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Episode 02: Pam M Olsen, on fire and doing it all
I met Pam years ago and have enjoyed watching her transition and develop new careers, different yet complimentary of each other. We can learn a lot from Pam’s focus and methodical pursuit of her passions, interests and skills.
Pam continues to grow and evolve and has lot of projects in the works. That’s why she exemplifies what a true Bloomer is all about - always in a process of becoming.
There are a lot of really creative, wonderful people out there that are living there bloom. And this week's guest is one of them. Pam Olson, someone that I think very highly of that I really feel exemplifies everything that bloom is because we know bloom is about growing, about moving about elevating, about adapting to change.
Pam Olsen 0:23
Good evening, good afternoon. Whatever it is when people are watching. My name is Pamela Olsen. I'm a licensed massage therapist, and I sing classical music, and Sharman and I have known one another for gosh, a long time now.
But what I want you to share with our readers, our listeners today is the changes that have gone in your life that have led you to this point. And you did not anticipate some of where you are now. Yeah, when you graduated college, you graduated with a degree in music.
Pam Olsen 0:57
I still sing. But it's not as the same career is what I was expecting. But every single time in my life that I have been disappointed or just had some sort of situation that I wasn't planning, I've always ended up better off. You know, now when I look at opera, I think, I don't think I would have lasted long in that realm. Because I can't stand the characters. The women are so victimized, you know, I can't represent that. You know it, I love the sound, I love the music. And so I still do that. And my husband is a pianist, so we we make videos, and it, you know, it's still very fulfilling. But to me, really everything that I do is in the regard of trying to help people heal themselves, whether it's music, or massage, or meditation, those things help people to help themselves. And that's really what my purpose in life is.
Now, we did you always have an interest in being a masseuse? Was that always on your list?
Pam Olsen 2:17
Yeah, it has. Because when I was a little girl, my mother was severely depressed. And along with taking care of my siblings, I learned at a very early age that both music and massage really helped her. Those two things really helped her to stop beating herself up, to stop being in that negativity that she was in, that that natural place that that just wasn't healthy. It wasn't good. And at least for the time in which I was massaging her, or the time in which I was singing or playing or doing something with music, or doing one of those things, if not more than one.
She was my mom. She was with me 100%. She was able to function and she was able to do a whole lot more. You know, back in those days, the only the only treatment they had for, for depression, the treatments were lithium, you know, really heavy, very, lots of lots of side effects in those, in those drugs, and shock therapy! And she refused those things. And, and I don't blame her. At the time, it was tough. But music and massage were free of side effects.
But I when I first met you, you worked for Goldman Sachs. Share with our viewers how you took something that might have been considered negative, but you turned it around to become a real positive thing.
Pam Olsen 3:58
Well, you know, I was singing, but I was singing, you know, kind of nights and weekends. And so during the day, I was working as a secretary, and found very quickly that in the business world, they don't like secretaries to improve themselves. They don't like secretaries to move up in the world. And that just didn't stick well with me. So every couple of years, I would find a company that paid their secretaries better. And I would say to myself, this is the last time I'm doing this. After this, you know the Metropolitan Opera is going to call and I'm not going to be a secretary anymore. Well, you know, every two years I kept moving up and moving on and eventually went to the top of where I could go with that which was Goldman Sachs. And then the financial disaster of 2008 hit and although I would not wish that on anybody. For me, it was a life changing thing in a positive way.
I knew that I wanted to go to massage school, I saw how much it helped my mom, I had already gone to music school, and I really wanted to do both. And the financial disaster, they let go of 1000s of us in at Goldman Sachs, and that afforded me at the time to be able to go to massage school. And that's when things really opened up. And I was really able to focus a lot on the healing aspect and what it is that I need to be doing with my life.
And that led to some other opportunities because you are a very articulate speaker. But were you always did you always have confidence in your public speaking,
Pam Olsen 5:47
I used to be scared to death of speaking in public! That was, that was horrific. It was truly awful. When I was, when I finished massage school, I started in a networking organization. And I found that you have to talk about your business, you have to talk about what you do, you have to be able to talk about what it is that you can do for people. And that was just terrifying to me. truly awful. So I joined another organization called Toastmasters, where they teach you how to speak in public. There's a real science to it. There are certain things that you can work on and improve on. And I liked it so much I stayed and became pretty good at speaking in public, and went on to to work on their staff, and became president of New York Toastmasters. And because of that, I've been able to do better networking, and I, I am now giving classes in meditation. And that wouldn't be possible. If I didn't know how to speak to people. Yeah, there's there are real things that you can study on how to hold an audience how to keep them interested. And there are ways in which you can can write a speech that makes it something that people can't stop listening to. And those things are very valid and very teachable.
Yeah, and I know that a lot of my late bloomers and our listeners, and viewers that come on this site, may kind of associate with your feelings of not, of not being comfortable to speak in public, 'cause I know that when I joined my husband's band, and he turned to me, and he said, "Oh, so and so has a birthday in the house, would you announce it?" and and I leaned over said, "I don't do that".
And he looked at me like I was talking Chinese! "Excuse me, what did you say?"
"Yeah, I don't do that. I just play."
So you know, when we got off this, you know, off the stage, he said, "You're gonna' have to do something about that. Because if you're on stage, it's just like, hey, we'd like to wish so and so happy birthday." I couldn't find the voice to do it.
Pam Olsen 8:20
Yeah, but you're good at it now.
Well, I would have had I thought of Toastmasters. That's a really wonderful thing. What I did was take improv courses. And I have a couple of newsletters about that, to purposely put me in uncomfortable situations, onstage without my piano and do improv and feel stupid and ridiculous. But get on the other side of it with a lot of other people who feel stupid and ridiculous, too. And you know what, you start to just trust yourself. I always tell people, that's just the best thing to to grow, is these kinds of things, Toastmasters, improv, stepping outside of your comfort zone. And then once you grow, where does that take you? And you're now involved in the in a business group, are you not?
Pam Olsen 9:11
Yes, Business Networking International. It's obviously an international organization. And there are chapters, local chapters all over. And there's a group in Weehawken, New Jersey. And of course, for now, we're all on zoom. because nobody's, nobody's meeting in person right now. And it's incredibly useful. Being able to speak in public and not to not have any difficulty with that, and, and understanding, you know, things like people want to feel appreciated, and that's, you know, learning about leadership, learning about the ways in which you can help people to understand what it is that they are good at.
What they need to do. And again, for me, it's all about healing. It's all about helping people feel good about themselves, so that they can move on and grow and learn new things and just keep living, keep living.
I am very much a kinesthetic learner, I need to be moving and doing something with my hands. In order to help me memorize things. When I memorize speeches, I will often walk around in my room and have certain blocking that I use and, and the blocking then helps me to remember where I am in the speech.
I've been cycling all my life, but I bought a new electric cycle bicycle. In February of last year, or just this year, I happened to be working on a piece that I was going to do for church. And this was a French piece. Now I've studied a lot of foreign languages. But for some reason, I just haven't done as much French, I suddenly had this idea, well, maybe I should practice the tune, the words while cycling, because I love to memorize while I'm moving. And so, then I started doing certain gestures with my hands in order to help memorize the words. And so, I looked on YouTube, and found a fabulous way to hook up a camera on your bike. And so I hooked up the camera on my bike, and I started cycling, while singing the tune and doing the gestures. And so sometimes I have my hands off the handlebars. And you know, doing all kinds of and, and funny things. You know, they weren't they this really wasn't meant to be a video, this was meant to just be funny to help me remember the words.
So, you know, after I after I made this video, I showed it to Eric now we had already made an audio recording. So I was listening to the audio recording while doing the cycling video. And he was like, "This is gonna be huge!"
I've never seen anything like it. There are several gestures that I use that are very common in the French language. You developed another little side thing over there. Any new plans?
Pam Olsen 12:33
The newest thing that I've been doing is meditation for corporations. There are a couple - it this is this came about through being in BNI, Business Networking International. One of my networking companions, has a connection with one of those corporations that really cares about corporate culture, one of those corporations that wants to retain people and wants to do good things for them, to help them stick around. Incredibly smart. And one of the things they're providing for their people is to have me come and the team's another, another software program. They are having me basically lead them in meditations once a week for several weeks. So that's the latest, greatest thing.
And it is the latest, greatest thing but not the last, I'm sure.
So this has been a joy. I've wanted to interview you for quite a while. And I think that we're all going to be inspired by how you have grown into your life and you are living your bloom which started with bein a masseuse, but has offshoots that have taken you to so many interesting places and I personally have seen you blossom.
So thank you so much.
Pam Olsen 14:05
Pam is in the New Jersey area, but you do work in New York, although not right now.
Pam Olsen 14:13
I'm not doing massages now. But I am via zoom teaching people how to how to massage their family members. Nice. And of course giving with meditation and distant Reiki.
You're making me smile, Pam, that's a good thing you always do.
Bye bye. Be well.