Deb Gaut

Deb Gaut is a leadership + success coach, facilitator, and podcaster. Her passion is helping creatives, innovators, and difference makers craft bold visions and strategies, overcome obstacles and challenges, and move confidently toward the future.

Clean Living and Exactly Zero with Michael and Charlotte Fritzius

In this warm, light-hearted, inspiring interview, I’m joined by Michael and Charlotte Fritzius, the dynamic duo and co-founders of Exactly Zero, a clean-living company based in Saint Louis. We talk about how a cancer diagnosis for Michael became the spark behind creating clean products for their family – and how their personal mission morphed into a company that gives back by sharing those products with the world. In addition to their remarkable journey, we talk about the special role of family in their life and business, and their success secrets for navigating a partnership as a married couple. You’re going to love Charlotte’s passion for their work and Michael’s comparison of running a business to “running with scissors.”

Simply click on the play button to join us for this refreshing interview. Go on – you know you want to! You’re only a click away.

The Backstory

I first met Michael Fritzius through a friend in Saint Louis who knew that Michael and I shared a mutual interest in podcasting. (In addition to serving as co-founder of Exactly Zero — which I didn’t know at the time, Michael works with coaches to create their own podcasts through his company called Yes, dear readers, he’s THAT guy: an entrepreneur who can successfully juggle multiple companies at once. Mind boggling.

During an especially helpful podcasting consultation with Michael one day, I learned about his and Charlotte’s work building a company called Exactly Zero. Now, I was doubly intrigued. As a team, Michael and Charlotte were using a cancer diagnosis as a springboard to get amazingly smart about creating clean-living products (deodorants, lip balms, soaps, antibiotic ointments, and more) and selling them through farmer’s markets, subscriptions, creative partnerships, and online. Immediately, I knew they would be perfect guests for Tiny Sparks, Big Flames. No risk, no reward – I asked, they accepted. To this day, I’m over the moon. They said, “Yes!”

The Interview

Amazing how much ground you can cover in less than 30 minutes, and we pack this interview jam full. In addition to their creation story, you’ll learn about the process Charlotte uses to reverse engineer the products they make, from the extensive research she does to the number of iterations she completes to get each product just right. You’ll also hear about the personal and professional strengths she and Michael bring to the business, what inspires and motivates them, and what it means to follow their purpose. Additionally, you’ll enjoy hearing what they do for fun and play as a couple and family.

My favorite parts of the interview center around their quick, witty repartee and the gentle, easy vibe of this special couple. You can tell they love and respect one another deeply, prioritize family over work unequivocally, and are committed to doing good in the world. You’ll love their responses to what they would like to accomplish in the next five years – and what’s next for Exactly Zero.

Fun Facts

  • Parents to four girls
  • Set up by a couple of good friends and got married 5 months and 2 days after meeting
  • “Neither of us has an MBA, but we’re business owners. How in the world did that happen??”
  • They’re a home-school family and enjoy gardening. Their goal is a self-sufficient homestead.

Cool Links

Exactly Zero’s cool website

Exactly Zero’s fun Insta page

Exactlyzero on Facebook

Exactly Zero on LinkedIn

Quotes by Michael + Charlotte Fritzius

“What we put in and on our bodies is important. Cancer does happen regardless of how careful you are but making your body an unwelcome host for cancer can be helpful.” – Charlotte

“Knowing that we have a hand in impacting thousands if not millions of lives over time is … like ‘boom’ — it’s a big thing. We didn’t plan on that originally, but now that we’re doing it, it’s like oh my goodness.” – Michael

“Sometimes I feel like we’re running with scissors. You know that feeling? It’s not like you’re going to slip and fall and hurt yourself. But it’s like oh my goodness – sounds like we need to make some merch – put some merch in our shop: “Runs with scissors.” –  Michael

“We started very small obviously, but we were always very careful with our prices. And we’ve been told many times by customers: “I would pay a whole lot more for this.” But there are so many people who can’t pay more, so they’re buying products that could do harm [to their bodies]. Our goal is to make these products at an affordable price so that the general public can afford to live healthy.” – Charlotte


Living Limitlessly with Bridgette Simmonds

In this inspiring interview, I talk with Bridgette Simmonds, the exceptionally talented life and leadership coach and founder of Limitless by Bridgette. We dive into her personal journey from corporate America to coach, speaker, and facilitator extraordinaire; the remarkable people who have influenced her life and work; and the greatest risks she has taken along the way. In the process, she shares her beliefs about the secrets to life and living fully and sage advice for overcoming our fears and living our purpose, passion, and dreams.

If you’re looking for a great way to kick start your day, simply click on the play button above. You’re worth every minute!

The Backstory

The first time I met the vivacious Bridgette Simmonds was in 2019, when she was facilitating a three-day coach training session in Dallas, offered by the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching.

What you need to know first and foremost about Bridgette is she’s a force of nature—incredibly bright, vibrant, and compelling as a speaker and deeply caring, insightful, and inquisitive as a coach. A few months after the aforementioned training session, I had the chance to be coached by Bridgette, and the experience was riveting and powerful. Imagine an intensely bright light shining into the depths of your soul, and you’ll understand what coaching is like with Bridgette Simmonds. Mind blowing. Then, in 2021, I joined her coaching community called The Coaching CoLab—another amazing gift.

By now, you know that courage has been the order of the day since the inception of this podcast, and inviting Bridgette Simmonds was no small feat. However, instead of agreeing to join me as a guest on Season One (my ask), she did something unexpected that motivated me even more. She said yes to an interview during Season Two. That meant following through on Season One and proving to both of us that I was committed. Game on!

The Interview

You’re in for a treat with this delightfully open, candid, and thought-provoking interview with Bridgette. We talk about a wide range of interesting subjects, including her journey from the corporate world to her work as a sought-after coach, speaker, and facilitator; her evolution as a savvy businesswoman and entrepreneur; and what’s next in her life and work.

One of my favorite parts of the interview is when we talk about her heroes and mentors, and she shares her thoughts about her own superpower and kryptonite. Her rich description of the lunch she would love to have with one of these heroes—and how she would approach the conversation—will surprise and delight you. Another favorite part is when she shares “what she knows for sure.”

Fun Facts

  • “I’m an aspiring minimalist, but I keep buying things.”
  • “Anything with chocolate or peanut butter, you can sign me up.”
  • “I trust my gut implicitly and it has never steered me wrong.”
  • “I’m obsessed with documentaries.”
  • “I’ve started more new, fresh journals than I have finished.”

Cool Links

Quotes by Bridgette Simmonds

“One of the most beautiful ways to experience ourselves and other people is to meet the moment and see what transpires in that moment and then hold onto what does.”

“I know that I know nothing for sure—that the moment I feel something for sure, I cease learning.”

“Knowing and treasuring [life] as a gift, as the gift that it is, is the secret to life.”

“Living fully and tapping into who you are and what you deserve to be and do from that being—that is freedom and living freely.”

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