kind of unusual, you know, the doctor, marketer is not a usual combination. But I love marketing, I built my practice really fast, I built my center from 2 to 12 people in 10 months. So I love that aspect. And what I found is that they needed help with what I call the hidden power drivers of peak performance. And they also needed help. Like, they tried different things to build their businesses, but it didn't work because they were doing what worked for other people, not what worked for them. So I was able is interesting, right. And that's what one of the reasons that a lot of programs don't work for people is they work for the person who developed it, they work for people like them, but they don't work across the board. And so being able to help them with the anxiety with the depression, becoming who they needed to be to create what they want. And at the same time, mix that with my marketing and branding, know how, and helping them structure their business was a great combo. So I actually started another aspect of my business, I had kept my clinical practice. And then I started my business strategy, and mentoring for entrepreneurs and professionals.


Andy Splichal  7:12  

Oh, that's very interesting story. Now I read somewhere to be proficient at something need to, like 10,000 hours of doing something, and here you are, with 100,000 hours of fine tuning this. I guess, you reach a level of being a super expert, or how does that work?


Dr. Fern Kazlow  7:32  

Well, I guess some people would say that what for me is you know, for me, it's about continuing to grow continuing to learn, continue to innovate. And I know I really do know my stuff. So that's what it means to me. I don't know if I'd use the lip balm, myself, super expert, but it might stick. And I really do know, not just the surface, not just that, you know, a little bit of proficiency or even that 10,000 hours. This has been a you know, 40 year, deep dive and beyond that, because I started literally in second grade of study of what it takes to help somebody unlock their peak potential.


Andy Splichal  8:13  

Now working with all these peak performers, do you find that it's, you know, kind of a box they all fall in? Or some sometimes you're surprised or you're you're continuing to learn? How does that how does that go?


Dr. Fern Kazlow  8:28  

Probably all of the above a little bit, um, there are patterns, and I'll share some of them. So there are definitely patterns, there are definitely things that continue to surprise me and were my learning and growing is, I always come to things from the light the perspective of someone who has studied and so I, you know, I kind of know what I know, I know a lot, but I also know that there's always more that I can learn. So I come with that student's mind. And I take people in. So when I come to anybody that I'm working with, I bring my experience, I bring my studies, I bring all that with me. And then I bring my curiosity, my openness, my wanting to know them, and how this lives in them. So I never go in and put my stuff on them. I go in with my perspective. And I really listen here and see how to best help them to be all they can be and to use what I've learned and what I know, to help them accomplish what is important to them. So one of the things for me is that I'm always in doing that and coming from that perspective, I continue to grow. So it's one it's exciting. It's really fun for me being with people who are, you know, sharp and achieving and go getters. I learned a lot because I've worked with people in different industries. Probably one of the most exciting things is that I continue to grow myself and help other people to grow. And that's not something I see as an endpoint. That's something that I See, no matter how many hours, I continue to work with high achievers.


Andy Splichal  10:05  

Now I know you probably can't share with clients you worked with, you know, that pesky doctor patient company confidentiality thing. But I know you are working on a new project, you have a new book coming out. Can you tell us a bit about about the book and who you have interviewed so far, as well as maybe some people you might still be planning to interview?


Dr. Fern Kazlow  10:27  

Okay, and so yeah, would you say I appreciate that, as, you know, in my role as clinical psychotherapist, I can't, you know, I have to be very careful and not to reveal who people are that I've worked with, or any of you know, what they've shared. And in my role as a mentor, I also have NDA non-disclosure agreement, as well. It's interesting. And something that's really exciting is that people are more willing now than they used to be to knowledge that they either have a therapist need a therapist, work with a mentor, things are coming out in the open, the fact that most ever got pretty much everybody and it lives in entrepreneurs in a particular way, has dealt with life and traumas and hard stuff, that this is becoming more of an open conversation is just it's you usually gratifying to me, because it makes such a difference in the quality of people's lives. And something that a lot of people talk about is all that hidden shame, like Brené Brown talks about a lot. So the fact that this is coming out of the shadows, for men and for women is huge. And I'm excited about my book, what I'm doing with the book is I'm writing about these hidden power drivers that affect peak performance,


Andy Splichal  11:41  

Have you, have you titled the book, by the way, yeah?


Dr. Fern Kazlow  11:45  

Just not really, I kind of call it the hidden power drivers, okay, high performers, but it's not really it's kind of not sure exactly what the end title will be. But that's, that's where it goes. And it's like these drivers are so important. Because they affect what we accomplish, and what we don't the quality of our life, if we create limitations or shattered them. All of that is based on the state that we're in right mind body business, the state of our mind, the state of our body, the state of our business, and how do we determine that it's by these hidden drivers. So what I'm doing in the book is taking obviously, the experience that I have those 100,000 plus hours, and I'm interviewing over 100, or at least 100, highly successful, mostly entrepreneurs, but also professionals, also, people who are different arenas of performance and people who've worked with high performance in arenas of trauma and different things. So I'm interviewing 100, you know, those real achievers real performance, and it's not all about money. Most of them are high 6 7 8, figure earners, and more. But it's really about impact. It's about unleashing their potential and themselves in a business and making an impact. And then I'm going to be sending out questionnaires to a few 100. People who are high performers, that may or may not be at those levels, but have a lot to contribute so I can get this broader view. And some of the people that have interviewed this has been it's been just so much fun, and I'm learning a lot. But I've interviewed someone I don't want to drop names yet. But someone who's considered probably best biggest marketing expert in the world, highest paid marketing consultant. I've been interviewing a lot of very successful seven figure entrepreneurs in various industries. I'm interviewing on Monday, a gold medal Olympian. And I have some some things in the works with some names that we would all know, very much very familiar names of people who are in the entrepreneurial, clearly high achiever space.


Andy Splichal  14:00  

When when do you think the book will be published? When it'll be? 


Dr. Fern Kazlow  14:04  

I don't know. I don't know. It's interesting, because I'm going about this book a little bit differently. Other things that I've written, I've kind of gotten the more traditional apply for us to the publisher, or, you know, the chapter and stuff like that. And had it all outlined. This one feels different, that it's evolving. So on the one hand, I come to this with so much that I know about the Hidden Power Drivers of Peak Performance, and bring that out in high performance because high performers are not, you know, all operating at peak performance or at peak performance consistently, not the same thing. And at the same time, the journey of doing this book is eye opening, and I'm letting it evolve. One of the things that's been interesting if I can share one of the things that has been quite eye opening, I've seen it but doing it in the book and doing interview after interview, there are differences that I see not only across people's experiences where everybody's talking now a lot about, you know, race and gender, but also around age. And where you are not only in the lifecycle of your business, but in your life cycle in your lifecycle, so that entrepreneurs who are younger, like very successful, excuse me, and maybe in their 40s, right, they look at having endless runway, they are they talk about legacy, but they see, every obstacle is just an exciting mountain to climb. And they don't see that place, that it's not going to happen. In fact, I have to really press in a little bit to find out where they're frustrated. And, and because of what, what they do, we can talk about that as well. But what they do with their frustrations and the challenging stuff in the obstacles, people who are older, they have more awareness of the timeline, more awareness of priorities about this is what I need to get done now, or it may not happen. So that's been one of the things that's been very striking, to me interviewing successful entrepreneurs in various stages of their life lifecycle.


Andy Splichal  16:19  

That's interesting, you know, I just ordered and received, I didn't get it yet. But a book called I think it's the The Second Mountain. For a kid who the author is, but but the whole premise is, it is, you know, when you get later in life is thinking of that second mountain in your legacy. But anyway, that just came to mind. So you had mentioned you're you're going to interview or you're planning to 100 people, I can't imagine that all the interviews are going to be in the book. I mean, it would be, you know, even five pages in interview be like 500 pages, how are you gonna formatted? Or is that still a work in progress?


Dr. Fern Kazlow  16:54  

Well, it's work in progress. But basically, the intention isn't to include the interviews. The purpose is really to go deep. These are private interviews so that people will share things that they might or might not want, included. And then by by, It'll give me a sense of information without identifying people. And then I will be asking people for permission for the quotes that I use. So there'll be a good number of quotes, there will be a lot of references to material. But obviously, just like you're saying, it would be, you know, crazy textbook, if I were to include 100 interviews might be really interesting thing. But one of my decisions about this was to do it privately. So people would be willing to go to places that they might not be willing to talk about if it was public, because I talked about things like the effect of transgenerational influences, meaning their parents, their grandparents, aunts, uncles, the effect on the relationships, you know, just things that they might or might not be willing to say, in public. So I want these to be interviews where I get a lot of information, people are willing to share this trust. And then I can go back and clear with people, what I'd like to include either identifying them, or just having to support the patterns, or deviating from the patterns. And I'm going into it very openly to see what is it that I see because one of the things that's interesting is when I see people, even though I spend a lot of time with colleagues and you know, in general speaking to groups of entrepreneurs who are high achievers, when people come and work with me and roll up their sleeves, they're generally at a space where they're either stuck, that wanting to create something new, something in their life is kind of rubbing up against it. So it's interesting to interview so many people that are in different phases that they might not be rubbing against anything yet. For now, I mean, most entrepreneurs certainly have histories. Justin green did a book, epic business, I think it's called, where he talks about four things that you see in every entrepreneurs history. And he identifies anxiety, depression, bankruptcy, or trauma. And that supports what I've seen in all these years of practice, as well. So I want more openness for people to go to those places and shillings me in the interviews.


Andy Splichal  19:17  

Well, that's definitely not not that uplifting. I guess. What are some of the character characteristic characteristics or habits that you've seen that sets high achievers apart, from


Dr. Fern Kazlow  19:34  

Interesting, because, yeah, so this is really interesting. It's one of the things that is most characteristic of high achievers is also the thing that ultimately they rub against, and it creates an issue until they learn how to resolve it. So I call it actually the resistance paradox. What entrepreneurs High Achiever high achievers have, you know, pretty much whether they're Olympian. So what they're entrepreneurs, whatever, high achievers are really good at taking something that's been difficult a trauma, a life experience, and they either push it down, they put it in a box, they compartmentalize it, or they use it as fuel. Now, that really helps them get to a certain place. Because most people that are high achievers, they want to make an impact, maybe they want to make a lot of money they want to make a difference is something that they're driven to do, right, we're not just talking about a person who's a high performer, but somebody who's a high achiever of people former, they have those factors, then the way we're wired up as humans, we have a tendency to want to be secure to be safe. And while a lot of high achievers, especially entrepreneurs have a higher tolerance for risk than others, they still have this pattern. So they push things down, compartmentalize or use them as fuel, which gets them to a high level of success. And then one of two things usually happens, it either caps off where they can't go even further. Or if they do, there's a cost. And the cost can be their health, the cost can be to the relationships, the cost could be to their well being or their happiness, but there's someplace because what they haven't done is they haven't integrated that life experience or the trauma and discharge the energy of it. And in fact, it's kind of interesting, that if you talk to high achievers about the way they've handled their anxiety, or their traumas or different life experiences, it's almost like a badge of honor, that they were able to take all of these things and just kind of move no matter what. And it's interesting, because you know, if I can use an example from my life, I had a very big accident. And it led to many surgeries, I didn't barely walk for a number of years, it was a very, very big deal. And when I was flying in a trauma center, not knowing at that point, how serious it was, I had no clue except that I was drawdown in mind. And I was in screaming pain. Anyway, there I was on the gurney, in the middle of the hallway of the trauma center. And I'm talking to the doctors, the nurses, anybody who talked to me about it, about how I'm going to use this, to grow me and help the people that I work with to grow. So it was so ingrained in me. And for one time, I was thinking, well, this is really great. Even in the midst of all of this, look what I was doing. Now, on the one hand, it was really great. On the other hand, it took quite some time before I had the realization that I hadn't really integrated the trauma and discharge the energy. I mean, it was a big deal. I you know, in the hospital for quite some time I had, you know, numerous surgeries, it was definitely a big deal. And that's very typical of what high achievers getting people asked me, What did i What did I learn from that experience, one of the things that are pointed me in the direction of seeing even more deeply and more impactful than I had before was this pattern of pushing doing and I knew that we wanted willingness, not willpower. I know a lot of things about this. But one of the things I really saw in a very different way, was what I call the resistance paradox that gets you to a higher level of success. And that keeps you from ultimately being as happy, healthy, productive, or as high achieving, as you could be is it keeps you from having your fullest potential growing most fully with the most fully.


Andy Splichal  23:44  

When it definitely I want to ask you about that. But before I do, I got I got a quick question for you, Dr. Kay, let's say, you know, I have no anxiety. I have no trauma. And I'm not really depressed. Could I still become a high achiever? Is there is there stuff that is learned? That could make a person you know, become a high achiever without that kind of negative?


Dr. Fern Kazlow  24:11  

I love that question. There are people who say no, and it's interesting that Justin's research with many, many, you know, I think he did hundreds of entrepreneurs said that they all had the high achieving entrepreneurs all had those four characteristics, but I think some of it depends on and people have kind of said that, like, you know, without that to rub against, can you get as far? Well, the way I look at it is that I don't know anybody that gets through life without experiencing what they have, have experienced as trauma. So it doesn't mean that you have to be assaulted or raped or abandoned or abused or have an accident like I did. It doesn't mean that it has to be those things. It can be something in life that just touches you in a way that causes reaction where you either you might feel, you know, it might put you into a fight or flight response, it might put you into a freeze. If it doesn't stop, it might collapse you down the world. Nobody gets, you know, get get through life without having some anxiety are some challenging experiences. Some people claim that not too many. And generally when you talk to them, there's a lot that's repressed. So I would, I would want to reframe that and say, can you get through life without, you know, and to high achievement without a major trauma without a major anxiety? I think that most people have some combination of those, or something that they've experienced. In fact, it's part of what makes people passionate about something. It makes you passionate. So we could say that my interest in you know, shadowing limitations and clients that I have, who, you know, just want to be so good. And we could say that some of them are countering that feeling of, and messages from the family of not being good enough. And that's a very common one. There's always something in there as part of the human experience that has affected us deeply. And I don't want to call it a negative way. But I want to call it in a way that challenges us to grow and be more.


Andy Splichal  26:20  

Interesting. Now, on your website. I also I think you started to talk about this, but you promote that you are the number one authority in peak performer resistance. What what is that? What is what does that mean?


Dr. Fern Kazlow  26:34  

Okay, so we go back to those 100,000 hours that we talked about before. Peak Performers have this pattern, where you know, that I just mentioned where they are, the things that they want, the impact to making a difference, the money hit kind of hits up against the way we're wired up, to protect ourselves, to protect our vulnerability, to look for security. And so there's a dance between those things. And one of the things that happens is we resist, and peak performers, it's very interesting, the more successful you are two things happen, the better you get at resistance, because you're a lot of high achievers are very compelling. And it affects actually their relationship with coaching. And we can talk about that and if you want to, but the other thing that it does is they have more to lose. So the more successful you are, even though you want that next step, you may want it like really, really, really, really want it. A lot of high achievers are very driven for big goals. There's something in you that resist, and popular wisdom will teach people to overcome it, to push through it to do all kinds of things. For me, and this is where being a therapist that works with high achievers has been huge just by bringing lines of psychotherapists that understands how to find the gold in the resistance, and then use it to help people be more of who they can be, tap into the potential accomplish more of what they want, and do it in a way that supports them being healthy, happy, good relationships, free, less stress. So I've spent decades literally decades studying resistance, and how it lives in high performers, peak performers and how it either interferes or how you can actually use it in a healthy way to bring you closer to who you need to be to accomplish what you want.


Andy Splichal  28:37  

That's really interesting. And I gotta say, I'm excited for your book to come out. I can't wait for that to come out. Hey, um, you know, I've been working on a new game, that the changes subject, but it's kind of a fun way to wrap up my podcasts and how it works, is I'm going to give you some words and you tell me the first word that that comes to mind. Does that sound like something you'd be willing to do?


Dr. Fern Kazlow  29:01  

As long as I'm not restricted to one I'm not really good at foreign rule. So if I can say the first thing that comes to my mind, that's cool.


Andy Splichal  29:07  

Okay, one word. Maybe a few. How about that? 


Dr. Fern Kazlow  29:11  



Andy Splichal  29:12  

Okay, I'm gonna kill the music. Hang on one second. All right. Now we're gonna start with just a couple words. Just kind of give a baseline here. You're ready? 


Dr. Fern Kazlow  29:30  

I'm ready. 


Andy Splichal  29:31  



Dr. Fern Kazlow  29:33  



Andy Splichal  29:34  



Dr. Fern Kazlow  29:36  



Andy Splichal  29:37  



Dr. Fern Kazlow  29:40  



Andy Splichal  29:42  

All right now we're gonna go into more business terms you ready? 


Dr. Fern Kazlow  29:47  

I'm ready.


Andy Splichal  29:48  



Dr. Fern Kazlow  29:50  



Andy Splichal  29:51  



Dr. Fern Kazlow  29:56  



Andy Splichal  29:57  



Dr. Fern Kazlow  30:00  

 Number one


Andy Splichal  30:02  



Dr. Fern Kazlow  30:05  

 A lot


Andy Splichal  30:06  



Dr. Fern Kazlow  30:09  

I love it.


Andy Splichal  30:11  



Dr. Fern Kazlow  30:14  

An appreciation


Andy Splichal  30:16  



Dr. Fern Kazlow  30:19  

 Across your life


Andy Splichal  30:21  



Dr. Fern Kazlow  30:23  



Andy Splichal  30:25  



Dr. Fern Kazlow  30:28  

If you're not growing, you're dying.


Andy Splichal  30:30  



Dr. Fern Kazlow  30:34  

Move into Peak Performance.


Andy Splichal  30:37  

That was great. Now If someone would like to connect with you more?


Dr. Fern Kazlow  30:42  

That was fun by the way. 


Andy Splichal  30:45  

Somebody would like to connect to you more about your service or your new book, how can they reach out to you?


Dr. Fern Kazlow  30:51  

They can go to my website, which is k a z l o w. And they can do two things. One is they can sign up for the VIP updates. So that would be the first thing. And then I would love for them to email me and tell me what their interest is. And I also want to invite any of our listeners to reach out if they have a question if the spurs something in their mind, not just about you know services, but if there's something that they would like to share, if there's somebody even who wants to be interviewed. Please reach out I would love to hear you know what got spurred from a conversation you and I had to do any work now.


Andy Splichal  31:32  

That's great. Well, thank you again. That is it for today. Remember, if you'd like this episode, please go to Apple podcasts and leave an honest review. And if you're looking for more information regarding high achieving and high performance coaching, or her new book, you can reach Dr. K through she how she just mentioned I'll also put her information in the show notes. And before I forget those of you who out there who are using Google Shopping I'm excited to announce I will be launching a brand new Google Shopping ads challenge beginning on February 16. If you're looking to improve your Google Shopping in the quickest time possible here in 2021, visit to sign up. In the meantime, remember to stay safe keep healthy and happy marketing and I will talk to you in the next episode.