A career in collegiate swimming — both as a student-athlete and coach, including becoming the Head Swim Coach at the University of Miami — has given Christen Shefchunas an up close and personal view of so many women who miss out on their dreams because of fear, doubts and lack of confidence. Christen left her coaching career to start speaking to women about confidence.

The author of Naked Confidence, Christen is a Confidence Coach for some of the top female athletes in the world — working with Olympians and National Team members — as well as women’s organizations and women in business about handling those “pressure to perform” moments and building real confidence. Coach Christen and your INFLUNSR host Stuart Hall dive into what it means to live a life of excellence: to choose to create a better future by going the extra mile.

Outside of the office, Andrew is an adjunct instructor in the University of Georgia’s Terry College Executive Program for over ten years, a NFLPA – Registered Player Financial Advisor, and a member of the Retirement Advisor Council which advocates for successful qualified plan and participant retirement outcomes.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”

Fred Rogers from Mr. Roger's Neighborhood

You’ve probably seen this quote a lot the past few months. It’s been a popular one as COVID-19 has taken its toll on communities all around the world.

It’s inspiring. It’s motivating.

And it’s true.

Whether it be an off-duty doctor assisting after a car accident, a group of passengers overcoming an airplane hijacker, or a brave student opening the door for his classmates to get in while a gunman walks the halls, we’ve heard these stories of seemingly ordinary people coming to help in the midst of fear and uncertainty.

We all recognize that the healthcare and essential workers who have been thrust into the frontline of battling COVID-19 are some of our greatest “helpers.” After all, they are the ones who are putting their own livelihoods at sake to keep the rest of us safe and healthy.

There is no doubt that every single person on the frontlines deserves our respect and admiration. And we should all be eternally grateful for their service.

However, as someone who is in a position of leadership and influence, let’s think about how this quote could apply…to you.

You have the opportunity to stand in the gap for someone or some body. As you look around your neighborhood, your community, what ways could you step up and become a helper?

That’s what leading with excellence is. Seeing the need. And doing something about it. Even when it may cost us something.

So get out there. Be a helper.

In this Episode’s Version, Grant Hall, son of INFLUNSR founder Stuart Hall, wrote a letter about his dad’s experience with COVID-19.

INFLUNSR defines excellence as choosing to create a better future by going the extra mile. The future of countless lives depends on our healthcare workers’ capacity to meet this standard, to rise up in the face of unprecedented adversity. Here are six ways to support them:

  1. Make sure they get some free food – People who may be friends or family with healthcare workers could have a free meal delivered to them by using UberEats, Postmates, or another delivery service.
  2. Continue to donate blood – The American Red Cross announced it’s experiencing a “severe blood shortage” because many blood donation drives have been cancelled or postponed due to the coronavirus. You can still take time out to donate blood while maintaining self-quarantine.
  3. Donate to charities that support hospitals – You can donate to your local hospital or to organizations like the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, which has created a COVID-19 Response Fund support those affected by coronavirus as well as first responders.

If you are looking to help hospitals with supplies, Direct Relief is helping to provide essential medical items and protective equipment to health care workers responding to the coronavirus.

  1. Follow the advice of healthcare workers – Simply following the advice of healthcare experts can have the biggest impact of all. Stay at home, wash your hands, and social distance. Get your information from credible sources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.
  2. A simple thanks can go a long way – We have seen heartening examples of gratitude on social media in various American cities of people showering healthcare workers with applause in honor of their work. Whether coordinating this sort of event or taking the time to write a note to friends or loved ones on the frontlines, expressing our gratefulness for their sacrifice is the least we can do.
  3. Don’t buy up unnecessary supplies – Many hospitals are already experiencing shortages of vital items, as panic buying by the public has caused them to scramble to find crucial supplies.


We encouraged you to watch Apollo 11, a documentary on the NASA mission to the moon.

From director Todd Douglas Miller comes a cinematic event 50 years in the making. Crafted from a newly discovered trove of 65mm footage, and more than 11,000 hours of uncatalogued audio recordings, Apollo 11 takes us straight to the heart of NASA’s most celebrated mission—the one that first put men on the moon, and forever made Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin into household names. Immersed in the perspectives of the astronauts, the team in Mission Control, and the millions of spectators on the ground, we vividly experience those momentous days and hours in 1969 when humankind took a giant leap into the future.

“The bar for excellence on Earth was set on the moon 50 years,” says Liz Hilton Segel. “Even with half a century gone by, our work with NASA at the dawn of the space age still makes us feel immensely proud and humbled.” How do you think excellence played into the Apollo 11 mission being a success? What challenges did the crew face in going the extra mile, or rather 238,855 miles?

We asked you to read the article by James Clear on marginal gains.

Everyone wants to get better. Every product or service we buy promises massive results and fast! Unfortunately that isn’t the case. Author James Clear writes about how making small changes over a long period of time always has a better outcome.

So what do you want to get better in? Is it a sport? Is it a spiritual thing? Is it growing a relationship? What are a couple of small changes you could make in the area you want to get better? Now, write that one small thing down and commit to doing that one small thing for the next two weeks. You might not win a bike race, but we bet you’ll get better!

We asked you to watch the Ted Talk: The First 20 Hours by John Kaufman.

Josh Kaufman is the author of the #1 international bestseller, ‘The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business’, as well as the upcoming book ‘The First 20 Hours: Mastering the Toughest Part of Learning Anything.’ Josh specializes in teaching people from all walks of life how to master practical knowledge and skills. In his talk, he shares how having his first child inspired him to approach learning in a whole new way. 

“You can go from knowing nothing about any skill that you can think of … if you put 20 hours of practice into that thing, you will be astounded at how good you are. 20 hours is doable. That’s about 45 minutes a day for a month, with some skipping in there.” Take a moment to journal 1-2 things that you could apply this idea to. Then, reach out to your students and see what things they are wanting to practice.

We asked you to read the article “Strive for Excellence, Not Perfection.”

“I am just a perfectionist,” says the frustrated person who is standing in front of you still not finished with their portion of the group project. Seeking perfection, excellence, or even a mistake-free paper is a noble endeavor. However, as this article helps explain, it can also be a significant roadblock for achievement. This writer helps their reader understand “that achieving excellence is a journey, not a destination.”

One of the most significant portions of this article is the list the author gives on what to do to develop a lifestyle of excellence. We suggested students to pick two things from this list to start putting into practice. Follow up with your students this week on what they chose.

We asked you to watch an interview with Kobe Bryant on his Mamba Mentality.

How do you pursue excellence? According to one of the greatest players to ever step onto a basketball court, you pursue it by investing your most valuable commodity wisely: your time.  What Kobe explains is that excellence is a product of diligently investing your time in what ‘s most important to you rather than wasting it on what isn’t.

“What’s important to you? I didn’t feel good about myself if I wasn’t doing everything I could to be the best version of myself. If I felt like I left anything on the table, it would eat away at me. I wouldn’t be able to look at myself in the mirror. The reason why I can retire now and be so comfortable with is because I know I’ve done everything I could to be the best basketball player I could be.” What would it look like to begin pushing yourself to becoming the best possible version or yourself? What should get your “yes” and what should get your “no”? How can you help your circle with this?


INFLUNSR’s mission is to fuel the next generation of leaders worth following and to help students learn how to think, not what to think. Any articles posted and questions asked are intended for that sole purpose.

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