Office Hours with Dr. Lacy

I help doctoral students learn and apply qualitative research so that they can finish their dissertation, graduate, and become DOCTOR!
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Office Hours with Dr. Lacy





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Aug 7, 2019

Transcript of Episode:

Welcome back to the podcast. Um, today I have, you know, you have something in your spirit to say, but you're not exactly sure what that is. So I am not an external processor, I'm an internal processor. However, every now and then there are times where I just need to talk things out because I have a lot swarming in my mind and today is one of those days, I don't know where this is going. I just got something I want spirit to share. And so I just decided to put in my headphones into my phone and just start talking. Um, which is a sign, you know, for many of you, um, who are always looking to have the right things in order to start. I do this podcast with a set of headphones and my phone that I already own and I just turn on the voice memo app.

I have an iPhone and I put on some headphones and I record and is it perfect? No. Does it get the job done? Yes. It gives me a starting point. And I'm really focused on showing up here consistently. Week after week, helping people, sharing my knowledge, giving whatever, I got to help you finish your dissertation, help you get to that next step. Or if you're just having a moment and you just need a little motivation or help getting to the next minute, I'm showing up and I'm not letting, not having um, $600 mic or mixing equipment or a studio or a producer or the right music or whatever, stop me from showing up, doing my best and helping you as much as possible because, excuse me, that is what I want to do. I'm here to help people. I think about my journey through the phd process and how much frustration I experienced, how much loneliness I experienced, how much unnecessary, I don't know, strife, conflict.

That didn't have to have happen. Yeah. And if I could have just even had someone's podcast to listen to, videos to watch blogs to read, just to like, Oh, if they can do it than I can do it. If I could have just had that, I think I would have just felt a little bit better. It would have helped me to get through it a little bit more easily. And so really that is the why behind like why I had this business and why continue to show up every week and continue to put myself out there. Um, you know, I know a lot of people start their own business because they're all about the money and maybe they're looking for a get rich quick scheme or maybe they are, I don't know, like they just want the fame and notoriety that comes with having a large following and people looking up to them.

If you know me, that is not, that is not my thing whatsoever. Like I am about helping people. And so that's why as much as possible, I'll continue to give out free content because I know that not a lot of people, um, have the access to pay for services. Um, and I want another side to the side of like not having access and truly not having funds is completely different than saying I'm just not going to do it. I don't think it's worth it. But that's a whole nother rant for a whole nother day. But I do, I did want to say that of like question are you, whether it's a coach, whether it's a conference, whether it's some other thing that you know would be good for you, that will be an important part of your, um, development. But you are looking at the dollar sign and you're just like, no, I'm not going to do it.

How can you like, say like, something will be really helpful for me and not show up for yourself? Um, and that's really in line with what I want to talk about today of people. The number one objection, objection I get to working with me or hiring me as a coach is that, oh, I'm just a Grad student. I don't have the money for it. And what I think about is either you're gonna pay, we all are paying for things either with our time or with money. Right? So cool. This system, this world, the society we live in, it's controlled by many systems, particularly capitalism. Right? And that means some people are going to have it, some people are not even going to be in between. Right? We're all in the spectrum and you may need like additional resources or whatever to help you and you may not have the financial resources right to contribute. So if you don't have the finance resources to contribute, then that means you're going to have to pay to get to that same place that other people are getting to with your time.

And that's what I want people to really like. The main takeaway from this episode is like, do you have money or do you have time? If you have neither, then you probably are not going to achieve this goal. I'm, I'm almost willing to go as far as you're not going to achieve this goal. And in this case, the goal is finishing your, um, doctoral journey, your phd or whatever program you're in this terminal degree, you either need money or time, you need both. But like what's going to get you to the end is how much more of money or time you're willing to invest, right? Because by the time you get to the point of enrolling into a phd program, right, everyone has shown that they whatever meet the requirements to get in. Right. So everyone, like for most people they were the smart person in their family and their school, whatever.

For most people they had the test scores, they need it. They had, they were willing to devote the time they were willing to devote the energy right to get into the program itself. Right. And then a difference comes in is, okay, you may have two, three years of coursework depending on your program. Right? We've all been in school. You've heard if you're going to follow me, you've heard me say this like we've all been in school. Many of us have several degrees. So we're, we have proven with our many degrees and pieces of paper. We have proven that we're really good at showing up into a classroom, getting a syllabus, showing up week after week, taking the notes, um, doing the readings, completing the assignments, writing the papers, taking the final exam and moving on to the next class. Like we've done that.

We've been doing it for 20 plus years, we're good. Right? And the real division comes in like everybody can do that. The division comes in when it's time to take your preliminary or comprehensive exams and maybe you can even do that because I mean at the end of the day, right? People look at that, oh is a big test. Right? And that could even be, I'm like, that's like the really big first a marker that separates and starts to weed people out. Because we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to do this test to, to do these exams. And, but like for most people that can like wrap their mind, like they can think of it as another class, I can, they can do whatever is necessary to, you know, get all their literature together, pull all the pieces together. It's still pretty much a very supportive process.

Even if you don't feel like you're being supported, like there are people telling you at least like, this is what you need to do. Your chair, your committee, your program has structured in a way that if you just follow the steps right, you're good, right? And usually you're not the only person who's going through the process. Or if you are the exam is tailored to you by your committee or your chair, then they again, are setting it up in a way to make sure that you can pass. Like for the most part, you show up and do what you need to do. You can pass. However, when we get to dissertation, right now, you're at the top of the top. Now you at, you are aware 50, 60% of the people who started with you didn't make it there, right? We're saying at best are you 40% of the people who started with you in the program making it to or making it to that point of the dissertation, and we're not going to even talk about the people who actually make it to the end, but that's what you have to ask yourself.

Are you going to be one of those people who make it to the end? And if you are, what are you willing to pay? How are you willing to pay to get to the end because it's going to take some additional resources to get to the end. You can't continue to do what you done to get to that point to get to the end. Getting to the end of the dissertation process, getting to your defense, passing your defense takes an extra set of skills, maybe not extra, but a different set of skills, strategies, etc. To like support to get you there because it's no more, it's no longer you showing up to a class with a syllabus, with a script that's telling you you do steps a, B, and c and you're good. Most programs don't have dissertation classes and if they do have dissertation classes, and we're going to be honest, they're geared towards quantitative projects, right?

Because people think that like, oh, you're doing qualitative well that's easy. You're just going to do some interviews and you're good. Right? No, because I'm sure if you're in this process in any step of the dissertation process and you now know it's not, it's not that simple. It's not that simple, right? So this dissertation journey no longer has a class where you're showing up every day and someone gives you a script or a syllabus and they say if you just show up every week and you read these articles and you take this like test and you write these papers and you have a dissertation, it's not a like a paint by numbers type thing because now you, your final step in the doctoral journey is to contribute back to your field. To contribute something unique, different, something that's missing some perspective that hasn't quite been explored. It is your job now to find that and contribute it back to the field to help the field grow, to help the field become better you as a contributor of knowledge to your field. So no, there's not a a step by step. You just show up and you do this and you're done.

Especially for those of you who are talking about winning dissertation of the year awards, you don't get to just show up and say, see, I've put in all these years of work. See all my degrees, see how many classes I've done, and now you want to be called doctor. That's not how it works. All of that was just the warmup. That was the warmup to get here. Now we're playing the game. Are you ready to play the game or you ready to give up? And do you feel like you don't have to devote extra time and financial resources to get to the end to win the game? Or do you feel like you should just get it off of GP because you showed up to some a few classes? You think you should just get it, man, I feel like I got all off, but I want you to feel me on this episode.

Who is your team of people who are helping you because truth be told, your chair is not there to be, to be your personal assistant, your personal editor. Your chair is not there to hold your hand every step of the way. Sure they are there to help, help guide you. Right? And maybe they listen to you at your standing meeting, but they got other people, they got other things to do. This is their job and it's no shade towards you as not saying they don't care about you. However, this is your journey and if you're not willing to devote your time and your energy and show up, why should they show up for you? So what are you doing to show up for yourself? Who else is on your team besides your chair? Who else are you spending your time with? Who's going to help you finish your goal?

Like I love, love hearing people's stories. I love watching like athletes, and, you know, I love Beyonce and I love their story. I love going back and watching old videos because they reminds me of what they had to do to get to where they are now. Sure. It looks cute now to headline Coachella. Sure. It looks cute now to have special after special and to show up at Grand Slam. Grand Slam have over 30 plus Grand Slam titles. But there was a journey that got there, right? Both of these women, Serena and Beyonce, their fathers were very important to building the foundation of who they are, helping them to build a foundation of their craft. Those men were there teaching them how to have a work ethic, right? A lot of that's innate and, they had their fathers there as like coaches, as, as leaders to help them practice and practice and practice.

When no one knew who they were, when no one ever believed they would be where they are now, when everybody saw two little girls from the hood, right? Their fathers were there and they kept showing up practicing since they were little kids and the single digits like six, seven, eight and nine practicing singing, playing wherever, tournaments at the tournaments, concerts, pageants, all of these things, right? And then they get their break. So Serena comes to the pros at 14 and Beyonce gets a record deal at 15 but still people just saw two black girls from the hood who like, oh, that's cute that you got a few people following you. But they still just showed up and they practice and they practice and they practice. Right? And start winning titles and start having number one albums, right? It started to grow in popularity. Well truth be told, like even 10 years in the game, it was cute.

Like people now knew them, right? People knew Serena and Venus, right? As the sisters, people knew Destiny's Child right they're on number one movies soundtracks, right? But still people wasn't looking at them as these huge stars. And they also realize that a moment between, you know, 10 to 15 years into the game, their fathers were not going to do it anymore. Their fathers had taken them as far as they could with the knowledge that they knew and in order to get to the next level, right? In order to become who we know them to be now today, they needed to work, they needed to expand their team. They needed a different level of coaching and support. So if you ever go and look, right, Serena has a coach, he, this French guy, I can't remember his name right now, but his whole thing is about his, his whole life is about turning out like number one tennis players.

He has a whole like compounding business and organization and coaches under him helping to produce some of the biggest names, right? And then you have a Beyonce who left her father so that she could manage herself, but she has a whole team that's her. So it's not necessarily one person just like it's not one person in this arena. But you get what I mean? Like they had to leave their first like person who helped them get this far and they had to get a whole new team of people because you don't get to be at the top of your game of your fields of whatever without strong coaching and support and people who help get you there. You cannot do this by yourself. And so many of you took a pair this and to bring it home like Serena, Beyonce had their father's sure you had your family and you had your chair, right?

Many of you, your chair with your advisor throughout your whole process and they got you to this far to get you to the point where you now need to start working on your dissertation. But now it's time to expand your team, right? Because their fathers are still there in the background, right? You still see them show up to the games. You still see them talk about their fathers like Serena, Beyonce, credit them for their foundation. They're still there and disappear and you see all these other people who know how to play at this different level. Who could help, who helps them build up the infrastructure to that strong foundation that was laid by their fathers to get them to being the number one tennis player in the world did number one entertainer of the world, right? They had his whole team of people and they had to put in the time and the money to do so because these things are not cheap and these people in their knowledge and that cheap. And so I'm asking you, you did, you have, you put in a time and you put it in the money cause you are enrolled in these programs, right? You gotta pay for it somehow. But are you comfortable staying where you are? Are you ready to go to the next level?

And, how can you use your financial and your time resources more wisely by supplementing with people who can be on your team to help you use those things more wisely? Or do you want to continue to try to do this by yourself and continuing you to use up all your time, resources, your money resources in your health resources? Because we're not meant to be by ourselves. And if you say, well, I'll just continue and like talk to this person and talk to this person and get everybody in for the advice and I'm a work smarter, not harder, you're spending your time, right? Because the time it takes to continue to reach out to these people, find these people, get on their schedule, listen to everybody say a different version of something else. Right? And I'm sure it's real help or information, right? Cause they did it so you can learn from them.

But if you're not with someone, someone who's dedicated to you, who knows exactly what it is that you're going through, who's in it with you day to day, who gets your style of playing or style of performing, your style of writing, who gets your, the particulars of your dissertation and helping you along the way and move you forward and who can dedicate the time and the love in the toughness and the criticalness when you need it to help you with your game. And they're not just speaking in general and it's not just a five minute, 30 minute, 60 minute conversation here, there, the coffee shop, whatever they are telling you, they're like reliving the glory days of their dissertation. But if that person isn't sitting with you day in and day out, how are you going to get to the next level? That information is useless.

That's not going to help you. It may get you like a little bump up, but you're trying to finish this thing and so you're gonna look up and it's going to be one year, two years, three years and you still haven't finished my dissertation proposal because you keep thinking, oh I'll need to spend money on this. I'm already spending the money on a degree. I'm a just, you know, gonna go talk to these people and keep trying to do this on my own and every year, every month, every week, every day that you keep trying to spin your wheels and figure this out on your own.

Yeah, you're wasting your time. That's valuable time and energy that could be going somewhere else to something you actually enjoy doing and you love doing. Because to be honest, I'm sure you don't love your dissertation anymore cause you're not making any progress. So who can you put on your team? How can you expand your team to get you moving so that you can actually make progress so that you can get to your prospectus defense and collect research and then write up the dissertation, finish it, get to the actual defense and become doctor to get to the awards. To win dissertation of the year, who are you putting on your team to help you get there? Your chair isn't enough. This is not shade to your chair. There's just one person with limited time and energy to like give you, you're not their only advisee. You're not their only thing they have going on.

Right. And we, we're being real honest, a lot of the advisors and chairs, this is just a necessary evil of the job. They don't even like advising students, they probably won't tell you that today to your face, but they don't like it. So they just meet with you. Cause they have to because it's a requirement of the job. But I mean they probably really indifferent to if you pass or if you make any progress on your dissertation and they don't get paid regardless. So who else are you putting on your team to make sure you get there because you're responsible for you. You're responsible for making sure you finish. Nobody cares that you've been in school for 20 plus years. Nobody cares that you shut out to all the classes. Nobody cares that you're getting to probably get all A's in your classes. That doesn't matter in this process.

This is a whole different game. All of that was just practice for this part. And Are you going to finish this part? Cause what got you here won't get you to Phd, like won't get you to being called Doctor. And this isn't saying like you got to come work with me. I'm just saying and you know and the opportunities have one across your email or somebody told you about this dissertation bootcamp or this writing retreat or this editor. Somebody told you something and you turned your nose up at it saying you're not paying for that. Well, I hope you got a whole lot of time and I hope you got a whole lot of patients and energy to keep spinning your wheels because it's going to take so much longer and it's going to be so much more difficult then if you would just take the step and get people on your team.

You don't got to pay for everyone. You'll have to do some things that's gonna make you uncomfortable. You gonna have to do some things and maybe some of your family and never had to do before. You gonna have to pay for some resources or a goal to some conferences and some things that may seem like why I gotta spend the money. You don't have to do it to get what you want, cause you're trying to go to the next level. If you're not trying to go to the next level, then none of this matters. But if you try to go to the next level, you will have to do something.

I'm hot, I'm about to go. But I just wanted to say that for today. What do you have time or money. How even, you know, argue like, the third thing is really it comes down to your health. How important are you and your health and your goals to you? So I would love to know what you thought about this episode. Please come on over to Instagram at @marvettelacy and let me know, I'd love to have a conversation with you there. Until next week, do something to show yourself some love and I'll talk to you then! Bye for now.

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