5 Pillars to Guide Life Outside of 9 to 5 with Anna Lundberg

5 Pillars to Guide Life Outside of 9 to 5 with Anna Lundberg

Brett: All right. Welcome to this live edition of the Corporate Escape Podcast. I'm your host, Brett Trainor. Today I am super excited to have Anna Lundberg join the show.

Anna is the founder of One Step Outside where she helps experience professionals around the world design a career of business and a lifestyle that brings them more freedom, flexibility, and fulfillment outside of the conventional nine to five. And my audience that will sound familiar, so awesome. Uh, Anna Le, her corporate career.

P and G or Proctor and Gamble back in 2013 to start our own company that provided digital marketing consulting to well-known brands like Burberry. Interesting. And then exciting new startups and solopreneurs, and now combines our expertise in corporate marketing with their training and coaching and positive psychology techniques to help people reimagine the next phase of their career with the blend of life coaching and business mentoring.

We'll get into why she made that pivot in a couple minutes. Um, lastly, in addition, Anne is also the host of her own podcast, reimagining Success, which I'm a big fan of, so you should check it out. And she's off the author of at least two books. You can correct me, Anne, if it's two books, uh, leaving the Corporate nine to five, and her latest book outside the nine to five, welcome to the podcast.

Anna. Did I, did I miss anything? Hi.

Anna: No. Funnily off I've written, I've read another book back in the day, which was How to Succeed in Your First Job. So I've really covered the full span of starting your job and finishing your

Brett: that's awesome.

Anna: there you go. But thanks so much, Brett, for having me on. Excited to get, uh, get talking about these

Brett: Yeah, that's, that means your next book is gonna be How to Enjoy Retirement, right When You Stop Working.

Anna: Well, you say that I do get quite a few older gentlemen coming to me wanting to, you know, reimagine that next stage so that there, there are moments throughout our lifetime from the beginning of the career to the end, to the end, I mean, to the sort of later stages when, when it's exciting to rethink what matters to us.

And, and, you know, we are living longer lives, we are having more careers. So lots of moments in life to, to think about

Brett: Yeah. And I love the reimagine, right, with, if we take care of ourselves, we're gonna live a lot longer. And you know, I tell folks, I don't know if I'll ever retire. I mean, if I could do, I don't know if I'll do this for another 20 years. But I want to do something. So figuring out what that, that next stage is is always exciting to me.

So, um, before we get started, let's, let's get back to a little bit, you know, Proctor and Gamble. Good job. You know, what was your kind of tipping point that, that made you leave? And then we can kind of transition into, you know, the consulting to, to coaching Pivot, cuz that's also very familiar to me. So,

Anna: Yeah, many pivots. I mean, it's so funny because it really is almost 10 years to the day since I actually traveled first on a sabbatical and then decided to leave. But I think, you know, Reflecting back on the, the background I'd studied, international relations and development, economics and politics. I wanted to work at the un.

I did some internships there, and so there was always a bit of a disconnect, I suppose, between my young and naive ambition to change the world and then ending up in a private company. But that being said, once I got there, I loved it. It was an amazing school. It's what's allowed me to do pretty much everything I've done since then.

So as you said, it wasn't, I mean, certainly for me, it wasn't that I hated it. I wasn't super stressed. I mean, of course, yes, it was. Intense. Um, but I loved it and I did well and I met incredible people. I learned a lot. So if anything, that's almost harder to leave behind because it's not that you are being pushed by some huge force.

I didn't have children, so work-life balance wasn't even something on my mind. So for me, I think it was first of all, that disconnect that I always wondered, hang on, shouldn't I try to pursue that ambition that I previously had? Personally as well. Quite a lot of my friends had sort of. Settled down in the suburbs and married and were popping out children, and that wasn't quite my life stage.

We, I was in Geneva and Switzerland, so incredible quality of life. Super beautiful, lovely, but quite quiet. So I think a big thing for me was getting outta that comfort zone personally and sort of having some adventures, so, so yes, initially I went traveling across South America and then halfway through that trip I decided to take the

Brett: Awesome. That's awesome. And I think it's, it's, um, what I would say, It's, I don't wanna say traditional, but it's common I think for a lot of us that leave the, the corporate workforce to keep doing what we're doing, but just doing it on our own. And I knew for me, I was consulting and then I continued into consulting, but just managing myself.

But it wasn't. I wasn't anymore passionate about it than, than what I was. And it took a little bit of a pivot and I'm still figuring out quite honestly what I like to do and where it, where it's gonna go. So how did you, what was that, that realization from, Hey, I, I know I can consult them doing the digital marketing into, to coaching because it's, I mean, it's, it is a little bit of a leap.

from, from what you were doing.

So kind of talk about, you know, how that evolved and you, you got into the coaching space.

Anna: consulting is a great way, as you said, to take your skills. An experience and to package it up in a different way to maybe similar kinds of organization. Often earning more than you did before. Right. Which is what's so ironic, but also a little bit more on your terms.

Um, for me it was more accidental. I happened to have these very in demand skills. Digital was still pretty new. So I, I actually didn't really know what I wanted to do at the time and I fell into it. So I had colleagues who had worked at Procter and Gamble who'd gone into other organizations. They asked me to come in to help.

Inevitably, actually, they often wanted me to stay to a full-time job, and I somehow managed to resist and I kept it a contract, and then I was traveling in between. But as you said, I think some, sometimes we think that's what we want, but actually for me there was still that disconnect obviously cause I was doing the same work and that type of consultant that I was doing was quite repetitive.

That you come in, you know, I was bringing the same strategies, the same capability, building the same stuff that I'd done several times before. And I suppose I thrive on kind of different challenges and new things and it's quite frustrating to keep going back to, oh they dunno, this basic stuff and you have to kind of keep bringing them up.

That was one piece. Um, and then still I had this yearning for. Making a bigger difference. So I, um, again, sort of quit my own consulting business and, and took the business on the road. So I tried to make it more virtual. I did the whole digital nomad thing for a while, um, and had an amazing time. So I did a lot of traveling, did some pretty great adventures, and I, that's how I discovered coaching.

It was more really selfishly for my own personal development that I discovered a course and then ended up loving it and then sort of decided, Hey, I'm going to add this to my

Brett: Oh, that's awesome. Yeah, and I wish I would've found you maybe when I started that, that journey, cuz now it's four years. A lot of trial and error. I ended up in the right spot. But I think there was some learnings and, you know, I didn't have to learn everything. I think that's what the mistake we all make, right, is we think we have to learn everything ourselves, but there's actually some, I don't wanna call 'em shortcuts, but some general things we could avoid if we were, we're going down that path and that's really what I wanna spend the most of our time with.

Today is one year book because I think it, it outlines a great path. But before we get there, um, we were talking a little bit offline. I think, you know, defining what success means to you is a really, really important. First step. And when I work with people and coach, it's the same thing. It's like it's, I ask them more, what do you want?

And not just, what do you want, more money may start as more money, but what do you really, really want? What does that life look like? You know, in your perfect world and those types of things. Because if you can't define that, then you're just gonna kind of keep repeating, I think what you did. So

Anna: there is this kind of moment in our lives when we start questioning, what am I doing it all for? And there must be something more than this. And for me, success is so interesting because, you know, I was reflecting this the other day. I, yeah, I had the good grades and the good job and so, and that's one version of success.

Then I was living this incredible, sort of adventurous, free, carefree, fun life, single. Now I have a partner there. I have two little kids, you know, less adventurous, unfortunately,

Brett: different type of adventure, now.

Anna: type of adventure, different type of success. I'm working, you know, maximum three days a week because that's when the kids are in daycare here.

Um, but we're living by the sea, which was always my dream. I'm an author. I'm not a bestselling author, which perhaps was the ambition, but you know, I'm an author of multiple books, so in a way that's also success. So, We talked about changing definitions of success, right? And for me, even as one person over the last decade, my goodness, it's changed.

3, 4, 5, what different times. You know, when I first quit, I had no thought of children and family and all these things, right? So I think it's really important, the definition. I always go back to the definition if you Google success is, of course you have the fame and fortune and so on, but you also have the achievement of a name or a purpose.

And that means that you have to decide what the aim or purpose is. And I think most of us, unfortunately, have just subconsciously absorbed what society or our parents or whatever TV, social media says we should be pursuing. And I think it's such that, that what you want is exactly the question to be asking.

It's so simple. And yet it's so difficult because if we could just figure that out, we can find the person who can get those shortcuts or we can figure out ourselves. But we, the hardest thing is to know, hang on a second, what is it actually that I want?

Brett: And I do want to get into your, your five pillars. Cause I think that's gonna be helpful for the audience to hear what these five things.

But before we do, Yeah, You caught my attention with, I only work three days a week, so one fantastic. Um, too, how do you, maybe just can you share a little bit of how you manage and prioritize your time in order to, to do that?

Anna: I wrote my last blog post was, was on exactly that and, and so, so have a read of that. Everybody's listening. That's already, and I have to remind myself what I said, but I mean, for me it starts with knowing exactly, obviously the big picture of success. It has to be, right. And knowing that, being present with my kids, you know, my daughter's turning four in a couple of weeks.

She's starting school in September, and then suddenly, Five days a week, she's gone, you know? Okay. Shorter days. So then I think my model will have to shift again because there'll be more days perhaps, but shorter days at the moment. They're quite few days, but they're long days. My little boy is two and a half, so he'll keep going to, you know, so it's kind of the evolution of supporting that.

But I know, and I'm told by everybody that you know, before you know it, the kids are grown up and so I want to enjoy that time. So it's a big choice for me. Of course, I could. Even with the expensive cost of childcare in the uk, I could choose to, we could choose to put them in for longer and so on, but I'm really holding on to wanting to have these last few months and years, I suppose, with them being sweet and innocent and having that fun.

So it's one is knowing what matters to you and if, let's say being with your kids or managing your own health or an aging relative or you know, whatever it is right now that's really important to you, another hobby or project, then that's sort of, that guides your other decisions. Um, and then, yes, I'm super clear on what are my priorities this year, the next 12 months, quarter.

Month, week, and it sound makes me sound incredibly productive and organized. And I'm not, I'm, I'm quite loose with that. But, you know, still, I knew last year that I absolutely wanted to publish the book. And I, you know, I said every Thursday I went to a cafe, no wifi, I wrote and wrote and wrote, and I, I did the book just like a couple of weeks before the end of the year, you know, so you just have to be super clear on your priorities and you have to ruthlessly prioritize, um, and then learn to say no because unfortunately every yes that you say to something that isn't quite, You know, fitting with your vision.

And so, and means that you're going to be distracted from, from the big yes. That you, you want to be focusing on. So, you know, again, it sounds trite and simple. Know what you want to do and prioritize, but, but ultimately, That's what it is. And I'm, I've read so many books now on my favorite recent one is 4,000 Weeks by Oliver Berkman.

Average person lives 4,000 weeks. There's another one, 160 hours, 168 hours, which is the number of hours we have in the week and so on, right? So all these questioning, um, the very principle by which we live, which is this whole work, smarter, not harder, get more done. And Oliver Berkman says, but hang on. By definition, you will never get everything done because every, even just talking to you, I have an idea, oh, I could do this, and you know, you read something, I can do that.

Your to-do list just grows and grows. So my biggest mindset shift is I cannot get everything done whenever I try to do some extra work in the evening. These days, I'm tired, I make mistakes and there'll always be more. And I regret it because it means I won't be with my partner or. I'll miss my exercise or you know, I won't be with the kids or whatever it is.

So, um, you know, I, yeah, I, I need to make choices, unfortunately, because sometimes you think, oh, I should be more successful than I am, or things should be moving faster. And so you also kind of, I guess, make some compromises on, you know, I have colleagues I know who are sending me emails Saturdays and Sundays and late nights, so I just don't do that anymore.

I, I did that maybe seven or eight years ago, but I don't now. So it's also choices of, of how you live, so, you know, it's, it's an ongoing journey, but right now that's what it looks like with a

Brett: That's awesome. Yeah, and I, and I get you too cause I'm, again, I like structure, but I'm not overly structured. Right. I'm not the detail, I'm more of a bullet point list type of thing. But I have figured out how to run my mornings more effective mornings is definitely my most productive time, which is good because there's nobody else around or up.

So I can get a lot of stuff done and you know, sometimes if I don't get anything. Productive done after 10. I've still had a decent day, because I've got most of what I wanted to, but yeah, that's one of the things I found is there's like two or three main pillars that you're driving at and all the tasks you're doing up really need to be driving towards that or it, it's a wasted time.

Right. I wish I could say I'm super efficient, not. But prioritizing definitely does help. And then I do that kind of each week.

and reassess is this driving towards what we need to do and those, those types of things. So,

Anna: Well, there's the combination of the vision again and the really practical day to day because for example, years ago I said to myself, I want to be a writer. But if you looked at my calendar, no point was actually sitting down writing anything. And so sometimes, you know, there's this massive disconnect between I want my business to grow and I want fail to quit my job, let's say.

And then if you look at your calendar, Let's be honest. We're making excuses. I don't have time or energy. I've gotta do this, I've gotta do that. And then actually, you're not taking any actions, which is fine if that's your intention. Look, it's not the right time for me now, but if you think that you want to move towards some goal, you know, I want to run a marathon, but have I signed up for a marathon?

Have I started training for the marathon? You know, I'm not ever going to get to that goal unless I start actually taking the action. So marrying up your calendar. With your big vision is the only way that the reality is ever going to get closer to that big dream you have. I think that's the big insight I've had, that you have to be doing the things, if not every day, but at least you know every week regularly, and those little steps will add up.

It doesn't have to happen right away, but you do need to be doing the things that you need to

be doing basically.

Brett: that's so true. I always tell, and it drives my family nuts. Cause I say, well, well I don't have time to do it. I'm like, no, you don't have time to do it cause it's not important to you. Well, it is important to me. If it was important to you, you'd have time to do it. So I.

Anna: Make the

Brett: don't like donut, but I think that's, it's so true.

So, um, okay, so maybe that's a good transition. So maybe first just outline right, the year your five pillars right. Of building that life out the of the nine to five.

Anna: So the first one is coming up with your definition of success. I think we've talked about that. The second is, you know, through that inevitable, as you said, it's not unfortunately, rainbows, rainbows, and unicorns all the time.

And so it's having the confidence. And resilience, which is a word we've heard a lot recently, um, to deal with those ups and downs really, because yes, they all flatten out a little bit and now 10 years later, I don't question a lot of things, which I maybe did before. And, and you know, it's a very different mindset, but you are always moving on to a higher rung somehow.

You, there's always a bit of that imposter syndrome and there's always, you know, I don't quite know what's next. A bit of uncertainty. So that confidence and resilience is the second pillar.

Brett: And do, do you find a lot of your clients or potential clients struggle with the confidence to make the leap? That's one thing that

surprised me is that.

how skilled they are and how good they are at their jobs, but yet they, they don't think there's a market for what they do. I'm like, you're crazy.

They're people that would pay you. So I would love your perspective on that. And I got a affirmative that that's the case.

Anna: No, a hundred percent. That's exactly that. And, and it's so odd because we come outta school and university, we have no experience and yet somehow we think we can change the world and any job would be happy to have us. And then 10, 15, 20 to 30 years later, so much skill and experience and somehow the world has sort of, I guess our career careers kind of labeled us as you are.

This kind of. Director and this kind of company, and that's the only thing you could possibly do. When we forget the transferrable skills, we forget that we can, we don't have to retrain, you know, some people go a little bit like, oh, I wanna be a doctor. And that's maybe a bit harder. You're going to have to study for 10, 15 years, but most of us can package up our skills and the fact that we have these experiences actually makes us.

More marketable, right? So there's so much, and actually sometimes bringing a skillset, you know, I read about someone who was from the sports psychology athlete world coming into corporate, and you can bring those insights off from the military and it's, you know, there's a lot of crossover and that, that brings even more experience and, and uniqueness, right?

So yes, there's a huge. Confidence gap. And I think the best way there to, to recognize that is to start a little bit with baby steps again. I just had someone on LinkedIn tag me saying she's finally launched her blog. So yes, she hasn't, you know, taken a massive leap to build a business, but she's beginning to share her thought leadership in a space that she's passionate about or, um, you know, you might take a course or something, but you can take steps.

And as you begin to speak to people, you'll hopefully, Realize that yes, hey, I can do that. And of course the other piece is surrounding yourself with other people who are doing it, because then you suddenly realize that, you know, if you're in this little bubble of people who are all in their corporate roles, then of course, uh, that feels like that's the only path.

But as soon as you open your eyes to different possibilities, and that can give you confidence as well. Now, hang on a second. There might be other ways, other things that I could do

Brett: Yeah, and I think too, the realization that the risk isn't that strong, you can always go back to corporate, to, to your point, right? I said, if you love your corporate job, I say more power to you, enjoy it, make sure you're taking control of it, right? So you're driving the career as much as possible. But yeah, it's, it's kind of crazy.

They think if they, they try the, The startup or the this solo business that there's no going back. But I mean, the fact is you easily could charge. And that's what I actually encourage people too, if they're still in corporate and looking for their next job. I'm like, well.

keep an open mind when we have conversations with folks, you know, ask about either fractional work or consulting and those types of things.

And. You know, sometimes it just takes one to get started and then all of a sudden you get the momentum or you may realize you hate it. Right. You do like the structure of itself. No, I think that's, that. That's good advice. So, um, I know number three is this, the business model.

Anna: Yes, exactly that. So that one is very specific to of course, having a business. But I think, again, we follow, um, the gurus in the space and, and I, I get bombarded on Facebook and, and LinkedIn and Instagram with messages and ads that are, you know, webinars are dead. You have to do workshops, um, you've gotta do ads, you shouldn't do ads, uh, courses, high ticket coaching, mentoring, cuz ah, And it's first of all, very overwhelming and confusing when you're just starting out.

And secondly, you know, we have no idea what their vision of success is. So if I, even if I copy their strategy, and even if it works, am I going to actually enjoy where I end up? Probably not because my family, my personality, lifestyle, aspirations are very different. Um, so I think unfortunately we try to.

Either piece together kind of a patchwork strategy from all the amazing free stuff that's out there. Or we follow someone thinking we've gotta do this and actually it doesn't lead us to, I wanna do, et cetera, et cetera. So you have to. First to get clear on what you want, your definition of success, and then you have to choose the business model that's going to get you there.

You know, I know people who, um, do cohorts in their programs so they can work, you know, intensively six months, nine months, and then they go off traveling for three months, six months, or, um, some people actually like a bit more balance and they like showing up consistently. So they might have a program where, you know, they do a live every week, every month, whatever.

Um, when I had a newborn, I had a. Specific setup where I could only really do calls in the evening when my partner was home. And so that's what I was doing. Uh, now again, we talked about the three days. You know, it evolves. So you have to choose a business model, meaning the clients you're working with, the kind of products and services you're offering, the pricing, how you're marketing, how you're delivering all these choices that's gonna work for your personality, your vision.

Your skills and strengths, your budget, your time, and so on, right? So unfortunately, that makes it harder because there's no obvious blueprint to give, but you have to be asking yourself these questions and making choices that are going to get you to where you want to be.

Brett: Yeah.

no, it's a good point. And you know, I think I've, in my running count, I think I've, uh, found 14 different ways, right? To, to make revenue or a career, you know, anything from. The fractionals to the interims, to the consultants, to, you know, buying a franchise. So I think, you know, when I accident, when I didn't, I left, but I thought really was only consulting.

I didn't realize that there was all these other opportunities. And I think here at least in the market, are small or I'll call 'em the, the 2 million to 10 million or 20 million. These businesses are starting to embrace more of a, a fractional or the consultants to adding expertise. Are you, are you seeing that in the UK as Well,

where businesses are now? Yeah, I, I think the, the tagline I've used a couple times and there was a quote from a, uh, a business owner that said, Hey, I'd rather have, you know, 50% of an A player versus a hundred percent of a b player, where I'm seeing like enterprise businesses still aren't embracing, they have a hard time just managing employees, but I think some of these smaller businesses, Are starting to to, to leverage, right?

The value and the power of super experienced folks that they couldn't hire, you know, full-time. So I'm curious if you're seeing the markets change or accept that over there.

Anna: Yeah, I'd say so. I mean, I don't work so much with those types of clients, but absolutely. I think the smaller companies, by definition, are more able to, unwilling to be more creative in terms of how they go about getting, you know, the re resources that they need and so on. And there are so many opportunities and I think the, the thing we don't realize, we don't even ask the question sometimes, you know, I think people looking for a job, they say, oh, that would never work, but they never even propose, Hey, would it be possible to have you considered.

Part-time or can you come on an advisory role or, you know, um, you mentioned, you know, did you say 14? I'm sure there are even more ways of, of earning money rights. And actually, ultimately, you probably should do multiple of those streams yourself. You know, you can be, I guess a coach trainer, a mentor, author, all these things, but maybe not all at the same time.

If you're starting, you know, focusing on one. And one of my, I love Dory Clark, who's written the Long Game ABO among many other things, and she's incredible. Writes for Harvard Business Review and so on. First of all, she talked about having worked like behind the scenes, you know, for five years before she even kind of popped up her head to those overnight successes.

Of course, you know, you don't, you don't see them right away, but you, they've been working incredibly hard pitching and not getting anywhere. So that's inspiring. Um, and the second thing is, I think I heard a podcast where there she listed sort of her different, her 11 different income streams. And so I think I know a lot of these big players.

You know, it might seem that they're selling courses to consumers, but they're also doing speaking and consulting for corporates, and maybe they're advising startups, they're investing and all these things. So again, it's not something that if you're just starting out, you should be trying to do 14 things today.

Um, but it's, it's inspiring to see and exciting for those of us who have all these different passions and itchy feet and want to do different things. There are, there are so many. Solutions and you just again, need to know what you want and, and start experimenting. See what you enjoy, see what there's a market for, and then find that kind of sweet spot for the next few

Brett: A hundred percent. And I think, yeah, pick one to start. That's why I tell everybody, pick one, do something, get started, get paid, get some momentum and then you can start to figure out where, where that's gonna take you. And I do like the multiple income streams myself. Cause there's other folks that'll tell you, no, just go all in on one.

And I'm like, I don't know. They think there's ways to make smaller bets and diversify it a little bit. So.

Anna: I think the problem with the all in on one is that one, you don't know what's gonna work, so which one? And then also a lot of us will get bored and unfortunately, I mean, you know, that's. The unsexy side of business. It's true that you do need to be super consistent and so on. There's still ways to get creative while maybe delivering that one thing you, you can, you know, get creative around it.

But I agree at least for the next, you know, 90 days or ideally even a year, try to focus on making one thing work. Because often people give up too soon. They haven't given it a chance. Like, oh, I've done one webinar and three people showed up and now I'm, webinars don't work. You know, whatever it is. I think it's important to.

To keep going, uh, longer than you think before you give up and before you change, before you add

Brett: That's really, really good advice and a good transition straight into the, uh, the personal brand. Right. Um, so what's your, what's your recommendation on, you know, how to approach this, right? Because is it just cause and why I'm asking is probably selfishly from my point, right? So, so I've got the corporate escapee, which I've been talking a lot about cuz I have been super passionate about getting people.

Just one more person outta corporate that's not happy in corporate to, to take the leap and, and, and build something for yourself. But, you know, I still do, uh, fractional work and I'm still passionate about how do we help these small businesses. But if you listen to the gurus, they'll tell you, you can't talk about both because then nobody will listen.

And so, you know, I know I tend to overthink. Sometimes, but you know, it's just, I'm still following what I think is right versus algorithms and those others. But I would love your perspective on, you know, how you coach people through this, this process.

Anna: Yeah, so this is a, I mean, I've got a client right now where we're working on exactly that and it's, it's playing around with, and it will be quite an individual solution. But I think the benefit of a personal brand is that, and we all have one as we know, whether we manage it or not, um, is that we can show up.

Wholeheartedly as ourselves. And the reality is we have lots of, I'm not just the person, especially because it's 10 years ago since I quit my job. So sometimes I feel a bit silly still talking about that because it feels so long ago. And my business, my life has evolved so much since then, you know, and I do a lot of other things.

Um, so a couple of things. One is that if you can elevate above the different ideas and projects and find an umbrella theme, um, that really helps. So you can find a, a, I don't wanna say an elevator pitch as much as sort of a. A headline of what you want to be known for. And probably, definitely you can find common themes.

There's this message that is sort of higher level than the individual messages of your, of your different projects and things. That's what you stand for as a person. Um, and, and that can be really powerful. So that's one thing. Another is, um, you can obviously. Temporarily at least have a, a different channel for each thing.

So maybe LinkedIn at the moment. To be honest, and this is a bit of a mixture here, but I, well, back in the day, I struggle with sharing my quit your corporate job on LinkedIn because I thought, oh, what will corporates think? And then I went all in and I showed up wholeheartedly and, and actually I got an incredibly positive response.

And I get a lot of my clients from LinkedIn and also my corporate clients because I do work with corporates also, ironically, I guess unexpectedly resonates with a lot of things I said. And then it hasn't been a problem. I've now. Pull back a little bit because I'm doing more work with organizations around work life integration, uh, supporting their leaders for the future of work and so on.

So it can get distracting if you're talking about, you know, here's your, uh, business branding strategy, and then the next day you're talking about, Hey, this is how HR can da, da, da. So in that case, you can choose to have one focus on, let's say LinkedIn and another focus for your other. Stream or your other brand on Instagram or um, email if you are, you know, contacting companies, cold calling, whatever, um, offline, online, and so on.

And then I guess the third thing I say is if they're completely unrelated, then maybe the question is, should we really be doing them? Because then I think it's a bit distracting and I wonder. Is there a way to find them to work together? Maybe not. So I think ideally you find an umbrella theme so that, you know, the, the John smith.com website as it were, talks about the, this is me, this is who I am, this is the what I stand for, and I have these different projects.

Um, but then you can maybe choose different channels for the D need. Does

Brett: Yeah, that makes sense. And, and kind of it's, I was thinking the same way, right? Because the work that I do, the way I'm thinking about it as a corporate escapee is really for the, the newbies, right? The people that they're thinking about making the leap or had just made the leap. And then really where I spent a lot of my working time, Um, is that next step of helping people that wanna grow a company, grow a company?

You don't have to, right? You can find that balance and the lifestyle type of thing and, and cover all your goals, but there's still a lot of folks that wanna grow, you know, maybe not a massive business, but want to grow a business. And so the way I've been thinking about it is, you know, I'm living the call the corporate escapee life and this is what the other life is.

This is what I do, you know, to pay the bills and these types of things. So still a work in.

Anna: But, but that a hundred percent fits together and that quite mirrors what I've been doing as well. So, so that is the ideal thing, coming back to the business model, is offering the next step. Right? So you're addressing the people who imagine, aren't quite sure yet, or they're, they need the courage, they need the help to, to navigate that transition out.

And then you want to have something in the ecosystem for them to. Graduate into it. Not everybody will do that, but for example, at the moment I have my, um, academy, which is a course where you kind of work through the curriculum of the five pillars. Uh, you can work on that, your own time at self-paced, and then, um, you can go off on your merry way and implement it yourself, as you said, a bit of trial and error and zone, or you can graduate into the incubator where we work together to actually support you in bringing that business to life.

And then I have a higher level and one-to-one and so on because I've, I've. Been around for seven, eight years now, I guess, and I've built those different levels, but, but what you are describing to me doesn't feel in any way disconnected. It really feels like you're finding different ways both to reflect how far you've come in the last three years or so, but then also address that next step for people who are ready to, to grow.

And I think that's, that's people. The audience will also come with you and grow with you. You know, some many people. And I love that about my community have been with me since the start, and some have paid to work with me and some haven't, but they've been incredible ambassadors for me. They've shared, they've written reviews.

They now and then pop their heads up and say, oh my goodness, this episode was really helpful, whatever. And that's, that's what you'll find over the years, you know, people kind of come along for, right. So you never have to feel like, oh my goodness, just because I have this domain name that I bought, or I wrote this podcast or book, or whatever, you have to stick with that for the rest of your life.

I think, you know, that's part of the, the fun of it is that you can keep

Brett: The evolution a hundred percent. Right? So, all right. I took us off track a little bit there, but then you know the fifth and final, right? This is that work life. We touched on a little bit, the lurk life integration. So talk about pillar five and tying it all together.

Anna: Well, exactly that. It ties it all together. So the fifth pillar is bringing it back to your definition of success, but in a very tangible way. So, you know, I have a few different more models for this. I have my five Ls, which I use to think about the five different areas of your life, like your health and wellbeing and your work and so on.

Um, I have five categories within your business that you need to be balancing your. Visibility, your income, your legacy, and so on. So lots of different sort of ways of thinking about what your priorities are and then looking at your week, and again, as we said, making sure actually spending the time on those priorities and setting boundaries and so on.

So it's, it's sort of from the pillar one is kind of the big exciting, wow, what's the meaning of life? And then it goes all the way through, down to really what does your day-to-day look like? And you mentioned, you know, do that one big thing in the morning. Obviously you need to go with your energy and some people are mourning people, some people are not.

But generally, as you said, we have more control over a day in the morning, then things kind of get out of hand. So if you know you have that one big thing, you need to do what you want to do, eat the frog as, um, as someone said, right. You need to, it's a David Allen. I think I'm.

Brett: I think so. I'm

Anna: read so many

Brett: it up.

Anna: I have to look at my, uh, um, so many productivity guru, so apologies to everybody who've written amazing things.

But, but the idea that you, you have to eat that slimiest thing first thing, and then whatever happens, The rest of the day, at least you will have eaten that frog. Right? Or, or, you know, Steven Cavy and the big rocks put the big rocks in first and so on. But for me, integration is about finding the harmony and the synergy.

And of course it's never going to be, you know, perfect zen guru balance. But it's, it's exactly as you said at the beginning, finding this new way of working where we're feeling fulfilled. At work, uh, we're striving for goals in our personal life. There's not this tension between, oh, more life means less work.

It's all one and the same. We're we're the same person. It's our life. Work is a big, important part of that life, but it's not that like we are a robot at work and then the human appears. I like to think, and I like to show up as I hopefully hope people can tell the same way in my work as I do at home, and that that I think.

It's really important for all of us to be feeling connected to the company purpose, to to be doing work that makes a difference, to be present with our family, to take care of our health. You know, these are basic, but, but super important

Brett: Yeah, no, so true. And well said. And you know, it's interesting, I really haven't taken this down too many rabbit holes today, which is good for me. But, but I'm kind of curious cuz you had mentioned the corporate side and it never really dawned on me. Um, cuz I, I don't wanna say I'm anti-corporate again, if you like it, that's fine.

It's just, I.

was done. It wasn't for me. But it's interesting that you work with corporations to help them build better. Would you, is it better balance with, with their employees? What, what are some of these companies trying to do? Just outta curiosity.

Anna: What's interesting is actually, and, and this is, you know, maybe an insight into the subtleties that that's helpful for people. Just out setting out that I always did a little bit of corporate work in the background and initially I was like, you, you know, when you rebel against that kind of structure and the big companies, you wanna get away from that and there's this big drive towards the freedom and so on.

And that was the, the minds that I was in, but, Of course when you first start, let's say, a coaching business, as I tell people now, it's not enough just to put up a website and say, Hey, I'm a coach now. I was known for being a digital expert in luxury beauty, consumer goods, and so I kept doing that kind of, I guess you could call consulting training behind the scenes for several years.

That ultimately evolved organically into more coaching type of. Topic. So I, I still do workshops on stress and resilience and time management and, and you know, leadership skills and that kind of thing. And then now it's very recent actually. I'd say, you know, the last year or so I'm having conversations again with companies about how can we do something, you know, there's such a big synergy and such a big need around employee engagement and connecting for purpose and yes, the work-life balance and the wellbeing and so on, so, so, Again, you know, my, I don't want to be known for the person who gets people to quit their jobs.

That's not my passion. I don't, you know, I don't care if you quit your job if you're not, and probably a lot of you shouldn't. I have to say, you know, it is hard as people say, and it's not necessarily the right thing. Maybe society wouldn't work if we all quit our jobs. I don't know. Um, but you know, there's, there's a huge, there are so many people who cannot quit their job or don't want to quit their job.

And I, I guess I have a bit of a yearning towards helping them as well, rather than, uh, yeah, I guess that's, that's the. Reality. And then again, 10 years since I've left, you know, you, you want something, another challenge again, something interesting. So that's what I'm looking at for the next stage of my own business to think about how can I make a bigger difference and, and help companies and not, you know, as much as I love working with individuals there, there's an opportunity maybe to make a bigger difference to some extent, um, with, with companies

Brett: Yeah, no, I actually really, really liked it and, and it makes sense, right? Cause I think we have all worked for good companies and I've learned obviously, a ton in my two, almost three decades of experience in corporate, right? So there was, there was definitely a benefit to it, but yeah, it didn't, it just no longer fit with.

With what I wondered where I was going and that's kinda been kind of interesting over the, my, my journey through this as well.

It became more of than just replacing income. And we kind of touched on the beginning. It became kind of the whole, what does my life look like and how does the work fit into it?

And so I think you could figure that out with the corporate role and still get the flexibility and make sure you're working for a company that respects and appreciates that. That may become a differentiator for some of these businesses in the future. The ones that do figure it out is, Huge. So.

Anna: ones that are being, I mean, for the company, the ones that are being proactive about these things are the ones that will be winning in talent attraction, not to mention, yeah, productivity, economic results and so on. But even for the individual, again, whether it's someone who I imagine is listening to this in your audience, who is thinking about leaving, whether or not you leave, I'm speaking to you, the listener now, the, the, the audience.

Work through these questions anyway. Right? What do you actually want that big definition of success? Work on your confidence experiment, try little projects. Projects are, you know, as you said, make an intentional choice about the employer with if. If right now it's a toxic workplace and culture and that's what's pushing you out.

The truth is that your own business is not gonna be a quick answer anyway. So probably if there's a really burning. Difficult experience you're having in in your current workplace. The first step is rather to find another organization where it's less stressful, less toxic, and so on, to kind of get you back to a safer space.

And then you can reflect if you still want to, to leave or not, but you know, these questions around what's important to you, and then maybe holding your employer to account and, and asking for the flexibility that you want, or, you know, often, and I wrote a blog post about this too, and it's a difficult one, but.

It's not the job, it is sometimes ourselves, right? We're high achievers, perfectionists. It's, you know, we're, we're projecting that we couldn't possibly do this thing where the employer would never allow us to, but we've never asked. And I'm the one choosing to work late and even in my own business, right?

So if you don't deal with those kind of habits and tendencies and mindset, things that you have as, as that kind of high performer, high achiever, go, go, go busy all the time kind of thing, then you're going to just recreate those same structures anyway, whatever company you go to. Even if you design your own business, unfortunately you'll just recreate that same thing.

So I think those are things we can all work on, regardless of what our employment status

Brett: Yeah, that's such a really, really good point. Well, Anna, I could talk to you for hours, but I don't wanna be respectful of your, your, your time. So is there anything that we didn't touch on today that you think we should have?

Anna: No, I mean, I really appreciate Yeah, all your questions and it's great that you've asked some things specifically for you. Cause I'm sure they've been useful for others. You know, the question on the personal brand is, is one, we get a lot, people have all these different things. How do we tie them all together?

Um, if people do want to, uh, play around with those five pillars, I've got this little scorecard. So if you go to one stepside com slash scorecard. Put the link below and you can just do a little quick assessment and then see sort of where your gaps are. But don't let it overwhelm you because I find some people say, ah, it's so much when you're just starting out.

But you know, I think in a way that's important to recognize it is a lot, but you know, you need to start somewhere. Start with those baby steps. Start by taking a step back and asking yourself what is important to you right now and going forwards. And then, then see where that

Brett: Awesome. Yeah. And to highly encourage everybody to check out your content. Like I said, we didn't even talk about your YouTube and your videos, and you've got the podcast that I, I really enjoy. And I, what I like about it is there's a lot of, um, so they're definitely solo episodes, but it's that they're tactical.

So I encourage people to, if you like this conversation, definitely check out Anna's, uh, Content. And with that, where should people start in, you know, learning more about you and then finding the content? you.

mentioned a

Anna: Yeah, well that podcast exactly, reimagining six. You can search on your favorite podcast app or you can go to re-imagining success podcast.com and that'll talk you to everything else on my website too. But as you said, it's, you know, it's me talking unfortunately for the last four years or so. But there's also a monthly interview, um, which as I said to you, is my favorite thing to do, right?

Talking to other people who've, again, a couple of people who found their way into organizations that feel like a perfect fit for them now with their flexibility and lifestyle. Others who've started their own. Bigger businesses, um, still more who, who are solopreneurs and so on. And, and they each have a different story to tell, so many commonalities, um, but also so many differences.

So hopefully that's inspiring, reassuring, and even sometimes practically, you know, guiding you on, on maybe some difficult decisions. So yeah. Reimagining success