Leverage Your Strengths and Passions to Achieve Massive Growth with Lisa Baker

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#99 – Growth is a continuous process in life.

Even as you approach retirement, you can continue to grow by building greater connections, advancing your career, and striving for financial resilience.

In this episode, Jeremy Keil speaks with Lisa L. Baker, founder of Ascentim and a personal and executive coach. Lisa shares her proprietary G.R.O.W. process along with tips to excel in three critical areas of your life.

Lisa discusses:

  • How to implement the G.R.O.W. process
  • The difference between networking and connecting
  • How to find your area of greatness and use it to grow in your career
  • Strategies to turn financial “emergencies” into minor “inconveniences”
  • And more

Leverage Your Strengths and Passions to Achieve Massive Growth

Follow The G.R.O.W. Process

With a goal to help others reach their peak in life, Lisa L. Baker built the G.R.O.W. process. She uses it at Ascentim to guide her clients towards living more meaningful and abundant lives.

G.R.O.W. stands for:

  • Gain Insight through Discovery: It’s important to develop an understanding of the goals you wish to accomplish in life.
  • Realize New Possibilities through Visioning: Think about new areas to explore. It can also be something you have never considered before.
  • Overcome Obstacles through Planning: Naturally, there are going to be obstacles. But when you create a plan, you can anticipate obstacles and strategize how to overcome them. You’re not caught off guard!
  • Win at Life by Reviewing Results: Keep yourself accountable, monitor success, and adapt the plan until you get where you want to go.

The Three Pillars of Success

No matter what stage of life you’re in, it’s always crucial to focus on the following three pillars if you want to grow and succeed in life:

  1. Connections

Everything we have in this life is likely to come through other people. We thrive on interdependence and we can’t do everything on our own.

That’s why connections are critical to success.

The secret to getting better at building meaningful relationships is understanding the difference between connecting and networking.

Networking is about knowing more people and connecting is about knowing people more.

Have you ever been to an event and seen people handing out business cards to strangers? That’s networking.

But, to build relationships that last, allow people to know you on a much more personal level. Invest time in developing and nurturing that relationship.

Connecting is so much more important because it’s what gives you the influence you need to build your career and your money. In fact, strong connections motivate people to act on your behalf (referrals, promotions, etc.).

  1. Career

This includes anything that generates income for you. You could be part of a nonprofit,

running a business, or working in the corporate world.

After a certain point, it’s impossible to improve your financial picture without growing your top line — your income. That’s why career growth matters.

As discussed above, the first step to advancing your career is building great connections.

Build your personal board of advisors. Find mentors and sponsors to guide you along the way.

A mentor will guide you in their area of expertise. For instance, if you want to improve your speaking skills, find someone who is an excellent speaker.

A sponsor has the influence and the power to hire you directly or recommend others to hire you. Or as Lisa L. Baker calls it, the sponsors have “the juice.” They lend you their credibility to help you move forward in your career. Sponsors won’t come easily. You will have to earn their support.

The second step is finding your area of greatness. It happens when the following 3 things coincide:

  1. Your strengths: Things you’re good at. It includes both natural and acquired skills.
  2. Your passion: Things you love to do and enjoy.
  3. Your purpose: Your WHY. Things that excite you and drive the decisions in your life. It relates to the impact you want to have on the world.

Authenticity is also crucial to finding your area of greatness. Oftentimes, people hide their true self to conform to the norm.

As a black female running her own company, Lisa L. Baker has some great advice: 

“The beauty of life is that we are diverse. Get comfortable with who you are. Be confident in your abilities and what you uniquely bring to the table. That way, you can operate in your area of greatness.”

When you bring your authentic self to work, there is no competition. There is only one YOU. 

It also allows people to get to know you. When they’re thinking about a promotion or hiring, they know exactly what they’re getting when they bring you onto their team.

  1. Finances

Financial success enables you to live life on your own terms. So, when you’re ready to retire, you can do that with confidence.

Start by assigning every dollar to something.

Without budgeting, it’s possible to earn over $100,000 and still not realize where all of the money went by the end of the year!

Tell your money where to go so you don’t have to wonder where it went. Housing expenses, utilities, monthly groceries, weekend outings — have money set aside for everything.

If you wish to take a vacation next year, you can start saving for it now by assigning a fixed amount of money to it in your budget.

It’s also important to assign money to emergency funds.

According to a report by the Federal Reserve on the economic well-being of the U.S. households, nearly 40% of Americans would struggle to cover an unexpected $400 expense! Imagine you damaged your phone and it’s past the warranty period. Such an incident can easily cost you more than $400.

Not having an emergency fund can lead to great financial insecurity. However, if you have money set aside, those emergencies feel like less damaging inconveniences.

Ideally, your emergency fund should be equal to six months’ worth of your expenses (or salary).


Hope you found great value in this blog. To learn more about achieving growth in life, check out the resources below!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us or our guest Lisa L. Baker using the contact information provided below!


Connect With Lisa L. Baker:

Connect With Jeremy Keil:

About Our Guests:

Lisa L. Baker is the founder of Ascentim, a company that offers customized coaching to help people level up in business and in life. Before founding Ascentim, Lisa was a former senior executive at Fortune 500 companies including General Electric, Synchrony, and Microsoft. While at Synchrony, she was one of only nine black female executives among more than 16,000 employees. Lisa has also recently been named a 2022 Brightside Trailblazer in Business by Brightside Global Trade.



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Keil Financial Partners does not provide any tax advice. No information or results from the links should be interpreted as tax advice. Please seek guidance from a qualified tax professional for any and all tax-related matters.

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