When I say we're pursuing brilliant balance. I mean, are we metaphorically strong in our core? Are we on our toes? Can we hit the mark land, the pose throughout the day at the places that matter? So we get that deep sense of fulfillment and that is very personally defined. Welcome to the imperfectly empowered podcast with DIY healthy lifestyle blogger on a former empower you to transform your life. One imperfect day at a time. Hello, and welcome back to another episode of the imperfectly empowered podcast. I am your host, Anna Fuller. Today. It is my pleasure to introduce you to Sheann sch Nicky. She land is the founder of the brilliant balance company, a coaching program that equips women with the tools they need. To break through the busyness and enjoy a thriving work life balance. I don't know about you, but I definitely need that. A renowned speaker and podcast host. Welcome. She land. Happy to be here. Yeah. It's so fun to have you. I, when you first reached out and I was looking over your sheet, I remember having the thought. Well, I need your services. if I need you, then surely a lot of my listeners could benefit from your expertise as well, but as always, I love to press rewind and talk a little bit about where you started, how you got to where you are today as this rockstar work life balance coach, really. I mean, it's incredible what you do. So share a little bit about the beginning, kind of where you started and how you got to where you are today. Sure. So I think the story probably starts best professionally where, um, when I graduated from college, I really thought I was going to go work in the fortune 500 and climb that ladder and retire. You know, I don't, were you a business major? I was a hospitality major. So I went to Cornell and I went to a hotel school and the hotel school at Cornell is essentially a business degree with a services focus. And it was perfect for me because I love hospitality and travel and all those things. But it gave me a really strong business education. Then I went on and got an MBA later, but, you know, I sort of always knew I was gonna be in that arena. And I thought I was gonna work in the hospitality industry. Like my internships were at resorts and such a great experience as a young person, but the lifestyle's not always great. And I think I knew like deep in my bones at that point that I really wanted to have a family one day and I didn't wanna be in. And operations heavy environment where, you know, you didn't get the same days off every week or there was always a crisis. So I went to work for Proctor and gamble when I left college and worked in sales and then in marketing and I stayed at P and G for 15 years. And there was a part of me that thought I could stay here forever. Mm-hmm until. That itch to do something that was really my own became stronger. Yeah. The true heart of an entrepreneur, really. I think, I think it was in there all along and yet if you asked, like my parents and my people who knew me, like I would've fit very well into a corporate culture at a point in my life and did, but that notion to like make a mark to do something that was my. To have control over. It became pretty strong. And that was for me coinciding with the years that I was having children. So I had my first two children while I was still at, uh, P and G. And then I left, um, pregnant with my third and started my first business at that time. So you had, how old were your children when you first started? My first company. So they were six, three and a newborn, I guess they were technically like five, two when I was pregnant. Right. Mm-hmm mm-hmm um, yeah. And then, so that year I started my first company, which was in the health and wellness space. And I describe it. We'll talk about that maybe a little bit later as like my starter business, like I was getting my feet wet with all of the levers of entrepreneurship. Yeah. Um, doing something I was really passionate about. I think I was clear it wasn't gonna be the long term play, but it was a. Kind of first step. And I had that business for about five years while raising three very young children and then made a decision to shut that business down and start a new one. And that kind of begins the story of the company I have today. And did you see, because I've seen this in my entrepreneur journey, but did you see a correlation with that first business and see a need among the clients that you were serving? And you're like, okay. Oh, yes. Either. Yeah, because that is quite literally what is happening over here. And talk to me a little bit about that, cuz I think that's such a fascinating, you know, not everybody is an entrepreneur and I always like to make clear, we have a lot of entrepreneurs that come onto the show and not everybody is meant to go start their own business. Right. We need everyone. We need the people willing to work the nine to five corporate jobs and there's coaches just like you, who will teach us how to thrive in those jobs. So. This is not the end all be all, but I do think it's always fascinating to hear. It's so easy to see a successful entrepreneur from a distance and miss the mess, you know, miss the struggle that went into it and the uncertainty and that I started one business and it stuck to the wall a little bit, but then I was like, ah, I think I could come up with. Yeah. So just talk to me a little bit about what that time was like for you and the mindset. Were you nervous at all? Were you it talked? Oh, I was terrified. Yeah. I think a lot of women really are very well served to start businesses where they're teaching from their life experience. Yes. You know, I think it's a really good model and I think a lot of us do it. I've done it twice where you sort of get through something some chapter of life and then pick your head up and go, you know, I learned some things there that might be valuable to other people who seem to still be struggling with. That, you know, you're sort of teaching your former self. So my first business was very much in that space and I was working with women who were trying to reconcile their relationship with food, and that could be their own, like, they didn't feel like they were eating very well or didn't know how to, or there was a lot of like disordered patterns in the way they were eating. And they wanted, like, I would say my client at that time wanted a sense of peace and confidence with food. That was like, she was feeling good in her body with what she was. And sometimes it was about feeding their family. Well, like I know what to do, but I can't get anybody else to eat this way. So that business was called nourish and it was the tagline was feed your wellbeing. And it was really, I loved what I was doing. However, yeah, this is where you, you had this insight in those conversations, which included some coaching elements. What I learned was it's never about the food. Right. The relationship with food is always just a manifestation of some other thing that hasn't been sorted out in life. And it's like where it chose to glam onto. And that was definitely part of my story. And I knew if it was part of my story and I was hearing it over and over again with these women, that there was a bigger sort of change that I could help them make. And if you think about all the reasons we turned to food, right. It's overwhelm or loneliness or whatever, right. Mm-hmm , mm-hmm and those were the issues that I was more interested in helping with. So that audience of women who were time starved, but, you know, really ambitious who were essentially pursuing the most important years of their professional lives while also the most important years of their personal lives, arguably right. Raising children. Became, I knew that was the audience I wanted to serve. And so I'd worked with enough of them over those five years to learn what were really the challenges. And that became the, the sort of springboard to brilliant balance, which is designed to help those women like achieve their biggest aspirations while. They are taking care of raising a family at the same time. And, you know, as you well know, it's pretty easy to get lost in the middle of that. If you're not very easy, it is almost impossible. Yes. Without some guidance and accountability yeah. And intentionality, like I think the thing that we can buy into is, well, it is what it is and the cultural narrative right now. It is what it is. And so just settle in for the ride, just get through from, you know, coffee, time to wine time and BMS, and it's, we're all in it together. And I think there are some elements of that that are very comforting and reassuring in that, you know, we certainly do not all have it figured out most definitely. I do not just ask my family. Right, right. but there are things we can do to feel a whole lot better, sort of no matter what we're navigating. And that's what I'm super passionate about. Yeah, it's this dichotomy between authenticity, but then also complacency it's like navigating that very, very careful tension between the two where you certainly want to be authentic, know where your worth really is your true value, but also recognize that that's not an excuse then for complacency, whatever that may. You know, what I think about a lot is the serenity prayer. And it really is that that knowing the difference right? Between what am I going to have to accept? Because this is not changeable. This is I have to honor my humanness. I have to honor my reality, but then also changing the things I can because there are some things that we can. Re-engineer and if we're pretty intentional about that, just kind of, I usually say like if we just double click on the problem and really think about, is there a better way to do this? Often there is. And that's sometimes where the magic happens is we learn like, oh, if I wouldn't have even looked at that, I would've just tolerated it for a really long time. Yeah. It's being willing to do the hard things to take all that, the hard self look and evaluation and say, okay. And that is, that is really difficult, especially when you're. Because you don't have time, you don't have time. Do the self-reflection and the self-evaluation, especially as a mom, when you're juggling all of that. Yeah. You just put your head down and do the things, right, right. Not, you don't think about how you're doing that. You just do that, right. Yeah. Right. A couple blood pressure medications later in cholesterol. And then finally you get to that boiling point where maybe it's a mental health issue and yeah. So it's trying to get ahead of that. So that we're not even getting to that point, which is why Cheryl Anne is here. another question I like to ask, because we're obviously all about embracing imperfection here in your years of launching these two businesses. Can you think of a time where maybe even this, just as a parent and speaking of work life balance, where you made a significant mistake, but it was a launching pad to a lesson learned or. Transformation that you saw in your life? Sure. I mean, there are hundreds of examples, right? For like all same. Let me count the ways, how much I know. And I, I think I am, um, look, if you would've asked 20 year old me or 25 year old me to answer that question, um, I think I would've really struggled to admit mm-hmm , you know, to frame it as like, that's something that I, I did wrong or it was a failure. And I think there's just, I just have a very different relationship with that whole word at this point in my life. Like, I look back at things that failed as like, well, what was in that for me? What was the lesson there that I carried forward and what was, what came out of the pain and who did I grow closer to? And it sounds so dorky, but it's true. Like. That changes everything because you stop being sort of in a cascade of shame and mm-hmm, really start looking at it as like eyes forward, you know, like we're, I'm still here. So what am I doing about it? One of the ones that stands out to me professionally, and I tell this to every. Business owner. I know, but I also think it would be true in a family. I think it would be true in a corporate environment when I was in that second business. So I had shut down the first business and I was kind of getting, I was in like, pre-launch almost for the next one. I really thought I knew what people wanted. I thought from having talked to everyone, uh, for five years in the first business that I knew what it was. So I kind of went into like the secret workshop and started building and offering. Which was at the time gonna be a membership site. And I was so excited about the content and like, we're just building away. You know, we invested in a platform. I had two women on my team part-time, um, who played really important roles in helping build that. And we were so excited and so proud of it. And we launched it and it wasn't quite crickets, but close, you know, like we had a handful of people who said, yeah, this seems good, but we were really missing like the core value proposition. And when I look back on that, I'm like the idea that I was. Would've gone through all of that work and all of that investment and all of that time to launch something that I didn't know if anybody wanted, it was like my perfectionism on overdrive. Right. I couldn't let anybody see it until it was perfect. And in my mind, and yet it, it didn't have market value. The lesson in that was the, uh, you know, maybe six months later. And I will admit I needed outside guidance to figure this out. We took an entirely different approach and I essentially said, Hey, I'm thinking about building this thing. Would you want it let's have a conversation about it talked to a handful of people. Like, I think there were seven who said, yeah, I think I would want that. Had them buy it and then literally built it. You know, just to have around what they wanted. Yes. Yeah. So, I mean, this is straight out of Silicon valley startup culture, but I think that a lot of us who come out of corporate environments and try to start something for the first time are trying so hard to perfect it that we miss. Really talking to our, our market about what, how can I be of service? What do you really need and want? And so I just try to repeat that over and over again with my family, like, have you ever done, you bought the perfect holiday gift and you're like, here it is. And they're like, yeah, I don't want that. You know? Cause you didn't ask. So I think it, it just plays out in so many ways. I think that's a brilliant example. I mean, I even think there's times where I've asked, not my youngest child, Lord only knows what parents would be, but like my older two. And I'll say, what could I do better as a mom? What do you wish? I mean, some of it is like, I wish you'd buy more candy. Sure. Well, about that. It's good. Right? Exactly. Keep dreaming. Uh, Christmas time, but you know, it is it's that concept of having that open conversation. And I think if nothing else, there's this huge advantage to placing yourself in a position of humility. Mm-hmm I think that's really what it comes down to is it's this willingness to say? I don't know it all. And I'm willing to partner with you. To ultimately create something that is going to be of value, whether that be as a mom or a friend or a business owner. I mean, the list to your point goes on and on and on. I think that's a brilliant example. It's servant leadership really is what it is. You know, there's so much in at least the entrepreneurial space about being of service, right. Air quotes, being of service. And I think we talk about it in corporate environments as servant leaders and families. Like how can I be of service to my family? But if you really internalize what that means, it means it has to matter to them. Like you have to offer your gifts, your talents, your capabilities, but it has to meet a need. And if there's this gap like here I am, oh, I'm doing I'm offering, but they don't need it. It doesn't, it kind of falls on deaf ears. And I think we are frustrated and resentful as the offer. And so are they because their needs, aren't getting met. right. So you're absolutely right. Kids will tell you, spouses will tell you if we're patient enough to ask. Yeah. And willing enough to humble yourself and hear the hear the answer. No, but I thought you needed this and they're like, no, I need this. It is it's. So it's so hard. It's so hard to do. If you could sum up the secret to success, whether it be a success at home success in the work environment, success, whatever that means for anybody listening and in your own life. You could sum it up in one word, what would it be? Fulfillment. Mm. And that's just the first word that came to me. When you said it, I'm like, okay, don't overthink this. Don't overthink. Oh, that's fulfillment. Yeah. And, and can I expand on why I please say that? Yes. When I hear the word success, there's like, There's an externalization of it. Like, it's almost like we're letting other people, judge, are we successful or we're looking at them and saying, well, they appear to be successful, but fulfillment is very internal. You know, how would, you know, if that person who by all cultural markers has achieved success? How do you know if it, how it feels on the inside? And I think that's really what I'm chasing. That's what I'm trying to get. The women in our coaching community to chase is like that deep internal knowing of is this working for. And nobody else gets to decide that. So, you know, you think about the traditional markers of success, whether it's money or prestige or impact or power. And we're not gonna argue about whether those are true. Like they just are culturally, that is definition, but it doesn't mean it would feel good to us to have, and it might mean it would feel great. Right. So fulfillment to me is where you get that intersection of how does it feel? Does it feel right for you right now? That's what I'm. I think it's, it's a perfect word for it. And it's the first time it's been said. And I think even. I mean, there's countless interviews with people in Hollywood who will say that very, very thing. And again, talking about the cultural definition of success, you know, you see this big name, they've made a lot of money. They have a significant impact and influence. And then they get on this interview a couple years later and they share how miserable they were and how they were missing their own sense of fulfillment because they got lost in the noise and the success and the fame. And at the end of the day, to your point, they didn't actually feel fulfilled. Therefore, Were they truly successful maybe in the world's eyes, but not in their own. Yeah. And I think if we're not checking in regular, like if we don't have a practice to check in and say, how do I feel? Yeah. Right. How is this going for me this week, this day? You know, this season of life, like, is this work like, cuz I'm telling you can drive up and down any street and be like, boy, look at all the success. And yet you're not in that home knowing like what's the conversation at the dinner table. Right. And, and I, I think that's really dangerous. And social media is not a good indication people. No, no. We have to remind ourselves this though, because the social influence, whether it's social media, whether it is a magazine that you pick up, I mean, there's so even within our churches, there is so much societal influence as to what ultimately defines happiness and. We let that influence us. And we don't even realize half the time we're influenced by it. And I don't know how you feel about this. So I'd love to hear, but I don't think it ever will. I think we can keep saying, be more authentic on social media and you know, the tools are trying to get us there, but there is privacy. Like there are some things that are just not. They're not for sharing with a broad audience of people who are often strangers in our social media arena. Right? So where we get that level of support and encouragement and love essentially has to come from our real world connections that are in close and who we trust with those stories and those struggles, um, because I don't think we're ever gonna see it from the community at large, nor really should. There's like, there's a level, but it's, but I don't think we're ever gonna really get into the depth at that, with that world. Yeah. And I think it's the idea of balancing. I mean, it's a platform, it's a beautiful platform to be able to reach people. It can be beautiful, I should say. And an opportunity to reach people with your message in a much broader sweep than you may have been able to once upon a time. But I totally agree with you. I think there is a balance between authenticity and. Oversharing and losing that sense of privacy. So yeah, it is wears that balance. I mean, I'm always trying to be in that space where I am authentic and that my marriage is not perfect. like my kids scream, they yell, but that doesn't mean I have to show my kids screaming and yelling on Instagram, but I think it's still important to convey that sense that listen, we're real life over here. You know, my house is always messy, complicated, and that's beautiful and real, but it's not all going to be for public consumption, correct? Correct. Cause I'm busy living it. exactly not photographing it. Busy living over here. Yeah, absolutely. Well, and I think the reminder too, I mean, for myself, I didn't have any social media before I started this blogging virtual business world. And. You know, I quickly discovered this whole other universe quite literally. And it was very disturbing in many ways, but what has been really neat is that the relationships that I have formed are real, but they're suboptimal. And it's that concept that I am still affecting real people. What I put, because sometimes we forget that. Yes, we forget that what we're putting in the virtual space is being seen and consumed. By real people. And in one sense, we're constantly chasing after the numbers. And we forget that the people who are already there and bought in are truly consuming what we're putting out there. But then on the flip side, it's still a suboptimal. Relationship. And so the goal is still to be building that community with real life people. And then the moments that you do get to meet those followers and they become those real life. People is really, that's a beautiful moment too, that I've thoroughly enjoyed. Yeah. But I love that point that you made. I think it's important for all of us to keep in mind that's social network. Is suboptimal relationship as real as it is. So make sure you have your people close in hand. Everyone. Social media is not enough. We are going to take a quick break, but when we come back, stay tuned, we're gonna play a speed round of this or that with Cheryl and get to know her a little bit better. And we are going to hear her expert advice on breaking through the busyness to enjoy a balanced. Work life. Right? When we get back from this break, you have tried it all worried. You will never lose the extra weight or reclaim the energy you once enjoyed, want to achieve fat loss without spending hours in a gym or eliminating entire food groups from your diet. While now you can in the virtual faster way to fat loss with Anna. Six week fitness nutrition program. You will learn how to pair effective 30 minute workouts with all natural evidence based nutritional strategies to leverage what you eat. And when you eat to reset your metabolism and burn fat fast, even that stubborn belly fat. I am a dual certified nurse practitioner, passionate about teaching sustainable strategies to promote fat loss and prevent disease. I have cheered on thousands of clients who have done just that with the faster weight program in my six week program, the average client currently sheds seven inches of body fat. 93% report, more energy and 89% state that their mental health has improved 100% of clients report. They feel this program is sustainable. Curious to try the program, but not sure if the strategies will work for you. Try the faster way strategies for free head to www.hammersandhugs.com and sign up for. Free seven day fat loss accelerator course today and start your own transformation story. We are back with Cheryl Ann, all Cheryl Ann, we're gonna play a quick speed round of this or that two options, no stress. First thing that comes to mind, burger or hot dog burger, favorite burger you've ever had in my backyard. Ooh, that's a great answer. It's funny. I've never actually thought about my own answer to that question. That's a good one. Candy or baked goods. Baked goods. What's your favorite baked? Good. My mom's chocolate chip cookies. Ooh. What's her secret. Do you know? I do know, but I can't share I guess then it wouldn't be a secret Anna. Exactly. Okay. My secret, by the way, is vanilla pudding. The ones that I make have instant vanilla putting in they're so, so good. Now I'm hungry. All right. Would you rather go to a movie theater or a concert hall, concert hall? Do you have a favorite concert that you've ever been to? Uh, yes. So, but I was thinking more like orchestra concert when I said, yeah, sure. However, favorite concert I've ever, ever been to? Would've been you two, which I went to been right after we had our first daughter. Yeah. Have you been to a concert hall? Can you think of like of an orchestra? So music hall in, I live in Cincinnati and music home. Cincinnati is like a. Absolutely gorgeous historic building and um, every single time we've been there for anything. I just, I feel like it's like a trip back in time to like another world. I love it. Yes. Yeah. Yeah. I'm actually super weird. I don't love concerts, but I love like orchestral type concerts. I would rather go to an. Like a major orchestra performance than I would. I know what to do with myself there. I don't know what to do with myself at a big rock concert. I'm like all the screaming people with hands in the air and they're throwing things. I'm literally weirded it out by it. I'm like, oh my. So I feel very know what to do if I'm in a seat in everyone's behaving. Yeah. Such a great point. Would you rather cook or decorate? Okay, well, let's switch you come to my house and cook. I'll decorate to you. what's your favorite thing to cook? Do you have a very favorite thing that you look forward to? Do you have a repeat meal cook so much? I, I could never pick one thing. It is. It is wonderful. Truly like my deepest passion. So I love that. Give me anything. Yeah. Yeah, it's so funny, cuz I'm a fitness nutrition coach and I have these regular meal plans, but I actually, I enjoy creating recipe. I don't enjoy just making dinner every day. I wish I did you do. I, you know, I would say a lot of women do. I think that's wonderful. My style is probably like in a garden, barefoot Contessa, but with a healthy twist. Yeah. Like I can sort. But that farm fresh, like abundant, rough chop. I that's, that's my jam. I love that. Yeah. I have dreams of a massive garden. Maybe I would enjoy cooking more if I. Felt that sense of satisfaction that I grew this food, uh, who, I don't know, gardens are a lot of work. They are a lot of work. Yeah. That's why I had children for chores. Yeah. And to take care of the garden one day. Um, okay. Would you rather go to New York or Paris? Paris? How about London or Paris? Paris Paris. Yeah, but I, I do love both. We, we took our family to, um, London, Paris and Rome right before Pam. Oh, fun two. Wait, how old are your children now? My children now are 17, 15 and 12. Oh, that's so fun. Yeah. So this was three years ago. They were nine, 12 and 14 when we did that trip and it, we called it the highlights tour because I just was like, just, we're only gonna see the big stuff in these three cities. And then we can go back to whatever, you know, kind of caught their interest, but London and Paris, very different vibe. Um, and I liked them both for different reasons. Yeah. I definitely wanted to get back to Europe. I actually grew up in Scotland but it's like vague memories, you know, not. Memory of an adult. So I would love to, yes, it's different. Yes. I would love to go back. Well, we are gonna chat about breaking through the busyness. This is ultimately what you have built this very successful coaching business around. And one of the things that I think needs to be talked about first, before we can even define and explain the tools to break through. That sense of busyness to enjoy a balanced work life. Talk to me about what you have seen in this sense of addiction to busyness, because I am right there. I love being busy. I thrive when I'm busy, you take away a schedule and to do list and I'm like, I like become a vegetable. You know what I mean? Like I have to have that sense of I'm productive. Mm-hmm yes. And that can easily become. Too much. And so just talk to me about this concept of our society's addiction to business and especially the challenge as women and how you've seen that, how you've seen it hurting us. I mean, this thing has tentacles, right? So when I said earlier, you have to sort of double click on whatever problem is really in the way a lot of women would say. My problem is I have too much to do and not enough time to do it. Mm-hmm right. And so they, they want to come at the solution from how do I become more productive? How do I get more done? How do I fit more in to the time that I have? Right. And there there's a, I think there's a deep awareness that. Most of us have more to do than we really have time to do it. When I say it has tentacles, there really are a number of different things underneath that, that are driving that dynamic. One of them is we are absolutely terrible at making choices like terrible. We don't have a process for making choices. We don't define things as choices that actually are right. Mm-hmm we look at them as it's not a choice, but it is a choice. We don't see the long term Ram. Give me an example of that. Give me an example of it that you see. Um, so I have to, someone might say I have to drive my children 25 minutes, each way to school. Like I have to drive them to school and come home and actually go pick them up and come home every day. And this is taking like two hours out of every day, but it is a choice. It's a choice to be the person driving. It's a choice that they're in that school. It's a choice that you do the drive every day. Like there are choices underneath that, that once you've decided they're in this school and I'm their driver, then you're right. It is what it is. But like if you kind of go back a half step, there are lots of ways to. Does that make sense? Mm-hmm , mm-hmm um, or we can't have dinner as a family because the kids have practices in five different directions, you know? Um, okay. Well the choices are they en enrolled in that activity? That's a choice. And so I, I can be a little hardcore about that because I, I really believe everything is a choice. Mm-hmm there are like, so few things you don't have a choice about. Absolutely. Um, and part of that, one of the tentacles is that we assign rules to the roles that we have in life. Like while I'm the mom. So I'm supposed to be the one who puts dinner on the table or who drives them to practice or who tucks them in at night or who, whatever. Some moms for any, any of those three things I just named it's their favorite time of day. They love it. Like put me in the car, let me drive. Right. Or let me make that meal. Like I said before about myself, or I wanna do the tuck-in other moms are like, I would choose to do that differently. But I don't feel like I can. So one of the things driving this kind of narrative of busy is we, the job of motherhood, especially has been laid in with like so many rules about how you do it. And it, it honestly just keeps getting worse. Like we just keep piling on more expectations around what it means to be a. Air quotes, good mom, right in this era of history. So that's another thing. And then I think competitiveness, like we are inherently competitive. And so if you see someone else, and again, you're capturing her highlight reel, you see one mom at drop off or pickup and her hair's done. She's got a great bag. And she looks pulled together and you're like, well, she looks like that a hundred percent of the time. She's got a great bag. I love that you pointed that out. I never noticed bags, but. My problem. I notice shoes right? Sure. Not. And it, those like those snippets and snapshots become well, that must be what her, every moment of every day is like. Yeah. Yeah. And you just don't know. Right. Right. So that competitive comparing of when I said earlier, we're not in other people's homes, knowing what it feels like. For an example in my household, my mom and dad are very involved in just helping manage things. They live 20 minutes away. They moved here when my oldest daughter was a baby and they're very involved in driving. So if I, that buys me time every day. Right. Because when I'm setting up my carpool driving schedule, I'm able to plug them in for shifts of driving people. And I take mine, but I'm not like in this I'm drowning and I have no help and support. Right. So that might give me time to brush my hair before I go. Whereas somebody else really doesn't. I think that competitive nature is a big piece of the busy narrative is like, we're trying to do it all. And then another one is we're terrible at asking for. So we're terrible at making choices, right? We're terribly competitive and we are terrible about accepting or asking for help. So how many times does this happen to you? This makes me crazy. Even if someone offers like, Hey, I'll get your kid. The person's like, no, no, no, I'll get them. Why are we doing this? Why are we rejecting proactive offers of help? Right. And I think I'm very focused on driving in carpools, cuz school just started for my children like in the last week. And it is, it's a great example though. Bloon right of driving mm-hmm but it could be anything. It could be. It's like we get those offers of help and we just. Reject them out of some sort of misguided pride. Like if we don't do it all with our bare hands, it doesn't count. So I think that's, it's a tentacle thing. Like they're all in the mix of how we end up in this world of like, we're just really busy and kind of proud of it. Yeah. I, I mean, what you touched on, I just did an interview. This is something that spans, I think humanity, I mean, men and women inherently struggle with things a little differently, but, um, the need to do things ourselves, sort of that all or nothing mentality. Is so destructive and really what it comes down to is the idea of delegation mm-hmm, , it's being able to delegate. And we just had this whole Zack Bower master for anyone who's interested. He's a, a principal who talked about humble leadership, how that is the secret to thriving as a leader is humility. But the thing that we talked about was this idea of delegation. And it's interesting from a man's perspective because the struggle is real for. Both of us, but for women, it looks a little different because you said of you made a great point, the pressures of motherhood. So we add these little mini humans in our lives to those pressures and that busyness expands tenfold, especially if you're also balancing a work life work. Yes. So you're now having this pressure of doing everything, not just at work, but also this mentality as a mom. And I'll just throw this in here for anybody who is hearing me for the first time, who is a friend of she lands, my listeners have heard me say this a million times, but delegate to accelerate, literally, whatever it is that you wanna see happen in life, you wanna accelerate to get there, whether it be better, mental health, less anxiety. More productivity. You have to learn to be able to delegate. And I'll just throw this in here really quick that the bottom line is it is actually hurting other people to not delegate. Not only are you hurting yourself, but delegation is empowering somebody else to do what they do well, possibly even better than you. And why not let them thrive in something that they're really good at doing to allow you to do what you love to do. Ultimately fills you with light, just talked to a business owner client about this yesterday of mine. Yeah. And what I was saying to her is you have to change your scoreboard. Like you think you get points for doing it and you're being helpful. And a servant leader, you get points now for not doing it. Like anytime you don't do it, you get mental point. Cause I think we all have some kind of currency and we kind of got addicted like in school. And then in early in our careers, like the more we did, the more points we got, you know what I'm saying? So I'm like, you gotta change. What's point a point now is not doing it. and offloading it to someone else to do. And you know, I think that's where you come face to face with control. We don't like to give up control. And I think that's another piece that's under this busyness. Mm-hmm is we just don't think anyone can do it as well as we do. mm-hmm well, and that's what, you know, that's what I've found in my own life. When I was a great example is when I was a nurse practitioner in the ER, and I helped start up these two stroke programs for two different local hospitals and the whole process that we configured that ultimately ended up being so successful. Was we empowered the nursing staff to make independent decisions of us as providers, because it gave us more time to see other patients. And until it was absolutely essential that we needed to be there, we empowered them to pretty much do the entire process independent of us. Hm. And there were so many ways that that ended up being a very successful program, but that's true of so many areas in our life is if you want to be able to do more of the things that you love to do. Then delegating also includes equipping someone else with the tools. If you know that this is done really well this way, then teach them how to do it, teach them how to do it so that it can be done well. So it's sort of that balance of, yes, you're giving it up to somebody else, but you're also equipping them with the tools that, you know, will lead to success. Right. And that's leverage time. Right. Because once you've taught them how to do it, right. You don't just get the time back, the one, you get it back over and over ongoing. Yeah. Yep. It compounds itself. Absolutely. And time you can't get back. Mm-hmm there is. No way to get a return on your time when it's gone, it's gone. You have mentioned, certainly we've touched on a lot of different points here. The struggles, the pain points of busyness, how we see that ultimately negatively impacting our lives. What are the strategies then, conversely, that you. Empower women to employ in order to try to break through that and enjoy more balance in life. Delegation clearly is one that we've touched on, but share with me some strategies that women who ultimately are getting more done. What kinds times of strategies are they actually employing? Yeah, I wanna be really specific about this and I'm, I'm gonna kind of please take you up a three step ladder. Yeah. Um, so when I think about balance, I'm not thinking about a static construct. So I think the first thing we have to make sure that the listener is. Kind of on the same page. That balance to me is a dynamic construct. Meaning I picture like Misty Copeland dancing in the American ballet. And if you picture Misty Copeland or Google her, if you don't know her, you get this like just. Icon of strength and grace, right. And power, but she is moving, but there's balance, right? She has to be upright. She has to have a strong core. There's like this sense of knowing like where she is in space. That's my metaphor for balance versus like a pie chart. Right. Or. Scales that we're trying to balance because those outdated metaphors imply that balance is something we can sort of arrange like a puzzle and then walk away from, and it'll stay that way. And I don't know about your household, but my household doesn't stay anyway. Like it changes every day, child just stay there and don't move. Right, right. I mean, you know, they they're sleeping through the night, then they're not sleeping through the night. Right. They're thriving in school, then they don't have any friends like it. Right. Just like constant change. And then not to mention all the changes at work. So I wanna get really anchored into, like, when I say we're pursuing brilliant balance. I mean, are we strong in our core? Not literally okay. Like metaphorically strong in our core. Are we on our toes? Can we kind of hit the mark land, the pose throughout the day at the places that matter? So we get that deep sense of fulfillment. So I am, we are chasing fulfillment ultimately, and that is very. Personally defined. So we, I think this works like a progression. If, if you're assessing, like why do I not feel that way today? And someone listening will be like, I do not feel fulfilled today. Mm-hmm you, I start at the bottom and I say like, do you have enough energy to move through your day feeling good? So I think of this one as power. This is the first of three PS power is like, what am I doing to power my day? Am I getting enough sleep? Am I eating well, am I moving my body? Do I have a collection of practices that I do with regularity that allow me to feel like the best me? And if you look at women who are thriving and you ask them, do you have a collection of practices that you do with regularity? Their answer will be yes. If they think for a minute, Right. So for me, sleep is paramount. I do not negotiate about sleep. If I don't get sleep, I make it up. Like it is, I do not function without enough sleep. I don't even try. Right. My emotions are raw. My thinking is not clear. Sleep is like. Just mission, critical food and movement matter a ton time alone matters to me, you know, time to let my brain learn something and be creative is really important for me, but it could be tennis. It could be time with a sibling. It could be time outside. Like we all know the things that really make us feel like a healthy whole human. So that's the first P is power. Once you kind of know how to construct a day, so that you're feeling powered up, then you get to sort of survive in advance. Right? So the next P is productivity. And this is where we think about how do you make use of your. So if the first one is making use of your energy, this is making use of your time. And so here, I think about up cycling time, like what is of the, you know, lowest use that you're like, I'm kind of wasting this time and then how can I repurpose it to something that's actually advancing me in the direction? I wanna move my life. So how do you do that? I think about. Like an SOS method, right? You're gonna either stop doing something. You're gonna offload it to someone else you were talking about delegating. Right? You could also pay someone like outsource it mm-hmm or you're gonna just simplify it. So the same task takes less time. That's it? There's not another say that again. The SOS. I love that. Yeah. So it's stop doing it. Mm-hmm offload it. Or simplify it mm-hmm perfect. And those three things, if you are looking at your time and saying, all right, I gotta get time available for the things that are gonna make me feel more fulfilled, things that are gonna make me feel more like I'm on my, a game, then you have to stop doing the things or do them in less time that are kind of draining you, right? Like you have to quote unquote, do them, but they're. So we talk a lot about productivity through that lens. Productive means I had an intention for my week. I knew what I meant to do. And then I was in, in integrity to my plan. I did it. Right. If you don't have a plan and you do a bunch of stuff, you don't feel very good because you're like, I don't even know if I did the right stuff. So that combination of intention and integrity kind of sits in the middle of that productivity cycle. So if you have a powerful day and you're feeling energized and you have a productive week and you've gotten the things done that you meant to do, then you sort of start being able to have some head space, to think about questions of possibilities and purpose. Right. What would I wanna do next? What do I wanna learn? Who do I wanna be? What do I wanna go do in the world? Right. What experiences do I wanna have? And those, honestly, those are the things we are sitting around dreaming about. Mm-hmm like, and often saying, but I can't, I can't do it cuz I don't have any time. Right. I can't write the book. I can't start the business. I can't launch the thing. I can't redo the kitchen. I can't whatever, because there's all these constraints on my life that I can't figure out how to sort through. So when we. Our days kind of in rhythm and we bring our weeks into rhythm. We, we really do start to get the head space to explore those possibilities. And that's what brings us an alignment with really our own path that makes us feel the most fulfilled. So that's, you know, when you think about strategies, we wanna skip over what we think is like, this is too easy. Oh my God. Are we really gonna talk about sleep again? Yes. We're gonna talk about sleep again because well, anyone who's listened to me know sleep is yes. I mean, absolutely sleep is essential. Sleep is the body's holistic reset button. Yes. And I bet I'm telling you, we're still not doing it. By and large, if you look at the data, like we're the, yeah. You and I have gotten the memo, but our society has not gotten the memo yet. Yeah. So that is like, I did a podcast on that. If anyone wants 13 tips to sleep better at night, scientifically proven strategies, check it out. It is perfect. Essential. Every element of your health will improve. All of it. Yes. With, and you know, and I think that's the realm you've done a ton of work in right. Is like when I am a healthy whole functioning human, then I can actually think straight. And I would say that second P for us is really all about executive function. Like it's planning and organizing and optimizing so that things are smoother. So there's a rhythm and a cadence to the week and you're not just like. Flying around with your pants on fire, which is unfortunately how a lot of us, there's like a frantic energy to how we're moving through the week and the most exciting stuff to me, because it's really what people say when they want balance is I want more time to do what I want to do and less time doing what I feel like I have to do. Mm-hmm , you know, anyone who says my work life balance is terrible, is really saying. The things that I feel like I am being handed and I have to do it. And I don't really like it. I'm accepting those and I'm doing those and they're just eating up too much of my time and energy and I'm frustrated, right. Or I'm resentful because I'm not getting to do these things that my like heart and soul are yearning to do. And that's the balance that we want to reconcile inside of the work that I do with our. I love that. Tell me some of the, the tools, something that I have seen on your website. I've seen you talk about is something called calendar control, and we're gonna actually have a freebie, um, that Charlene has generously shared for anybody who wants to sign up for it. But tell me a little bit about this concept of calendar. Control. Sure. I mean, if I had to boil it down to probably the biggest aha that people get from that training, it's the integration of your calendar with your to-do list? So most people are living in a two system paradigm. Like I have a calendar and that's for my appointment. And I have a, to do list or maybe 27 to do lists, right. Kind of scattered around the house on post-it notes and yellow pads and envelope. Amen. I have so many sticky notes in so many different moments. right. Do this, don't forget this. And I think at the core of calendar control is we. You. And I ultimately are one human being moving through a chronological day, doing one thing at a time. So whether or not we have noted that we like took a shower this morning on our calendar. We did. And it took some of our time. Right. We went downstairs and made a cup of coffee and that took some time. Now I'm not suggesting that you write that stuff on your calendar but the reality is we're moving through a chronological day, day, right? One moment at a time. And when we acknowledge that, we start to see the integration between tasks we're doing for work tasks. We're doing as a parent or as a human. Right. And they're just kind of. Blending into this, this sequence of time. What we often don't do proactively is say, I have a lot of stuff I wanna get done. It's not time stamped. Like it's not an appointment on my calendar. We don't schedule it. Right. We don't say like, oh, that task of, you know, it could be anything from like right. Drafting the notes for your next podcast to getting your will organized with an attorney mm-hmm right. Mm-hmm those tasks live off in like, sort of never, never land and they don't make it into the calendar. So the something my listeners will have heard me say a ton is what gets scheduled gets done. And so the calendar control system is about having a, running to do list in one place. Kind of that master list and then having a process for integrating elements of that into your calendar a week at a time. So that those things actually get done in your to-do list gets smaller instead of longer. Oh, I think it's a beautiful concept too, because then you're not overwhelming your day. It's reconciling, like you said, the to-do list with the calendar and gradually incorporating it in as opposed to cramming, cramming everything in to a day. It's a way to visualize. How much time things will take. And I think you quickly confront a skill gap. Like some people are not good at estimating. Yeah. So they'll say, oh, that's a 20 minute task. And then it takes two hours. And, and a few weeks into this process you learn, like, where was your skill gap that probably was underneath some of your overwhelm and then it can kind of start to result? Well, I think it's a beautiful practical tool as well to also learn how to triage. Your time mm-hmm so you're also starting to visually see in that chronological day. Okay. This is a task it's on my to-do list, but it must get done in this chronological order. Yes. This on the other hand does not have an expiration date. But it still should get done at some point. So I think that's a, I think it's a great way. It's like you're reconciling urgent important, right? Like the Steven cubby model and the problem of course is the non-urgent never gets done. So this is a way to kind of get scheduled, create some space for those. Yeah. I love that. So tell me about the freebie that you are offering. The link is going to be, and the show notes. If you're watching on YouTube, you can click right down here. It will be there and you can also find it on the show notes, blog, post@hammersandhugs.com. But what will people get when they sign up for this content? A training and how to do the system. So, you know, kind of step by step. How exactly do you put that system in place so that you can get the benefits from it right away? Like, it's pretty simple to execute once it's laid out for you. And we lay it out in that training. I love it. So if you want the calendar control, click on it, you're basically going to learn how to turn your to-do list. Into a done list that makes me happy. Just even saying it. I love checking stuff off. I love those check boxes, Shirley Ann. It was an honor to have you on the podcast. I pray God's richest blessing over your heart, your home, your kids, your business, your changing lives. And I'm grateful that you're here. Thank you. Thanks for having me. Thanks for listening to this episode of the imperfectly empowered podcast. I would love to hear your thoughts from today. Head to your preferred podcasting platform and give the show an honest review and let me know what you think. Remember, you cannot be redefined only redeveloped one imperfect day at a time. Your story matters and you are loved.

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