Scott Mann: Hey, everybody. Welcome back to the Mann Up Report. This is Scott Mann. I am your trusted source for leadership issues that matter in your world and that have an impact bigger than yourself, bigger than me, bigger than the community. We are leaders without titles and today is no exception to that. For part two, talking about resilience, my dear friend Eric Hodgdon. He is an author. He is a speaker and he is a resilience leader, leader without a title but a resilience leader. Unfortunately, with the loss of his daughter Zoi, he had to figure this one out and he did and he talked to us on the last podcast about what happened, how he lost his daughter and how he came through that grief and found a path toward resilience and now he’s on a path to share it with people who are going through grief of their own and that’s what we’re going to dial into today. We’re going to get really detailed on the work that he’s doing and more importantly how you can leverage it in your life. Hey, Eric. Welcome back.
Eric Hodgdon: Thank you very much, Scott. I’m glad to be back here with you.
Scott Mann: So that takes us to the next thing. I’m going to skip over here. The second thing is the work that you’re doing, man, I mean, you’re showing people how to do that, man. You’re showing people. Look, listen up tribe, this is what I’m talking about. This is what leadership looks like. So there’s a gap here, I mean, clearly all of us go through periods of grief, heavy periods of grief where it’s hard to move forward. Eric has found a way to not only move through tremendous grief in his life but to make it okay for other people, right? He’s sharing that with the world. A lot of what you do Eric is through story but other things as well. Your process for thriving and moving on and you’re sharing that. Tell us about the book that you’re writing right now and just what you’re doing to help other people build that resilience in their lives.
Eric Hodgdon: Absolutely. Thank you for asking about that. I’m getting very close to finishing up with the book and I hope to have it published soon and the title is-
Scott Mann: Can you tell us the title?
Eric Hodgdon: Sure, the title is A Sherpa Named Zoi.
Scott Mann: I love that man.
Eric Hodgdon: I think Zoi guided me throughout my entire or throughout her existence here and even now I believe that she’s still guiding me. A few months after she passed, I had gone back to work and I was having a really difficult day and I got on the train and I just wanted to connect with her because I was missing her so much and it hurt and I just closed my eyes and I just said just go somewhere that’s really peaceful and quiet and just see Zoi there and I did. What my mind’s eye opened up to was this very large lake and there were some mountains in the distance and the lake was just like a sheet of glass. It was very smooth and it was dusk. The sky was the deep blue blending into the pink, blending into the yellow of the sun behind the mountains. But Zoi approached me from the left. She was wearing a dress that had the same exact colors as the sky and it was changing with the sky as it was setting. The very first thing I said to her was, “Are you okay?” She said, “Dad, I am more than okay.” I just felt like this, the weight came off of me. My stress was reducing. I felt like I was connected to her and I asked her if she was a God because just the way that she came to me and she said, “No, no, no. I’m not. I’m god-like. I’m guidance and dad, you are light and hope.” We had a few more, I asked her a few more questions. The last thing she said to me is that, “Whenever you feel like connecting with me, come here because I’ll always be here.” I think that what I believe is that Zoi has been guidance for me just all along, showing me things and just connecting with her and through meditation or I would even say some signs that I received along the way. But again, everybody’s interpretation of what that maybe is different. It’s lead into the book and the reason I wrote the book is just wanted to document the journey of going through the loss, the aftermath, the questions that people typically asks and then creating a new life for yourself, coming out of the fog by reframing your mindset, going from why is this happening to me to potentially why is this potentially happening for my life and then what’s the things that make you function every single day, like what are the things that make your heart sing. What do you like to do, where do you like to go, what brings joy to your heart. It admits all of this pain. There are things that you enjoyed doing beforehand either with that person or not but what is it that brings joy and makes your heart sing today. Then the formation of your core values is the last thing that … The core values create energy and direction for your life. I believe all those together build the foundation of resilience and coming back from loss.
Scott Mann: Wow, that’s something man. I cannot wait until the book comes out. That is going to serve so many people and you’re so humble about it. You did much more than just chronicle your journey. That whole because I’ve been so close to you as you’ve poured your heart into this book and I know the sleepless nights you’ve put into this and even having to relive the pain that you’ve relived so that you could serve other people in a way that you show them it’s going to be all right, that it’s going to be okay, that there is a path forward here. You had to go through this gauntlet all over again. I hope all of you guys and gals listening to this thing understand that what Eric is putting forward here is such a beautiful guide to not only coping with loss but having the resilience to get back into the game, right? To get back out of the arena, out of the bleachers and down into the arena and living your life again. That’s what you’re going to find in this book is, yeah, through the pain there is a path forward. Eric, you’re doing on the third thing. You’re not even waiting for the book the book to come out, man. You’re mixing it up in social media and recently you’ve done some stuff with this group called Option B.
Eric Hodgdon: Yes.
Scott Mann: I’d love for you to tell our listeners about that and what’s happening with that and what should we be looking for. We’ll come back to the book. I want to end on the book, when we can expect to see it, but talk to use a little bit about this work that you’re doing right now in real time with Option B and social media and how folks who are hurting right now can use and leverage both that and the stuff you’re developing.
Eric Hodgdon: Absolutely. Option B was formed Sheryl Sandberg. She’s the COO of Facebook. About two years ago, Sheryl lost her husband suddenly while they were on vacation in Mexico. She spent the last couple of years working with a psychologist, Adam Grant and they created this book Option B that was just written but subsequently she created a series of Facebook groups around Option B that help people to build resiliency in the face of adversity. One of the groups that she created was Grief and Loss. A couple of months ago when I joined the group, there was about 200 people in there. That group has now swelled to over 8,000 and it continues to grow daily.
Scott Mann: Wow.
Eric Hodgdon: What I experience when I’m in this group is that there are a lot of hurting souls. People are asking these questions that I want to answer for them or at least help them and guide them so that they can answer those questions for themselves. Some of the questions are, “I don’t know how if I’m ever going to feel better again. How can I feel better again? I’ve lost the love of my life,” or “My son passed away,” or, “My daughter passed away,” or, “My mom or dad passed away or my spouse.” It’s so difficult and I understand that pain. But I believe that there’s a way to introduce a positive disruptor into that pain to change that negative narrative, if you will call it a negative narrative, it’s just a … Into a positive disruptor so that it reframes how they’re looking at the loss. They’re seeing the beauty in that person that they’ve lost because I don’t believe love ever dies. That energy never goes away. It’s still strong. I love Zoi now as much as I did the day that she was born. That amazes me. I want to extend that love to everybody that I come in contact with because I know that it’s still present. I think that when you’re going through loss and grief and you’re trying to figure things out, it’s very hard to see that and feel that in that fog.
Scott Mann: Oh man, I’m telling, yeah, and I’m just going to cut you off for a second because I’ve watched you do this. I watched you do this with a young man. Remember this at one of our workshops whose father or stepfather had just committed suicide and you spent some time with him. That guy, he’s completely changed. Like he is in a completely different space than he had been for months after that. I mean, I saw it first hand how just the extension of that love and that pathway can just open up a whole new route.
Eric Hodgdon: Yeah, absolutely. I think that that’s … I think when somebody does see that light and they see that route, that’s where I think that that light that they haven’t seen for a while shines through and now they have some hope and some semblance of being able to reach that light because they weren’t able to see it before. But I get it, I mean, you walk around blind for a while. You walk around just like, “What’s next? What do I do now?” I think when you enter that state of resilience, you don’t get knocked down. You get bumped but you can keep on moving.
Scott Mann: Wow. So what should we look for? First of all, how do we get to Option B? I mean, because it sounds like a great tool. But is there anything we should know about what you’re doing there or any work you’re doing there? How do we plug in the other stuff that you’re doing because it is so immediately useful?
Eric Hodgdon: That’s a great website. Well, if you go to optionb.org, you can check out the website and check out various groups that are available. There’s some for injury. There’s some for divorce. There’s groups for grief and loss. If you check out, you can actually go right … It will redirect you to the respective Facebook group that’s associated with that if you wanted to become part of the group, you can join. Secondarily, what I’m doing with them is I had a discussion with them in that I could be helping people to tell their story. I’m going to be helping people to write and tell their stories so that in the sense of it helping me and helping Sheryl, I want to help other people to their story in healing as well.
Scott Mann: There you go guys. So if you’re listening to this and you’re in that place right now, this is something that’s going to be available really, really soon. Eric, how do folks get in touch with you? Because I mean, there are people right now who need this connection. I’m excited to put them in touch with you. How do people reach out to you and connect to you and start doing this important work on resilience?
Eric Hodgdon: Right now, I’m just launching my new website.
Scott, if you can maybe put the link in the notes, that be great. This website is really going to be a place to come and hopefully help you find the light, help you find that pathway back to better days. Either if yourself, if you’re dealing with a loss or if you know somebody who is also dealing with a loss and you want to have some guidance for them, I’d like to hear from you. I’d love to help you.
Scott Mann: Wow. I’m telling you right now folks, this guy is not of this earth when it comes to the work that he does. I’m so proud of the work that he does. Eric, when would we look to see the book in a roundabout? I know there’s still the publishing piece to do but you got an eye when you’d like to see it come out?
Eric Hodgdon: I’m targeting for the end of July for it to be published. It’s going to be self published. It will be available on Amazon. I’m excited about that because I was able to get Zoi’s older sister Arminda to do the cover art and Zoi’s older brother to do the foreword of the book so I’m really excited to have them involved in this process.
Scott Mann: That’s so great. Hey listen, will you do me a favor, can we plan … When you get ready to launch this thing, I’d love to have you back on. I’m going to ask for the right of first refusal. I want to be the first guy to interview you when the book comes out and I’d love to just use every platform we have at our disposal to help you launch this thing.
Eric Hodgdon: Excellent. I would love that. Thank you so much.
Scott Mann: Yeah, and I’m going to ask all of our … All the members of the Mann Up tribe to be ready when this books come out. We have an obligation, I think as leaders without titles to make sure that folks know this book’s out there, right? This book of healing and resilience is out there, that it’s available to folks so just be ready, right? Be ready to mobilize. I talk all the time about how we could have an impact in this world bigger than ourselves and sometimes it’s just pushing stuff out there into the gaps where it wasn’t before. I’ve seen it time and time again when you got a guy like Eric who’s carrying this load, who is running these miles for other people, we can be position players. You talk about powerful, right? When a group like hours can push such an important book out into these different circles and get it out there, that changes the world. It changes people’s lives and it creates an impact. It leaves tracks that are bigger than us and that last beyond our time. Eric, man, look. I can’t tell you how proud I am of the work you’re doing. I am so grateful for you coming on the Mann Up Report. I really want you to come back on as we get closer to the book launch. Will you do that?
Eric Hodgdon: Absolutely and thank you very much, Scott. I’m very grateful for to be able to talk with you and your audience and this is just an honor. Thank you so much.
Scott Mann: Oh, you’re welcome. You know what, let’s close it like this. There’s somebody out there hurting right now. What’s the one thing we didn’t say that we needed to say? What’s the one thing you didn’t say or I didn’t ask you that needs to be said to that person who’s out there hurting right now?
Eric Hodgdon: I think a lot of people work with or try to deal with post-traumatic stress. It’s out there. It’s real. But so is post-traumatic growth. I think we can fight for that.
Scott Mann: Wow, that’s so good man. You are an amazing dude Eric Hodgdon and I’m proud to call you a friend.
Eric Hodgdon: Thank you, Scott. You too, you too.