The purpose of the Pathway to Promise Podcast is to provide a pathway for persons stymied by adversity to claim their god-given promised life of peace, prosperity, and purpose.
In Episode 028 Dr. Brad talks to the publisher of the “Young African Entrepreneur Podcast” Victoria Crandall.
Victoria graduated from the University of Virginia and set out to boldly seek out a career in international business feeling a definite tug to explore life in the Mideast and Africa. She lived and worked in Syria, Morocco, Dubai, and Egypt before landing in the west African nation of Ivory Coast. It is there that she is pursuing a career in public relations.
Beyond that, she has been compelled to network with support and encourages business in Africa by launching the Young African Entrepreneur podcast.
She talks to Brad about the bold decisions she made to be a businesswoman in Africa and the challenges she faces as well as the particular business challenges in Africa. She relates one particular story of an entrepreneur from Ghana who created a mobile phone app which helped improve the supply, cost, and availability of pharmaceuticals to people which was a major improvement to their lives.
She talked about the importance of her daily routines and vital relationships and living a disciplined life is to her success.
Indeed, the story of Victoria Crandall is one of taking bold action to achieve success. This is the story you want to hear on Episode 028 of The Pathway to Promise Podcast.
The Pathway to Promise Podcast is published weekly by Dr. Brad Miller who is passionate about short-term life transformation. He has 35 years experience in pastoral ministry and has a doctoral degree in transformational leadership.
Dr. Brad Miller
Brad Miller 0:00
Welcome to pathway to promise with Dr. Brad Miller where it is our mission to help folks overcome adversity to achieve success in their life and find their life of peace, prosperity and purpose. And our guest today is has a fascinating story to tell about things that she deals with her life and challenges that she faces in working in the field of commodities and other things in the business world in Africa she lives in the in the Ivory Coast in Africa and his in the business world there but a bug that thinks she works on is the young African entrepreneur weekly podcast with her heart for that as well but she has a great story to tell our guest today is Victoria Crandall, welcome to pathway to promise today, Victoria.
Victoria Crandall 0:49
Thanks for having me. Brad.
Brad Miller 0:51
That is a certainly a joy to have you today, Victoria on on pathway to promise we like to tell stories of about how folks have found themselves where they're at in their situation in life right now. And then what maybe some of the obstacles they've overcome to be there. And what led them there. Now, I I believe that you're not a native of Ivory Coast, I take it you are American citizens. that correct?
Victoria Crandall 1:17
I am from Virginia.
Brad Miller 1:18
Very good. So tell me a little bit about your path that led you from Virginia to the Ivory Coast. And what's your pathway there, tell us a little bit about your path.
Victoria Crandall 1:30
So it was a long and circuitous one, I've been out of the US for 10 years now. And I left after I graduated from college at the University of Virginia, I had studied foreign policy in the Middle East and French language while I was at UVA, and was generally fascinated with
with, with Europe with the Middle East. And when I was in college, I became very passionate about the Israeli Palestinian conflict, mainly because I had become involved with a student activism group while I was at college. And I became fascinated in Palestinian history and kind of the Palestinian side of the conflict, which isn't as well known in the US. And from there, I learned about Middle East about the Middle East and about American foreign policy in the Middle East, and
became interested in Arab culture and Arabic. And because I didn't know what I wanted to do after college, I thought, okay, if I go and live somewhere in the Middle East, and I learn Arabic that will surely get me a job. So I packed my bags, and I moved to Damascus, Syria, of all places. And this was in 2008. So this was a good two, two and a half years before the, the Civil War broke out.
Brad Miller 2:57
But still, but still, I travel in that part of the world around that period of time, still
a lot of tension that part of the world Even then, I'm sure
Victoria Crandall 3:07
a yes, that that is true. And when I lived in Damascus, you know, it was very much an author, you know, a robust authoritarian regime, and you knew that there were certain things she didn't talk about, and you had to be mindful that you were a guest in the country. And if you were ever to do anything that was even perceived as being political, you could swiftly be deported and that was a privilege that American citizens you know, I mean, we would be deported it's not like we would end up in prison that as a Syrian would so I was I was very mindful that hey, you know, I'm here to travel around the country to learn the language and to to get exposure to the culture and it was an amazing experience and I feel so powerful which that I got to live there before before the war because unfortunately the places Syria You know, it will never be the same kind of stating the obvious but
Brad Miller 4:14
and Have and Have you lived there must be heartbreaking to you to see what's been going on the last couple years in that part of the world.
Victoria Crandall 4:21
Oh, absolutely. I'm all of my friends mix except for one have have left the country I I had an amazing Arabic tutor who was Kurdish and he ended up in northern Iraq, stayed there for two years, and ended up paying a smuggler to get him to Turkey and to take a boat. He crossed the GNC to get into Greece and made it to Germany. And he's one of the lucky ones. But you know, three years ago when there was just a wave of migrants getting to Europe he you know, he he was a part of that group I have two dear friends of mine who are in the US and one studying one who's now a cardiologist. But no it's been heartbreaking to see to see what's been going on in Syria and everything I've been privileged to travel in that part of the world not in Syria but in Israel a couple times and heavy even spend some time and with Palestinian folks and in pal spent some time in a Palestinian refugee camp and just the the incredible difference between for instance a an Israeli
Brad Miller 5:35
settlements and the Palestinian camps is just Stark in my and spent some time in the Syrian border area towns. And just to stop reminders about this is a challenging world we live in with lots of challenging things.
Victoria Crandall 5:50
Yeah, no, absolutely. And unfortunately, kind of post Arab Spring,
there's just fewer places to travel in the Middle East. You know, Egypt is a very difficult place under the current regime. Libya, I mean, Libya has always been pretty difficult. But now it's just kind of a no man's land, Yemen. There's an awful, awful war going on there. People are starving. I mean, yeah, it's and of course, Syria, Iraq. So there's just large swathes of the Middle East that are just yeah, that are inaccessible. And of course, you know, civilians are greatly suffering. So, but to go back, so this was, you know, I, I left in early 2011, and mainly because I needed a job. And I knew that I couldn't really, I couldn't really achieve what I wanted to professionally if I stayed in Syria. So I moved to Dubai, of all places, and which is not exactly a place you want to show up to, if you don't have a job because it's very expensive. And I was very much gravitating towards journalism and journalism isn't,
isn't a very dynamic sector in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, because there's really no freedom of press. So you there are a couple of good newspapers, but kind of few and far between. So for me, I ended up staying about four months. But I ended up getting my first job, which was with a business intelligence company that was in the UK, but had offices in New York and Hong Kong. And I worked as a freelancer and my job was very particular. But because I could read Arabic, they said, Hey, we're going to give you certain era markets to follow. And we want you to follow the local press and to read the press in Arabic, and to look for deal flow. So to look for a merger and acquisition, an IPO, a joint venture, kind of any opportunity that would interest as a subscriber based who were, which were mainly investment banks or law firms. And they also gave me Sub Saharan Africa to cover so I was reading the Kenyan press, I was reading the Nigerian press, the Canadian press, and I just became fascinated with business in Sub Saharan Africa. And so kind of between the intervening years, so that job I got in 2011, and until I moved to West Africa, which was in 2013, I was just kind of looking for a way to set up shop in West Africa and to start covering business and that
Brad Miller 8:37
is, I take it that is what soft commodity consultant it has to do with dealing with business in this part of the world. And this nature?
Victoria Crandall 8:46
Yes, absolutely. I mean, commodities is just, you know, one industry of many, and even how I got into commodities was very, you can say, through the back door, pretty much between the Dubai I lived in Egypt for seven months. And because at this point, I was very much kind of a vagabond, I was living out of a suitcase because with this job with merger market, I could work anywhere, there was an internet connection. So I went to Egypt, which was kind of a difficult time just because of the political climate. And it was really at this time that, you know, my interest in Africa was only becoming, you know, bigger and bigger, and I left Egypt I moved to Morocco because I had an appointment as North Africa correspondent, and I didn't really like Morocco. It's It's a beautiful country to visit as a tourist. And it's a fascinating place. But if you're working as a business journalist, it's kind of a small market to cover. It's tightly controlled by by the king by Mohammed six. And it just wasn't as interesting, I thought, and I was still had, I still had my own West Africa, and I was looking for a way to move here. And that opportunity came when I worked on a project a freelance project that took me to Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, Ivory Coast, and I was covering commodities transportation, the energy sector, and I ended up interviewing the head of soft commodity research at a bank and we had a great interview and it was just at that same time on LinkedIn. I saw that this very bank was looking for an analyst to cover soft commodities, which are agricultural commodities. So cotton coffee, cocoa and, and they wanted that analyst to be based in Abidjan. So I applied for the job, I got it. And I ended up moving to Abidjan where I still am and to cover soft commodities, which I did from as five years. Wow. fascinating
Brad Miller 10:53
story. Just to get you there. What are some of the challenges is that you see your role as you are in it right now, or some adverse issues that you face that you need to tackle and overcome to either do your job or just live life in Ivory Coast
Victoria Crandall 11:09
there. There are a couple, um, I would say, when I was working in the commodity space,
I would say one challenge for me was that I constantly had to battle a feeling of imposter syndrome. I because I was a very untraditional candidate that had no background in finance. It didn't have an MBA, I didn't have a background in commercial trading, I was a journalist, so I kind of always felt like maybe Mike, I really had to earn my credibility. And because I approached that first year of work, just as I'm going to do as much as I can, I'm going to approach this as, like a learning opportunity. You know, I really wanted to cut my teeth. You know, I really excelled in the job. And I did some really some some great work. But, you know, that kind of niggling feeling of like, Oh, I'm not good at my job. Or I could always be doing this better, or comparing myself to others, kind of always not at me. So I would say that that was one challenge. A second challenge had to do with being a woman in a very much like in a very male dominated space. I remember when I went to a palm oil conference that was in Ghana to speak and I was literally the only woman in the room. Oh, boy. Wow. Yeah, besides a couple of them, there were a couple of the organizers were also women, but I was the only woman who was actually a representative or attending the conference. And that that was also a challenge just because
Brad Miller 12:54
were you aware of that, going into that conference, for instance, I know you probably were about this male dominated culture, but I assumed
Victoria Crandall 13:00
it or I guess I can say, I wasn't shocked when I showed up in the room. And it was like, oh, wow, I'm the only woman here and and relatively young, I think at that time, at that time, I was maybe I hadn't even turned 30 yet. So you know, so you have to deal with people who and and maybe it's not, they don't even know what their behaviors like, or how they're being perceived, but who are quite patronizing. And whether it's because I'm a woman or whether because I'm young, I don't know. But it's, you know,
Brad Miller 13:36
what are some specific actions, I like to call them bold actions that you've taken in your life, when you've had these challenges come up, whether it's being a woman in the marketplace, or living in a culture of far away from home, or other challenges you had, what are some actions you take,
Victoria Crandall 13:51
I surround myself with inspiring good people who are smarter, smarter than me, I've, I've been away. I've been out of the US for so long, for 10 years now, that actually, Cote d'Ivoire feels more feels more like home, and I found my experience, you know, whether it was living in Syria, or Egypt, or Morocco or in Cote d'Ivoire. And since then, you know, I've traveled to have the good fortune to travel to so many different places like Ethiopia, Molly, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, I found that actually, we there's a lot more that kind of that we have in common that really, then then then what then kind of then then what we don't have in common? Yeah, so
Brad Miller 14:41
to kind of battle feelings of isolation or feeling of estrangement, you know, I just, I seek out people who are who are on my same same wavelength people I find interesting. And so you've been very proactive in terms of developing and nurturing your relationships and your friendships and the actual emotional connections that you've had, wherever you've been in, you found that to be as real source of helping fuel your life, any transitions that you've been making?
Victoria Crandall 15:11
Oh, absolutely, absolutely. Um, I, I wouldn't say that I'm an extrovert. But maybe on the introvert extrovert spectrum, I lean towards more being an extrovert and I'd firmly believe that, you know, you can't go it on your own, that you you know, that you can only really excel when you find kind of a community that yeah, that's, that inspires you. And yeah, and kind of finding your tribe and I could never, I could never do it without kind of having that sense of finding people who were a part of my tribe, you know, saying
Brad Miller 15:47
and a part of finding your tribe and reaching out and connect with others you've chosen to create the young African entrepreneurs podcast which I take it as something has inspired you to do that what is inspiring you to do that to reach out to folks in the culture you that you're in to nurture that tell a little bit about the young African entrepreneur podcast. So I
Victoria Crandall 16:09
created the podcasts pretty much in a moment of professional of just of discontentment. Maybe I'm just feeling that I wasn't really challenged in my last job, or I felt under stimulated in some sense, or I wanted a creative outlet. I have always been fascinated, you know, with business and in Sub Saharan Africa. And that's kind of my love of it came from, you know, reading these newspapers on a daily basis, whether it was Nigeria, Kenya or Ghana, and just really being an author of just the dynamism and that there's just so much to do in African markets. And I've been very lucky just to know, some really amazing African entrepreneurs. And I was really fascinated about their personal story of what you have to go through to set up a business and Mr. like Nigeria, which is incredibly difficult, it's a really, really difficult place to do business and just how tough you have to be, and the challenges to succeeding as an entrepreneur, which are going to be difficult anywhere you are, but particularly in Sub Saharan Africa. So I set up the podcast and mainly as an excuse to go out and talk to, you know, these really inspiring African entrepreneurs that was really at its origin. And I have to say,
Brad Miller 17:29
what have you learned? What of it? What what's its story that's inspired youth. So some of the folks you've talked to you, and what do you see as the possibilities and the hope for folks in that part of the world in business?
Victoria Crandall 17:41
Oh, so many stories, I'll take one recent interview, spoke with a Guinea and entrepreneur named Gregory Roxanne, who is just amazing. And he has, he has an amazing business called n pharma. And it's a mobile first solution to pretty much manage pharmaceutical inventories. So the problem you have in many Sub Saharan African countries, is that the pharmaceutical supply chain is very fragmented. And just so so what that means is that many Africans, when they go to the pharmacy, there's a stock out that their their doctor will write them a prescription, and they go to the pharmacy, and the pharmacy doesn't have that drug. So you can imagine what problems that that that poses. And so what he did is that he created he created a platform on the mobile and app that connects doctors with with pharmacists who tend to be with pharmacies, which tend to be small scale mom and pop pharmacies. And so in real time, they're able to know, okay, this drug is actually in stock. And then that was kind of the first iteration of this business. And then what he did, he figures out, okay, the bigger problem is actually that people can't afford the pharmaceuticals. So then what he did is that he aggregated all the demand and that he negotiates he pretty much he's collecting, connecting supply and demand. So he's able to leverage all of his connections with the pharmacies. And he's able to go to the large pharmaceutical companies like Novartis and Roche, and say, Hey, you know, we know what demand is in real time for these drugs, because he's capturing all of the data through his platform, and he's able to negotiate discounts and, and that's led to cost savings of up to 40%, which means a lot of Guineans can afford high quality cancer drugs, so that he is an amazing visionary leader. And it was such a privilege to talk to him about his business.
Brad Miller 19:53
Now, there's just one example where an entrepreneurial business person as doing things that are better fitting the greater good of his community of his country, and also support himself and generating the income to help stimulate the economy and things like that. So out of that process, Victoria, what are you seeing it as some signs of hope and opportunity for entrepreneurs in Africa,
Victoria Crandall 20:18
oh, the opportunities are, are almost limitless here. Because there's so much there's so much work to do. And I think the thing that's really exciting
is that if you look at a market that a country that's very innovative, which, you know, like Kenya, for instance, which is really pioneered mobile money is that pretty much a lot of things that have been very difficult to implement in terms of infrastructure. So if you think of schools, if you think of hospitals and health clinic, a lot of things, you know, a country like Kenya can leapfrog building a lot of those kind of traditional infrastructure, because they can do it through the mobile and that's, that's what we're seeing now. And, and that process is really accelerating. So you're seeing a lot of really amazing entrepreneurs who are solving problems, you know, mobile first, I'm sorry,
Brad Miller 21:07
when you say mobile first, you mean mobile technology, mobile communication, mobile courage around like cryptocurrencies, these type of things, tell me a little bit more what you mean by going mobile door to leapfrog.
Victoria Crandall 21:20
So what I mean by mobile first is that you're creating a solution that that everyday Africans can access through through their, their feature phone. So like, through a basic, a basic phone, that's, you know, that's not a smartphone, per se. So pretty much if, if you want, and that's exactly what happened with the mobile money revolution, in a place like Kenya is that someone, you know, who's pretty low income, you know, they're able to, they're able to do so much, you know, and their, their purchasing power, they're able to do a lot more with their purchasing power, because they can do things through their feature phone. And because cuz you're able to do something at scale, using the efficiencies of something that's through the mobile, you can actually you can tap that kind of bottom of the pyramid or kind of lower income consumer. And so that's a really exciting trend that you're seeing in places in East Africa, in Kenya, but also in Nigeria, in Ghana, kind of flattens the world to coin a phrase I know, has been used in terms of trying to level things out a little bit in terms of, you know, for folks who made before I've been kind of limited by communications, and all kinds of other things. And to Yeah, absolutely
Brad Miller 22:32
also seen how it seems like in many third world countries, a little bit of investment goes a long way I'll speak to what I'm talking about here in a minute. It is I just got back from El Salvador and the mission group I work with, among other things, does works with micro businesses, and micro lending. You know, sometimes the loan to a new business entrepreneur can be as little as $50, and they will take that and just go with it, and just be some magnificent things that happened to me, your observation is that happening in the part of the world that you work with?
Victoria Crandall 23:02
Yes. Um, if you talk to any African entrepreneur about their their challenge, their everyday challenges, inevitably, they're going to say, lack of capital, because the banking system will never lend to you. I mean, they don't lend generally too small, small, medium sized enterprises SMEs, so they're not going to lend to a startup, you know, which is the same in the US, you know, you're always finding finding cash to start your business before it's actually self sustaining is always a challenge. But, you know, on the flip side, I think the thing that's really interesting is that you have so much capital that's locked up, for instance, in the US, you know, if you look at institutional and venture investors, so, like pension funds, they're always looking at how investable vehicles so they can make their money grow, you know, at eight, 910 percent. And the problem is that over 80% of future economic growth, it's going to be in emerging markets like Sub Saharan Africa. So the problem is, how do you connect that pot of money, you know, trillions of dollars that are locked up in the US and how do you get them how do you get it to a place like Sub Saharan Africa so that so that is kind of that is the huge problem. But a lot of that has to do more with a perception of risk than anything else want to
Brad Miller 24:23
take just a little different track with you just for a second here, Victoria, talk about you personally for a second about how you How does and does a any role of connected to any kind of a higher power has anything to do with your success and what you're involved with, or the people you're involved with. I'm talking about any kind of spiritual meditative practices or morning routines and things along this line, is there any type of connection that way that is contributing factor to your life. I would
Victoria Crandall 24:46
say having having an just being cognizant of a higher power or have a transcendent helps put the daily struggles into perspective makes you get out of your head and, or it's made me get out of my head and realize like, this just really isn't that important. And I'm, I'm pretty picky about my about how I like to kind of what type of church service I like, it's always been kind of hard for me to find a church and kind of a spiritual community that really resonated with me and the places I've lived. But I, what I found to be so helpful, and every day on a daily basis is that I meditate. So I tried to meditate for 15 minutes every morning. And, and I find that incredibly helpful just to not overreaction. The moment not to get angry not to let my emotions kind of get the best of me. And when you're living in a place like in a developing country like Cote d'Ivoire where things do not work all of the time, there are so many things that are out of your control, you need that kind of internal check, and to not let your anger or frustration get the best of you. And I found meditation really helps with that, you know,
Brad Miller 25:58
I've found it be a case as well, when the reason I even asked that question has to do with whether one finds connection through a worshipping community, a church or some other worshipping body, I found many successful people fired most of the successful people I've talked to have, as some sort of a spiritual connection or meditative practice, or some way of centering themselves in order to deal with whatever, you know, whatever chaos and whatever situations come their way that some finding a way to center yourself and focus on something greater than yourself, I found to be helpful is my observation from successful people, such as yourself, that there's at least an element of that. So that's why I asked not to put you on the spot. And I go into any particular church or anything along that line, but just wanted to understand as a commonality that I've seen maybe you've seen that are not in your experience, but I
Victoria Crandall 26:47
I know I would, I would agree. Sure, will be just
Brad Miller 26:48
a little you mentioned one habit or discipline that you have about meditation, what are I mentioned now, Victorian, any other disciplines, or habits or routines or kind of building blocks, things that you do to be successful in your life? Or perhaps that you teach others? Or maybe you've been mentored by others to be about what are some routines, habits, just words that you have? Oh,
Victoria Crandall 27:14
I have a couple, I would say, besides meditation, I always I always do the same couple things in the morning. And I was very influenced by Tim Ferriss. So it's pretty much it's very, pretty much it's a morning ritual that, you know, that was inspired by his So typically, when I get up in the morning, the first thing I'll do is make my badge just because it gives you that feeling of like, oh, there's a small task that I controlled so I'm already kind of ahead of the game, I always journal in the morning. So I use a five minute journal and it kind of makes me accountable to certain things I want to accomplish during the day. And not only that, it makes me reflect of all of the things that I'm grateful for. And I always tried to exercise a little bit even if it's just some stretching and I have a six months little puppy so he makes me get out of the house as well and walk around my neighborhood and it's really nice to feel like I have a sense of community where I live and people in the neighborhood know me now because of my dog so and he just kind of helps me out of my head so I would say those are the things that have really kind of grounded me you know
Brad Miller 28:18
that's amazing I it's interesting to me how many folks I do talk to have been influenced by Ferris in one form or another I got a couple of his books on my shelf right now and as well and others because podcasts quite a bit and then also you mentioned about the make your bed you probably familiar with this but I just there's a book out there by i think i by General something about make your bed first is a discipline to do your life well that that's great just like to ask them with all my guest Victoria about three other particular things and then come to a conclusion before too long. But one of those is what is your purpose in your life, I would
Victoria Crandall 28:57
say my purpose is to constantly be working towards self growth and self actualization and the things for me that are really important to achieve that are having a sense of adventure. And for me, travel is very important and working with people who are different than me and who had different life experiences and come from different cultures is very important to me. How will you How would you define prosperity I think prosperity is is having is is having good relationships in your life of feeling engaged with what you're doing a finding it rewarding
Brad Miller 29:36
and one last thing What brings you peace feeling like
Victoria Crandall 29:39
I tried my best but you
Brad Miller 29:40
shared a lot here today Victoria's What are you working on now what's uh. What's next for you with you either with your podcast or anything else you're working on and if and if folks wanted some of you in contact with you and learn more about what you're about how can they do that
Victoria Crandall 29:54
recently joined a new company called insider it's a PR company that works with African entrepreneurs and gives them strategic visibility so they can raise capital abroad so I'm going to be their new director of media relations and I'm incredibly excited to work with the team there and to be working with the clients and you know that's what's keeping me busy these days and I'm still continuing to work on the podcast spoke with a really amazing in entrepreneur in Ethiopia and another guy in Malawi and it's just always such a such a pleasure to connect with people who are really making change in Africa and people can connect with me on on Twitter I'm tweeting two accounts at ya e podcast and also my personal account is Tori underscore Crandall and I'm also on the usual social media platforms Facebook Instagram and
under why he podcast and Victoria Crandall on Facebook and we'll
Brad Miller 31:05
make connections to all those in our show notes and and we thank you today for Victoria Crandall for being on the pathway to promise podcast Victoria Crandall from the young African entrepreneurs podcast.
PTP.027: Stephanie Lee – Author of “Southpaw: A Tale About a Girls Imagination”
The Pathway to Promise Podcast is based on the belief that every person has a God-given promised life of peace prosperity and purpose which is accomplished when you follow a proven path (overcoming adversity) led by an experienced guide.
In Episode 027 of The Pathway to Promise Podcast Dr. Brad Miller has a conversation with Stephanie Lee the author of “Southpaw: A Tale About a Girls imagination”
Stephanie tells Dr. Brad about her expense of growing up a “Thalidomide Baby” which meant she suffered the loss of use of her right arm as a birth anomaly caused by the drug Philiimide which her mother used for nausea during pregnancy.
Much of the conversation centered around matters of guilt, shame, and blame surrounding her relationship with her parents and boyfriend. She talked about the matter of her disability was not spoke of often and was the “pink elephant” in the room.
Stephanie tells Dr. Brad that a question from her niece inquiring about her disability was the impetus she needed to look at her life introspectively which was the beginning of major life change for her.
She began a process of prayer, meditation and working with mentors to discover a new way of approaching life with a more positive perspective over stewing over troubles she could not change.
She took the bold action of starting a podcast “Talk, Tales and, Trivia” to tell her story and she wrote the book “Southpaw” to express her story through the characters in her fictional book.
The result of her actions for Stephanie is that she now has the confidence to prove to herself and others that she is a success and know that when your attitude changes your world changes;
positive positive people will come into your life and
people who don’t mesh with you will just drop away.
Stephanie Lee has a truly inspiring story of using her mind and imagination to claim her promised life of peace prosperity and purpose.
The Pathway to Promise Podcast is published weekly by Dr. Brad Miller who holds a doctorate in transformational leadership and has worked with many people and organizations on matters of life transformation in over 35 years of Christian ministry.
Dr Brad Miller
Brad Miller 0:06
Welcome back to pathway to promise podcast with Dr. Brad Miller, where we are all about helping you overcome adversity in life in order to achieve success, or the promise life, peace, prosperity and purpose in our guest today has done just that. Her name is Stephanie Lee, and she is the author of South Paul a tale about a girl's imagination. And she has also published a talk tales and trivia podcast and has been a public speaker at podcast movement. Stephanie Welcome to pathway to promise
Stephanie Lee 0:42
thank you so much for having me.
Brad Miller 0:44
It is awesome to have you appreciate it is awesome to have you here Stephanie on on the podcast today. And and what we like to talk about here is people who have had some success in life by overcoming some adversity in their life for some situation, and shared a little bit about how you are a published author and as a public speaker and a podcast or a Tell me a little bit about I know part of this process has been you working out a process of overcoming some challenges and adversities in your life. Just tell us your story a little bit about what you've your situation and what you've done to overcome it.
Stephanie Lee 1:25
But my situation started when I was quite young, and I became a little my baby. And that if you don't know, it's a medicine that parents take to combat nausea when they are pregnant. So I had the stroke when I was a baby because of medicine that my mother took, and it created my nothing over use my right side of my body like everybody else, it actually looks like a stroke. And I've had to really go through my whole life with that being an issue for me, wasn't too much of an issue for me growing up because I had friends and you know, all that good stuff. I worked, I had boyfriends and other things. But I still had that underlying issue that created a little turmoil for me, it really was something that I could never talk to my parents about. Interesting because you have a certain disability and there was like this pink elephant in the room that nobody really wants to talk about. And I still really haven't sat down with my mother and father and had that big talk of what really happened because of their guilt, they feel tremendous guilt. And I have since gone on the line, I discovered that a lot of the some of my babies haven't talked to their parents about because of the guilt, they just a parents really feel terribly guilty, the children go through life and just do that didn't make it to life. You know, with that, a lot of unresolved a lot of unresolved matters though, in unresolved so
Brad Miller 3:07
that's not only the physical aspects of what you've dealt with, and whatever ramifications of come from your physical situation, but also that emotional, that family dynamic type of thing. It sounds like it's also had some impact in your adult life as well. And how you handle things. Thanks. Now,
Stephanie Lee 3:26
you're right. Yeah, you're right. You know, I always had friends in school, I always had what friends, everything is perfectly normal life. And then thank goodness, nobody had ever made fun of me or asked me what went on. I was really quite I've lived a quite a normal life. My parents are wonderful people. They just didn't really want to talk about what happened. me. I never. It's quite interesting. I never even thought about asking them.
Brad Miller 4:07
Is that something you thought about? It said something you thought about now, though, Sally, you did not really. Okay. You know,
Stephanie Lee 4:16
it's something that I just you just understood. No one said yes.
And even to this day, I still feel some kind of parents really are better off not telling me not talking about it, because it's going to hurt them. And I know there's hurt there because, you know, parents that just are wracked with guilt. When they, you know, ignore things and stuff. And I, I want to be compassionate, I want to be understanding person yet, there's a part of me that wants to know what happened. But there's a part of me that says, Well, if I knew, would that be any better? Would that make life better? I mean, it's still be
do the same person
outwardly, I've changed my thought about that. I change my thoughts about it. And I don't mind talking to people about it. But do you know that nobody asks me, even to this day, nobody has stopped and said, what really happened to you what happened, which I'm definitely blessed? Because I feel that I don't have an answer,
Brad Miller 5:30
I really been a part of your life all along here, you're done dynamic. You mentioned there about needing to know, or one not needing to know all the whole story from your parents. sounds similar, similar to some of the folks I've worked with, with adoption situations where some, you know, people have been adopted, some kids, when they get to adulthood were adopted some, you know, really, really want to know really badly about their origin story, right. And others are just pretty accepting that this is my son's situation. And I'm good was it in,
Stephanie Lee 6:00
right? That's what happened when I started writing the book. That's where it all changed. Because very, very bad relationship with a man I we dated for 10 years. And he was a really controlling person. And I knew that I couldn't move on, I could move ahead with my life. It was my life is changing. I was coming, more introspective. I was becoming more peaceful, but he was starting I wasn't, he wasn't serving me as a companion as a good person. He was really bringing me down, he was kind of dragging me down a little bit. So that's when I discovered podcasting. And I could do other things with my life. Besides my mundane life that I was leading with him, we we had definitely, you know, kind of relationship had kind of come to an end, per se, live separate lives, really. And so I needed something to do, that's when the podcast can suck to contribute came about. And I will tell you, it came about because I personally, as well as probably a lot of people that listen to my podcast, wanted something that it could just do for 1520 minutes, kick their feet up, and relax, sit, relax, listen, enjoy. That's like the whole crux of my podcast with just for 15 minutes, get away from the news from everything else that's going on in your life, and just talk about pop culture talk about things that are going on that are that are good and and so that really helped me a lot. And that's certainly for that moment. And, and, and right. And then the book came about, strangely enough, because my niece had mentioned my disability I realized that she found out about it through my sister, sir. And I'd never even talked about it. So I need to know more about my disability than I do.
Brad Miller 8:06
So they were they were curious they were they were curious with a question you about your, your disability,
Stephanie Lee 8:12
they didn't question me, they probably release my sister sat down with him one day and said, this is what's going on with Stephanie. And they had that nice chat, but I've never had the opportunity to have a nice chat with them. But it was my niece who
said something about my disability. And that is the impetus to write my book was that one moment and I said, You know, I should put my I should put my story into a book and I should make it so that it doesn't offend my parents who are definitely guilty but starts with a character that is, you know, pretty much normal and then something happens to them a cataclysmic situation on the weather, earthquake or something, right. And she has to fight her way back. But after the cataclysmic disaster she doesn't have beautiful right arm and she has limited us to her right leg. So it's kind of using my disability as the theme but her at that point, going to make steps to get her life back to where she's happy. And, you know, using imagination and using her
Brad Miller 9:37
and work Howard and her you know, her real strong will to have a life that is not to have a life that is good for has worked for her. So you been able to tell your story through through your in a very real way through the through the fictional story of lives. The character's name is Quinn, Dylan, is that right? In your book? Is that right? wondering who's the South Paul and it's kind of looks at life from below differently than maybe some others do. But it goes inward, her imagination in order to deal with life and deal with things. And that's right now,
Stephanie Lee 10:19
of course, there's a lot of similarity. And, you know, there are a lot of similarities because I feel that a writer is very, you know, personal because they've had a life and they've had things going on. And that, of course, it's going to show through, and they're writing because it's what they know, it's very personal. So and reading the book, there are a lot of similarities to what happened to me, I was sent to boarding school, and then I was sent to camp and really, my mother really was so guilt ridden. Having me really go places and do things outside the home made her feel guilty. It's kind of like what you say, when you say, you know, we don't hear from you. That's a good thing. You know, we know, we know, everything's good, kind of what happened. So a lot of things in the book, a lot of the stories in the book and what happened to me when I was in boarding school, and I was actually bullied, they call it bullying back then. But I was kind of bullied a lot in boarding school. And after three years, I went back to the public school system, and it was fine. But for that three year period, it was a very, very hard thing to me. Sometimes people I mentioned it in the book, sometimes people and you know, girls and boys young, you know, people, I'd say, Yeah, 16 or so they make they make fun and bully people that have less of an advantage that can't fight back. And they take advantage of that. That's what I want to mention, too. And so when Dylan has to face that, she has to face the strength of, Hey, you know, this is what's going on. And I'm not happy about it. And yet, I'm going to prove to myself and to everybody, I am going to be a success, that I am going to make it in this life, no matter what it takes. And so she starts to Yeah, so she starts to use her imagination, being creative, and an artistic way, right? And draw
scenarios that she wants
to have as she is, imagine, all these things going on that are perfect in her world. And slowly she's just seeing things get better, you know, things are better and better.
Brad Miller 12:57
So she Transform, transform her innovative in her life was really transformative to her outer life for her things that happened, right, it sounds like you in your case, you took the bold action of deciding to process is by writing the book and some things on this line. And that is had some impact in your life. So that's a bolt action that you took, what what did you learn about yourself, as you wrote the book, what did you How was is taking this action? How was it informative to your transformation
Stephanie Lee 13:27
was transformative. Because I was able to say, how I felt, you know, about life and about kind of holding back. So you'd
Brad Miller 13:37
you'd held back for a long, long time, and this was finally expressing yourself, is that right?
Stephanie Lee 13:42
Right. Yeah. And so I was finally able to say,
life isn't about how I look physically, you know, I can be, you know, funny and attractive and all these things, and it's not really a bad my arm, it's really about other things, I have so much more to offer than just that one thing. And it took me really until I was about 15 that and, you know, it sounds crazy. But I was living with this kind of underlying kind of rough time. And I completely could have just let it go, and, you know, lived a more and what you call, you know, quote unquote, normal life and a freeing life. But at 50, I chose to just move ahead and do like podcast and I was what I like to call ushered away from that relationship that was so bad, you know, you find that when a person doesn't serve you in a person doesn't see Neil need that person, your life, all of a sudden things work out, and that person's move from your life somehow. So that was a rough situation. But all of a sudden, this relationship I had for 10 years, all of a sudden, wasn't, didn't happen. And it was just all of a sudden, the pathway was clear. Well, you
Brad Miller 15:11
had a new path, yeah, a new path, you took some, you took some action, you took bold action, you started to write a book, he started doing a podcast, start processing things, and you had to change in your, in your relationship, all this happened. And it's because you decided to deal with your inner life. And so that's a, that's a great thing. So in that context of dealing with your inner life, I'm just wondering if, in this process, have you learned any kind of, you've been informed, are powered by any kind of understanding of a power greater than yourself or some spiritual realm, Francis coming from meditation or anything along this line, and tell us a bit of how that has power given you some strength?
Stephanie Lee 15:53
Well, that is actually what started the separation mental with my ex is that I was becoming more spiritual at that point. I was Andrew my podcast, which was, you know, new to him. And then I started really get into that inner
state of mind where I was very reflective about my life. And I, all of a sudden became this person. That was wonderful. I, I felt so free because I was writing this book, but I also felt like, I didn't hate people as much like the relationship I had. The whole crux of the relationship was, I think, everybody, I hate everybody, you know, that was, that was my exes.
And so that was like, really like you. And then all of a sudden, I had this podcast going on, and I had, you know, writing the book, and all of a sudden, someone said to me, people are good, you know, they're not evil people, you know, there are people in the world. So I started I started to have a different attitude towards towards people. And I started to feel love and acceptance. And that if, you know, if you want to have negative people in your life, it's because you think negative, right? If you want positive people, you know, a positive situation. And so I began to study that and really reflect on that. And I did meditation and I certainly am a spiritual person, my mom grew up a Christian scientists, which I kind of didn't really want to be, I don't really adhere to that. And so it was my mom who was a very, she is a very metaphysical person. And she has often said, because that I was, you know, so set that he had turned metaphysics just to, you know, to get quiet and peaceful within herself
Brad Miller 18:09
back a step you guys want to ask you. You've been talking about your spiritual connections and about meditation practices, things like David you also mentioned about how you know, you had that your meditative and your spiritual practice also changed your view of your relationships mean, you saw people have been basically better or good compared to a more of a negative viewpoint. Tell me a little bit about emotional connections with people have a positive nature that How does that feel you how does that connection with other people or, or emotions like love or care or generosity? How does that come into play here in terms of fueling your transformation?
Stephanie Lee 18:51
Well, I became a podcast and actor why my book, and then I was studying metaphysics, and my mom, Charlie, and metaphysics, she left Christian by filming an ethics which is something great, and all of a sudden, I started to see my world differently. I started to meditate and turn to look at the world differently. I started to appreciate the outside world, people that were in the outside world world, my attitude changed, it changed to an attitude of love, acceptance, and looking at, at people as just like myself, wanting to learn more at live on Earth, it's very peaceful, and have wonderful exchanges. And that they can, you know, give me certain gifts of, you know, love and, and I, I give that back. So, it's a very positive experience. And it really changed with my attitude of like, my, you definitely got better and better and better, and then the relationships that that they got more positive. And so now, even when I'm like, driving down the road, instead of like, when someone cuts me off, or something like that, I say, Oh, you must be, you know, having a bad day. You know, I try my, my whole thing is that
look, you know, you understand more about people and about maybe, you know, they're just, you know, having a day, you know, and, you know, I've certainly had bad days, that's good. I, I'm not as PayPal I guess what you call it, I really, you know, I'm really, you know, I, I love what I'm doing and, you know, you know, there's not a lot of people that
are not encouraging, you know, that there's for really wants to see me succeed. And I want to see people succeed seed and hoping his attitude, my attitude changed. And when your attitude, change it to something good, you are surrounded by people
start to try to different sort of folks. Yes, that's
right. That's right. And, you know, you can't, you know, you can't call them and attract negative people was just impossible, you know, if you're positive, positive people come into your life, you know, and, and that is precisely why going back to past relationships. That's exactly why people that didn't, I don't like to use the word serve, but then exactly mesh with me anymore, just dropped away. And, you know, I stopped for example, we used to go to the restaurant and, you know, have a couple drinks stuff that people don't, you know, people weren't helping me there. And people weren't as accepting their so. So that kind of is something I've learned throughout the whole process. And I've
Brad Miller 22:08
been kind of a mentor to you in this process, already, resources that you've used for helping you with your meditation. Yes,
Stephanie Lee 22:15
I had a mentor, I have a couple of mentors. I absolutely love Bob Proctor who is a mentor, he was on the secret. And that was kind of my first introduction to spirituality, and thinking really on my own, and forming opinions and thinking about prosperity, and abundance, and about love and acceptance, and all this, all these wonderful things that you have to have in your life. And you have to give them give people that and then we're fun. That's what you'll get back. Right? Instead of just, I just, I want, I want I want I want you can't, I can't live like that. So that's looking at, in my opinion, the wall way she should be so happy to give and to be interested in to really understand people want to know more about people. And in response, they will love you and want to be around you. When you
Brad Miller 23:25
live a life of generosity. You see the abundance and had more of a fulfilled life style where you're looking, looking, looking at the meaning less ness of life, you begin to look at the meeting fullness of life and, and makes all the difference
Stephanie Lee 23:40
it's a wonderful thing to thing that you know, I I believe that, you know,
there is a similarity everybody, right, I'm everybody's here
Brad Miller 23:55
trying to do the best trying to, you know, have the best what people some people don't understand is that you really need to just, you know, you have to give them your love and, and your attention and everything, and then you and then you receive it back. So it's positive steps, what are some of the specific ways that you do that now, what are you know, you mentioned how this you have basically made this transformation from kind of a negative approach to more of a positive approach. And now there was some, you know, really important moments there's some some, you know, you're nice said some things to use. Some other things have said, said thanks to your which really pivotal, but I'm interested down the application of it in your life right now, what are some of the disciplines or habits or rituals or routines or what is some of the things you do now that maybe you didn't do before, that help you live out this new lifestyle, that you have this new promise life is all I had to call it,
Stephanie Lee 24:55
was meditation. And that was kind of the beginning. And then I really started having this mentor shift with certain people in my life that really impacted my life and really made me understand that, you know, you really need to do certain things to get back certain things, I write a gratitude list every morning, certainly, you know, pray and meditate and really understand that whole process that you really need to be very focused and concentrate on giving to people. And that's really the crux of it. I do read a lot of metaphysical books, and you've got books.
And I really believe that
when you do and take the time, you will benefit and everybody in your world benefits. I do a lot of
metaphysical reading I to, like I said, the gratitude list. And I am always reminded, you know,
this tour square, everybody comes from one source and, and that is everybody's trying to figure out life and including me, and the, you know, try to figure out how they can have the best life and what really, life on earth is all about? I mean, everyone's trying to figure out what, what it what it's all about, and how, what it means to bring meaningful this to your life?
And what's the meaning of life? Right? What, what is why, as, you know, human being and in our bodies, what are we trying to, what is the meaning of all that, and there's so much, you know, so many people trying to figure out out, you know, what, you know, the universe is what got, you know, whatever, you know, call that big thing that happened, people are trying to find that out. And they are so curious about, you know, what, that you can call it
right, you can call it God, or you can call universal, you know, intelligence, that kind of thing. Everybody has people that don't like the word
universal intelligence, it's really all the same thing, top to a scientist in physics. And they'll say, you know, energy is, and then you talk to a theologian, and they say, God is, it's the same thought process, you know, it's looking for, it's looking within, to find his way
Brad Miller 27:52
I like to look, it's connecting, connected with a power high, bigger than yourself, to transform your inner life and its mission manifested in you, how you live your life now, and giving your life sense of purpose and meaningfulness. And so I guess, out of this whole process, and Stephanie, I've just asked, just, what do you see right now as your purpose in life? How has this changed you, and what do you see as your purpose in life right now,
Stephanie Lee 28:18
I see my purpose in life is to be abundant, and to live a very, very happy and content life, and to really to help others that have similar situations they need help with, and I and I, or they need someone to guide them to help them and understanding and that's the big thing, understanding where everybody comes from, and how I can help them being there. Being a nice person being a compassionate person, there are so many people that need that so many people are angry, like I was for such a long time. And there are so many people that need the, you know, the love and the encouragement and, and I'm so happy that I've discovered that and further peaceful life, when you actually discover
the best, you know, you know, there's a level where you grow, and you grow, and it's nice to just see myself, you know, understanding and becoming growing and growing and understanding and so wonderful, it's wonderful to see that it's not
English, not a party, you know, it's really, it's going to stop stop you from moving ahead. And that is the biggest thing that I learned from, you know, my past relationship is that you can't be angry and, and have anything you want in life.
I mean, that's just the thing. And so I've had to take a step back and look at, you know, my my parents to, I was so angry at them for, you know, doing certain things, when not tempt me go through physical therapy, they kind of dropped the ball a little bit because of the guilt. But I've gotten to the point where just you can't blame them, they just did the best they could write the best thing to have. So I have to kind of take the bull by the horns and say, This is my life, I'm in control. Now, I'm going to take my life and try to be best I'm gonna try to do the best
Brad Miller 30:38
and you got you got that experience you've had out of your writing and your podcast you to offer other people. And so it also asked another question, I like to ask folks as well. Stephanie is howdy out of this whole process. You've had to kind of look at your value system a little differently, I believe. And so I would just ask you, at this point your life How would you define prosperity?
Stephanie Lee 31:01
Well, prosperity is like the signing what Richard you know, prosperity, get them to buy. It doesn't me.
Brad Miller 31:10
So asking for you. What is right for you right now
Stephanie Lee 31:16
is prosperity and everything. It's about its prosperity, or being Richard prosperous, and money and money, but also being rich and prosperous, and your relationships, in your abundance in your love of life, and your, you know, everything. So, you know, I have a, I just love it, you know, the science of getting rich, it's the, you know, that kind of thing. It's not just, it's not only about monetary, it, it absolutely means getting rich in money, and all the abundance that you can have in life. And I think that that is really the important but I also think that I mean, I don't want to ignore this. But I think that getting rich financially, you can help other people as well other less fortunate people by, you know, giving to causes and stuff like that, too. So, there's two sides of it. And there's the inner side that says, abundance is living a life of being caught, you know, having a large sum of, you know, your whole life, there's also the thing out the, the, you know, the money and being able to do more, you know, they have being able to give more to certain organizations and certain people that really get to So, and, and being, you know, you know, when you have a right when exactly, but when you have
money, monetary freedom, it's certainly obviously better than being, you know, you're poor. And that torn is is definitely reflected in the negative attitudes. Sure, you know, and so, having the abundance of money means that even kids more to people, and that you are a better person. So I would say it's, it's, it's, it's a really transformative, you know, life and if you see yourself as being abundant and being rich, then you'll see it and all
Brad Miller 33:32
Yeah, well, you have a life it's more fulfilled than you see things from a more
that there's no lack in the world. There's no it's not a scarcity issue. It is what is the abundance is available to you. And it's certainly you're really interesting and fascinating, your story, both your your writing your podcasting you're speaking has been one of transformation where you've moved from kind of lack and negative and anger and all kinds of other the things to now fulfillment and joy and some energy and some prosperous life of one whose generous and receiving generosity and the full life and that's awesome. So you see, like, you found some good things here that you're sharing with other people in many ways. And so tell us a bit Stephanie, what you're working on now. I know you have a new book coming out and some other projects you working, what are you working on now? And how can folks be in contact with you if they want to learn more about what you're you're up to?
Stephanie Lee 34:30
Well, the book that I have now Sasquatch imagination, I started writing just the book. And then I realized it was a little short and I realized it could be a prequel, a backstory of hook Wunderland was and now I'm working on the actual story of her, helping the people helping friends and people, many people she doesn't know with their situation and helping them where she needed help helping them with their problems or their
situation, helping them find a more peaceful life. So, that is the story of, you know, when Dylan and that's going to be the next chapter here in the south posteriors as I like to call it and so that will be a bigger book this one is a most small business just the critical just the backstory and window and we'll move ahead and help people with the same situation where she needed help she now knows how to help people she now understand something that she didn't understand before and that is helping other people and that's kind of like
sure you know
Brad Miller 35:54
if people want to and that will be available on Amazon and that those type of places and just said yes,
Stephanie Lee 36:00
it's going to be available on
Lulu dot com is my publisher saleable on that discounted rate that will be available evil and print it on Amazon Barnes and Noble online ebook edition and I'm so excited about it because at the book is, you know
Brad Miller 36:24
the book is the second edition or the SEC or the next volume as it were, I guess at South Paul a tale of a girl's imagination. And so we'll
Stephanie Lee 36:35
go up imagination and
it's just so exciting for me to know when you're excited about something and you're excited about something all of a sudden you get to the end and you're like, Oh my gosh, do I really want to you know, leave this anticipation and move to the next level a little bit that is edit you know that the production coming to an end but I'm thinking okay, now I have this next next book I'm working on. Sure
Brad Miller 37:04
that'd be great to end with spin. Yeah, well, you've got a fascinating story. Stephanie and you got a lot going on here. And and you certainly been been a delight to talk to you today here on the pathway to promise and we look to hearing you know, hearing more good things from you as you continue to contribute to the greater good and you have now made a commitment it sounds like to be helpful to people who are going through similar situations is you and be helpful to people and on a spiritual level and on a level of overcoming anchor and at first you things like that or have a positive and productive life and I just want to thank you for being our being our guest today on the on the pathway to promise
PTP.026: Denise Alexander Pyle-“The Power of 1(0): Living the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule in Modern Times”
The mission of the pathway to promise podcast with Dr. Brad Miller is to help people overcome adversity to achieve their promise life of peace prosperity and purpose. In episode 026 Dr. Brad Miller speaks with Denise Alexander Pyle the author of “The Power of 1(0): A Guide to Living the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule in Modern Times.”
Denise is a family practice lawyer from Marion Indiana who takes seriously her role as a problem solver and counselor to people going through a crisis in the family particularly divorce. She was motivated to enter the family practice law field when she witnessed the devastating divorce of her own sister and going through her own experience of divorce. She was named a “super lawyer” in the states of Michigan and Indiana and is a sought-after speaker and contributor on matters of family law. Now she devotes much of her time to her practice of writing particularly in helping people overcome adversity by transitioning to a higher spiritual plane.
Denise talks to Brad about how important it is to be a good listener and show empathy to people going through a crisis and help them redirect and vision any future this is part of her practice of it being a problem solver. she believes people have to have faith in their self and forgive themselves as building blocks to move forward and progress in their life. She is a very spiritual person who believes all people are part of God’s universe and respecting of the self-help one get on a holy path. she believes we are all connected to renewable energy bigger than ourselves and when we act in service to others that renews our energy.
In her book, she focuses on the biblical 10 Commandments and the golden rule as means by which people can structure their physical world in such a way as to connect with the metaphysical world. She speaks of the Jewish concept of the wisdom called “Kabbal” which is often understood as “The Tree of Life” where all life physical and metaphysical is interrelated to one another.
If you have an interest in how the biblical 10 Commandments and the golden rule can be applied to your life in a contemporary context than episode 026 of the pathway to promise podcast is definitely for you.
The pathway to promise podcast is published on a weekly basis by Dr. Brett Miller who teaches from his 35 years of experience as a Christian pastor and speaks regularly to awesome guests who tell their stories of overcoming adversity to achieve their promise life of peace prosperity and purpose.
Dr. Brad Miller
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