Sh*t You Wish You Learned in Grad School with Jennifer Agee, LCPC

Episode 16: Looking Within to Attract, Repel, Grow and Flow in Your Business, Featuring Ernesto Segismundo

August 03, 2022 Jennifer Agee, LCPC Season 1 Episode 16
Sh*t You Wish You Learned in Grad School with Jennifer Agee, LCPC
Episode 16: Looking Within to Attract, Repel, Grow and Flow in Your Business, Featuring Ernesto Segismundo
Show Notes Transcript

During this episode, I talk with Ernesto Segismundo (he/him) about the importance of being intention in how we attract, repel, grow and flow in our business. Understanding what we speak ourselves, what was spoken over us and out generational past’s influence on the work you do. Alignment with mind, body, soul and spirit is an important piece of both personal and business growth.

Ernesto has an excellent reputation in the therapist community for creating community for therapists and helpers. Ernesto is a therapist, group practice owner, entrepreneur, and conference host. Ernesto hosts the Not Your Typical Psychotherapist conference and Foundations of Connection Summit hosted annually in Hawaii. Ernesto is a brilliant marketer and I learn from his work all the time.


  • Imposter Syndrome
  • Laws of Attraction in Business
  • Generational and Past Experiences on our Business
  • Subconscious Mind’s Role in Creating Change
  • Scarcity Mindset and Abundance and Shaming
  • Changing Habits and Language to Change Mindset
  • Neurolinguistics and Changing Mindset to Attract and Repel
  • Honoring our Stories and Ancestors in our Businesses


·       Ernesto’s CAV Academy (retreats) website

    Ernesto Facebook

    Counseling Community TikTok

·       Jennifer Agee coaching page

·       Counseling Community Facebook community

·       Counseling Community Instagram

·       Alaskan Cruise: Experiential Therapeutic Intervention Training for Therapists June 3-10, 2023

·       Cabo, Mexico: Dreamer’s Retreat for Entrepreneurial Therapists October 6-8, 2022

Bareclona, Spain: Private Practice Entrepreneurial Retreat April 24-29, 2023 

Jennifer Agee: Hello Hello and welcome to Sh*t You Wish You Learned in Grad School. I’m your host Jennifer Agee, licensed clinical professional counselor, and with me today is Ernesto Segismundo. I'll tell you what, I'm about to rattle off a laundry list of accomplishments so buckle up, here we go. He is the founder of Cav academy. He is also the founder of, Not Your Typical Psychotherapist Conference. Holy cow, if you haven't gone to one of those, you really need to, you will find your tribe if you're an entrepreneur, for sure. He also runs a therapist connection summit in Hawaii every year and on top of that, I just saw you bought a house in Vegas, you're like expanding into real estate. So welcome, welcome, welcome.

Ernesto Segismundo: Oh my gosh Jennifer, you know, as soon as you said all of those things, I got anxious because like you said earlier, you know, off air, when all of the things that you're doing are in your head, but when somebody says it out loud, it's like, holy crap, all of these things that I'm doing, I also have to say, Jennifer, I'm so impressed with you, I've seen you journeyed throughout the pandemic, and now you are doing cruise retreats in Alaska, and then Spain with Patrick, our friend Patrick.

Jennifer: Mhmm.

Ernesto: You're doing Cabo, what the-

You know the pandemic was honestly a great opportunity to just etch-a-sketch life and go, okay, what do I want it to look like? Which kind of leads a little bit into what we're gonna be talking about today, which is doing the internal work so that we can start to recognize how we show up in our businesses, how those things interplay, and I know that's a passion area of yours, and so let's dig in and let's talk about it.

Ernesto: Absolutely. So here's a story and I'm gonna make it real quick. So I discovered literally myself after my mom's passing, and many of you who followed me on social media, and been to my conferences, and the Not Your Typical Psychotherapist, I've been very open about my traumatic experience, I'm not gonna go into detail at the moment. However, that experience alone helped me to identify what was more important in life, and the reason why I got to that place is because I made a choice to look inward. What was in me so that I could show up in the world? You know, we talk about imposter syndrome, right? That's a sexy word these days. And one of the things imposter syndrome really helps you to focus on is why, why do you experience this? Why do we experience imposter syndrome and other entrepreneurial insecurities, of what I call entrepreneurial insecurities, which is stagnation overthinking, all of these things in the context of your business. And what I learned Jennifer, is that when you show up fully as yourself, authentic self and what many experiential psychologists would call the actualized self, you will then invite all of these things in your life and it becomes natural, and it's almost as if you are not trying hard, right. Opportunities just coming to you, just like with you, Jennifer. You called into, and made a decision to look within, and made some adjustments, battled your fear. I remember the first time you and I were trying to figure out your platform Kartra for your webinars and landing pages, and we were all over the map right?

Jennifer: Yes, I remember that well.

Ernesto: You were so stressed!

Jennifer: It's my trauma.

Ernesto: I was stressed, you were stressed. I was walking you through it, but you went through and you were like, you know what, I'm gonna do this. I remember you saying something like you were talking to yourself in real-time, as I was walking you through, you were saying, oh my gosh, Jennifer, get it together, pull it together. Oh, you even said your full name.

Jennifer: Yes. When I correct myself, I use Jennifer Marie. Get it together Jennifer Marie, you got this.

Ernesto: But that tells me that you were in real time engaging with a part of yourself that was probably overthinking, and I was witnessing that. I didn't realize how powerful that was in the context of business until I had to do the same thing. We all have to look within, and so lately I've been very, very mindful about looking under the hood, or looking within trying to figure out your ancestral experiences from the past, what you're bringing in from your family experiences, all those people that traumatized you in the past. How does that influence the way that you show up in your business and in the world? So this has been my journey.

Jennifer: Yeah, it sounds like what you're really tapping into is getting into that space of attunement that comes when we can honor and recognize where we came from, how we got to where we are with the desires of our future, and then are the combination of mind, body, and spirit being in alignment. We get into this space of attunement where things start to flow, but it's a lot of freaking work to get to that place.

That's right. You know, you said a very powerful word, which is attunement, and attunement is used a lot in the therapeutic space, in the self-help space, but it's actually a word that also came from a scientific word, which is not only that with this, which is alignment and in my in my recent talk at the Nashville Not Your Typical Psychotherapist Summit, I talked about Isaac Newton, and Isaac Newton really talked about the universe, and how planets attract, and how planets were formed, and the universe were formed. And one of the things that I've known of his work is that energy attracts energy.

Jennifer: Absolutely.

Ernesto: Right? But what happens is, from another perspective, what energy are you trying to project when you're unconscious and aware of it?

Yeah. Our subconscious fears that are being projected onto others, like we might really want something, but this part of us that doesn't believe that we're worthy of it actually repels the thing that we desire the most.

Ernesto: Exactly, exactly. So when you do work within, you're not only calling that to fruition, but you're making some conscious changes that you're aware of, that that is there. And once you work towards it, you will see this energy shift, you will see the momentum, you will see Isaac Newton's law of gravitational pull, what comes up must come down kind of thing, Right? So whatever you have in your heart, for instance, if you have a heart and a spirit of scarcity and lack of abundance, guess what's going to happen.

Jennifer: You know, I'll tell you though, I'm in this really interesting place with scarcity mindset, I've been kind of dissecting what all that means. And sometimes we almost, as therapists, use it as shaming language, when someone hasn't gotten to where they wanna get to. And I know that's not your heart, that's why I'm having the conversation, but there is that space of, if I'm not there, am I a failure somehow? Do I think wrong, like it can become very shaming. And I think when we're talking about scarcity mindset versus abundance mindset, abundance mindset for the beginning phases can even just be belief that it's possible. Not that I'm at the place where I am fully ready to attract, but it's possible, I'm willing to go down that road. That to me feels more congruent than you're either in or you're out. That's too black or white. That's not how human beings are, I don't think.

Ernesto: No, it's not, and you're absolutely right. So that brings me into the leading part of what we are going to be talking about now is changing habits, changing language, and then changing mindset. So let me give you an example of what this looks like, It doesn't have to be an order. What you just said right there, even believing of the possibility is already changing a part of your brain to really go after it. Remember, we talk about this RAS a lot, with the reticular activating system in the brain. And so basically what you focus on will happen, right? Because your brain just naturally goes after that. It's self-protective, it's like, I'm gonna go towards the most safest thing. And sometimes self-sabotaging behaviors are safe for many of us because we're so damn familiar with it, right?

Jennifer: Absolutely. Yeah, I mean, we go to our default mode often when we feel a sense of fear, of any sort of threat to our safety. Our default mode will kick in if we haven't done the work to know how to deep breathe through that default mode, and move on to the new behaviors that we've trained ourselves to go towards.

Ernesto: Right, right. Again, here's another aspect of this, and it's not in order. Remember I talked a little bit about changing your language, now I'm gonna go into changing your behavior. Now, remember, some people have this idea that, let me change my mindset so that everything will follow, Uh-uh. I really truly believe that we have to act as if, in order for us to change the behavior.

Jennifer: There’s a lot of research that backs that up too, that feelings follow behavior change, not necessarily the other way around.

Ernesto: Yes. It's so beautiful in the way that you see this, and you see this in many of our spaces, right? You, Patrick, me, we got Shalene, or Katie. I mean, we see all of these people, right. And I'm pretty sure they had to be like, you know what? This is not making any sense, but hell with it, I'm gonna just keep going. So you allow this somatic experience to lead, you allow the body to move in whatever direction it wants to go into. Now remember Isaac Newton taught again, I'm gonna go back to him. When planets are made, it's chaos, it is gas, dust, particles from the universe, just colliding with each other, from every single direction. And it's just movement as soon as momentum increases, and there is a circular pattern, and then the more velocity that circular pattern becomes, it then starts attracting other particles, now it's creating a sphere in this space. Now from a metaphorical perspective, when you create ideas and projects, sometimes it can feel chaotic.

Jennifer: Absolutely.

Ernesto: Jennifer's nodding and smiling because she knows this is true, and I know that this is true. The first time I was doing a summit, I had no idea what the freak I was doing. I was like, I just wanna do it. I was explaining to people my first summit in Kauai, it was conference, classes, or workshop, back to back to back to back and I had no idea that people were hungry, so I didn't feed people.

Jennifer: You learned a lesson.

I did. I was like, oh my gosh, you don't want to have a room full of hungry, angry therapists, because that's a whole new level of insanity right there.

Jennifer: That's right. Hungry, lonely, tired. I wanna give you credit, one of the things that you do very well is your marketing piece. You do a great job of the neurolinguistic piece of using language to excite people and attract energy, and then having that energy build momentum, like you sell out your summits within a few days, which is banana pants. For those of us who do retreats and summits, there's usually a lot more work than what Ernesto makes it look like online, so I just want you to know if you're starting out, like it's okay, you're gonna have to put in some legit effort in the beginning, but you do a great job of using that energy momentum and the languaging of things to bring all of that in.

Ernesto: Thank you so much for pointing that out because you know what, sometimes when things are in our head, it's chaotic, right? And so when you do a lot of action movement, you wanna make sure to be clear and be inspirational, so I use language that is uplifting and that's gonna be very, very vital in any of the movements that you have, because remember, we're trying to address self-limiting beliefs and ideas and self sabotaging behaviors, and we have to start, or at least engage with the idea of changing the patterns of our language. Sometimes our bodies understand that we're around people who are naysayers. Like when you have an idea, right? You're like, Hey, I've got this great idea, and next thing you know, they say that one word the, “well, have you ever”, you know, once they start with that, you get deflated, and I always put boundaries on people who are like that. I wanna say, okay, good, tell me, how are you going to make it happen? That is more uplifting because it gets all of these ideas more succinct, more directive and not dismissive in nature. When somebody comes to me and goes, Ernesto, I have this idea, it sounds ludicrous, again, language, right? That idea sounds ludicrous, you're already pinning yourself against the wall, right? You should start with Ernesto, Jennifer, I've got an idea, hear me out. That's it.

Jennifer: Yeah, and you are so right. So I don't know if you know this or not, but I'm also hypnotherapy trained, and one of my biggest takeaways from my training was paying attention to the neurolinguistic piece of how we speak over ourselves and others. And one of the things that I always remember them talking about was your brain and your body never want things taken from it. So you don't say, I have to lose weight. Losing means I'm taking something away from myself. I am choosing to release excess weight that no longer serves my body or my lifestyle well. That is something that's put into a positive frame and the brain and the body say I can accept and receive that, But when we're talking over ourself, especially as entrepreneurs, if we go into that more negative speak over ourself, it is incredibly powerful. What we can be doing internally that actually repels the life we're dreaming of.

Ernesto: That's right, that's right. Wow, that's beautiful. You know, one of the things that I have come to understand about human behavior and the way that we get in a way of ourselves okay, is exactly that type of language. And I remember just getting these emails of: you sure you can do that, I think that's unethical, you cussing on stage a lot, or saying all these words and talking about your mom's passing, that could work against you. And sometimes I get into that snarky remark of, well, I hope I repelled you with my brand and my message.

Jennifer: There you go. Yeah.

Ernesto: You know what I mean? It's like, I'm sorry, but I'm not gonna dim my light so that you can feel comfortable in your skin.

It’s okay that not everyone’s for you.

Exactly. I think the Not Your Typical Psychotherapists out there are okay with repelling people because you know, if you are all things to everyone, that means you are no one. I want you guys to understand that when you discover yourself, it's really being aligned with your values, and making amends with yourself. Once you do that, you're gonna start attracting things in your world that are going to feel natural and feel more aligned.

Jennifer: Absolutely. And, I wanna spend a minute on this, what we say over ourselves piece of it, and the impact that that has. Of course, what other people say might be more easy to bounce off hopefully, as we are healthier ourselves, you know? We can have those healthy boundaries, but I've actually found it harder to challenge those internal voices that were words spoken over me from authority, or parent figures and not even with mal intent, but those little things that are spoken over you, that is usually the hardest work for us to do.

Ernesto: Jennifer, you are speaking, you are now speaking. In our lives we have these powerful figures. And it's really, really difficult absolutely, to make those changes because they are seared into our minds, whether it's a family member, a mentor, a pastor, a spiritual leader, anyone. I hate to say this, but those words are powerful, so that's why we also have to be very careful, or be mindful about how we speak to those who look up to us, because our words are fire to them, our words have weight, so that should give us an idea of the language there. And you and I come from a very faith-based background. And we understand how powerful words are. The tongue is a rudder for the ship. We already know that, and so from this perspective too, that's the reason why I use language in my email, on my posts that are uplifting. I use so many words out there that taps into the untapped world of the potential of a human being. And gestalt therapy does this a lot, to look at the potential of a human being within the here and now, engage the past, but do not be stuck in the past. That is experiential psychology right there. So in the work that we do, Jennifer, I think we have to align a few things: mind, body, soul, and here's the last piece, and I think you and I can resonate with this, is spirit.

Jennifer: Yes, absolutely.

Ernesto: And the spirit piece does not necessarily have to be a higher power. It doesn't have to be God, it doesn't have to be angels, it doesn't have to be any of those. It can also mean ancestors from the past. It can also mean those people, my Filipino brothers and sisters and my family members who worked hard in the cane fields in Hawaii, who had farms in the Philippines, who worked their asses off to get me to the place where I'm at. Or your mother and father, grandfather, great-grandfathers, who had a business in the past, worked in farms and did things to give a name to your last name, right? Uphold your family name.

Jennifer: Bring honor to your name.

Ernesto: So the way that we look at the ancestral work, Okay. No matter if you are White, Black, Brown, Asian, it does not matter. We all have these ancestral energies that follow us throughout our personal and professional life. So one of the things that I have come to grips with is to honor and uphold my ancestors who worked in the hot cane fields in Hawaii, and also had farmland in the Philippines, and worked as if they were servants and slaves. And so my success, my first million, my first few rental properties, my group practice, my summits, revenue that I'm generating every month, my Tuscany retreat, my London summits, Paris, guess what? They are meant to uphold my ancestors who worked their asses off to get me here.

Jennifer: Yeah. We don't get where we are on our own, and it's not just the immediate Mom and Dad that did that, you're absolutely right. It's generations upon generations of people who made choices. When I did my 23 and me, I found out I'm a descendant of what they call the Corded Ware woman. That's my geno haplotype, where my maternal side came from, they were invaded in Austria, all the men were killed and then in order to stay on the land and keep their children alive, they had to then marry the invaders. And so I now know something about the tenacity of my ancestors that says I will do what it takes to live, I will do what it takes to survive, I will do what it takes for the next generation to thrive, and somewhere inside, I have to believe that resonates through today.

Ernesto: And Jennifer, when I see your post on social media, the retreats that you do, even going through the freaking NBCC credentialing process. Ugh.

Jennifer: That was like a nightmare, but it was worth it.

Ernesto: That part of you is honored. That part of your ancestor is honored by doing all of those things. You engage the tenacity of your ancestors in your business. So this is what I'm talking about, where you bring the past and make it relevant in the current situation now, and you uphold when somebody shames you about how much you cost, when someone says to you why does your registration cost this much, is airfare and hotel included in that, a limo from the airport to the resort, is that included?

Jennifer: Tell me somebody didn’t ask you that. Remain silent, okay.

Ernesto: I will remain silent. So from all of that, knowing that you can place boundaries because your ancestors would step in line and go, uh-uh, we have worked hard for you not to be codependent, not to compromise your business worth, not your self-worth, your business worth, to decrease the prices that you set forth for your services.

Jennifer: Even in this conversation, it's focusing on this mindset shift of not focusing on all of the ways that maybe life was not easy for us, or that people spoke negatively over us, it's what can we draw from the strength of the fact that we exist, the fact that we still exist after all of our ancestors went through whatever they did, and ain't nobody had it easy on planet earth the whole time, nobody's ancestors did the whole time. Can we step into that power and focus on that part of self, instead of focusing on maybe the parts that were more difficult, not ignoring them, I'm not saying that, but honoring the fact that the fact that you are here today is a miracle. That it's okay that you succeed and thrive. It's okay that you feel proud of your family name, even if someone in the generation before you did not necessarily make you feel that.

Ernesto: Absolutely. You know, one of the things that comes up for me, Jennifer, in your story, your ancestors really thought of the future. You said they made sacrifices in the moment to ensure the legacy, to make sure that the future lineage is upheld. As a parent, you know that for a fact, your grandchildren, you will make these sacrifices for the benefit of the younger generations. And you think in the moment, in the context of that and our ancestors, I'm sure they did as well too. So now hopefully your grandkids, when they grow up, will look back and go, my gosh, my grandparents have done this for me, so I'll be damned if I compromise my worth and what they have done for me to get to this successful space. So that's my thinking, and that's a shift of language and perception as well too. And it also helps when someone emails you or says to you all these random, annoying, entitled things because you're gonna be able to go, you know what, that's their story, that's not my story at all.

Jennifer: Yeah, and I think that's also a part of when, at least for me, when I'm alignment with, with myself, when I see things like that, and immediately I'm repelled, if there's an entitled kind of tone about it, some part of me immediately shuts down to that person for sure.

Ernesto: Yup. And I think our spirit responds to that. It's not just the body responding to it, but it's the, how dare you, you try work in the hot cane fields, and ask my ancestors that okay. So there's a part of us that really engages with that. Again, it's about the behavior self, you know, shifting of the behaviors, the language, and then honoring your ancestors. Just these three things to keep in mind and really there's no tangible, or even a method to this. Someone asked me, so what's the what's what's the research on this? I'm like, just do it. What's the proof of it? Just do it.

Jennifer: I think the closest would come for some of that is IFS work. I will say one of the best things that's helped me as a professional in doing this work is surrounding myself with other therapists who are genuinely for me, who also I am genuinely for them, that I can hear the words that they speak over me that are encouraging and vice versa. And it becomes your own internal dialogue, because all these other people who you respect believe in you, it makes it a little easier to believe in yourself. That's just the truth, I mean, I wish we just did it all kumbaya on our own, but it's usually the influence of other people that help us get to that space where it grows our confidence.

Ernesto: Yeah, yesterday or this weekend, a couple people posted actually for the past couple weeks in the Not Your Typical Psychotherapist Facebook group, people were posting things of what they have been doing and all of those things, and the comments are awesome. It's like, we got your girl, yay, awesome, you can do this. When you see that it's like, okay, all right!

Jennifer: Yeah. And I do wanna give complete credit to Ernesto in building an environment where people are supportive of one another, because my primary tribe and I'm in a mastermind group, all of them, I met tangentially, however you say that word, through my initial connection to Ernesto and then going to the retreats. And one of the things I noticed at the first retreat I went to, the one in Hawaii, was that people seemed to be genuinely for one another. There was not a spirit of competition in the room. There was a spirit of encouragement and that just made you feel like, I can freaking do this, why not? People have my back.

Ernesto: Yeah, absolutely. So there was a sponsor in Nashville, and she had her own table booth. And someone that I'd been coaching for some time brought her books, just you know, to give away in all of those things, and another person that I'm coaching as well, they were all sitting at a table and she was like, I have this book, I wanna give it to you and all this stuff. And then they were like, why are you giving it away? Why don't you sell it? And so the person who sponsored the event had a table, and she had her book as she sold her book at her, had nothing to do with her table, nothing to do with her, but she sold the book! When I heard that, see, I'm even getting emotional and teary-eyed about it, because it's one of those things where it's like, holy shit, that is what it's all about. You know, I'm gonna put myself aside so that I can help you. And guess what? Their sponsorship table had a ton of people going there. And it was a win-win. People were like, oh, how do I work with you? How is this book, can I be in your podcast? Can you be in my podcast and blah, blah, blah. So that's the community that I wanna be in. No naysayers allowed.

Jennifer: Absolutely. And you know, I've said this on the podcast before, and I'm not the inventor of this idea here, but we can't receive with our hands closed. It's only when our hands are open, when we're extending our help to others, when we're sitting in a place of openness and gratitude that we can also receive, and that's kind of what you're talking about. People surrounded the person and said, You know what? I totally think you can sell this, you put in a lot of hard work. Girl It's okay to charge for something that you worked so hard for, do it, and her tribe surrounded her and she felt encouraged and empowered and was able to then take that step.

Ernesto: Absolutely. And like I said, when I heard that, I was floored at some of these stories right. It just came out naturally, and I think people are like, Hey, what do you do? Hey, let me connect you with somebody. Oh, let me introduce you to somebody, that's what it's all about. It's like when you help your fellow clinician to be successful, that shit is gonna come back to you tenfold.

Absolutely. And you can feel the energy of someone who genuinely is for you, and wants to support you and you wanna support them. And you can feel when you're in that energy of where it's a taker's energy, or a jealousy or so, you feel it. You absolutely feel it.

Ernesto: Ooh, I like that. Is that part of your book now? The taker’s energy, chapter four.

Jennifer: I do a crap ton of energy research because what we're finding out scientifically and how we can measure what used to just be a felt experience is fantastic. I'll send you when we get off of here a link to this show on Amazon that shows all the research of how they are physically showing you what the interplay is between two people, between the colors and the energy of different thought patterns. Fascinating, humans are fascinating, which is why I will love this job forever, because it's ever-evolving and it's ever-growing.

Ernesto: Absolutely. And so hopefully in this conversation together, we have an idea of where to go at this point and what type of conversation, what type of people, we need to surround ourselves with. And like I said, Jennifer, I'm so proud of you with all of this. I was like, wow, everybody's doing so many cool things, CEs. I will never go back to my own organization and get CEs.

Jennifer: Yeah. I mean, if you can travel and write it off, why not do it that way?

Ernesto: Why not? Cabo, Spain, what the freak? Alaska?
Jennifer: Thank you a bajillion million for being on today. I've enjoyed our conversation a lot, and this is the kind of stuff I could definitely have a cocktail and talk for hours about for sure. Tell people how they can connect with you.

Ernesto: Absolutely. You know, one of the things that I love to do now is connect people through my social media, which is Facebook and the Facebook group. So just go there, I would love to know you if you're any of my summits. Here's what I love: Grab me, pull me aside and tell me your story. Let's talk, you know, let's talk. Imagine sitting somewhere in London or Tuscany, or Italy, anywhere in beautiful Italy, and we are exchanging stories. That's what I love.

Jennifer: Yeah, me too. I love that, I could get lost in those conversations forever. Again, I think humans are fascinating. Thank you for tuning in today. If you wanna connect more with me,, obviously you're connecting with the podcast right now. I'm also on Facebook, Instagram, and the TikTok. So get out there and live your best dang life everyone.