Are you successful? Interview with Anna Lundberg

Show notes:

Do you think you are successful? What does success mean to you and how will you know if you have achieved it in your wedding business?

Today I am talking to business mentor and coach Anna Lundberg about how you can redefine success in your life and business! It’s a great chat and will leave you feeling a whole lot better about your accomplishments!

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Anna: I should be more successful. If you’re going to look at sales or number of books, I’ve written, I should be a bestselling guru author extraordinaire, right. I should be should, should, should. And yet, what was success for me? Well, success was being able to travel the world. Success was being able to do the work I loved.

Then success was being able to work from anywhere to move down to Dorset, to have my children and so on. Um, and so. If I’m kind to myself, I remind myself the whole point of my message, which I’m talking about here. What is successful? Those are the things that are success to me. And of course I can be ambitious and want to sell more or write more books or whatever, but ultimately in the meantime, What matters is to be present with my kids and to have fun and to do fulfilling work and to try to make a difference.

Becca: I’m Becca Pountney wedding business marketing expert, speaker, and blogger. And you are listening to the wedding pros who are ready to grow podcast. I’m here to share with you actionable tips, strategies, and real life examples to help you take your wedding business to the next level. [00:01:00] If you are an ambitious wedding business.

That wants to take your passion and use it to build a profitable, sustainable business, doing what you love, then you’re in the right place. Let’s get going with today’s episode today’s podcast. Guest is just fabulous. And I really love chatting to her a business mentor, life coach, author, podcaster, and parent, who wants to inspire you today to reimagine what success looks like Anna Lundberg, welcome to the podcast.

Anna: thank you so much, Becca. Thank you for having me.

Becca: It’s always a pleasure to talk to you. I love talking to you and I think that your story and everything that you teach is really inspiring. So today we’re gonna be talking all about redefining success and how my wedding business owners can look at what success means to them.

Do you wanna just start by telling us a little bit about your background, how you got to where you are now and why this topic of success is so important to you? .

Anna: Yeah, sure. So I think if we go back to the very beginning at school I was that kind of classic good girl, and I’ve [00:02:00] certainly never been entrepreneurial or risk taker or anything like that.

I mean, I was, I feel like I was much more adventurous when I was little and that kind of got squeezed out of me through school where they teach you to sit and conform and so on. But I did really well academically because I, you know, colored within the lines, I guess. And I, I did what I was supposed to do, and I really sought that kind of tick and the external validation of the good girl.

Sign that you get from your teachers. And of course the real world doesn’t quite like that, but I continued on that path as long as I could. And so I went to Oxford, studied PPE philosophy, politics, economics. I then didn’t really know what to do career wise. So I went to do a master’s in Geneva in Switzerland.

And again, I still didn’t really know what to do. I applied mostly to international development roles, because that’s what I’d studied. And I wanted to work at the UN and make a difference in the world as you do. And I ended up as I like to say, or don’t like to say, I suppose, accidentally in luxury marketing.

So at the other end of the spectrum, so for me, career wise, there was always a disconnect between what I thought I should be doing. [00:03:00] Whether that was right or not. And what I was doing, and it was partly, as I said, accidental, I was just on this kind of conveyor belt of after school. You go to university after university, you go to another university and then you get a good job and so on.

And of course you have student loans to pay off and, and whatever else. And I don’t really know what happened. I think it was a gradual awakening. professionally. I was at Proctor and gamble. So this amazing company I learned so much and met incredible people and it was, you know, fantastic and, and a good salary and Geneva was beautiful.

It was the best place to live in the world. Almost. I’d say it’s such an amazing place, but there was something that wasn’t quite right for me. There was that disconnect and I’d done kind of a design. Uh, conceptual creative role in marketing, I’d done more of a commercial operational role, and then I’d specialised in digital.

And at the point there wasn’t really an obvious next step for me because digital, which of course is, you know, all pervasive now was still quite separate at the time. There wasn’t a clear career path. So I asked for a sabbatical to [00:04:00] travel. Across south America, they gave it to me. And then halfway through that, I quit because I knew that if I came back to my job, I just settled back into that comfort zone and stay there.

And so I forced myself out. It was the craziest decision I ever made, but of course the best one ever. So I’ve taken quite a long time to talk through the early years, so I’ll speed through the rest. But really since then, so since 2013, I have been. Doing exactly what we’re about to talk about redefining success, even though I didn’t name it in those terms initially.

So I questioned everything, I guess, that I’d taken for granted before about what you should be doing, how I should be behaving and what was important. I did lots of work on myself, understanding my values. I did a lot of traveling. which of course, sadly, hasn’t been so possible for people the last couple of years, but is an incredible way to open up your eyes to different ways of living and, and so on.

And I’ve had a few different twists and turns in my business, but ultimately what I’ve created is something that for me combines what I’m good at. So I haven’t thrown away. [00:05:00] Everything that I learned in my marketing world I’ve kept that, but I’ve also added. Writing coaching speaking, and all these other things that I love to do as well, all the while making it location independent so that initially I could travel the world and be adventurous.

And now, so that I can live, uh, by the sea with my two little kids. So that’s how I’ve redefined success. And of course it’s an ongoing process, but it’s. In fact, I’ve just recorded my 200th podcast episode and I’ve just spent the last half hour or so, reflecting back on the journey, using the J word. And it has been, yeah, it’s been quite a ride, but my goodness, the best few years in my life and career.

Becca: Wow. What a story, what an incredible journey. And I find it so interesting because when we think about success, most people would think that first half of your journey. Is what success is. So doing really well at school, going to Oxford, going to a top university, getting a top job. And we would think if we are having our own children, yeah.

This is exactly what we want to teach them to [00:06:00] do. So why do you think maybe that isn’t always the right path?

Anna: Well, I think that’s the question. Is it the right path? Right. And I don’t think we ask that question is the point because. For me, at least I had, I suppose, academic parents who had gone to university and even their parents, which is unusual for their generation had also gone to university.

So that was just assumed. And I imagine, and I’ve come across people who had very entrepreneurial parents and their, the assumption is you’re going to be entrepreneurial. If your parents are in media and TV, you know, often Hollywood actors have kids who then continue on. So your upbringing is very much colored by what you see as possible around you.

And for us, the assumption was always go to university and so on, even with a subject choice. And, and for a long time, I kind of blamed my parents in society for this, but I take ownership now, but I was so easily swayed by what people said. I loved writing and I wanted to write, but people said, oh, you’ll never make it as a writer.

You should. Do a more sensible degree. And then you can always write in your corporate job, which is of course not the same thing, or of course you’ll never make it as an actress or anything, more creative, all those things. Right. Even in the media [00:07:00] industry, I loved film and so on. And as you know, I’m jealous of the background you’ve had in your career as well.

Um, but you know, it was just, it’s easy to be then. Swayed, unless you are super strong and, and convinced that you are going to like a lady Gaga, you have to have such inner conviction that you are going to succeed. At least in my case, I was too weak and I was easily swayed. And, and like I said, I didn’t really ask those questions, but hang on.

What does success mean to me? And let’s be honest. It’s really hard to answer that when you’re 18, I do have some younger people come to me or their parents saying, how can I guide? There’s like to be honest, it’s quite hard. You almost have to make. These mistakes or at least have different experiences to work out what your values are, what doesn’t work for you.

What’s important and so on. Right. But to, in a long-winded way, come round back to your question for me, success. I think when we don’t explicitly ask what it means is something like, well, first of all, let me ask you. Yeah. What would you say spontaneously, if you didn’t know all this, like nuance that we’ll talk about now, you, as you said, you talked about the Oxford degree and the job and [00:08:00] that kind of thing.

Right? That’s what you usually think. The kind of American dream, big house, big job, right? Yeah.

Becca: I suppose I would think success was doing well in education, achieving what you are able to achieve at the best of your ability and then doing something that brings you fulfillment in the rest of your life.

Anna: Yeah, see, but you’ve already made those shifts yourself. So you are, you’ve already woken up to the truth, right? The second two parts of that is so important. If you Google the definition of success, you do get the kind of fame, fortune and so on piece, but you also get exactly that achieving your aim or purpose.

Which of course brings you that fulfillment, but you have to know what that aim or purpose is. And I think for most of us, we don’t explicitly define that. So either we inherit it from our parents or from society, or we don’t ask the question at all. And then often, and those are the people who come to me, we achieve that success and suddenly go hang on a second.

Now what, I don’t have that magical fulfillment that I was told I was supposed to get, you know, I’m caught in this kind of golden cage, golden handcuffs, whatever you wanna call it. And, and that’s not [00:09:00] actually. Success for me. So that’s why it’s so important. I think we are walking through sort of sleep walking through life, just working towards these goals.

And then if, and when we do achieve. now what, you know, that’s, that’s actually not what matters to us, perhaps.

Becca: I think it’s so fascinating to think about where this all starts for us as well, because you’re right. When we are younger, it is harder for us to make those decisions or to know what journey we want to take, but yet it’s so pivotal to where we start out in our career.

And I think it’s interesting in your own story as well. You went right back to your childhood. And one thing I’ve seen recently with my children in school, so my little girls in reception, and we just got her report home from school. And you know how, when they. School reports, these days they’re always positive, but sometimes you feel like there’s an underlying message.

And one of her comments in her report was she is a born leader and she likes to show other people how to achieve success. And that really made me laugh, because I thought, I can’t tell whether they think that’s a good thing or whether they think that just means she’s really bossy and tells everyone else in the class.

But those for me are [00:10:00] traits that are good in the workplace or as an entrepreneur. But maybe won’t help you so much when you are in school. So I don’t know what you think about, I know we’re going off on a bit of a tangent, but about the education system and how they define success to children as they go through that.

Anna: Well, to be honest, my, uh, understanding of it still dates back to the eighties, nineties, right. And my kids are not old enough to be in school. What I’ve seen through my niece and nephew. And I’ve been seeing lots of report cards in the last few days, because it’s the end of term and everyone’s sharing.

I’m not sure how much it has evolved. I’d like to think that it does has. I was talking to someone the other day, because through my adventures over the years, I’ve met people who’ve done. Of course, homeschooling world schooling, taking their kids out. I met an amazing couple who to be fair were teachers, both of them.

They took their kids out and traveled in the van around the country. They did Ted talks and had a campaign, uh, for plastics, free oceans and all these things. Right. They were incredible and we’re learning so much more outside of school. And yet if I were to make that choice for my own children, I’d be very nervous about taking [00:11:00] such a big.

Uh, rebellious, I guess, move away from what everyone else is doing, because then you’re kind of sticking your head up. It’s one thing for me to reimagine, but to potentially, you know, affect their whole future is quite a scary thought. So I, I don’t know what the education system now. Certainly I don’t think they are still now teaching us the skills, even like financial.

Education right understanding of these life skills that we need, um, investing and those kinds of things, or, uh, in fact, work life balance, mental health, I hope is coming more to the fore, um, taking care of our physical health. And so, and I just don’t think those are the life skills that are being taught. I think it’s still very much the academic, you know, quite, um, rigid.

Black and white kind of here’s how you do this math and here’s how you do this science. And, and as we of course know any kind of neuro divergence or anything like that, people aren’t fitting into those boxes. So I recognize that I’m very lucky that I ticked all those boxes and I did well, but so what am I more set up for success?

I don’t think so. I see more and more [00:12:00] people in the public eye and people I speak to who. Did not do well at school. And yet I look at them with admiration and think they were actually better equipped to deal with the world because they hadn’t suceeded, because they were more resilient. They were more independent.

They weren’t as affected by negative comments because I was so tied to doing well at school. You know, was they kind of, I guess, because they weren’t doing well, they didn’t care. And they found their own way and so on. So, you know, without oversimplifying, there are so many different paths and I think ironically, perhaps, so traditional schooling doesn’t.

Give you the best start in your life.

Becca: Yeah, that’s so true. There’s so many different options and we don’t need to be all pushed down the same route. And we talk a lot about this in our members group for my wedding pro members, about how so many of us have entrepreneurial parents. And that’s how we were encouraged.

To take that step and take that leap to work for ourselves rather than through the school system and the careers advisor that told you to get a traditional job. Now, obviously you did go down that corporate route and you talked about taking your sabbatical and [00:13:00] then basically quitting your job. Now, for many people, they might be listening to this thinking.

I’ve got my wedding business, I’ve still got my full-time job as well. And I know that really, I wanna be doing my wedding business. That’s where I find my fulfillment, but I’m too scared to take that leap. How did you find that inner courage? How did you know it was the right time? How did you prepare for that?

Did you prepare for it or was it a total risk?

Anna: Do you know? That’s such an interesting comparison because I imagine those people in your community are more savvy than I was because I was not having started a business. I didn’t realize how hard it was. So there must have been an element of naivity in thinking, oh, yay.

I can just go off and be a blogger and travel the world. And I don’t know what I thought or be a consultant. And to be honest, I landed on my feet initially with digital marketing consulting, because that was a skill I had and a network, and it was very in demand and so on, it became harder when I then tried to follow my passion more and do the writing and the coaching.

And so on, as it turns out, putting up a website to say, Hey, I’m a. Doesn’t mean that people are suddenly going to pay you lots of money for [00:14:00] coaching. Right. I had an established reputation in one area and, and it took a long time to build the audience and credibility in the new area. As I always say scary and exciting tend to come together.

And that’s a good thing. And there is a point at which you’ll probably need to make a call because if, if you are full-time especially, but even a part-time day job as it were, is getting in the way of you being able to grow your wedding business further than you have to this point, then obviously there is a moment at which you’re going to have to make some kind of decision.

If you’re happy to continue as you are. That’s fine. Um, But there is always going to be a bit of a leap into the unknown. Having said that there is so much preparation to do. And what I do with my clients now is of course, look at what does success look like for you? What’s the right business model for that.

So of course, if you’re going to make that pivot, you want to look at the wedding business as it is. And okay. If I had more time. Could I easily scale it up what you’re doing in your one day, two day. Now, do you have the strategies and systems and audience and so on in place so [00:15:00] that yes, with the, as soon as you get a day or two extra boom, you can scale your business.

You know, you can double and so on. If not, then perhaps you’re not quite ready to, to take a leap. And it’s better to, to work with you, for example, on getting those strategies in place so that you are able to, so that you have more confidence at least that you can grow the business to where you want it to be.

Becca: Yeah, that’s really helpful. And I think sometimes as well, people lack that confidence because they have this belief that their wedding business or their side hustle, isn’t proper, isn’t a proper business and they’ve gotta keep that proper job alongside having a bit of fun in their business. How do you think people can change that mindset and realize actually you can do whatever you wanna do.

Anna: It is the mindset, as you say, and it’s around what we call in coaching, limiting beliefs. We have these long lists of beliefs that might not even be voiced around. As you say, I need to have a proper job and a stable salary. It’s more, it’s safer to stay in my job. Um, You know, I need all the benefits and so on.

I can’t afford to quit. It’s [00:16:00] risky to be an entrepreneur. Those are stories we tell ourselves that may have been inherited from struggling parent entrepreneurs or from society from social media, whatever, or from our own experiences. But ultimately we need to ask ourselves, are they true? And generally they’re not.

True. You could find evidence to the country and then are they serving us? Well? No, because actually I’m burnt out in my day job. I don’t like it there. It’s not what I wanna be doing. I have this passion and I even have a, a functioning, thriving business here. So it’s much more powerful to reframe those beliefs.

And of course it’s easier said than done, but sometimes it is as simple as saying I’m choosing to believe. That it’s actually safer to have my wedding business where, and ideally, perhaps diversified income streams from other things too, especially after the experience of the last couple of years, but it’s safer to be your own boss to be in control of your income and not be tied to an employer who look, let’s be honest, can reorganize mergers, acquisitions, redundancies are made.

Um, unfortunately that it’s not as safe as we [00:17:00] perhaps pretend it to be. So there’s a bit of a change of mindset. As you said, there’s also a big. There’s a quote from Helen Keller, which of course I can’t remember now, but around the importance of hope and faith and optimism and optimism is a really key part of resilience.

And so it’s not blind naivety. Being unrealistic. It is just a faith in the fact that it will work out, not by just sitting on your bum doing nothing, but alongside the strategies and getting help from experts and so on. There is an element of, of optimism that you need to adopt. And so if you are stressed and pessimistic and, and not believing that it’s gonna happen, that unfortunately does almost make it a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You need to think, how can I. Bring myself back to why I started this in the first place and bring that confidence and belief and, and joy and optimism back. So

Becca: much good stuff in there, Anna. So if people are listening to this and they’re thinking, right, I understand what Anna’s saying. I need to look at what success means for me.

How do they go [00:18:00] about kind of doing a health check of themselves or of their business to work out? Am I doing what I think to be successful? Or is there areas that I wanna change? Is there some kind of, kind of health check or something that they could be doing to look at, um, what success should be meaning to them and how they define it for themselves.

Anna: So, so when you, I like the idea of the health check in a way, I do have a, um, little assessment that I can share if that’s appropriate, because that’s sort of a, literally that an assessment. Um, I came up with the five areas in your life that matter. So, you know, we talk about work life balance, and that’s a whole other.

Um, topic or podcast perhaps, but I’m quite anti that concept because it’s really pitting the two against each other. There’s a zero sum. You either have work or you have life. Um, and they’re not two different things, especially when you are your own business owner, when you are following a passion where you’re doing work, that you love and so on around a family or whatever.

Work is a part of life. It’s an important part, but it is just a part, nonetheless. So I look at these five areas, which are your health and wellbeing, your relationships in your life say [00:19:00] family romance, but also peers and community. And so on your career of course, is part of that. Your development and growth.

You’re learning and also fun because yes, we should also have some time for as we’ll talk about later, I’m sure. Chilling out and, um, just enjoying ourselves. Right? So those are five areas. Um, if you do wanna have a go at answering those questions, there’s like 10 questions for each one. It’s one step

Forward slash success. One step forward slash success. And it’s just a quick kind of checklist almost of those areas. So that’s, that is a literally a health check you can do. Um, but apart from that, of course, there are exercises we can do is taking a step back and asking ourselves what is actually important.

What are our values? That’s a really useful exercise, even spontaneously thinking, because you can imagine if you value. Just off the top, top of my head, you know, freedom, curiosity, creativity, family, and kindness. That gives you a very different basis and structure for a business than if you value, um, achievement, wealth, [00:20:00] uh, power, you know, I’m being quite sort of black and white in the, in the distinctions and no judgment there, but you need to understand what’s really important to you.

And then that will help you filter. Decisions of the types of clients you want to work with, or the types of the type of schedule you even want to be working and so on, right. And the choices that you’re making in your business. So the values is a really concrete exercise you can do as well. I

Becca: love action taking.

So if you’re listening to this, first of all, I’m gonna put a link to Anna’s success check or health check in the show notes. You can go and take that and go and see where you are struggling or where you’re not happy in your business. And also I would love to encourage you. Go away and just write down what five values are important to you in your business and reflect on that.

Also going back to something you said about fun, Anna being one of your five pillars. I think that actually answers that question. So often that we talked about before, which is when people feel like they haven’t got a proper business. And I think that’s because that part of their business, that part of their work, they enjoy doing it so much.

They love. Building [00:21:00] a bouquet of flowers or they love making the cake that it doesn’t feel like work. And actually that’s okay. It’s just, it’s just society that’s told us work should be hard. Work should be long work should be boring. Work should be you wake up on a Monday morning and you don’t wanna get out of bed.

And so when people. Don’t feel those ways, they feel like they’re not doing it. Right. Do you think that resonates?

Anna: Yes. A hundred percent. And I think that’s the Protestant work ethic, I think from our culture. No, I did sort of a brief historical analysis of work and the work, the word for work in ancient Greek is aponus which is pain torment.

So like in the past the Greeks and Romans of course they had slaves, so that’s not something to, um, particularly bring back, but they didn’t value. Hard manual labor, they valued philosophy and art. And by all means, you know, a rich, um, Roman could craft something beautiful if they wanted to, but not out of necessity.

It was all around. You know, think of Leonardo DaVinci, even the Renaissance men, women, and so on. Right. It was a totally different view. And I think it’s [00:22:00] the Protestant work ethic. And then of course, the industrialization that led to these factories and long hours, the nine to five, by the way, was initially a positive development, right?

It was a, an improvement versus the 16 hour days, a hundred hour weeks that people were doing and predictions were that we should be working much less by now, which of course hasn’t quite happened, but you’re exactly right. It’s society for whatever reason is telling us. That work is supposed to be at a certain elements at least of society.

That work is supposed to be hard. And I’m exploring this idea of lifestyle business at the moment, which people have a mixed response to. But it’s exactly that that people say, it’s not a, there’s an indication that it’s not a real business versus a proper VC funded startup with a team. And, you know, there’s seed funding, whatever that’s called all these stages and so on.

And even, and a bit of vulnerability here looking at my business, you know, I actually quit my job in 2013. even the coaching business ultimately was, let’s say 2015 that’s seven years or more. I should be more successful if you’re going to look at [00:23:00] sales or number of books, I’ve written, I should be a bestselling guru author extraordinaire, right.

I should be should, should, should. And yet, what was success for me? Well, success was being able to travel the world. Success was being able to do the work I loved. Then success was being able to work from anywhere to move down to Dorset, to have my children and so on. Um, and so. If I’m kind to myself, I remind myself the whole point of my message, which I’m talking about here.

What is successful? Those are the things that are success for me. And of course I can be ambitious and want to sell more or write more books or whatever, but ultimately in the meantime, what matters is to be present with my kids and to have fun and to do fulfilling work and to try to make a difference.

And also to relax sometimes and to go paddle boarding on the sea, whatever. Right. So that’s part of the process as well. So it is, you know, it’s not that we just do this health check once and tada we’re on track for this more meaningful definition of success. We do have to check in now and then remind ourselves.

Becca: This is why I love talking to you, Anna, because you [00:24:00] resonate with me so much and everything you’re talking about just, just hits me. And I know it’s gonna hit some of the people listening as well, because especially in the online world, we can be bombarded with these messages of how to make six figures, how to make seven figures, even in the wedding business industry.

Something that I don’t do, but I do see people doing is, you know, how to turn over six figures in your wedding business, how to sell out. You know, selling 20 million weddings a year. And the reality is if people do that, they are gonna burn out and it’s incredibly hard work yet, even when we are trying to push against that, which I am, I definitely would describe myself as more of a lifestyle business.

You still have this thing in your head saying, I should be earning more money. I need to earn more money. I need to earn more money to prove that I’m successful. So to how do we. Fight that kind of urge and disappointed feeling when actually, so often we have all that we want and people listening. If you’ve got the business that you love and you’re happy going to work every day and you’re bringing in enough money to pay your bills and you’re home with your children, if that’s what you wanted to [00:25:00] be, then you don’t need to beat yourself up for not always hitting those huge financial targets, because maybe that’s not what you’re looking for.

So how do we stop ourselves in this kind of, you know, virtual beating ourselves up and feeling guilty?

Anna: Such a good question. And of course, if I had the answer, I’d probably be more successful than I am because then I would be some incredible guru, however, my contribution to that would be, first of all, it has to start with coming back.

Of course. What your vision is, what success is, what matters to you. And when I first started my coaching and when I first quit my job, I was so goals focused of course, coming from the kind of achiever background and, and work and corporate and, and whatever else in school. And it was all about, I wrote a bucket list and I had goals and I was coaching my clients on goals.

And I’ve relatively recently just had this massive insight, that those things don’t really matter to me anymore. I’m not really into. Checking boxes that had a really important role for me at the time, because it helped me to, to get out of my comfort zone and do exciting things and so on. But if now I’m setting my vision for the, I’m not that [00:26:00] motivated by yeah.

I’m gonna triple my sales the next three months, or I’m gonna write five more books or speak, you know, I’m, I’m actually not so. Maybe your vision of success is just, I wanna do work that I enjoy and have time for my family, you know, that’s it. And that’s a pretty good, you know, I, I did another podcast episode the other day on the three things you need to nurture, which is yourself, your family and your business.

And of course within that, it gets more complicated. But ultimately if I remind myself that’s all that matters, that’s sort of the first thing. And then I guess more practically, if you have then a strategy to help you focus on those things, then you know, you can kind of close your eyes. I went through a phase definitely of every time I met someone else, oh my gosh, they’re doing this type of workshop and they’re doing speaking and I should be doing this.

And they did a virtual summit. And why am I, you know, and that’s so distracting, but actually if you have your own vision and strategy, You can kind of shut out that noise and know, you know, no I’ve done the due diligence. I’ve done the work. This is what I wanna do. And I’m on track and this is what I’m focusing on.

And then I guess the final piece, of course, which we always talk about is so important is having the people around you. [00:27:00] And I, unfortunately, sometimes I suppose if it’s the wrong kind of people, not even the wrong kind of people, but certain communities, maybe it is more about the, you know, oh, I’m making this much every month or, um, this is what I’ve done and so on.

But if you’re in the right kind of community of people who. also perhaps putting family first and this more lifestyle business focused and so on, they’ll remind you of what really matters and support you and cheer you on, in the struggles of having the kids over the summer holidays, or, you know, kids are off sick from nursery or, um, whatever it is and, and help you.

Right. So surrounding yourself with like my people, I think is a really important way to anchor, um, in, in that, and, and maybe unsubscribe from those channels, which I do all the time, um, when they’re all pushing. that kind of more traditional messaging of get to eight figures and you should be doing this.

And if you wanna buy a Lamborghini, you shouldn’t be sitting in front of the TV. That’s one I saw the other day. That’s uh, fine, but I’ll live without a Lamborghini. It’s okay. Um, you know, so unsubscribing is another good tip in terms of a tactical practical thing you can do [00:28:00] today. Really

Becca: helpful and yeah, I think it’s important.

Isn’t it for us all and this is definitely a work in progress for me. It probably is for you and lots of people listening to just find contentment in the things that we want in life and not think that we’ve always gotta be better than we are right now. Now, Anna, when I was researching for this podcast, I was having a look at some of your blog posts and I came across a blog post that I thought was really interesting.

And it just hit me when we’re talking about this subject called the five regrets of the dying. Now this is a blog post you wrote a little while ago. Things that people were saying before they died. All the things that they’d regretted in life. I just wondered if you could just talk to us a bit about that, because actually I think that really resonates that there’s some things we’ll get to the end of our life and actually it doesn’t matter how much money we’ve got in the bank account or how big our house is that as other things that are more important.

So talk to me about why you wrote that post and maybe a little bit about what’s

Anna: in it. Yeah, well, it was part of, again, my relatively early discovery too, and there are so many stories. I know. There was a coach who gave me an exercise, which was the rocking chair [00:29:00] exercise, which you sort of project yourself into the future.

You’re sitting there in your rocking chair. You are aging, you’re sort of nearing the end of your life. And what are you thinking? You know, reflecting back what was important to you and what do you regret? And, and this is a book. Um, 5 regrets the dying by Brone Ware. She’s an Australian palliative care nurse.

And without being too critical, I didn’t love the book. And I’ve seen criticisms of it not being scientific or whatever. It doesn’t matter. She worked with people who were nearing the end of their lives and she collected their insights. And exactly, as you say, they are incredibly profound and the top one is, I wish I’d let myself.

Live a life that was true to me rather than be caught up, you know, in, in what other people or what I thought other people, you know, wanted me to do. Um, but there’s also, of course I wish I hadn’t worked as hard. I wish I’d let myself be happy. I wish I’d spent more time with my friends and family. And it’s so obvious.

And yet why don’t we listen to and learn from these people who unfortunately can’t now change anything, but we have this incredibly luxurious. Opportunity [00:30:00] to make shifts in her life now and be present and remind ourself of what matters. What matters now? And my mum told me a story and I’m sure it’s, it’s not, um, unique and it’s, uh, sad tale.

She had a colleague who hated her job was so stressed, only counted down the days, weeks, years to her retirement. And then on retirement had a brain tumor and unfortunately sadly passed away seeing thereafter. And it sounds almost farcical in its, you know, sadness, but it that’s, the truth. Life is short.

We don’t know what’s gonna happen. And as much as it’s a cliche, it’s also painfully true as we’ve again seen in the difficult years, the last two years. So we have to remind ourselves of what really matters.

Becca: Yeah, it’s easy to say. Yeah, I’ll make that change next week, next month, next year. But actually I think COVID definitely has taught me.

We need to live more in the moment. We can’t wait till next year, next week. You know, if the, if at all possible let’s make these changes now and I’m gonna encourage everyone to go and read that blog post. I’m gonna link to it in the show notes underneath, because I think that alone. [00:31:00] Reading through that will help you as you sit down to think about those values and think about how you want success to look for you in your wedding business.

Now, Anna, when we’re talking about all these things, having a lifestyle business and making sure we’ve got this balance and making sure we’re success is exactly what we want it to be. That doesn’t mean we’re just sitting around, lying on the beach all day. Does it? You’re an incredibly busy person. I said, right in the intro, you’re a business mentor, a life coach, an author podcast, a parent like your life.

Busy. So how do you balance all of these things? How do you achieve all of those things whilst also trying to have the things that you value?

Anna: It’s a question and balance is such a tricky word. I think we, we think that we can achieve it. And of course we can’t, it’s sort of an ever moving beast and, and constantly tweaking.

And of course we discuss briefly, you know, that as our festival, as we have kids that changes our life completely. And then as. Suddenly under school, then that shifts our time and so on. Right. So part of it is just necessity and there’s that joke that, you know, if you want something done, [00:32:00] give it to a single mother with young children or something because you have such limited time that you have to, to, you know, do so much.

I was gonna say, do so much more, but actually it’s not about doing more is it’s doing less. So. In terms of my current situation. We’ve got the kids at nursery three days a week. They’re long days, but that is it. Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, we are actually speaking on Friday is because I’ve got an extra day today, which as you can imagine is magic.

And I’m, I’ve had a really productive week this week. Um, but I believe it’s totally possible to build a business in those days. And of course I. Did start pre-kids but to be perfectly honest, I think I worked way less than I do now because I was so again, naive as to what, what I thought was possible. I certainly wasn’t structured.

I was rebelling against that whole corporate structure of the nine to five. I didn’t want an alarm clock and I didn’t really know what I was doing. So it took me far longer than it should have to get to even a viable business at all. In terms of the coaching business. Now, what helps me is that I’ve done this work that I have a really clear vision.

I’ve got my routine. Of course, of the things I’ve gradually laid things [00:33:00] on. I obviously didn’t start. And if you are just starting out, don’t compare your, you know, year one to someone else’s year five or in my case almost year 10 now, um, I started with blogging once a month and then I maybe started blogging every couple of weeks.

And then there was a newsletter and there was a Facebook group and so on. Right. It’s not that I did a podcast and a book and YouTube and Instagram and all this stuff from day one. So. Again, taking a step back. What is it you wanna achieve? And then, so I say dream big and start small, I suppose, in a nutshell, before I keep, um, rabbiting on about different aspects of it, but, you know, have a really clear vision, but know that you can’t and don’t need to achieve it all at the same time.

You know? So one year, um, 2018 was a really big year for me. I launched a, my first group coaching program. I published my book and I launched my podcast. And the reason I was able to do that was because. After several months of failing to do that. I took one thing at a time. I said, look okay. I can’t, I was doubling in each of them.

I was like, no, I have to do one thing. So I was like, [00:34:00] course, I mean, group program launched that. Then I said, okay, I’m gonna launch my book by my birthday, which was 3rd of October public accountability commitments. So I had to do that. And then the podcast was just December, 2018. So I just about managed by the end of the year.

Um, but it’s, you know, knowing what your focus is, the one thing that matters. Other tactical things. I’m a really big fan of time blocking I block the morning. So I don’t have any client calls in the morning. I start, you know, Thursdays now for me are writing because getting my next book done is a really priority client calls in the afternoon because I know that they’re gonna get done and I’ll be present.

But if I fill the morning with that, I’ll be so drained that I won’t be able to do the work and so on. Right. So it’s understanding your own energies, what your priorities are. Um, And importantly, I’m really, um, prioritizing exercise and so on. So I’ve been working with a personal trainer and nutritionist for the past year or so.

Um, I prioritize that first thing in the morning nursery drop off, and then I do my strength training or run and that’s that’s first actually, before even I [00:35:00] get to work and so on. So I’m really. Doing my best to prioritize family and fitness and health and sleep, unfortunately suffering a bit, maybe because of the kids and the heat and so on.

But otherwise sleep would be a priority in so far as it’s possible. Um, and that foundation is what then gives me the energy to, to focus on the, the vision I have. So

Becca: prioritizing what’s important and being efficient with your time. So important. And I I’m definitely the same. I think the less time I have the more efficient I become.

So for example, today, as we are recording this, I know it’s my last few hours before the kids break up for school. I have been incredibly efficient this week because I know that my time. Is short and I needed to go out this morning and I ran out to the shops. I got some shopping, I’ve got some things I need to do, and I’ve got back and I’ve achieved more than I might do on another day when I’m just at home, you know, working normally.

So I think sometimes we underestimate how much we can get done because we’re so easily distracted and we are not focused.

Anna: You feel the time that you have available, right? Just like, I guess [00:36:00] the bigger handbag, the more things you put into it. And that’s the classic the day before your holiday is the most productive day.

Now, the thing is you can’t maintain that energy always. And I think there is a certain ebb and flow. There’s a sort of up and down, which I think is fine, right? There’s a bit of a rhythm to it. So sometimes I’ve had a week or two where I’ve boom, I’ve launched my course and I’ve done 10 podcast episode, this, that, and the other.

And I think, wow, I’m on a roll and I’m gonna keep going. But inevitably, because I’ve done so much. I have a couple of weeks where I’m a bit pooped and maybe I’m ill or the children are ill or something like that. So there’s a bit of a wave of up and down and that’s okay because we’re in it for the long haul.

And that’s the key thing, right? Especially when you’ve got kids or perhaps your own chronic illness to deal with or family or whatever it is. Again, being kind and compassionate with yourself, being patient, taking those little steps, but, but working towards the longer term, knowing that that’s what matters missing a day or two, isn’t gonna make a difference, right?

Becca: Yeah. So, so important as wedding business owners, it definitely ebbs and flows for people because as you can imagine, the summer season can be crazy and then the winter can be really quiet and it [00:37:00] it’s definitely an ebb and flow in terms of productivity. Busyness now, Anna, before I let you go, there’s a new feature that I bought to the podcast, which is all about wedding pros.

It’s time to take a break. Now I know that the wedding business owners who listen to this podcast are terrible at taking a break. In fact, they’re probably even listening to this while they’re editing or doing some other work. So we wanna encourage them to take a break. So I’ve been asking my guests, what sort of things do you do to relax and get away from.

Anna: Yeah, I’m not good at that either. Although I feel generally quite centered and, and calm because I think I’ve designed the business in a way that I’m not, you know, I’m not pushing myself too much. And I think a wedding business is, is a very different beast, especially the summer period. One of the things I’ve done recently is I’ve stopped listening to so many things because I used to squeeze in podcasts and obviously everyone’s got their phone all the time and so on.

And now I’ve actually not listened to podcasts and books and things on runs and walks and things just to have. You know, 20, 30 minutes of no noise and just reflecting. And it’s probably, [00:38:00] I mean, it’s waste of time in a sense, because I’m not learning anything new and I’m not achieving anything and so on, but it’s just a little bit of peace in my head, a little bit of reflection, and sometimes you get great ideas and sometimes, Hey, you don’t, but at least you’ve had a bit of a, kind of a mental break.

So that’s a big one for me. I think turning things off, um, Yeah. I mean, again, putting the exercise first, it’s not so much a break, but it’s making sure that that comes first. And I am trying to read books. , I’m very big fan of, uh, business development obviously, and, um, non-fiction books and on audible and Kindle and so on, but I’m trying to read physical.

Books. And for example, with the summer, now, the kids are out in the paddling pool and I sort of optimistically thought I could sit there in the sun with a book, but I did manage 10, 15 minutes or so. And that was quite nice to have my own little time what they were splashing about, but have a physical book I think is quite a good way to disconnect as

Becca: well.

I try to do exactly the same thing. My kids were in the paddling pool. I lay down near. By with my book and within 30 seconds, one of them had poured a bucket of water over my back. So, [00:39:00] you know, it’s never as relaxed. Oh no. As you, as you think, I thought

Anna: you were gonna say on each other because that can happen too, but yeah, pouring it on my book would not have been appreciated.

So yeah, it might not work. Sorry about that. it’s

Becca: all good fun. And if you are. Sitting at home then watching the TV, just chilling out at home. I’d love to know what your recommendations, what are you listening to? What you are watching right now on Netflix, Amazon, that people might wanna tune into. If they’re looking for something new to watch.

Anna: I don’t know, unfortunately, we watch way too much TV. I realize when we talk to people and that’s part of what I’m trying to do, I’ve been having tennis lessons on Tuesday evenings, and my partner has now, um, cricket on Wednesday. So it’s good because otherwise our go to is just to get in front. TV and watch something.

I’m not sure if it’s a new recommendation, uh, Westworld. We are watching at the moment, which is really not relaxing. It’s so complicated. I’m exhausted just by trying to understand what’s going on it. We thought we were onto final season, season four, and it turned out after watching half an episode, we had no idea what was going on and there was a whole season we’d missed.

So we’ve had to now go back to season three to watch that. Um, so I’m not sure if that’s a good tip. What I would say is if you [00:40:00] haven’t watched it, I’m gonna put a little vote in there for stranger things, which we eagerly watched as soon as it was out, um, the season four of se stranger things is the best season ever.

So I don’t know if that’s your thing, the whole sci-fi thing, but the eighties nostalgia is amazing. And that was a lot of fun and a very much a disconnect from real life, which is very appreciated. And

Becca: sometimes we need that. So that’s west world and stranger things. Yeah, there you go. I haven’t watched either of those things yet, so they are both going onto my list of things to watch over the next few months, because none of us have time to sit and go through the Netflix or the Amazon library to see what on earth there is.

So I am always appreciative of all the recommendations. happy to help. Now the final question, Anna, before I let you go, is, is there one thing that you wish you’d understood or known sooner in your.

Anna: yes. That there is no right answer because I, again, coming back full circle to the whole good girl thing, looking for the tick and, and the gold star.

I think [00:41:00] we tend to, and especially at the beginning, we’re procrastinating. We’re not putting things out there because if we just have to do one more course, so just need to learn one more thing. I have to make this better. I need to find the person who’s going to tell me, you know, is it this? Or is it that there is no right answer.

And of course people can help you and people who’ve been there done that and they can advise you on strategy and some, but ultimately it comes down to what you want to do. What fits for you? What you have the energy for what you are good. And trying things, learning from it. And then, you know, continuing that on that journey.

And it, it sounds both easy and hard, I suppose, because it’s much easier to just take someone’s blueprint and go tada, come to that six, seven figure business, but that’s the biggest learning and it’s hugely empowering to take the pressure off. You don’t have to find the right answer. You work it out to your best ability in terms of strategies and visions.

And so, and then you give it a go and then you see what happens and you kind of tweak and go from there. But it’s, it’s a much more relaxed way I think of doing business because you’re not trying to get it right. You’re just, I guess, trying to improve a little bit every day. I. [00:42:00] Yes,

Becca: Anna. And this is why I love talking to you, because you make me feel so much better about myself and my business.

And I know that you’re gonna be making people listening, feel so much better as well. So if you’re listening, take the pressure off, just do what you wanna do and take it one step at a time. Anna, if people wanna find out more about you, where’s the best place for them to go.

Anna: well, if you listen to the podcast, I imagine you are a podcast listener.

So the best thing to do is probably to head on over to reimagining success. So you can search reimagining success on your favorite podcast app. You can go to reimagining success, and I talk all these things. The, the five pillars as I call them of building a life outside the nine to five, of course, redefining success, work, life integration, as well as some things around personal branding and so on and choosing the right business.

So have a good mix of that business strategy, as well as the, the more kind of positive psychology life coaching concepts that we’ve danced around today. Amazing.

Becca: I’ll be linking to Anna’s podcast and all of the other resources that we’ve been mentioning as well in the show notes, Anna, it’s been a pleasure as always take care and I’ll see you soon.

Anna: Thanks Becca.

Becca: [00:43:00] Oh, I loved that chat with Anna. Wasn’t it so inspiring and such a good reminder to us that we don’t always need to strive for more, but we need to remember what success means to us and why we started our business in the first place. If you enjoyed hearing from Anna, then I’ve got some great news for you because Anna’s recorded some additional content, which you can find.

Inside of the member’s lounge. So if you wanna hear more from Anna, become a member of the member’s lounge, it’s the place to be. And you can go back and watch her keynote from last year’s summit. I’ll see you next week.

Becca xo


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