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64. How a horrible boss and a resignation can lead to a great new life: Dr. Lisa L. Campbell’s story

bonus: faith + stories find career clarity personal development Jun 18, 2024
Blog/podcast cover with title:64. How a horrible boss and a resignation, can lead to a great new life: Dr. Lisa L. Campbell’s career story


Are you ready to shed what's holding you back from a whole-life transformation?

Dr. Lisa Campbell shares her journey from feeling trapped in a job to reclaiming her purpose and freedom. Through introspection, strategic planning, and embracing discomfort, Lisa made a courageous leap that not only changed her life but also impacted her family positively.


We'll talk about:

  • Shedding "the thing" holding you back

  • Strategic planning for career transition

  • Impact of personal change on those you love


About Dr. Lisa L. Campbell:

Dr. Lisa L. Campbell loves to learn, inspire, and educate others. She is is a healthcare veteran who started her career in 1992 as a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA); today, she holds 11 national certifications in the health and medical industry. Since 1997, Dr. Campbell has been a beacon of hope for aspiring healthcare professionals, particularly those from underserved communities. As a Chicago native, Dr. Campbell’s commitment to making a difference in the lives of those less fortunate is unwavering.


You can reach Dr. Lisa L. Campbell at:


Connect with me:



64. How a horrible boss and a resignation can lead to a great new life: Dr. Lisa L. Campbell’s career story

Well, hey, Lisa, how you doing today?

DR. LISA: Hey, Patricia, I am amazing.

PATRICIA: I'm so glad to hear that. I'm so glad to hear that. Now I know that you and I had a little bit of a conversation before we started recording. And even a couple of weeks ago, we had a conversation and there were so much good insights and information and tactics and strategies. And so we're going to get into it today. But before we do, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

DR. LISA: Yes. So first of all, thank you so much for having me on your show. And at the young tender age of 51, I have been in health care for 32 years. I started off as a medical assistant and I realized very quickly that I did not like patient care. I don't care what hurts, how long it's been hurting. I realized that I needed to be in the leadership space. And so for the last, Probably 20 or so odd years, I've been operating as a health care leader, consultant, do a lot of traveling. I love to get on the airplane. And I also love to empower others to be the best version of themselves.

PATRICIA: I love that. Okay. So in addition to sharing a little bit about yourself, you and I talked and you've been doing some keynotes and some speaking engagements. So we're going to dive right in. What is your key message? If you were to distill everything to a key message, what would that be?

DR. LISA: Oh, the key message is shedding the weight. And it's about shedding the weight that's holding you hostage, that's keeping you the thing or things that's keeping you from moving forward in life, in your career, right? As a person, it's all those things that we hold and we don't let go and it's hindering us from moving forward in life and we're stuck. So that's really my message is shed it.

PATRICIA: Shed it. Well, what exactly like, What are we shedding? If I'm in the audience and you're talking to me and you're saying, get rid of that weight. What am I thinking about?

DR. LISA: Well, most of my audiences, it's that career that you've been in, you know, that you hate it. you're pulling up in the car, you're crying, right? Then you fix your makeup and you go inside and you put on this superhero cape and you perform very well, but you're miserable inside. And so while I don't try to do this, it happens quite frequently where there's someone in the audience that starts to shed a tear. That's when I know I've done my job because I've made an impact. And because a lot of the conferences that I speak at are for continuing education credits, I start off by saying, this presentation is more than just those credits. I want to see transformation as a result of the 40, 50 minutes that we spend together. That's always the goal.

PATRICIA: Oh, wow. OK. That message came from somewhere. Anytime we speak, the message comes from something and somewhere. So tell us about your something, your somewhere.

DR. LISA: Yes. So my something, the thing, was I was juggling employment and entrepreneurship, and I was working at this place where I literally, I know, was making them millions of dollars just by the mere nature of my likeness, my talent. And I woke up one morning and was like, I hate this place. I literally hate it. And what was, I guess, really beneficial for me, I didn't have to physically go there, right? I was virtual, so I could fake it, I could put the mask on, I could fake it and get on the computer and smile and be my authentic self. But inside I was dying. And so my, my thing was closing the door on that place of employment and moving on really and operating and being more in alignment with my purpose. But I was afraid. I was afraid to let go because I was comfortable.

PATRICIA: So what did it, you know, we all have this hesitation. What was that point at which you said the fear of not doing it is greater than the fear of staying?

DR. LISA: Well, it's funny you should ask that because I had been saying for years that I was leaving, right? And to the point where someone even said to me, you can't leave. We need you. They literally said that to me, you can't leave, we need you. Well, the stars aligned and we got a new leader. And this leader was a bully. She was demeaning. I mean, everything, every word you could think of, of a leader, what a leader shouldn't be, she was it. And so she came in and it was this one thing she did, which was, Hey, Lisa, we want to give you access to these resources so that you can post them on your social media channel for the organization. And we wanna show you how to optimize your LinkedIn platform. And I was thinking, I don't need any help with that, right? So I saw her, thank you, but no thank you. And immediately after that, It was like a switch had flipped on and she was so, just so many things to me and it was her. I decided, even though I had given, you know, 12 years to this organization, I decided I couldn't be there with her. But I'm grateful for her because it was her that lit that fire under me that said, all right, you know, sometimes you got to talk to yourself. I was like, okay, Lisa, Lisa L, it's time to go. And I was afraid. You know that song, first I was afraid, I was petrified.

DR. LISA: And I was just like, self, you have to become comfortable being uncomfortable. And I was comfortable. I was too comfortable because I knew everybody. Everybody knew me. I did all the things, right? But I wasn't happy. and happiness and being comfortable. Hmm. You know, I chose being comfortable until I didn't. And the day that I said goodbye, I was so in a place of peace. This is some peace you can't pay for. Because the words came out of my mouth after she spent about, I don't know, 45 minutes telling me what I was going to do. And I was like, you know, just in the camera smiling. And then I finally said it. I've decided to resign. I've decided to move on. I appreciate all of the opportunities that I've been afforded being a part of this organization, but it's time for me to move on to a new chapter. And the words just flowed. Like I had written the resignation letter, but I couldn't release the words and they flew out like a river.

PATRICIA: So you have this moment, which is kind of spectacular, right? Sometimes we imagine what our final moment will be if we're in a job that we really dislike with a boss that we really dislike. And some of those moments don't come to pass. But for you, it sounds like it kind of came to pass in the best possible way, which is a great moment. And then what? Right.

DR. LISA: Right. And that was that was the part that I think I did not think about, but guess what happened? Number one, I was like, you cannot work that hard ever again, right? Not for someone else, right? I'm still, I'm always going to be doing things for others, but on the other side of it, here I am walking in my purpose. People that saw me previously, They said, you were always smiling, but your smile is different. Your smile is like you're beaming from inside out. And it's they like, I love it. I love this new you. And then I cut my hair off. Right. I did a few things to just make this the sign of my new version of my life.

PATRICIA: Hmm. I love that you did something outward to sort of express what was going on inward. And I would love to dive into that inward piece because when we, you and I talked, we had such an, such a wonderful conversation about, like you said, growth, right. Change discomfort. Right. And these are things that when we think about growing and stretching and changing discomfort, they don't sound enticing. but they're kind of what life is made out of. And they're also coincidentally what make us successful and what make us impactful and influential. So tell me, you had these outward changes, what was going on inwardly?

DR. LISA: So inwardly, I feel like a butter, like I was like, you know how before if there was a butterfly, there's like the little cocoon part. So inside, before I made that, Leap of faith. I had trouble sleeping. So internally, my mind and my body could not rest. And so it started to impact me with some digestive changes, but also internally, I was recognizing how strong I am and how much I could do if I make that separation. It's kind of like being in a relationship that you know you need to leave, but you just, you're comfortable. And so internally, and I was even having these conversations like with myself, and believe it or not, and I wasn't answering myself back, but believe it or not, one night this soft, still voice came to me and said, if you take one step, I'll carry you the rest of the way. And that moment, it was scary, but it was also very reassuring that it was okay. It was time to take that step. But that emotional roller coaster that I was going in, going through inside, I think is unhealthy. Unhealthy, right? Because outside I'm just smiling and happy, right? But inside I was struggling. And I, as a healthcare professional, I know that when you're not healthy emotionally, it can start to affect you physically. And so I started having pains in my knees and just all kinds of things. And I was like, and now on the other side of this, I feel like, you know, um, someone who has been just released from something like released from prison really is what I felt like.

PATRICIA: I know part of what you and I talked about was having this cage that in some ways was from a job or from requirements, but in some ways was a cage of our own making that one day we realized we open it and we're like, oh my gosh, I'm free. And I didn't realize I could have stepped out even earlier. Yes.

DR. LISA: And you know what's so weird about being in the cage? You're looking out, everybody's looking in, and they think all is well, right? Because they don't see the moments that I'm in the car crying, in the tub crying, sitting in the chair crying. They didn't see those moments. And once you get out of the cage, you realize you had the key all along to get out, but you stayed in there because you were comfortable.

PATRICIA: Comfort, there it is. It's the comfort. So a comfort is part of what creates that cage to begin with. And then it's like, which one is the lesser comfort, right? And then eventually that I think it's the lesser fear we talked about one fear had to become greater than the other in order for you to make a move. So, okay, I want to take just a slight turn, get a little bit more practical because I also know that you've had a really dynamic career and now we've got a chance to see sort of that, what that process looks like when maybe all of us have gone through that in some way, shape or form. And we think that it's just us, but now that we know we're not alone, right? More practically, with such a dynamic career that you've had and so many changes, how do you choose what to focus on next when you have so much opportunity and so many different things to, so many different paths you could take?

DR. LISA: Yes. So I like to say this word that people, it just tickles people, but I like to say I'm in the preferment stage of my life and I'm very intentional about what's going to happen next. Right. So I'm no longer interested in long days and nights. I'm no longer interested in my weekends being taken up by just my things, right? And not to say that those things were bad, but this version of me in the performance stage of my life, I'm choosing to do things that help me grow, but also I'm helping others grow at the same time. I was recently in a meeting on a project that I'm doing And someone said in the chat, you're always smiling, you're always happy. I love that because when I come into the meeting room and you're there, I feel like it's gonna be all right. And I was like, whoa, I didn't even say a word, right? But I'm just being my authentic self. And because I let myself out of the cage, I can walk in my purpose and I can help others. Um, get through whatever they're getting through. And sometimes, you know, it's an eight o'clock in the morning meeting and, and there's our managers who are just like, I don't want to be here. So I'm walking in that space. I'm embracing it. I didn't realize I had that type of power, but, but now that I do, I'm here for all of it.

PATRICIA: Oh, okay. I'm going to just stop that just for a quick second and like, just park it there because when you said, I didn't know I had that power. And when someone else tells you, when you're in the room and you smile, I feel like it's going to be okay. I always think that every single one of us has an ability to give life in that way. Right. And sometimes it comes from the platform that our skill and the work with excellence that we do kind of places us there. And sometimes it's just a kindness. Sometimes it's a bright smile. Like I'm looking at your smile right now and I'm like, of course, I'm going to feel like it's great. You have a beautiful smile. Right. And I think not enough people tap into their brilliance. I think so many people have, you know, busyness and stress and so much work on their plates. And I just wonder, you know, what the world would be like. And I understand this is not a question, but I'm like, I just wonder what the world would be like if we all were to kind of tap into that piece that can make such a profound impact on someone else's day that they can give you a comment like that, you know?

DR. LISA: Yes, yes. And I think the world would really be a better, happier, healthier place. Because I feel like in some shape, form or fashion, we've become victim to our lives. We're not living lives. Our life is just living us. And I don't know about you, but at the age that I'm at, I want to enjoy just all the things. You know, this may sound like a cliche term. I want to be able to smell the roses. And you can't smell the roses if you're always on the go. You don't know where you're coming or going. And as I was transitioning, I read this book called The One Thing, and it helped put some things in perspective for me. And number one, I no longer had to be Superwoman. I could just have a very structured life, but not structured, right? Where I can be impactful and be happy at the same time.

PATRICIA: I like that. Who's the author of the book? Do you remember?

DR. LISA: I do not, but I'll get it to you. It's, it's back there on my bookshelf because as you know, I'm a reader, right? So I, and that's the other thing that has been happening as I've made that transition. Now I have time to do the things that I love and my number one thing. Okay.

DR. LISA: I've got to, I don't want to freak you out, but Oh, these are all the books.

PATRICIA: That is amazing. Okay. If you're listening, there's like 10, 12 books in her hands right now.

DR. LISA: But you know what these books are doing for me? They are confirming that I'm where I'm supposed to be. because I'm reading about others and their journeys and reading about how important it is to have a certain type of mindset to get you to that place of freedom. Now, is life perfect? Absolutely not. My biggest fear, and I have to be honest, in making that transition was financial. I was like, life is good. And I kept telling my husband, I don't want to be a financial burden on you. And he was like, but I want you to be alive. So I need you, I need, he was quite frequently say, I need you to make the decision. I need you to make the decision. And then he kind of stopped saying it. And so the day that I gave notice, I didn't even tell him that that was the day I literally was on this meeting and I was like, self now is the time.

PATRICIA: And I did it. You did it. You did it. And sometimes we have to take the action before we know what the next step is. Right. And of course, there's like we've got to have wisdom right there. It's probably there's a difference between, you know, I need to worry because I'm going to have a financial dip and I'm going to quit my job. And if I don't get something in the near future, I'm going to lose my house. Very, very different things. Right. Different types of scary. But I'm curious. With all this talk of change and the big scary decision and how great it turned out to be and how we make wise decisions, but at the same time, we do have to take a jump at some point. What would you say to someone who maybe wasn't exposed to that kind of perspective, maybe has been in their career for 10, 15, 20 years, moved up in the company. And so it's kind of like, ah, I haven't been in the job market in a long time. This is kind of scary. I have one primary skill set.

PATRICIA: What do you say to them?

DR. LISA: So number one, every leader that works at an organization in some shape, form or fashion has been a part of the strategic plan for the organization. So the very first thing I think is important for us to do as individuals is to make our own strategic plan. And as a part of the strategic planning process, you're going to do a SWOT analysis, right? You're going to look at your internal factors and your external factors, And once you start to write all of these things down, you're like, oh, it doesn't matter that I haven't been in the job market for a long time. I've got all of these skills that I can bring to an employer that I'm going to make that employer go to the next level. But you got to take the time and smell the roses, but do that deep dive into you. You know, we spend so much time carrying our organization's mission and vision and values that you lose yourself. And so when you do that individual strategic plan, starting with that SWOT analysis and then transitioning into your own SMART goals, you can slowly but surely pull yourself out of that situation. But also, I believe in getting help. You need a coach, you need some type of expertise, that person that will say to you, listen, no experience left behind. You have so much to offer. Let's, let's take a look at it and package it so that you can be ready for that next person. And more than likely that next organization, you're going to make more money because you realize you were being underpaid and undervalued.

PATRICIA: Absolutely, especially if you've been in the same organization for a long period of time, you're like in the eye of the storm. And so you really can't see the impact until you step away. And I love that you mentioned stopping and smelling the roses because it does, it takes time, right? I know that you do this too. I'm about to ask you about it and I'm really excited to hear about it. When we get together with someone and we start to kind of pull out those pieces of accomplishments, of skill sets, of experiences, I can't tell you of a single time where I've meet with someone and they say, Oh yeah, I knew I had this already. Everyone's like, I can't believe I had all this. I completely forgot about X, Y, Z, or I didn't realize I made such an impact. Or, you know, when you put it that way, like those kinds of phrases, and I think it's that you know, you have to first take that action, that first step that you so courageously took to kind of venture out there, see what's out there and then gather every gold nugget you can while you're there, because that's what's going to be your stepping stone into the next one. Right. What is your process like?

DR. LISA: So, number one, I am a writer and not necessarily. formal writer, right? Even though I did write a book, right? But I mean, I sit down and write down my thoughts. And lately it's been, okay, don't judge, don't laugh, but lately it's been opening up a Microsoft Word document and just talking to the computer. And I'm thinking, I'm reflecting, I'm releasing some things. And then once I read through it, I'm like, oh, and you can do this and this and this. And it was all of these emotions and thoughts that I had bottled up. But the other thing that I do as a part of my process It goes back to that reading. I'm reading, I pick a book off of my shelf that I haven't read yet. And I say, okay, what's the lesson in this message that this author was writing about? How does that relate to me? I'm always highlighting and underlining and really capturing the true meaning of what the author meant to convey. But then I bring it back to me. I allow the author to take me out of me for a second and go into their world, and then I come back to my world, and I'm like, yeah, just like the one thing. I thought that I was supposed to be multitasking. I thought that that's how life is supposed to be, right? But I realize now that I've stopped multitasking, when I try to multitask, I just say, forget it, I don't want to do any of it, right? And so it really has I think made me more grounded and it makes me be more intentional about every move that I make. And I know how to say no now too.

PATRICIA: Isn't it interesting that when we're going a mile, it's like when you're going 60 miles an hour, your brakes are just more difficult to put on. And you're just saying yes, left and right, which is so ironic because you don't have time for any of that. And yet you're saying yes and spending your future self's time. And you're right, when you slow down, guess what? It's so much easier to stop. It's so much easier to say no.

DR. LISA: And it's peaceful. It's very peaceful for me to now just sit here and focus on one thing. But then also, my other thing, I'm no longer there checking emails at night, sending emails at night, on the computer at night. My nighttime is for me. I'm reclaiming, I've reclaimed my time. And I wasn't doing that before. And I did it for so long, I thought it was normal. And I would say to other people, well, why aren't you working that hard?

PATRICIA: Isn't it crazy? We sort of, there's this norm that we don't realize going back to that sort of self created box of ours, right? We don't realize what is and is not normal because the environment that we're in, it's normal for that environment. And as soon as you step out of it, you realize, oh, this is what it's like to breathe. Oh, this is what I heard someone I was in a meeting once total side note. I was in a meeting once and somebody said something to the effect of I'm getting so so too much. They're like, I'm getting sick because I'm not using the restroom.

PATRICIA: That is like, that is a very strong like when I remember getting a really strong reaction to that of like, That's A, a very valid point. B, is this cultural and organizational or is this something that we've created this expectation for ourselves and where is that balance, right? It just, it really hit me and it made me think like, oh my goodness, like how, how into this box am I? You know, what are some things that I built around myself as expectations that maybe weren't asked of me?

DR. LISA: And just as simple as I have to go to the bathroom, that's a real thing. And that's why now, listen, listen, if I'm on meetings and I got to go to the bathroom, I have no problem with turning that camera off. I'll leave the volume up so I can hear what's going on. I'll type in a chat. Be right back, right? And then I'll go to the bathroom, or I'll go and get some tea. Because I decided to stop sacrificing self for others. That's good. And sometimes those meetings should have been an email in the first place. And so we're on too long in the first place, honestly. That person was like, I gotta go to the bathroom. Like, now I'm getting sick. And that's a real thing. It's a valid concern.

PATRICIA: Yeah, I've, I've heard it actually more than once. But I remember that one time I heard it. I don't know, for some reason that stuck with me. And I was like, Whoa, I need to pay attention to this. Okay, we could we could talk for hours, you know, hours and hours. We can go, but I also know that we've got other appointments and things. And so I do want to make sure that we learned a little bit about some of the projects that you're doing. I know you're in the process of interviewing 52 authors. Tell us about what's going on there.

DR. LISA: Yes. So last June, June of 2023, I started this journey of these 30 minute growth sessions where I would just go online on LinkedIn, Facebook, and I would have different topics and I would interview individuals. And then towards the latter part of the year, my book was published. And so I was like, you should take this 30 minute growth session and put a theme behind it for 52 years. And then it hit me or 52 authors, 52 weeks. I was like, okay, you're going to interview 52 authors. So every week I am releasing an interview of where I've interviewed some amazing author. And when I tell you, it has been life changing. First of all, I do not do any type of prep with these authors. They schedule an appointment with me. We jump on and we literally have a conversation. And these authors are from beyond the United States. I'm interviewing individuals from South Africa and places that I have never been to. Right. And so it's such a life changing experience. I know that I am in assignment with my alignment. I am where I'm supposed to be doing what I'm supposed to be doing. And if I was still in that other situation, I wouldn't have had the time to do it. I wouldn't even have the time to come up with it. And so now that it's happening, it's definitely, it's a vibe.

PATRICIA: Oh, I absolutely love this. What you said, the image that came in my head when you just said your last sentence was that your life is going in one direction. And there was this one event that sprouted a completely different life. And without that one event, which by the way, let's remember, it was not a positive experience. So without this negative experience and your response to it, because we can respond in multiple ways, right? There's a negative experience and then there's a response. Without those, your life would look very different today.

DR. LISA: Absolutely. And my husband is so happy that I've made this transition that now he's like, hmm, let me see what I'm going to do next, right? Because he was in the cage with me. because I wouldn't get out. He was in there with me. And now he's even happier because he said he felt a certain kind of way because I was feeling a certain kind of way. And I didn't realize the impact it was having on my household. Can you believe it was impacting my household? We were comfortable. We were existing and traveling and doing all the things. But until I made that one simple statement, that one simple, you know, I've had enough. That one moment.

PATRICIA: That's so powerful. I'm telling you, we could keep going forever because you just said something else that caught my attention, and you're so absolutely right about it. When we make a change that so profoundly changes us, it impacts the teams, the organizations, the communities, and our families. The impact, it's a trickle effect. It's a ripple effect, so much more than just ourselves. We're happier, but now we have more of those people who tell us, when you walk into a room, my day gets better. Now your husband or your wife is like, you make our life so much more fruitful now. These are big life changes. And so thank you so much for sharing that. Again, we could go on for hours and hours, but I want to be cognizant of your time. Tell us where we can find you if we want to hear you speak, if we want to work with you, if you want to book you, where can we find you?

DR. LISA: Yes. So number one, I am on all social media channels at Dr. Lisa L. Campbell, but you can also find me on my website, As I tell the young folks, just Google me.

PATRICIA: Just Google. OK, well, they won't have to today because I'm going to put all those things in the description. But if for some reason you can't click on it, I know sometimes on Apple podcast or some of the other distributors, you can't click on it. Just go ahead and copy paste it. Google Dr. Lisa L. Campbell. Lisa, it was so fun having a conversation with you today. I know we'll have more conversations in the future. Any final words before we hop off?

DR. LISA: Yes. First of all, I want to say thank you for having me. So I've been waiting on this moment because our previous conversations have been amazing. But the one thing I want to leave with everyone, are you going or will you be left behind?

PATRICIA: Mic drop. Are you going or will you be left behind? I like that. We're going to leave on that note. Lisa, thank you so much for being here with us today.

DR. LISA: Thank you.

PATRICIA: Thank you, everyone, for sticking around. We love you. We're praying for you. We'll see you on the next one.


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