Laura Gassner Otting, How to Finally be Limitless

The sky isn’t the limit for this week’s guest, former Presidential appointee (who helped shape the AmeriCorps program) and executive search firm founder Laura Gassner Otting. Her most recent book is called Limitless and that’s the message she shares on today’s show. Imposter syndrome was real for Gassner Otting, who said it took pushing herself far outside her comfort zone — even after 25 years of experience in a variety of professional fields — in order to realize her own limitless potential.

She had to push other people’s ideas about her own limits to the side and seek out challenges she didn’t think she’d be able to surmount. Though she only started in athletics in her late 30s, she’s now a multi-marathoner and competitive rower. She’s also a very successful speaker and author, who found herself letting go of a book deal that wasn’t a good fit in order to find the project that suited her perfectly.

She shares tips about diving in headfirst, learning from failure, and getting the most out of the one life we live.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Evaluate your own metrics of success
  • Discover hidden potential within yourself
  • Shed limiting beliefs based on others’ ideas of constraints
  • Kick imposter syndrome and realize if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you
  • Pursue projects that are in line with your ideals


“I do believe that if something is worth doing, it’s worth bringing your best to.”  -Laura Gassner Otting

“It took me three weeks to write (my book) but it took me 25 years and three weeks to create it. I think we see that all the time with whatever we’re doing, whether it’s careers or family or athletic pursuits or anything. It’s all the stuff you do in the dark, behind the scenes, in the middle of the night, when nobody sees. It’s the hard yards of getting up at 4 a.m. to do the grunt work. That’s the stuff that creates the overnight success.” -Laura Gassner Otting

“There are these two voices inside of you, one of which says, ‘You’re going to do this.’ … And then there’s this other voice inside of you that says, ‘What were you thinking? … No way.’ … But that’s the moment that you realize what you’re made of. One of those voices gets to win and you’re the only one that gets to decide in that moment.” -Laura Gassner Otting

“Either you’re in the arena or you’re not. I don’t know that there’s much in between. So, I feel like, let’s just get in the arena. It’s much more fun.” -Laura Gassner Otting

“Show me what you would do if you were knew for sure you would fail and then you would get back up and do it again, and you would get back up and do it again, until you perfect it. That’s your passion. And isn’t our passion worth that? I say, yeah.” -Laura Gassner Otting

“I just feel like we all have this one big, juicy life. And you can spend it sitting on your couch watching Netflix, or you can spend it in the dirt getting your ass kicked.” -Laura Gassner Otting


You can find Laura Gassner Otting on social media @HeyLGO or on her website,

You can also take a 15-minute quiz to find out where you might be stuck and get advice on getting unstuck at

Laura Gassner Otting’s new book is Limitless: How to Ignore Everybody, Carve Your Own Path, and Live Your Best Life, and is available online here and from other booksellers.

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Episode 137