Catalytic Leadership

How To Use Systems And Structure To Find Freedom, with Annelise Worn

September 18, 2023 Dr. William Attaway Season 2 Episode 9
Catalytic Leadership
How To Use Systems And Structure To Find Freedom, with Annelise Worn
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Ever felt trapped in the rigid confines of a 9-5 job that offers little to no flexibility? Meet Annelise Worn, a business strategist and agency CEO who managed to transform failing work-life balance into a flourishing business. Listen to her inspiring story of leadership, systems, and the ultimate journey to freedom. 

Discover how Annelise, from her in-laws' kitchen table, built a business without any prior business know-how. Learn the power of systems, policies, and procedures that turned her team into a powerhouse of productivity. We delve into how a change in her reading list, podcasts, and conversations reshaped her insights and learning. On a more personal note, uncover the sweet spot between family life and work she found amidst the pandemic, all thanks to systems and structures that gave her the freedom to enjoy life.

As a leader, it's important to care for your self, set boundaries, and lead by example. Annalise opens up on how she treats herself like a million-dollar racehorse to achieve peak performance, with her unique system of professional development, strategic thinking, and life GPS document. Are you ready to break free from fear, embrace change, and start your leadership growth journey? This episode is for you.

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About Dr. William Attaway:

Meet Dr. William Attaway, your guide to peak performance. As a seasoned Executive Mindset and Leadership Coach with nearly 30 years of experience, William empowers high-performance entrepreneurs and agency owners to conquer challenges and maximize their potential. Join him on the Catalytic Leadership podcast as he shares insights on achieving Clear-Minded Focus, Calm Control, & Confidence, helping you thrive in business and life.

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Speaker 1:

Welcome to Catalytic Leadership, the podcast designed to help leaders intentionally grow and thrive. Here is your host author and leadership and executive coach, dr William Attaway.

Speaker 2:

Hey, it's William and welcome to today's episode of the Catalytic Leadership podcast. Each week, we tackle a topic related to the field of leadership. My goal is to ensure that you have actionable steps you can take from each episode to grow in your own leadership. Growth doesn't just happen. My goal is to help you become intentional about it. Each week, we spotlight leaders from a variety of fields, organizations and locations. My goal is for you to see that leaders can be catalytic, no matter where they are or what they lead. I draw inspiration from the stories and journeys of these leaders, and I hear from many of you that you do too. Let's jump in to today's interview. I'm so excited today to have Annalise Warren on the podcast. Annalise empowers digital business owners to create true freedom in their lives by building systems into their business. She's a business strategist and an agency CEO, wife and mom of four little ones. After being denied a family-friendly work schedule in 2016, annalise built a highly successful agency from her in-laws kitchen table, but had no idea how to run a business and created a virtual prison for herself. Now she teaches the seven simple systems that allowed her to break free, avoid burnout and transform her business into one that allows her to work part-time, give back homeschool her kids with her husband and enjoy their self-built beachside home. Annalise also shares her insight as host of the Mom Style Business Podcast and the Impact Business Show. Annalise, I'm so excited you're here. Thanks for being on the show. Thank you so much for having me, william. I would love for you to share some of your story with our listeners, particularly around your journey and your development as a leader. How did you get started?

Speaker 3:

I didn't, I think, is the short that's in my development as a leader. I think I realized really late that actually that was really important. I think a lot of us do. If we start our businesses, we're just like I know how to do this thing and I can do it better and I don't have to go through the middleman and I'm just going to like start this thing and let's do it. That's what at least that was what I did, and a lot of the people that I speak to are similar. Then, as you grow, you realize, depending on the role that you're going to take, but for me, I didn't want to do the doing for everyone. I wanted to hire people to do the doing. I think my days were full of meetings for months, like with my team and with people. I was like but I'm not doing any work, I'm not doing any work, I'm just like I'm always in meetings and I'm never actually working. Then I was like, oh, people are my job now. So true. I was such a it hit me really late. It was only then, honestly, and probably the last, I don't know two years, three years that I want to say two years that I've been actively focused on my role as a leader. But yeah, I was a little slow to the party.

Speaker 2:

I think that you've just illustrated what I see so often, and that is that leaders, high performance leaders they think man, leaders get things done, we get things done. That's just not true. Leaders get things done through other people. That's where you found. Oh my goodness, now it's not about my execution, it's about working through and investing in them to get this done. What was that like? What was that journey like as you started to come to that realization?

Speaker 3:

Oh, my whole business changed. Then I wanted to highlight how silly this was, that it hadn't occurred to me, because before this I was managing a national training company. I had managed teams before, so I knew what that looked like. But I just didn't draw the dots between corporate land and entrepreneur land, because I started from me. I started from zero again. So what did that look like? That really changed the structure of the team and setting them up to succeed and showing them what good looked like, because I realized that everything that they did was actually a reflection of me and my leadership. And so if they weren't performing, it wasn't that they weren't performing, it's that I wasn't helping them to perform, I wasn't allowing them to succeed, I wasn't giving them the right tools, and so that meant that we developed systems, we put policies and procedures and checklists like every single thing in our business had a checklist. I kept saying for like months you don't do it. If it doesn't have a checklist, like literally, it doesn't get done. So that means we create the checklist, so it gets done. I love that and really creating videos for everything. I don't know how many times that statement came out of my mouth. You don't do it Because they were just doing a little things. We were busy, you had the team of nine and so there was a lot to do. So people were just like no, no, no, we're going slow, we need to do things well and therefore you don't do it if it doesn't have a checklist and I need to approve the checklist and then creating just really great systems and changing the support. So we actually increased our meetings but made them shorter. We changed the format of those. Therefore, in order to make all of that happen and bring that to life, my learning really changed. So I shifted to the types of books I was reading, the podcast I was listening to. My insight shifted. Like the conversations that I was having was different. I put myself in different rooms with different kind of people, because the execution piece, the marketing piece, which is kind of where you kind of sit when you start your business, because you're like, hang on, I need to actually bring an income here that becomes the easy part. Actually, once you have that formula, the marketing, sales part becomes the easy part and, depending where you are in business, that can sound completely unbelievable, but it's actually like what? The making money part's the easy part. Yeah, once you crack it like yeah, it can be a nut to crack Once it's cracked, then actually the execution and doing that with excellence and managing your team and making sure that they're happy and they stay that becomes the more difficult piece, because we're people, right? So my child just woke up and interrupted the interview because he's not a little robot and didn't sleep to lose normal sleep time today. But people are the same, we're not robots. And so when you're dealing with clients, who are people, who have expectations and team, who have lives and make mistakes, and the whole mess of people laying together, then managing that and making that a smooth process and keeping everybody happy and leading the vision of where you're actually going and maintaining everything that becomes the job. So yeah, it was. That journey for me was a little bit of all of those things and continues right, we don't stop that. We don't arrive and go. I'm the best, I'm a leader. Now I've nailed it. It's good as it gets. We need to continue that process.

Speaker 2:

So well said, and in the middle of all of that, you're married, you have four kids and you all homeschool them. Now we've been homeschooling for going on 15, 16 years now Our kids from kindergarten through high school and now one in college and the other one in high school. That is not an easy road. How do you balance all of that?

Speaker 3:

Definitely the tips from you. We've only been homeschooling for one year, so we've always worked online, but it was only during the pandemic that we kind of got opened up to the possibility of homeschooling. And we didn't homeschool, they were enrolled in private Christian school like they were in school. And then I realized over a year ago maybe 18 months ago, nearly not quite that it just wasn't fun, Like it wasn't, I was hang on. Let me back up a little. So 2020 for us actually was fine. I was pregnant with my fourth child. We live in a regional coastal town, so, even though our state had like the highest restrictions in the entire world because we were regional, it meant that we just got lots of family time. We worked from home. So you know, it was it for us and my introverted self. 2020, given where we were located and our circumstance was not a hard year for us. We like enjoyed that introverted, like family time. It was really fulfilling for us as a family and I feel bad saying that because I know that the total opposite was true for so many, but that was our reality at that time. And then 2021, I had my baby at the end of 2020. 2021, everything opened up. My husband was building our house like seven days a week, 15 hours a day. So I had a newborn, I had the business to run, I had three other kids in and out of lockdown and homeschooling and back and forwards, and basically no husband. Because we had to finish our house that year because of insurance and all of the other reasons that you know. We had a building permit, so we were on a deadline for 2021 and it was really really, really, really, really hard, Like, like, like it's light at the end of the tunnel going, like I'm going to survive, Like it's okay, Like 2021 was really hard and we also had really great growth in the business that year. So it was just, it was a lot Like seriously, only God got me through that. Like it was a hard year. And then 2022 came and we were all everything come back to normal. My husband was home with us, but I was working so much because I finally could, I finally didn't have to do everything myself, and so I really poured myself into the business and I was working a lot. But the kids were at school again and there was just so many balls and I was like this isn't actually fun, Like, like dropping the kids at school. I have a business because I like the freedom of the schedule, but I don't have a free schedule because I have to this one's at kindergarten and this one's at this time, and today it's book week and this way I've got, you know, I've got this lunch and sports and like this is like not my idea of a good time. And so so we thought about hang on, what are we actually doing here and what do we want to create for for our lives, and what does that actually look like? And we design our lives in so many different ways. But in this way I feel like I'm squishing myself into a box. And now, that's not true for everyone, but just for me. It wasn't a good fit, and maybe one day it will be again, but right now it wasn't. So 2022 was the year of like figuring it out. We started homeschooling mid-year, and then we my husband was doing full-time homeschooling, I was doing full-time work and then we got to the end of that year and he was not quite himself, and so we readjusted things and now we both do a little bit of everything. So I do, I work part-time, he works part-time, we have the kids like half the week each, and this for us now, plus the baby's, like two and a half. So we're not in that, you know, intense, sleepless, like you know, spoon feeding kind of stage. And so for us, this year has felt just perfection. Like the businesses, where it needs to be, is growing how we want it to be growing. We're working the right amount for us. We've got the kids like yeah, so for us now that's how we balance and juggle and we're blessed to be able to do it because of where the business is at and the things that we've, you know, creating all of those systems and things we created so many years ago. Once you have that infrastructure, you can then kind of play. It's the structure that gives you the freedom actually, and so often we can, you know, if we're creative and free spirited and we want to do our own thing, we really repel against the structure, but it's that that allows you to then go hang on Like what do I want it to look like? And, knowing all of those things are done, you can really relax and enjoy life. It's like that's where we're finding ourselves now.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I love that, annalise. I think that is so fantastic. I appreciate your transparency there. I think that what you are saying is something that a whole lot of people are listening to and saying is that really possible? You can really do that. I love that you adopted the same type of a mindset with your family that you have adopted with your business, which is that systems and structures give you freedom. I found that to be so true. I'm a systems guy and I find that there is incredible freedom inside of planning, inside of systems and structures, and I love that. That's where you are, and your question that y'all asked is one that I think every leader needs to ask, no matter where they are and what they're doing. What do we want our lives to look like? You get to decide, I get to decide. Your choices may be different than mine around the systems and the structures and what it's going to look like and how we're going to paint that picture. That's okay. But you get to make that decision for your family. We made it for ours, like we homeschooled, and that was a decision that we made very early on because of some choices that we wanted to be able to make later, just like you did with your systems and with your structures. I think that's going to be so helpful for so many people who are listening to understand that you actually can do this. I heard it said recently whatever you are not changing, you are choosing. So often we want to paint ourselves with a victim mindset. Very good, just what you get to choose, I get to choose, we decide, and whenever you're not going to change, you're choosing.

Speaker 3:

Well, you're choosing. I think sometimes it's because of the fear of whether we can do it or the fear of the unknown. It's more comfortable just staying where you are, even if you're not entirely happy there, it's familiar you know it. So it's the fear of the unknown, but the fear that what you actually want might actually happen, and the ramifications of that are not knowing them. So, for example, we get what we choose, which is totally true, but then the fear of what if we actually choose the wrong thing? Because for us I know that even more recently, we've decided that we're going to spend, we're planning for a year overseas trip, like a really big round the world trip, and then that just got really real for me going, oh, I'm choosing that and I'm choosing everything that comes along with that, like the stress, the potential illness, like the danger, like the extra you know, like all of that. And then I was like oh, and like the weight of it hit me. Going, oh, the responsibility of my kids and their education actually is totally my fault. Now, like, anything that happens is totally. I'm like oh, wow, that's really big, that's really big. But that's why, like, I think that the fear is kind of both ways, right. I think it's the fear that like, maybe we can't do it, maybe we try and we fail and we fall on our face. But also like what if we succeed? And what if? Like, what are the actual, what are the ramifications of that thing, and because we yeah, when we choose, we say yes to that thing, we say no to a thousand other things, and so we shut those doors intentionally, and so I think that too can be scary.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely, and but what you just said is exactly what I teach my clients to do. Flip the script instead of what if we get sick? What if we're in danger? What if? Hey, what if this succeeds beyond our wildest dreams? What would that look like? Paint that picture for me, show me what that looks like, and that's when you begin to feel, oh yeah, what if? What if we don't often give ourselves freedom to do that? Fear locks us in these chains, and I think there's a better way.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, totally. And I was speaking with my daughter yesterday about going to India and I was like, to be honest, that's really scary for me and like, and then just unpacking all of that going. Why is that so scary? I'm going like it doesn't just because I'm terrified of the thought of taking four young children to my country. I've never been in. That seems so different. It's just so different to, like, you know, white, middle class, rural, like regional Australia, like totally the opposite, completely the opposite. Okay, there's a lot to unpack there in terms of you know, but just because I'm scared doesn't mean we're not actually going to do it anyway. Because I don't think the fear it doesn't matter what we're doing, whether we're traveling to India with your family or you're starting a business or growing a business, or hiring a team member or, you know, starting that new product or reaching out to someone for a collaboration, partner or like whatever. The scary thing is the fear. Just because the fear there doesn't mean it's wrong and doesn't mean you don't do it anyway. I don't like. The personal development and professional development that we do as leaders should all be strengthening that muscle, that muscle where, yeah, we feel the fear. We step anyway like it's okay, we're going to, if we know that this is the right next step. Just because it's not the easy next step doesn't mean we don't do it Like we do it. Maybe we gather support. We, you know, look at it logically and emotionally. Do all the things you're going to do. You do your due diligence, but step into if it's on the right path, if it leads you to where you want to be, that what you've said, that you want, if it's on the path, then you've got to go through it Like you just, you know, do it.

Speaker 2:

I just said once that courage is not the absence of fear. It's acting while you're afraid.

Speaker 3:

I totally believe that.

Speaker 2:

I think that, like that's something business owners really struggle with, because fear can cause them to just remain stuck, stuck with an idea that never gets pushed into reality, stuck with a product that never sees the light of day, stuck with well, I can't expand my team, because what if I can't? What if, what if, what if? And they, just they, never move.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, well, I guess that's then what's so helpful about the work that you do. Right, if you're flipping that script, then the excitement do you find that? Do you find that once the excitement is bigger than the fear, that like, what do you find that helps to move people through the fear?

Speaker 2:

Exactly what you said. When you flip the script and they begin to paint the picture of what could be the reality, of what they inside want and hope for but are almost afraid to enunciate, when they begin to talk about it and it sees the light of day, their entire body language shifts, their facial expression changes and all of a sudden you can see the passion and the excitement begin to break free and I say, hey, you know what's going on right now. You know what I'm seeing right now. I'm seeing potential realized and it's like it. Just it wakes them up. How exciting it is exciting. I love it's. One of the joys of what I get to do is to see leaders step into something even though they're afraid. Fear can rob us of so much and I love that you're talking about. Hey, we're going to do this, even if I am afraid. We're going to do it anyway. That's so healthy.

Speaker 3:

It doesn't make it comfortable, does it?

Speaker 1:

It doesn't matter what we're doing Like yeah, at all, at all.

Speaker 2:

And yeah, like we said, growth and comfort don't coexist ever.

Speaker 3:

We need that on the wall, like stitched onto a pillow or something.

Speaker 2:

If I could put it on the inside of my eyelids, I would, because I have to remind myself of it that bad as frequently as I'm the link.

Speaker 3:

Yeah well, I guess yeah, it's true, but I think, yeah, yes, we're leaders and yes, we've got the vision and we're going with. That means we go first and so that you know, I think we sign up for that. If you're going to be a leader, that's what you're signing up for. Actually is like you're going first, you're going through the jungle with the big machete, like you don't know what you're going to come up against and you're choosing that role and so I kind of you know it's just going to come with it. It is.

Speaker 2:

It is. And sometimes, when you're doing that, when you are going first, and you keep going first and you keep pressing, you keep pressing, you keep pressing Sometimes people begin to experience burnout and they begin to feel like they're just burning the candle at both ends and they've just got nothing left. Have you ever encountered that?

Speaker 3:

Well, totally, totally, totally. And with that came a total restructure of my business. Right, it meant that actually I had to, like you were saying, asking the question, what do we actually want? Because I realized what I actually wanted wasn't this you know empire of an agency with, you know hundreds of clients and you know massive team. So I downsized, I downsized, I restructured. I spoke about this actually in an episode of the podcast recently, but then that what that meant was that my profit doubled and my work hours halved, like and. So when you think about, when you say it like that, you're like well, of course that was like, of course you should. But when you're in growth mode, you're not necessarily looking at profit, you're going yeah, all the profit goes back into the business because I know what I'm building. And then I realized, hang on, like this is not actually fulfilling me. What I thought I wanted isn't what I want. And and that's not wrong, right, we get to try and we get to experiment as business leaders. That's like we're going to try things that aren't going to be going to work out, or they're going to work out, and we realize actually, the reward of that is that I learn what I don't want, and that's fine too, right, unless you stay there. Unless you stay there, it's fine. And so, yeah, I did. I totally got to that point where I forgot to pick my daughter up from from kinder. I, just I, totally I picked up my kids, my kids, from school so fast. Kindergarten is like preschool preschool yeah, I've got her. I drove home and I was like I got a call like you're half an hour late, to be like, oh, this is not good, emergency break, emergency break. And I laugh now, right, but that was honestly like she wasn't in danger, but it was like my rock bottom moment as a, as a mother, going like, oh, that is not good, like just what? How did I get here? I said that I started my business for my kids. How the heck did I get here? And so, yeah, so that fully was just started, this evolution of trying things differently and restructuring the business and led to where we are now, which is, you know, but it comes from hard choices because you can't just at least for me as the owner, the only sole income earner I couldn't just stop doing what I was doing and and just start this new by a very like we still have, you know, mortgage and food to like, buy and all of the things. And so again, being a leader and going hang on, how can we actually do this? How do we transition clients out? How do we shift down gears on this thing and shift up gears on the thing that's going to be more scalable, that's going to give me the joy and the freedom that I say that I want, but then I'm not actually walking towards. So, yeah, I've been there and I think it's not so many of us do. Right, we say yes to everything and we charge too little and we take on the world and then we're like oh, hang on, I'm not Superman for comfy Superman for so many years, superwoman.

Speaker 2:

Oh true, we do not have kids hanging in our closets, correct? Are there things that you learned in that process, like some keys or some principles to to having a business without getting to that point of burnout?

Speaker 3:

For me, it was about looking at the calendar and putting in me first, putting well-being in first, and so going what is that actually? What are the things that light me up that I want to be doing? Okay, I want to exercise six days a week. For me, that's really important. I need to move my body. I need to take that time to fill my cup so that I can be the best wife, best friend, best client, best CEO, best everything that I can be. I need to do that for myself and just putting those other things in that are really important right Time with the family, date night with my husband, weekends away, massages, when I want to, like just whatever those things are for you, what they are for me, probably like they're going to be different, right, but putting those actually on the calendar first, when do I want to work? And then reframing everything from that, going okay, this is when I want to work, then, and this is how much I want to earn, then what are the offers that actually align with both of those things? And then, what is the simplest way to get in front of more people, the simplest way to nurture those people and sell to those people? Because that was then the answer of like, how do we build this thing? What are the systems we need? Because this is the time I have to work with and that's non-negotiable I'm drawing big fat, you know, boundaries around those things and no one's going to uphold those boundaries except for me. I can't expect other people to uphold my boundaries because they're not going to. And so again, like, be strong in leadership and say no, like you have to say no, which for us who are service providers, is really uncomfortable, because we people pleases and we want to serve, but we can't if we get to the place of burnout, which is like actually we're serving them by saying no, because we can actually serve them better if we know what our boundaries are and uphold them. And so, yeah, coming up with those times, the offer, often that is a high ticket product, because high ticket means you get paid what you want, you've actually given them the ultimate solution, not a bandaid, and therefore they get better results. And so therefore, you get better testimonials, more referrals, and so that high ticket product and a really simple marketing strategy where we're just doing one way to get in front of people, one way to nurture them, one way to sell, and doing that really well and repeatedly for me was how I started to move my way out of that place.

Speaker 2:

That's so good. You know it feels a little weird maybe for somebody who's listening to hear you say you put your well-being first, like your personal well-being, because you're like wait a minute.

Speaker 3:

Wait a minute. Shouldn't you put other?

Speaker 2:

people Like shouldn't you put you know, like everything else has to come before you. Aren't you last? Yeah, no, yeah. It's like when you fly on a plane, right, and they're going over the safety instructions and they tell you, hey, make sure if the oxygen mass drops, you put it on yourself first, then put it on the people who are traveling with you, on your kids and whatnot. It feels so wrong, but you can't help anybody if you're not in a healthy place.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I heard an analogy once and I can't remember who said it, so I keep saying this if you know who said it, let me know. That would be great, then I can actually truth them, because I said I recognize this like once a week. It's the analogy of the million-dollar racehorse right have you heard this no. And so you think about this million-dollar racehorse like this. Like how is this racehorse treated? Like what do they do to make this a million-dollar racehorse? Well, they do not like make it work all night and train every day, all day, every day, and just make it survive on coffee and wine and chocolate, and like. No, this racehorse is just like, works hard when it works hard, rests appropriately, has the correct nutrition, has all like do you know what I mean? It's looked after. Why? Because it's expected to perform. So how on earth can we expect ourselves to perform if we're treating ourselves like crap? Do you know what I mean? Like working 18 hours a day and just more coffee, that'll do it. Like no, I don't need to, you know. Just actually know. Like just it doesn't, it doesn't correlate. I heard that and that like really hit home so hard for me going. Oh, of course. Okay, great, got it Like noted.

Speaker 2:

That's really good, I like. I've never heard that before. That's really good. There's so many implications of that.

Speaker 3:

I know, and we're all tempted, right, we have a even now with my you know what I say is pretty good boundaries. Still, I'll get excited about a project like I'm just going to work on this tonight or I'm just going to, you know, like now close, now okay, stop. No, you're not no. So you've got to be your own, you've got to parent yourself a little bit for your own. That's good You're going to bed, yeah, that's right, Elith.

Speaker 2:

what do you think is the number one job you have as the CEO?

Speaker 3:

This is such a hard question, goodness One. Well, if we're lead, our job is to go first. Right, our job is to go first, and so that means that we are looking after ourselves Like we have to. We have to lead with that. How do we get performance from ourselves? Well, it's the same way that team are going to get performance from themselves. So we have to, we have to go first, we have to show, we have to lead, we have to be the example, and so I think that means that we have, we have vision, we are, we know where we're going and we're setting the pace in all areas, and I think that that's really holistic in terms of yeah, these are the business practices, this is the standard that we serve, this is what's expected, this is how we do things, but also, you know, this is how we treat people, this is how we treat ourselves. I think that's our job to go first, to be the example.

Speaker 2:

How do you stay on top of your game? I mean, you're constantly having to level up right as you find new levels in your business, with your home, with your family. How do you stay on top of that? How do you constantly continue growing and learning?

Speaker 3:

I have a system I love it. Yeah, honestly, I live and die by the calendar. So there's a few things that I do. There is professional development every day in terms of that could be different books, podcasts, so many different things, and with that, that is really strategic. So it depends on what I'm learning. It's not just oh yeah, I'm going to listen to the same Tim Ferriss podcast or whatever it is. It's going oh, hang on, I need to get better at negotiation or I need to get better at X storytelling, and I'm going to strategically find those sources and I'm going to learn, I'm going to input from those things. I'm going to actually just consume, consume, consume every day while I'm doing something else Gym, driving, laundry. They're typically while I'm learning. It's always why I'm doing something else. Busy mom or a four here, right?

Speaker 2:

That's right.

Speaker 3:

So you always have time for it because you can combine it with something else. And then I have strategic thinking time twice a week, so literally half an hour twice a week, where I sit down and for five minutes just write whatever kind of comes to mind, like get it all out, and then I pose a question to myself, which there's, like I have it. It could be a range of questions what's the one thing I need to do to save more time? What's the one person I could hire to make this easier? What would a consultant say about this area of my business? Just, you ask a question that's actually you've been thinking about during the week and then you like literally just sit and think and journal on that question for, say, 20 minutes, and once you're done, then you summarize and you go okay, based on this, what are the three action things that are going on my calendar next week or this week? And so that's the process. I learned this from John Mitchell from Think it Be it. He was a mentor of mine, he has a great podcast as well, and this process, plus a reading my ideal life to myself, this life GPS document to myself, every morning, it's like a 12 minute a day thing, that just reading your goals, reading the things that you want to do, the person you want to be, even as nitty gritty as, like I give my husband two compliments a day like literally every area of my life, of reading that to myself every day, those three things combined what I do for myself, including looking after my body, but that's how I keep fine tuned. What I'm doing is those three things the professional development, the thinking time to process all of that like learning time and action items to make sure that something actually happens and we're not just learning, we're actually implementing and then staying really focused on the person I want to be and the goals that I have every day.

Speaker 2:

That sounds so incredibly intentional.

Speaker 3:

Super intentional. I told you, structure creates freedom.

Speaker 2:

Yes, we should put that on a pillow. Yeah, that's brilliant. Let's do it. Out of all the books that you've read, is there a book that you would recommend that listeners pick up, one that's really made a difference in your journey?

Speaker 3:

The first book in business book that I read was Think Big, and I can't remember who it's by. It's over there, I can't see the spine. You'll find it, you'll find it, I promise. And I think that just opened my eyes to like, wow, we really think too small, we really keep ourselves, we underestimate what we can do based on what we see around us and what we've experienced, which is natural, because we kind of can't do what we haven't experienced or seen. So, yeah, that book for me, I think, is a really good start. If you're in the place of like you know, if you are not, or just are unsure or feeling stuck and not sure what you want. So I think that's a good starting point. We should be asking you that question. Look at all of those books.

Speaker 2:

I have a little bit of a book problem.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it's a good problem to have.

Speaker 2:

I love to read. I love to read Just constantly, all the time soaking in new information, because there's so much to learn.

Speaker 3:

How do you answer that question?

Speaker 2:

A book that has made a big difference in my life. I'll tell you one that has. You're the first I think you may be the first guest that's ever spun that around. That's interesting. One that I recommend so often these days is actually a newer book, but it made such an impact on me when I read it I now recommend it a lot with clients. It's a book called Soundtracks, and John Acuff is the author, and what he writes about is how each one of us has a soundtrack, kind of like a movie. You have the music that's playing in the background. We have soundtracks in our minds that are constantly repeating, and often it's the words that somebody else has said to us and they have become a part of our soundtrack. Or they're things that we say to ourselves over and over again and they become part of our soundtrack. So many of those soundtracks are broken, and the thing about soundtracks is they can be replaced. It's choosing to have a different mindset, a different soundtrack, and it's one that I recommend a lot these days because I found so much value in it personally, because it returns the agency to you instead of to the people who said those things or did those things. The agency is yours. You get to choose whether you're going to replace that soundtrack.

Speaker 3:

Maybe that's the theme you get to choose. It's the theme of the episode.

Speaker 2:

Everyone there you go Well, which brings me to my last question. So typically, people are going to leave an episode like this and they're going to leave with one thing. One thing is going to stick out to them. If you were going to define what that one thing was going to be that you want people to walk away from this conversation with you what would that one thing be?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, if it's not you get to choose, then I guess it's no. I think that's it actually, because it's true and we get what we choose. And we get one step back from that, which is the saying I've heard a little bit around the traps lately, which is we get what we believe, and so I guess it's got a lines with the book, that recommendation that you said right, like that thing that's going around in our heads, we get what we believe and because if we don't believe we can have something, we're not going to choose it, we're not going to go after it. So, yeah, everything stems from that, because even if you do the actions that you're actually just not going to do the actions, if you don't believe it, you don't choose it, you're not going to implement. So you can listen to all of the strategy that we talked about today, but you have to decide, like, what is that thing that I'm going for? What is that? What mountain do I want to climb up? What does society want? What does my partner want? What did I want five years ago? Because we're going to change our mind, we're growing right and so we should change our mind. That's allowed. We should change our mind, but don't make that wrong. So decide now what mountain you're climbing up, Believe that you can do it and choose Like that, yeah.

Speaker 2:

I know folks are going to want to stay connected with you and continue to learn from you. What is the best way for them to do that?

Speaker 3:

Probably come and say hi on Instagram. It's at AnnaliseWorn, which is a weird spelling, so you're going to have to look it up. You're going to have to look in the show notes. I'm not going to spell it for you now, it'll be a waste of time. But just on Instagram, come and say hi, let me know where you know that you found to be here. We can share our mutual affinity for William here and his podcast. Yeah, we can chat there.

Speaker 2:

That's awesome.

Speaker 3:

And you have a.

Speaker 2:

Facebook group too.

Speaker 3:

I do, I do yes.

Speaker 2:

That's awesome, so we'll have those links in the show notes so folks can connect with you there. Annalise, thank you for your time and your generosity today and sharing so much of you and your journey with us.

Speaker 3:

Thank you so much for having me. It's been really fun.

Speaker 2:

Thanks for joining me for this episode today. As we wrap up, I'd love for you to do two things. First, subscribe to this podcast so you don't miss an episode, and if you find value here, I'd love it if you would rate it and review it. That really does make a difference in helping other people to discover this podcast. Second, if you don't have a copy of my newest book, catalytic Leadership, I'd love to put a copy in your hands. If you go to catalyticleadershipbookcom, you can get a copy for free. Just pay the shipping so I can get it to you and we'll get one right out. My goal is to put this into the hands of as many leaders as possible. This book captures principles that I've learned in 20 plus years of coaching leaders in the entrepreneurial space, in business, government, nonprofits, education and the local church. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn to keep up with what I'm currently learning and thinking about. If you're ready to take a next step with a coach to help you intentionally grow and thrive as a leader, I'd be honored to help you. Just go to catalyticleadershipnet to book a call with me. Stay tuned for our next episode next week. Until then, as always, leaders choose to be catalytic.

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