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Live w/ Marcia Wieder CEO & Founder of Dream University

Live with Marcia Wieder, global traveler, conscious entrepreneur, spiritual leader, CEO and Co-founder of Dream University and new Portugal resident.

She teaches us how to live our dreams. If you can see it, you can live it! Follow the positive energy instead of running from negative energy. She has so much knowledge it’s incredible!
Join us to meet Marcia Wieder, CEO and Co-founder of Dream University. As CEO of Dream University, Marcia spent over 30 years teaching people worldwide how to achieve their personal and professional dreams.
She has written 15 books on this topic. She also created The Meaning Institute to help people live meaningful lives. Marcia collaborated with three United States presidents, was a regular on Oprah, featured in her own PBS-TV special, was a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and taught at Stanford‘s business school.
She’s a member of the Transformational Leadership Council and as a board member of the Unstoppable Foundation financed and helped build 14 schools in Kenya.
She currently resides in Lisbon.

Interview Transcription

Dave:
I’m just waiting here for Marcia to comment. Okay. Here she is. Give me a second. All right, Marcia.

Marcia: : We did it!

Dave:

Awesome. Excited to have you. And so, yeah, it’s like you’re someone that I just met recently here in Portugal and we became friends on Facebook. And I’ve been watching your posts and you just have such an interesting background. I think when I first met you, I just felt this natural connection and someone that was very inspiring and just got me thinking about things a bit differently after I met you. And I felt very inspired.

Marcia:
I didn’t know that.

Dave:

Yeah. I never told you that before, but yeah, I think you’re really awesome and a bright light here in Lisbon so we’re really happy to have you here in the local community. Maybe you could tell us a little bit about yourself for everyone here. We’ve got a lot of coaches. We have a lot of entrepreneurs, digital nomads. We have remote workers. The audience generally 25 to 35, 35 to 45 are the main demographics. And yeah, we’re just, some people are on the road. Some people are looking to get on the road. What can you tell these folks? You’ve got a lot of experience.

Marcia:

Oh my gosh. Well, let’s see. Tiny bit on my background. I think that was the first question you asked. I’m the CEO and founder of Dream University. I’ve spent most of my professional life teaching people all over the world how to make their dreams come true. Sometimes I have to pinch myself. I can’t believe I get paid for doing that. But I had a dream a long time ago to be paid well for doing what I love so I’m happy to be a role model for that. I’ve trained and certified over a thousand life coaches. We call them Dream Coaches. And the body of work that I created is being taught in let’s see, companies, with families, in battered women’s shelters, even in prisons. And even in Kenya, because I helped raise money and build 14 schools in Kenya so a couple of times I’ve gone over there to teach as well.

Marcia:

So I’ve always loved traveling. I’ve always had a love and a lust for it. I will say the more spiritual work I started doing more internal work, the less I felt the need to have to travel, which actually deepened and enriched my traveling experiences. So I’ve done everything from live and go diving in Fiji for a month to living in Cairo, Egypt for a year, to living in Rome, Italy for three years. And of course now I’m based in Lisbon.

Marcia:

So I’ve just been a big role model. It’s a funny thing. I walked away from my business about four years ago not knowing what was next, but knowing that I needed to pull the plug. And it was at the top of my career and I just pulled the plug and went away on sabbatical. And people would say, “Well, how long are you going for?” And I’d say. “Until I’m done.” And they would say, “Well, what if you don’t like Rome?” I’d say, “I’ll go someplace else.” I mean the funniest questions. But what I didn’t realize, and this is a cool thing is that my street cred would go up as the dream queen by actually walking away from my business.

Marcia:

And then after three years of just following the sun and being submersed in beauty, and instead of sitting with closed eyes and meditation, learning how to do a walking meditation. Learned how to meditate in the Pantheon, a 2000 year old temple which had hundreds and thousands of people coming in and out, but they didn’t phase me. I developed a whole new skill set. And I learned that just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean it’s the only thing you’re here to do.

Marcia:

So the saying no more and no thank you and walking away and opening up some space brings me to where I am now. So after three years in Rome, I felt compelled. Wow, to those much is given, much is expected. And I wanted to contribute and collaborate and co-create and wound up in Lisbon meeting you. Love your gal. Love your woman. Love your dogs.

Dave: Thanks.

Marcia:

And really loved the mindset of nomads, whether we’re digital nomads or nomads. I mean for me, it’s about being able to be at home anywhere. That’s the most important thing. That’s the most important thing I’ve learned. People come to my home in Lisbon. They’re like, “Oh, how many years have you lived here?” And I’m like, “Oh, few months.” Yeah, well, if I’m going to live here, I want it to feel like home, so that’s a big practice.

Anyway, long answer to a short question.

Dave:

Cool. Yeah. We always say like home is where our dog is. So if we don’t have our dog with us, then we don’t feel like we’re at home so we try and take him everywhere if we can just because he likes it.

Marcia:

And I have two times two Yorkies. I have Ciao and Bella. Ciao, Bella. Flew them from California to Rome. They stayed there with me and now we’re here in Lisbon and I think we’ll be here for a while because they’re getting up there in their years and who wants to get on an airplane now anyway?

Dave:

Yeah, exactly. So I’m curious. What brought you to Lisbon? I know you’re working with the Moviinn group and James has been helping you out a bit. Maybe give us a little background on what you brought here to Lisbon and what’s attracted you to this place.

Marcia:

Yeah. You know, I’ve been asked the question so much that I have a canned answer. It’s probably the only thing I have canned anymore. Let’s see. People speak English here. Made it a lot easier. It was a big challenge in Italy. I became conversational, but I never could have a really deep conversation with someone. Number two, I have a 91 year old dad living in Florida. So it puts me a little closer and a direct route back.

Marcia:

The first thing that brought me here was exactly what you said, friends and community. I was blessed. I had been going to these innovators conferences and had a whole slew of people. And when I said I was ready to leave Rome, everybody said, we’ll come to Lisbon. And I came and took a look and I fell in love with the city, just a big village and so much less touristy than Rome.

Marcia:

And the last reason is it’s alive here. There’s incubators and accelerators. There’s interesting people doing cool things. And I’m somebody who’s got a real skillset in helping people dream bigger dreams and overcome their fears and doubts and get into action. So I’m here to help and serve and contribute. And it’s been wonderful. The only downside is obviously because of COVID, I don’t feel like I’m getting the full Lisbon experience. I heard there’s a wild spiritual festival here in the summer that didn’t happen this year, obviously. But with friends and community and my dogs, I’m hanging in there. And with all the extra time-

Dave: Okay, cool.

Marcia:
… I have I learned how to cook.

Dave:

Awesome. We don’t cook that much over here. We go out a lot. But during the pandemic I learned my wife knows how to cook, so that was a surprise.

Marcia: Secret’s out.

Dave:

Yeah, exactly. Awesome. Well, yeah. So I think your businesses sound really interesting. I met you at one of the, it was an accelerator pitch at Demium which is like the tech stars here of Lisbon. And they’re helping to incubate and startup companies just putting entrepreneurs together, giving them funding and then launching businesses very quickly. I’m an advisor in the group right now so we meet with companies usually once a week or so.

Dave:

But yeah, I’m just curious to get your perspective because I saw the same thing. I was really about all the entrepreneurship going on here in Lisbon. And there’s a lot of excitement. Reminded me of the dotcom days in the States and back in the 1990’s where it was like there was all this exuberance and no one had really failed. I mean, now we’re dealing with the pandemic, but. Yeah, tell us a bit about the startup scene because I was excited to see you at one of the events. That’s something you like to do and you’ve invested in companies. Obviously you’ve started your own company and been very successful with that.

Marcia:

Yeah, I definitely have invested in companies. I was at the Demium event. I was early on when I first got here and I was so excited to connect with Ben the founder and to hear these pitches and to watch how he was working with these entrepreneurs to give them more clarity and courage and confidence and talking about their dreams in a way that would get people to want to invest in them. So that’s a big part of the work that I do.

Marcia:

When people ask me what I do, I mean, I used to be a speaker, author, teacher, coach, workshop conductor, even high priestess in a mystery school if you can believe that. I started something called the Meaning Institute years ago because the number one dream that I heard was people wanted to have meaningful lives. So I had a hundred people study with me for a year, for three years and it was wonderful. And then I was just in my own guidance, pull the plug and try something new and try nothing for a while.

Marcia:

And now that I’m re-emerging, I keep hearing in the back of my head, “To those much is given, much is expected.” So as you said, I’m here as a bright light, I’m here to contribute, to collaborate, to create. I’m hosting a webinar tomorrow. It’s part two. We had a thousand people show up for this webinar. And I’ll tell your guys how they can sign up in a second, but it’s called Create Your Future Now. And one of the things that I’ve been emphatic about is not letting friends and community here talk about the COVID crisis. Obviously there was a horrific crisis here economically some years ago, and I’m like, no, this isn’t the COVID crisis, this is the COVID opportunity.

So what I teach people, this is my life’s work is, where dreams come from is you make them up. But if you look in your checkbook for evidence of whether or not this is the right time or whether or not your dream is a good idea, chances are you’re not going to do it. You’ll compromise the dream down to what you feel is realistic or safe. And what we need now is we need freaking visionaries. We need big dreamers. We need people who are willing to swing outside of just being realistic and then learn the skills. Because if you can talk to anyone any time about your dream, your project, your business, your opportunity in a way that inspires them, there’s a chance that they will hire you or even better invest in you. And then the obstacle called I don’t have enough money can go away.

Marcia:

So that’s what I’m going to be talking about tomorrow on the webinar. I’m going to send them to you. They can go to dreamuniversity.com/nomadx. There’s a free, beautiful ebook that’s got all of my 30 years of content in one little place. Just by registering for the webinar, they’ll get the ebook.

Marcia:

But if you can be on the webinar live, I do what we call laser coaching with people. Last week I worked with 15 different people. I do some teaching and tomorrow I’m going to teach how to overcome doubts, fears, and obstacles, and how to speak powerfully about your dream to get people behind you. So dreamuniversity.com/nomadx. You can dig down deep. And if you register, you can’t make the call, it’s four o’clock Lisbon time tomorrow, Thursday. If you can’t make it live, if you’re registered, we’ll send you the link for replay.

Dave:
Yeah. So this is like, I have a dream week, right?

Marcia: This is.

Dave: We got

Marcia:

It is. You know what else? It was international dreamers day a few days ago. You and I have both been posting about Martin Luther King. In just like no time at all we have a new President! Really. It’s-

Dave:
Yeah, exactly. We like Biden. I’m from Delaware.

Marcia:
I like him too.

Dave:
He was our Senator for a long time.

Marcia:

He’s a good man with ethics and I like his wife and all that jazz. But it’s a time of new beginnings. It’s not a time for us to look back. It’s not a time to compromise on your dream. It’s a time to know who you are and what matters to you. I call it soul integrity to be discerning. The practice of saying no more and no thank you to what’s no longer true so you can get highly intentional and focused on what matters to you. And when you can develop the skill of speaking powerfully about your dream, it’s a game changer.

Dave:

Yeah, I think so. For me, it’s like you’re almost an actor in your own movie. It’s like you’ve got to become that person that you want to be and really be inspired by what you’re doing-

Marcia: I love that.

Dave:
… and who you’re with.

Marcia:

I love that. I mean, I’ve been teaching how to make dreams come true for 30 years and tomorrow’s, webinar’s called Create Your Future Now. And the first word create is what I think relates to what you’re talking about. The ability to know we are creators. Whoops, just lost my ear pod. Can you still hear me?

Dave:
Yes, I can hear you.

Marcia:
I lost one. I lost one.

Dave: Perfect.

Marcia:

We are creators, so we’re here to create this creation. And we can blame and we can be in fear and we can be in doubt, but is that really the best use of our gifts and our talents and our resources? I mean, I think it’s never been a better or more important time to have dreams, to get clarity on those dreams and to act on those dreams.

Marcia:

I didn’t mention it, but I’ve written 15 books on the topic. And my last book, it’s 15 books, it took me to get to 15 to realize that the first sentence … First of all, the last book is simply called Dream: clarify and create what you want. But the first sentence is, Dream is a verb. I mean, yes, it’s also a noun. You have a dream, but to dream is when we have the power to transform our lives and to make the world a better place. And I think the mentality around so many of us that love to travel and love to live in different countries is about really creating and experiencing and tasting. So if we can contribute on top of that, everybody wins.

Dave:

Yeah. That’s what I really love about the nomadic lifestyle. It’s this idea of not just going in as a tourist and tearing through a city and being disruptive maybe, but the idea of really living in a city, experiencing the culture, going slowly. We talk a lot about slow travel at NomadX, but really getting a chance to know these cities. So if you do leave and come back, you have connections locally and it almost feels like home to some extent.

Marcia:

I was thinking that recently, last year when I was flying somewhere. I was thinking about all the different cities and countries around the world that I know my way around. I know my way around Cairo. Can you imagine that? I know my way around Marrakesh. I was born in New York, lived in Washington, DC, San Francisco. I know my way around those places. But now all over Italy. And it’s exactly what you said. I don’t tend to just like pop in. I like to stay long enough to at least get a little bit of the language under my belt. I like to make friends and community. And so a lot of people know me even though I’ve been Lisbon for a short time because I talk to everybody. I had a birthday party. You were here. There were 50 people here.

Dave:
We had two birthday parties.

Marcia:
Well, we were breaking-

Dave:

I was supposed to come to the after party, but I think it was like first birthday party, second birthday party, after party. The after-after party.

Marcia:
I was trying to be respectful to COVID and break it up, but the second group didn’t leave.

Dave:

Well, awesome, Marcia. So we’ve got a lot of coaches here. How did you get into the coaching business and what do you recommend for people getting into it? I know it’s a hot new area now with all the technology. People can’t go to the office, so it’s super accessible to do this stuff over the phone.

Marcia:

It’s a perfect opportunity. I mean, I’ve worked with very seasoned coaches. I’ve worked with brand new coaches and I’ve worked with people who have the heart of a coach and don’t know what to do with it. And it’s a real business. As I said, we call our life coaches, Dream Coaches. As a matter of fact, it’s one of the things that I’m offering that I haven’t offered in four years is an opportunity for people to become a certified Dream Coach in five weeks with me, the creator of this content.

Marcia:

So there’s two roads in coaching. There’s the coaching skills and then there’s the coaching content. And I think a lot of us inherently have a lot of coaching skills. We’re genuinely curious, we’re interested. We ask good questions. If we know how to listen and really actively listen, it’s going to help us be a better coach.

Marcia:

The Dream Coach methodology is the structured content program that helps people go to a high level of integrity, identify five different ways to find their life’s purpose, clarify their dreams, deal with their doubts and then get into projects and practices and strategy. So it’s very, very practical.

Marcia:

But it used to be that people had to come to California, spent $5,000 and all their travel expenses. So being able to offer it for a fraction of the cost and a fraction of the time from the comfort of my home to other people has been incredibly appealing. And as soon as we opened the door, we had 40 people sign up.

Dave: Wow.

Marcia:

It’s not as expensive as it was to go to California, but it’s still a reasonable investment because what I think is it’s a business in a box.

Marcia:

Now, not everybody goes through the program because they want to make money as a coach. But if your dream is to be paid for helping other people achieve their dreams, you might want to check out being a Dream Coach. I’m only going to talk about it a little bit tomorrow on the webinar. So if people have, they can get in touch with me, [email protected] I’m happy to talk to people more about it.

Marcia:

I would say there’s a lot of people coaching. I want a coach that’s been through it. I want a coach that’s lived through it. And I can tell you one of the number one dreams in the world before COVID was travel. People, they dream of writing books. They dream of traveling around the world. They dream of being paid well for doing what they love. So I think if you are willing to share your knowledge and resources, it’s a great opportunity.

Marcia:

The challenges as an entrepreneur or an infopreneur or digital nomad, we have to be willing to talk to people to tell them what it is that we do. There’s so much I could say about this, but in the infopreneur world, there’s people who go wide. They sell something or give away something very inexpensive to a lot of people, the opt-in gift and grow a database. And I think the model is a little tired and a little played, frankly.

Marcia:

But then there’s also the people who go deep, who want to work with less people, charge more money. And I’m more interested in working with a coach like that instead of trying to be all things to all people, people who are really focused and intentional who have a proven skillset or methodology, I think are the people that are going to break away from the rest of the pack.

Marcia:

But it’s really true. People are looking for coaches, they’re looking for help. They’re looking for transformation. It’s a time that people need to and want to make changes and we’re able to help them. So we can help them by using ourselves as an example, or as a mentor or as a coach and taking people through a method and a process.

Marcia:

So I think it’s a great time to be a coach. I think it’s a great time to hire a coach. I’m not pitching myself. I’m not available to be hired as a coach, but if you think you might want to become a certified Dream Coach, by all means. I think you can go to dreamuniversity.com/now. Dreamuniversity.com/now is the actual sales page. It will sell out tomorrow. We’re just teetering on the brink of being sold out. But if there’s somebody in your community that I can help, I want to personally because of my friendship with you, Dave, and my love of what you’re doing, I want to just make myself available.

Marcia:

You know, I will say the one word, the one skill that changed my life, after integrity, that was the one that kicked my butt for many, many years and I’m very on track with that. But the other word is discernment. The ability to say no more and no thank you. The ability to clear away what’s no longer true is one of the essential skills for helping you get clarity about who you are and how to best use your gifts to serve your audience, your community, or your tribe right now. So I encourage you, maybe a simple practice is to look at everything that you’re doing and if there’s something you’re doing that you don’t have to do and you don’t want to do it, maybe you could quit.

Dave:
Yeah. That’s always a nice option.

Marcia:
Make some space.

Dave:

Yeah. I think in my experiences, I’m more of an entrepreneur, bootstrapped entrepreneur, but yeah, that’s really been part of my experience is you have the option to do whatever you want to do. You don’t have to take the hard tasks. It’s like selecting electives in school. You don’t need to take the classes with the thick textbooks.

Marcia:
No calculus, no calculus.

Dave:

So you might as well pick the things you like, and then you’re good at it or that you really enjoy.

Marcia:

Yeah, that makes you happy. I had a quote that showed up on a Hallmark greeting card. Can you believe it? Somebody sent it to me, that’s how I knew about it. Every day, do something that makes your heart sing. And the more you can say no to what’s no longer true, the more you’re going to be available to say yes to what really does light you up.

Marcia:

And life is short. I mean, I don’t care if you’re in your twenties and thirties or later on, to have dreams. And where dreams come from as you make them up. Some of them are based on need like I don’t know, putting food on the table. Some of them are based on desire, like traveling around the world. But the dreams that come from your purpose, the essence of who you are, are usually the most profound.

Marcia:

So one of the things that I always love to encourage people who love to travel and experience different things to do is to go on a passion quest. Take a period of time, could be a weekend, it could be a week, could be a month. You don’t have to put the rest of your life on hold. But use the time to discover who you are now. Because the dreams that we have in our twenties and thirties are different than the dreams that we have in our forties and beyond. So to take some time and like that game we used to play when we were kids hot, cold, hot, cold, move, more towards what’s warm and hot and sizzling and spicy and exciting and spend less with what’s drab and drone and boring. I mean, we don’t always have a choice. Somebody asks you to do something, sometimes you have to do it. But if you don’t have to do it and you don’t want to do it, why do it? It’s a journey.

Dave:

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. I think it’s good to take these periods of time in your life to decompress and sort through all the things that you like or that you don’t like or what you’re aspiring to do. For me, I’ve had the opportunity through my jobs of starting companies, sold companies and after I’ve left the companies of usually taken some time off. But most recently my wife and I, we hiked the Camino to Santiago. That was very transformative for us because you’re there, you’re hiking. It’s very meditative, very relaxing and gives you a chance to really think about the areas you really want to focus on.

Marcia: Exactly.

Dave:

What you don’t want to focus on and moving on from things that might be holding you back. But yeah, I totally believe in this, Marcia. I think you’re an amazing mentor and guru for people to be able to look up to. And you’ve got a tremendous track record. It’s really unbelievable reading your resume.

Marcia:
It’s unbelievable to me too.

Dave:

Thank you so much being on this.

Marcia:
It’s like, oh my God.

Dave:
But yeah, you just got to keep dreaming and then next thing you know you’ve got a massive resume.

Marcia:

Yeah. Well that’s really true. I’ve worked with three United States presidents. Been on Oprah several times. What else have I done?

Dave:
I love the Oprah interview. That was amazing. I found that on YouTube.

Marcia:
Oh my God. I can’t believe you found that clip. My hair was like super duper short.

Dave:
I liked it short.

Marcia:
Thanks. I interrupted her and she grabbed my hand. They said to me, “Don’t interrupt Oprah.”

Dave: Oh, no.

Marcia:
But it was great because-

Dave:

Well Marcia, we’re going to wrap it up I think. Just keep it short. I’ve got another meeting coming up, so unfortunately I’ve got to go. But it was really nice catching up with you. I’m looking forward to seeing you again in Lisbon and let’s stay in touch and happy to have you as part of this community. You’re a major asset to the community here in Portugal and then to this group here online.

Marcia:
Thank you, Dave.

Dave:
We love having you here.

Marcia:

Love being with you. I’m looking forward to you guys coming up to Lisbon soon and thanks for having me. Thanks everybody for tuning in. Ciao.

Dave:
See ya, Marcia.

ABOUT NOMADX

NomadX is a European accommodation marketplace for remote work travelers and digital nomads with over 11k listings across 18 countries with stays for 2 weeks to 12 months and average stays of 3 months. The business was started to meet the needs of the rapidly growing global community of location-independent remote workers, or “Digital Nomads”.
As Digital Nomads ourselves, we know what the market is looking for: trusted, affordable accommodations in highly-attractive locations worldwide at 50% less than AirBNB. We also run the popular NomadX Private Travel Community  where we share hacks, tips & special offers to our community members which can be found @ https://m.facebook.com/groups/nomadx/

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