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I’m carrying on my mini-series, bringing you the story of an amazing person each week who has inspired me in my own journey. I’m keeping things fresh and avoiding shoving too much of the self-help world down your throat, so this week’s subject is a little different.

She’s not a life coach or a business guru, but she is widely regarded as one of the most powerful women in the world. Serena Williams, besides being the most successful female tennis player of a generation, is such a fucking inspiration. She’s been through it all, and she’s still doing what she does best.

Join me this week on the podcast and discover what I have learned from Serena’s struggles, as well as some insight into similar stories that others have gone through. Whether you’re a fan of professional sports or not (I’m not), there is some inspiration in here for everyone.

I have an awesome new resource to give you guys some idea of where you’re at and how to take your business to the next level, whether you’re aiming for six figures or already there and aiming even higher. Download my Six-Figure Business Blueprint here.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • What Serena has been through to become a champion.
  • Why allowing yourself to be seen is such a challenge.
  • How much dedication it takes to reach the top.
  • What I learned from having children.
  • Why you should ignore the haters.
  • The link between two of my favorite people, Tony Robbins, and Serena Williams.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

Want to have it all? Well, the best day to get started is TODAY. Welcome to Love Your Living, a podcast for ambitious women who want to take their life and business to a WHOLE new level of success. I’m Brooke Keeling, multiple six-figure business owner, passionate entrepreneur and your host.

Welcome to another episode of the Love Your Living podcast…

Hey, everyone, and welcome to the Love Your Living podcast. I’m Brooke Keeling and I am so excited to be here with all of you today. Now, listen, we’ve done this short little miniseries over the course of the last few weeks and I was really excited to do this miniseries because I love researching people.

So I have some incredible people that are coming on the show that I’m talking to, that I’m picking their brain on business and life and being a mom, being an entrepreneur, handling all of the things; mindset, money mindset, money management, again, all of the things. And those interviews are so fun for me because I get to talk about people that are experts within certain areas that touch almost all of our lives and it’s fascinating.

I like to do a deep dive and pick their brain and understand how they help people and how they coach people and what tools they have that have changed their life and what has been their road to success. So, in that, I decided to do a short miniseries on some of the people that have really strong and powerful messages that either are new to my world, or maybe they’ve been around for a long time.

And when deciding on who to feature, I wanted to not have every single person in the self-help world or the business world or what we tend to see all of the time. And so, I was compiling my list – and if you’ve tuned in, we featured Rachel Hollis, who is an incredible entrepreneur that really made a name for herself this year.

She’s been working behind the scenes over the last decade and so many people have stated to her or talk about her being this overnight success. And she’s very open and honest and real about the story that she tells, which is she was absolutely not an overnight success. And anyone that looks at her now and thinks, oh my gosh, she just came out of nowhere and now she’s famous and she’s got all the success and she’s got a number one bestselling book and she manages another company, she’s hit seven figures this year, she’s a millionaire – it didn’t happen overnight.

It took her over a decade and her story is so real and so raw and she tells the story of her marriage and being a mom and adoption and feeling like a failure in business, all of it, which has allowed her to really hit home and people to connect with her because it’s real. It’s real life.

So, we featured Rachel Hollis, whom I love. And I, of course, can’t skip out on my man Tony. So many people know Tony Robbins, and whether you like him or you don’t like him, he has had such a big impact on my life.

And it’s interesting because I just had a friend over this week and he is an extremely successful business owner as well, seven-figure business owner, built his practice up, is very involved in a lot of high-end mastermind groups and networks and self-development. And I’m trying to get him to go to a Tony event and he’s like, “Yeah, yeah, I’ll make it eventually.”

And it’s so fascinating because some of the things that we were talking about and our intention for the year and word of the year and what fun do you have planned and just life in general, when it throws you lemons, you make lemonade. All of the things we were talking about in the entrepreneurship world and life, you know, divorces, children, all of that, that you have to manage side by side along with business ventures and failures and hiccups and roadblocks, all of that.

And as he was talking about his past and his journey, he’s been on over this last year after a rough divorce, he was literally quoting and teaching the concepts of Tony. And so it’s not new content, you guys. Like, so many people teach the same things, it’s just how you get it, who you like to work with and really knowing that this is a path of self-discovery. And unless you’re open to truly finding yourself and uncovering – he made a comment about peeling back the layers of the onion. Like, this last year was just about self-discovery and it’s not like he’s a 21-year-old finding himself.

He’s been married, he’s seen massive success in his business. He’s had a lot of wins in life and yet he’s at this place where he had to rediscover who he was and he had to peel back the layers of the onions and go deeper to the core to see where certain triggers were born and where they lay within him and what makes him happy again.

And if you’re on that part of the journey, just know that you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be right now. And there’s nothing more powerful than being open to growing and being open to feeling the discomfort of some of the things that maybe come up in your world, because that is what allows you to grow and work on yourself.

And so anyways, I featured Tony because he truly has impacted so many areas of my life. And a lot of the concepts that I have learned through other resources, people, coaches, groups, it’s the same concept. So whomever it is you’re learning it from, it’s just so important to work on yourself and show up every single day on how to become who you are truly meant to be. Because when you can step into that space, that is truly where the magic of life starts to unfold and you start to grow beyond your wildest dreams, which is just truly incredible.

So when I’m deciding on who I’m going to feature in this little miniseries – a lot of people, I don’t feel like, know who Rachel Hollis is because, of course, she’s this overnight success, which again, she’s not. Tony, a lot of people do know Tony, however, he was such a massive impact, I wanted to feature him. Now, the guest for today I chose not because she’s a coach, not because she’s in the self-development world, not because she is a business guru, not any of the standards.

I chose her because I have been obsessed with her over the last couple of years in her story, because her story is so powerful and how she shows up is so powerful and it’s very inspiring to me. So today, if you don’t already know, we are featuring Serena Williams.

So I’m going to do a little bit of a dive into some of the things that I’ve learned about her over the last couple of years that have inspired me to dig a little bit deeper into her story, into her day to day, into her success. And I’m excited to uncover some of those things with you guys because, again, there’s a lot in common with a lot of other people’s stories.

So, number one, she’s friends with Beyoncé. So, hello, if you’re friends with Beyoncé, you’ve got to be pretty cool. She even featured in one of her music videos and it was funny because – this has nothing to do with business and growth, but we all have our comfort levels, right? So she was in one of Beyoncé’s music videos and she was dancing like the girl had moves.

And I remember reading somewhere, she was so uncomfortable and she didn’t want to do – I mean, next to Beyoncé, how intimidating is that? And she’s supposed to be like shaking her ass up there and she was so nervous and so intimidated. This is like two or three years ago, so it’s not like it was 15 years ago. And Beyoncé just said, “Close your eyes and feel the music.” And she coached her through it.

And the music video was bomb and her moves on the music video was bomb. So number one, she’s friends with Beyoncé, which, I think, Beyoncé is the shit. So I am all for it there. Number two, I learned not that long ago, which all of the – well, Rachel Hollis and Serena Williams – Rachel Hollis is a huge Tony Robbins fan and she states that Tony Robbins literally changed her life.

Only two years ago, three years ago, she was going through massive depression, anxiety, panic attacks.  Her husband and her were having extreme marital problems to the point where they likely wouldn’t have made it. She couldn’t function without prescription drugs and she didn’t want to do that.

So she got into a lot of therapy and she ended up going to a UPW, Unleash the Power Within Tony event and she said it literally changed my life. It was four days of therapy like no other, and it truly is. I’ve been to his events and it truly is. So Rachel Hollis and I have something in common there with Tony.

The other cool thing, if you don’t know this, Serena Williams is or was – I don’t know that she is anymore, but at one point, she was coached by Tony Robbins. And She is an incredibly successful passionate athlete and she has been around for a while. She’s not new.

She’s there. She keeps showing up. She keeps winning opens and all the different tennis tournaments. I’m not up on all of that, but she’s still competing. She’s had a baby. She’s still competing. She’s weathered through different areas of her life. And she has up and coming new athletes who are, you know, 10 years younger than her and she’s still winning those matches and she’s still showing up.

And I remember hearing Tony actually talk about this at one of the live events that I was at and he said he gets paid a lot of money. Like, for normal people, it’s a million dollars to coach with him a year. I would assume it’s got to be more than that for someone like Serena Williams or some of these hugely big players that are billionaires that he’s coaching and managing money for.

I think that it would be more than that, but maybe I’m wrong. Regardless, a million dollars a year just to coach them, and then he gets an upside – he gets a cut on all of their proceeds and everything that they make throughout the year.

So he was talking about a time when Serena Williams was playing in a match – it was a really big match – and she was the person, I think, that they were thinking was going to win it, and she lost it. She lost her shit on the court. She was down. She couldn’t gain momentum and come back and it was like this huge upset.

And Tony was the one that got the call. He got the call from her people – I don’t know what you call them in tennis, her crew, her staff, whomever it was, her team, her coaches that were there. It was like an emergency 911 call and Tony had to take the call and coach her through while she was having a break, just a break, during one of her matches.

And this is the power of mindset. This is the power of being able to manage our minds and to strengthen our minds and take back that control. Because Tony clearly was not coaching her on tennis technique. He wasn’t coaching her on what her opponent was doing or not doing or how she needed to serve or where she needed to come back on the court in terms of tennis strategy or anything to do with the game other than her mindset.

It’s purely her mindset. So he took the call. He coached her through it. He flipped her back around and she came back and she nailed it. She came back so strong and she ended up winning whatever tournament it was, but she wouldn’t have won that tournament if she wouldn’t have been able to manage her mind during some of those key times and those times when the pressure is on.

I think about this all the time, whether you watch football on the weekends – I don’t watch sports. And I love being athletic and I have always been a natural athlete and I love that. I just don’t watch sports. I got into a career that I worked a lot on the weekends about seven years ago and now I just think it’s the biggest waste of time to sit in front of the TV and watch sports. However, that’s just my opinion.

So, anyways, if there is a game on or whatever and I’m thinking, oh man, I’m so detached from the outcome of it, whether it’s a team that I should be rooting for or family is rooting for or we like or whatever it may be, I’m so detached from it that you see it from a different point. You think, when a team, is so down and they go into halftime, what are those conversations? How do they come back? How does their coach coach them?

Because at that point, yes, some of it is strategy, but it’s mindset. It’s all mindset. So anyways, Serena Williams is coached by Tony. Love the guy, again. So all of these people kind of, like, fall into these same categories.

And one of the other things that I really, really love about Serena, over the last couple of years, she’s been featured on a few different magazines as number one or most powerful woman and all of those headliners, and she’s told her story a bit more. And I don’t think it was – honestly, I don’t think she could tell this story until just a few years back.

And you think about how long she’s been in the spotlight, how long she’s competed for, like her entire life – she’s got a story similar to Beyoncé. Beyoncé started her career when she was like eight years old and the training through childhood and adolescence and choosing to either have a life or to focus on a career at that age, I have so much respect for.

I don’t know that I would ever want that, to be honest. Sometimes, I look at Beyoncé and I say, wow she’s so successful. You look at Serena Williams, wow, she’s so successful. I wish I could be that successful.

I don’t know that I would have wanted to give up, or even at this point in my life, my childhood that I had and the path that has brought me to where I am today. Everybody has their own unique path. And so to sit and say – oftentimes, I look at ages. I’m like, oh well she’s 36 and she has this much success in her life and she’s done this, this, this, this, and then you start comparing.

It’s compare and despair. You compare yourself with so many people. It’s judgment. But the reality is, these women have worked their entire lives to get to where they’re at today. Beyoncé’s book – I read Beyoncé’s book, the story of her, and it’s incredible. It’s crazy. Her family has gone through bankruptcy, they’ve gone through divorces, they’ve gone through foreclosures, they’ve gone through all of the things to get her to where she’s at today.

She gave up everything. She was rehearsing and had vocal coaches and had all of these different people by her sides and different managers and people taking money or not being the best or parting ways. And everybody goes through it.

So Serena too, she’s been training her entire life. And so for anybody – and I was just talking to one of my friends about this that was in a mastermind with me this last year and she said, you don’t get to just show up and say, I’m going to make a million dollars in my business. You just don’t get to do that. Like, you have to do the work.

This is coming from a woman that has created that wealth within her business in a very short time period, three years and she hit a million dollars, she hit seven figures. However, she’s like, you don’t get to – that took hustle. That took failure. That took tears. That took working through my mindset. That meant working through financial burdens and scarcity and so many things that you have to work through in order to become and in order to achieve the successes that you want to achieve. You don’t get to just have that overnight.

So, Serena, she’s trained her entire life. And when you do that in the spotlight, like so many other people, I think it can sabotage you. You look at celebrities, so many people that lose their shit being in the spotlight and having to manage that and grow up in the spotlight. And not only grow up in the spotlight, but think about yourself for a second; so many of us are scared to put ourselves out there.

We’re scared of failure. We have this fear of failure because we have too much emphasis on what other people think about us. That’s purely what it comes down to is other people’s thoughts about us. And when you’re in the spotlight the way these women are when they start out so young, they’re scrutinized every single day about everything. Nothing can be right.

So one of the articles that I read with Serena Williams is she’s talking about how one of the biggest struggles for her was trying to please everyone. It was trying to keep everybody happy, trying to be liked with everyone, and in doing that and having that mindset, it changed the way that she showed up. It changed how she dressed.

She felt like she had to look a certain part. Ever felt that? In order to be successful, I have to look a certain way. I have to dress a certain way. I can’t wear that, it’s not appropriate or it’s too much or what will people say about me? What if I fail?

And she talks about just that. You look at her now and her and her sister, they’re known for how they dress and they’re like style icons within the tennis industry, as an athlete. And by pushing through that and saying, I’m going to wear this because I feel like wearing this. I’m going to dress this way because it makes me feel powerful and it makes me feel good… rather than. what will someone think about me, or I couldn’t possibly be the star that I want to become if I don’t dress a certain way, no one will take me seriously.

And she got scrutinized for so much of that along the way. And only until a couple of years ago, she started to step into her own strength and she started to find strength in not putting other people’s opinions of her, not letting that affect her, and that’s what she states is one of the biggest things that has allowed her to become who she is today and she loves herself.

She doesn’t have to count on other people to love her. So similar to Rachel Hollis. She was drowning in anxiety and depression and panic attacks because of outside validation of what people thought about her. And when she started to love herself for who she was and show up and who she was, that’s when that anxiety started to go away. And that’s when your success starts to take off. And that’s when you’re not looking for all of the answers outside because you know you have them right inside of you.

Serena Williams would not be who she is today if she wouldn’t have followed her heart and followed that inside burning light and had the courage to go there. Same thing with Beyoncé, you know, everybody wants to push you into this little box and make you look a certain way, dress a certain way, talk a certain way, act a certain way.

And then we think, especially as women, we become conditioned that we have to be this certain person in order to have success, in order to be respected, in order to build a life, in order to be happy. But that’s not true at all. It’s the furthest from the truth.

I was talking to another friend recently and she struggled with her body image for years, years, binging and purging, binging and purging, binging and purging, and never felt good enough for her family, always had this issue with her weight. And she said, through her endeavors, she’s now a self-made millionaire – through her work on herself, on her business, when she would have to work through the things in her business, she became stronger and she started to love herself and she said, “Now I love myself more than I’ve ever loved myself. I find myself sexy. My relationships are stronger. My sex life is stronger and I’m heavier than I’ve ever been in my life and I love myself.”

It’s so crazy when we allow ourselves to be seen and show up for us and follow our heart and look for that inner guide versus always looking for that external behavior. And you see it in people. I see it every single day now that my eyes are open to it within my own life. I see it every single day.

You show up and have a conversation with someone, you can tell the people that are trying. You can tell the people that are hiding behind things and memberships and fancy this and fancy that. You can see through it, versus the people that just show up and are real and they love themselves so much. They don’t give a shit about what you think about them.

And those are the people that people are attracted to, that you gravitate towards. So I loved that about her. She speaks to women on a level that is like, wow, Serena Williams had these thoughts. She had these same issues and struggles that she had to overcome and she’s massively successful and has been in the spotlight for years and years and years and she still had to overcome them.

Now, with that, she just put out a series on Netflix. You can find it on Netflix. And I believe it’s like four episodes and it tells her story and shows her journey of becoming a mother, finding love, one, and becoming a mother. And I can’t tell you, being a mom and being in a place where I thought I don’t think I can have a career and also be a mom, I don’t want to give up my goals and I don’t think that I can do them both.

Constantly questioning myself on that and then the conversations that I have with so many women that are on that journey or want to possibly maybe have kids – I talked myself out of having kids. I was like, I don’t need to have kids to be happy. And I truly felt like that was part of the journey that I needed to go on and I needed to find my own happiness first and feel fulfillment first before feeling like a child was going to provide happiness for me or was going to complete me.

And I had a journey of my own. It took us like three years and it was up and down and it was a rollercoaster, like many women go through. And it was a journey of miscarriages and emotions, all of those things. But through that, I thought to myself, I found other things and I learned how to create happiness and fulfillment in my life without having a child.

And then, when I found that, it just happened. And it happened so easily. And I really feel that it was the universe – whatever you believe in. For me, it’s the universe – was trying to tell me that I needed to figure out me first so that I didn’t have to be dependent on being happy through my children. And I’m so grateful for that.

And now, I can’t even imagine never having my daughter. She’s my life. She’s my rock. She’s what I live for. I want to inspire her every single day. She makes me so happy. I can’t imagine it, but we all go through our journeys.

And whether you have a family, you don’t have a family, you don’t want a family, that’s cool, do you. Everybody’s different and that’s what makes us all so great. But if you have gone on that path, and I have a lot of friends that are either pregnant or have little babies at home, it’s not a walk in the park.

And it is such a mind fuck for so many of us. So many of us that have big goals and are ambitious, because it’s this loss of control. And I think that’s one of the biggest lessons my daughter had to teach me when I was pregnant; you lose your mind. You lose this piece of yourself like, you know, if I eat healthy, if I work out, if I do all of these things, take care of myself, work on myself, I’ll feel good and I’ll be producing at this level and I’ll be performing at peak performance and all of the things that you learn along the way.

And then, all of a sudden, your hormones change and you’re sick for six months and you feel awful every single day and you can’t control it. You can’t control it. You have to surrender. There’s learning to control through that time, and then also having faith that you can come back.

And it’s a tough journey for a lot of people and I think we really have to support each other through this time. Jenna Kutcher just put out a great blog about this and basically told her story of 2018. She had such a struggle to get pregnant and she was miserably sick. She set all these big goals and she couldn’t focus on them.

She was trying to travel and she was throwing up on planes and in hotels and she lost her ambition for business. And it’s a scary thing, especially when you are the main provider or a big piece of providing for your family. It’s a huge stressor on top of things. But it allows us to become stronger as women going through this. It truly does. You find different ways. You learn different lessons, and you never know what’s going to come up. You never ever know what’s going to come up.

One of the things that, again, Serena Williams talks about, is her pregnancy and her fears with having her daughter. She had an awful pregnancy. She had blood clots and she almost died. She had a very high-risk pregnancy and she ended up having a healthy baby girl, but she did not have a walk in the park by any means.

And so often, we look at celebrities thinking their life is perfect, they have this beautiful baby, now she’s got a great career. That was not the story. She had a really, really hard pregnancy. She almost died during her pregnancy. And then on top of it, she had the same fears that so many of us have, and that was, will I be able to get back? How am I going to manage all of this?

She went back to training and the training was hard. As an athlete, you have to get back into a physically fit condition. She signed up for these different tournaments just to have a goal. And I think she had to cancel one of them and it was like defeat.

She wasn’t ready. How do I pump and how do I get back into my training sessions? And the training sessions were hard. It shows footage of her days back on the court and her breakdowns back on the court and feeling like, am I ever going to get back to who I was? And it’s a fear that so many of us have.

The reality of some of these stories that people tell and women tell, you know, we all have so much of the similar struggles or weaknesses or tough times and being able to relate to them. And when you see someone – for me, when I look at some of the people who have already done it, it’s almost like a reverse-engineer to me. Like, you set a goal and you have to figure out how to reverse-engineer it, right?

I’m never going to be Beyoncé, like, let’s get real. That would be ridiculous. I mean, I got some moves, but that would be ridiculous. And I don’t want to become Beyoncé, but I love the success that she’s created. I love her power that she’s created. I love her self-confidence and I love how she’s not just a performer. She’s truly a business owner.

And that’s the same thing with so many other women. But what we have to realize, when we look at their stories, as Rachel Hollis says, as any of these people are, it does not happen overnight and it does not happen without fear and without failure and without the obstacles that come at us.

It doesn’t happen because we’re just born into perfection. Tony Robbins had awful miserable childhood, was broke, had people wipe him out. Twice he went bankrupt or near bankrupt, but figured it out because people stole money from him. All of the things that happen if you’re willing to stick with it, if you’re willing to push through, if you’re willing to do the work, if you are committed to your dreams, there’s no stopping you.

And if you get to that point, there truly is no other way but to win. You may have losses along the way. You may have hard times, but those losses are not going to define your success. A loss of an employee, grand scheme of things, doesn’t really matter. You lose 10 grand, you have a bad month, you lose 50 grand, you lose 100 grand, you lose a million like Tony, it gets taken from you from your business manager, embezzled, guess what, tomorrow’s a new day. You start over, right?

When you’re committed to your goals and you’re committed to your success, that is what’s going to get you through. You have to be able to see it and you have to know, like you know, like you know that nothing is going to stop you. And that’s true for everyone that I’ve talked about so far. They’ve all had their struggles, they all had to start somewhere, they all had to get up and fail.

I was just watching Ellen DeGeneres’ standup show that she just came out with recently. You can find that on Netflix too, It’s hilarious. I mean, Ellen is such a good persona and she’s just so funny. There’s only a couple of episodes out. The first episode, I loved because, again, she tells her story.

She tells her story about her struggle with being gay and coming out, everything she had to hold in for so long and her fears of coming out, and then coming out and losing her sitcom; literally losing her show and going broke.

At the time she came out, this was only 15 years ago, you guys. She had already created success for herself and built a career. Can you even imagine that? And then you come out, you follow your path and everything is taken from you. For three years, she didn’t have work and she went broke.

And then she decided, okay, I’ve got to figure this out. I’m out of money, I don’t know what to do, you know. She went to people and they said, no, no one’s going to watch a lesbian. People boycotted her. The people that worked with her, then they were boycotted. They were out of work for a year, two years.

And in one of the episodes, someone asks her, what kept you going? And she goes, you know, I don’t know. It was just something inside of me that just needed to keep going, that there was something more. And that drive kept me going, even through the darkest times. Even through the times – she said, there were so many times that I wanted to quit. I had awful shows. I failed big. I was getting scrutinized by the media.

And when you’re doing something like standup comedy or have your own show, when you fuck up, everybody sees it and everybody talks about it for a really long time, especially the people that are sitting on the couch and doing shit with their life. So remember that as well.

If they are not in the ring with you, they don’t get to share their opinion of you because the people that are going to hate on you the most, the people that are going to have the biggest opinion are just the people that are jealous that you’re putting yourself out there and they’re sitting there on the sidelines. And in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter anyways.

But everybody has a story and you have to work through it. And when you are committed to whatever it is that you want to achieve in life, truly and honestly, nothing will stop you.

So, I hope that you guys got some little nuggets from today’s episode. And whether you are any of the fans of the people that I’m featuring, it doesn’t matter. The thing that matters is the message that you can take away from other people stories and learn from the people that have gone before us.

I’m so grateful for so many of the people that have gone before me that I can learn from, that I can bring into my own life. And that’s pretty powerful, when you are committed to growth as well and being a better person the next day than you were the day before. You’re always going to learn something, and that’s what’s fun. That’s what’s really fun.

So thank you all for tuning in and next week, we will have another guest I’m featuring on this short little miniseries. And then I have some awesome things in the works for all of you and some really fun interviews that I am working behind the scenes on. So I hope you all have a great week.

If you have not, it’s 2019, we are a couple weeks now into our year. If you’re working on goals yet, if you’re looking at how to scale your business, if you have not downloaded our Six-Figure Business Blueprint, check it out. It’s in the show notes, it’s totally free. You can check out that, download, and work through it and figure out where you’re at and what you need and where you want to go this year.

It’s not too late. Do it now. Do the work. Commit to your goals. Commit to your success and I will see you all next week. Thanks, guys.

Thanks for showing up and listening to this week’s episode of the Love Your Living podcast. If you’re ready to create a business and life you love or simply take your already-pretty incredible life to the next level, head on over to or simply check out the link in this week’s episode of show notes to instantly download my 6-Figure & Beyond Business Blueprint. You’re going to absolutely love it.

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