Reinvention Road Trip

"What about Bob?" a Conversation with Joan Nelson @IBM

June 07, 2022 Jes Averhart
Reinvention Road Trip
"What about Bob?" a Conversation with Joan Nelson @IBM
Show Notes Transcript

Joan Nelson is a friend, mentor and  Vice President at IBM.  Leading approximately 1,200 people across the globe, Joan has a unique vantage point on workplace culture and the pervasive effects of burnout. 

During our interview, she talks openly about the impact burnout is having on the workplace and offers her take on how to take back control and notice the signs in advance. 

Don't miss our lively conversation on boundaries, time blocking and the critical lesson "Bob" can teach us.

Welcome to the Reinvention Road Trip, a coffee shop-style podcast that is helping thousands of women dream bigger and level up in business and life. I'm Jes Averhart. Join me as we learn from the baddest women in the game who share their powerful reinvention stories, each one dropping unique gems and takeaways just for you.

Listen, it's time to get inspired, dream louder, and own the keys that will unlock the next best version of you. We are back in the fourth quarter. If it's a football game, we're headed to the end zone with our series on burnout. This is exciting because we have had a really good run of great conversations around what is happening in the landscape of the workplace right now with brands that have.

All right, family, my folks who have been following our burnout series. Thank you so much for coming back. We are, gosh, what are we we're in like our second episode and I'm excited today, as I've always said, don't always lead with that. I would say I'm so excited today for the person who's sitting across from me.

And it's true. Cause I really don't have anybody on this, I guess that I don't absolutely adore. So I am very excited. You to introduce you to my friend, and I'm going to say it. My sor Joe Nelson, who is with IBM, she is the vice president of quote to cash operations. And we were just laughing before we went live.

You grow, you're going to have to explain that what close to cash is, but I'm so excited to have her, um, on. Podcast with us because she's highly respected in her industry. She's really respected in women's circles. We all look up to Joan and sometimes Marvel at the, all the things that she has to balance and the pressures that she has at work.

Of course. And so as we talk about burnout, I think that she will have a great perspective for us and some storytelling and help us think about it. Maybe in a new way, PR offers some tips. So I'm grateful that you're here with us today. Excited to be here with you. Jess always enjoy my time with you. Thank you friends.

This is great. This is a Thursday. I wish it was a Friday, so we could just go, you know, happy hour afterwards, but anyways, such as life, or just talk about burnout. Think about it later. Okay. So why don't you, I like to start with level setting. So our audience. What I know about you and how awesome you are.

So maybe just tell your journey, personal and professional journey, kind of like how you got to where you are today. I know that's a big lift whenever you want to share with us. How do you show up in the world? So Jess, I'm excited to share this. 40 of my career with IBM. Can you imagine that? No, ma'am quite often people ask me how I did it, or why did you do that?
But I've been here for 40 years because I've had such an incredible opportunity to have different experiences. I started with IBM and finance and planning, and I did everything from ledger, accounting, cost, accounting planning. Business development. And while I was in finance and went back to school at night and CCU without my law degree, and then decided how I put that together with all this finance experience and keep it moving.

So I moved over to our procurement area and started writing contracts for a lot of our Alliance agreements. I then became the manager and the contracts department. And. Took another leap of faith and started doing production procurement. So we were still doing a lot of heavy manufacturing at that time.

So it was buying parts all over the world. And it gave me a chance to interface with the plant manager who said, Joan, I now want you to come work in manufacturing, took another leap of faith, jumped over to manufacturing, became a materials manager. So I'm managing inventory and planning. All over the world.

What I loved about that journey was it gave me a chance to travel. And through my job, I got a chance to go to France, to Italy, to Hungary, to Germany, to China, you know, and that's all a part of that journey and learning and experiencing different cultures and growing as an individual. Yes, from manufacturing, I got my first Stripe as an executive and I became the director of what is now quote to cash operations.

Think of it as cell support. So we're the back office support for the sellers. As they close those deals, we manage those contracts. We ensure goods and services get delivered to our clients. We bill and invoice them. And then we collect the cash explanation. From there. I did acquisitions and divestitures, and then I came back to quote to cash for a few more years.
I did transformation. So deploying new tools and new processes. And then I got my vice-president Stripe and now I lead the Americans execution team supporting all of our sellers within north America and Latin America. Here it is boss total boss. Yes. And that's how we see you around here. I mean, regionally, and as for our folks, you know, that I'm based here in research triangle park.

So when I say she has a regional influence, that really means global reach global influence because we're sort of in a hotbed worldwide for what we do and how IBM. Within this community, you know, my work, but you've been using the language that I'm not sure, you know, we use a lot, you have to like, and I leaped here and I jumped here.
And so part of the reinvention road trip, as we talk a lot about the comfort cliff and being right on the edge and sort of looking at all the possibilities in front of you. But knowing that it's safer behind you because you have solid ground right. To stand on, but the view ahead looks so amazing. Right.

You know, those are drop. So there's. But what if you took the leap and you were able to fly to something new to that next horizon to these next opportunities. And so, as you were talking about that 40 year career, you kept using language. Like, and then I leaped to this and I jumped over here and I just watched it happen sort of mentally.

And I think that's remarkable. And what I hope our listeners get from this is that there is. Real reward and risk-taking and hopefully a plentiful life and a place where you can flourish and the opportunities to travel and meet people and culture. You sort of explained that as well. So thank you for unpacking all the things that I love to talk about in just like two minutes, which was amazing.

Okay. So twists and turns along the way. Is there any, like something that stands out where you're like, man, that was so pivotal. That if I made that, if I had made a different choice, I don't know what my life would have looked like. Like it was a sort of a big moment that you've reflected on in your career.

Is there anything coming up? Nice, easy one for me. And that's the difference between the leaping and the falling? So I had been at my career for about 11 years, and this is that change from finance and planning over to procurement. And what happened was when I finished law school, I had an amazing supportive leadership team and they said, Joan, you know what?
You really need to grow. We can't grow you here. We're going to send you off to bigger and better. So I went over to bigger and better. I had a wonderful first-line manager, but I had a second line manager. I just didn't click with. Okay. No, man. I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong or why she didn't like me, but she didn't do it was evident.

It was clear. Okay. So I went back to my former leadership payment. I'm like, you know, this is how I'm feeling. It's not really comfortable. And they look me straight in the eye and I said, John, get out of there. Yeah, she's trying to get rid of you. They would that direct with me and I had to make a decision.

Where was I going to go? Now, having that told to me direct directly without question, right? You stay here and you know, may not be too good. So I, I had to make up my mind that I was going to leave the finance and planning arena and go find something different. So I went to talk to our site attorney and I'm like, you know, I've got all this finance experience.
I now have this new law degree. What do I do? How do I put this together and make it work? He says, we need you to write contracts. You would be perfect as an area where we need strong skills and this would fit you perfectly. I didn't know anyone in the area at all. I actually interviewed top-down third line manager, second line manager.

First-line but it was really the craziest thing, but it worked out and I went there. And I felt like I was finally in a place where I felt valued and appreciated and my natural leadership skills took over and unequivocally, I know it changed the trajectory of my career because I got my confidence back.

You know, I wasn't afraid then to take a risk. And after you make that first change and you see that you can do. The rest of the jumps are easy. Yay. I'm over here clapping because that is how we gain confidence. Folks say to me often, like there's a, I won't get into the full story, but there was a time when I went for 20 years that I wouldn't speak publicly.

People told me when I was young, that my voice was too high, blah, blah, blah. And so, um, so I didn't, I D I was always behind the scenes and folks will, then when they hear that story, they'll say, How are you public? How do you get on stage and talk in front of people now? And I said, it wasn't because I just, one day woke up and said, I'm going to do it.
I had to, it was one day I was forced to truly through my job. I had to do it. I did it, it wasn't so bad. I didn't get laughed off the stage. People said, oh, really enjoyed what you had to say, you know, kind of reinforced my confidence. And so I gave. Opportunity to feel like I could do it again. And then I did it again.

And I did it again until then. Like you said, you, you instill that confidence in yourself. Absolutely. You do that. You're in charge of that and it's by choice, the choices are there. You make the choice to get on stage or take the leap into a new division or, or put your two disciplines together to create something entirely new that benefited your company.
Or Michael Barr. Well, I tell people all the time, which you soon realize is that what makes you successful in one place is going to make you successful in the other. You've got to learn a new process and a new network, but all those natural instincts will kick in and you will be just fine. So don't be afraid to change.

Yes. Okay. Yes. Good. This is good advice right off the top. Okay. So I want to get into burnout. I mean, it's always like, bumbumbumbum, let's talk about burnout. Let's talk about all the things that are happening in our world. I'm trying not to say the P word or the C word today. Cause we always are trying to like, not going to get over it, but these last couple of years, how about that?

The last 18 months have been tough and it's clear that. There is a shift and people don't know when to stop. They don't have boundaries and they are feeling it deeply and we're seeing it because people are starting to leave. And I was just having this conversation with Beth to go, Leah, who, you know, who's over at channel advisor.

And we were talking about the fact that just the mere idea of changing jobs or changing roles is like a refreshing it's interrupting the burnout. It doesn't fix. It's just something exciting and new to do. That's interrupting it. So I get that. I really do relate to that. And so I'm wondering, am I imagining this or is this real, so let's just first before we go any further.

Cause maybe we shouldn't have you on this podcast. Maybe you think this idea of burnout is not real. Am I imagining it? So yeah, not, it is so real the year. What did they call last year? The year of the great resignation. Was so real. I saw it not only in my work environment, but across my network and with my friends.

And it was driven by just that they were tired and they needed change and change had to be bigger than moving to a new job within the company. They wanted something an entirely different environment, you know? And you don't know if the grass is going to be greener on the other side or not, but they just needed some.

New. Yes. All right. So you could throw money at 'em. You could break them, make them all kinds of promises, but it was no, I need something new. Yeah. Right. Yeah. And it was so important to their psychological wellbeing that they just stood firm in those decisions. Yeah. Yeah. And where I think people hadn't would not have considered to take that kind of risk.
They are like the idea of. What I might feel like how I might leave. We claim myself was more important or a bigger opportunity than staying where they were, which I've never seen anything like that before. Most people are like, no, I'm not going anywhere. It's safer here it is. But people want to change and they get tired of the restrictions of the last two years.
We won't say the C word and they just needed to feel like they had control somewhere. In their life and that they could do something for themselves. And I did, I had friends who did some amazing things. No, I'm like, I'm S I'm pointing at Joan while she's saying that. Cause I'm like, yes. Cause they wanted to do something for themselves selves.

I had one friend who was bold enough to say, you know, I'm working remote. I'm going to go work from Barbie. For this year and she did, and she worked and she was fine, but she had these fabulous pictures come back of this is outside or so, you know what y'all are doing in North Carolina, man, what you saw was of course you can't believe everything you see on it and net, but there was a genuine, happy.

That was coming through her pictures of the joy, of being in a space that made her happy. Right. So I was so proud of her for being bold and taking that leap. Now you could have worried now, what if I'm not in North Carolina, where are they going to think? She didn't care. This was something she needed to do.

Self and she did it. I loved it. I just thought it was fast. Yes. I've got notions in my head now dancing around. Where do I go? Where am I going? And where am I going? Okay. So this is good. So you said we're on the same page. Burnout is real. You've seen it. How are you, how do you see it show up in the workplace?

I think. I think the signs of burnout, you know, people aren't able to articulate them. And I don't know that you're able to articulate it either. But when you, you see your peers, folks that are working with and for you, how is it manifesting in the workplace where I see it is you see more people going out on sick leave.

Right. Just taking the time to mentally heal. You know, it's not just physical, it's mental I've. I've had people tell me, I need a mental health period. I gotta get away from all of this. You see it in attitude, no people who are normally really positive and outgoing. All of a sudden they're pointing out everything that's wrong.

But it's really reflecting how they're feeling in the moment you see it in temperament, right? A lot more people being argumentative or challenging when you talk about what's going on and what we need to do, you know, the stress starts manifesting itself in many different ways. Yeah. So, no, it's real. Well, if you, if you're comfortable, I'd like to talk about how there's no way that you can be in the position that you're in at IBM leading the numbers of how many people right now, close to 1200.

So you're, you're in charge like leading or accountable for 1200 individuals and their performance. And their wellbeing in many ways to make sure that they're healthy and can be optimal. That is gotta be a burden. It's gotta be something that's a heavy lift. Right. And you carry it well. So, but I also am clear as a friend and as a woman that I know that that's not the real thing.

So tell me how it shows up for you. And then also, like, how are you feeling girl? Like, how are we doing? And then I want to know what do you do to preserve, protect. Save yourself first, put the oxygen mask on, you know, you can't work for 40 years and that go through periods of burnout, whether it's now or in the past, it's going to happen.

One of the things I pride myself on is self awareness. So I am very in tuned with myself. I know when I'm experiencing stress and burnout. So then I go into survival mode. And what does that mean for me? So unfortunately having suffered a series of. Losses in my life. I learned to distinguish between what's a real problem and what's an inconvenience.

And so when I'm going through these moments, I try to divide what's in front of me into those categories. Is it a real problem where I need to expend more energy and more effort, or it's an inconvenience, which, you know, in time you're going to. The roof. So I intentionally make that division so I can conserve my energy as much as I possibly can I stay true to who I am.
So I'm a morning person. Okay. I'm going to get up. I'm going to give you all I can in the morning, because I know when I had eight o'clock I'm going down. You know, I can still try to work, but it's not going to be my best effort. So knowing that about myself, I try to arrange my day so that I'm doing more in the morning than I am in the evening to survive.

You know, everything that's in front of me. I get much more intentional about blocking time on my calendar so that I can get up, go get a bite to eat and not eat at my desk and have all those crumbs over the keyboard because it's so easy to get into that habit. And that pattern, but I've seen through experience just getting way for even a few minutes.

We'll give you hope. It's going to get better when you get back right. And freeze your mind. And then I also work really hard to protect my weekends. I give you all the hours you want during the week, but the weekends have to be mine. I can't, there are times when I can't do it, but for the most part, I work hard to preserve my weekends so that when I shut it off Friday, I'm not going to open it back up until Sunday when I'm getting organized for the next week, because I need that space to let go to refresh, to recharge and be ready to go full throttle.
When I get back to Monday. That's impressive. Can I say, yeah, that's impressive. Lot of people don't have that cutoff to say. No to the weekends. And I know there some, sometimes where you make an exception, because I know some of your folks probably listen, like she worked on the weekends sometimes, but if that's what you're protecting, I love that we have to have boundaries boundaries.

At what point did we decide that we didn't need to have firm boundaries or that we mattered enough? We've like put ourselves so far behind that. We back on the list that we don't matter enough to preserve and protect our own boundaries. And the outcome of that, the consequence of that is all the things we're trying to support serve lead.

I mean, and so there's there's consequences across the board. Well, this was the first year I had to learn the power of the word. No, because I so hate disappointing people and not being there when they need me. But when I realized I was reaching that point of burnout, I had this. No, our dear friends at the United way, he wanted me to take a leadership role.

And I said, I can't. I said, Eric, I just, can't not, not this year. Right. I had to be true. To myself or I was going to wreck myself by taking on too much. And there's so much, you're disappointed when you first let it out and say no, but when you get it out, you're like, thank God. Thank God I did that because there was no way in heck I was going to be able to add that to this already full and busy plate.

And why do we do that? It's it's obligation it's obligation. It also feels good to be happy. Right. Like to be chosen, to be on a big board and you know that they need you, right. Especially if it's a mission that you believe in. Sure. Right. It's hard to say no, but this year I realized I had to, because it was just getting to be way too much.

And the end that organization United way is doing all right, dude. All right. Now I'm still engaging as much as I can as active board member. Then everything's okay. Yeah. So I think for our listeners, like chill out a little, I don't know how else to say that. Like it's not that serious sometimes like prioritizing yourself and what matters in that moment then?

And I talk about this a lot. The next right step might be to say no. Does it mean that that step is an action where you have to go do a thing the next right step might mean to put the kabash on a same or push pause? Could we not now, right? No, but not now. There's a lot of ways that we can adjust the temperature in our lives.

We're on hot fire right now. Everybody's on hot fire and we're burning out that look at that. I put that together. It was by accident and what I was having this conversation a couple of days ago that I feel like burnout is like we're running, running, running, running, running. And it dawned on me that actually would you, the signs of burnout might be, people are slowing down.

Yes. They're not able to perform at that level because they're literally burned out. Like you don't, you can't go anymore. And are you seeing that? Yeah. I've got a mentee who is now a high powered executive in the industry and she goes, goes and goes. She doesn't say no, she has a finger on everything. But what I noticed.

When she's down, she's out, she is sleep. Is she is resting sunlight. Where are you enjoying life? Because you're so busy being super woman that when you have free space, you're sleeping. So where are you doing the things that you need for yourself, right. And I'm a firm believer that if all you ever do.

Give and you don't do the things that fill you up. That's a recipe for burnout because you're going to wake up one day and go, where's the joy in life for me because I've given everything to everyone else. Yeah. Right? Yep. So you got to protect that space for you to allow yourself that opportunity to do the things that you're passionate about.

They give you joy. That brings happiness back to you. So you refill you recharge and you have the ability to then get. To others and to work. Yeah. Right. I love that example. And I'm just going to spin on that a little bit, because what you're saying for our listeners, especially, and for me, because I just made a proclamation that I was taking a whole month of April off.
And that was sort of like a caveat I wasn't taking the whole month off, but I was taking all my free time that I had not scheduled and I was going to use it for me. And that's not practice. Right. So that's what you're saying is that your mentee is running at a high pace and then she crashes and then I'll run and I'll take a month off or whatever.

And that's not also practical. So it's a steady drum beat. And I don't know that we're skilled at that. I don't think we've we practice that. So we do. Highs and lows, highs, and lows. And it's a little crazy making. It's like, I don't even know cause now, cause you're when you're low for taking your time, then you know, you have to ramp up to the highest level because you feel guilty because you just took some time off.

And not only that you lose your patience for others because you're trying. So much done and you don't realize you're snapping, right? Yeah. You don't have the time or you'll strictly looking at things from your lens and you're losing the ability to have empathy for how the other person may be coming across, you know, all that plays a factor in, in the success of, of moving forward.

Like I said, at this steady drumbeat and that burning relationships, right? Yes. Being there with. Yeah. Yeah. There's a book that's called burnout. How to disrupt a stress cycle or something I've been reading. And the one of the very first signs of burnout is compassion, fatigue. And I didn't correlate those things right.

That if you are starting to feel lose your, you said empathy when you start. Not be empathetic with people that you normally could see their side, or you understood where they were coming from, or, you know, how we make narratives in our head like, oh, I'm sure she's just, or he's just when you stop doing that and you just can only see it your way because you need to move fast and move on.

That is a hard red flag in your life that you were suffering from some compassion, fatigue. And if you let that go on, it becomes chronic. You are burned out. And it's a caution for me is if we let that go, you normalize it. You think that is who you are, and that's not who you are. The little naggy. It's like that.

Isn't who I am, but that's when I guess I become, so we don't adjust what you think about that. Absolutely. You don't know how to slow it back down, right. You only know one speed and it's go, go, go, go, go, go. And because you're moving so fast, you're not taking stock of what you're missing on the journey.

Because you're too busy trying to get to the end game. And there's so many little nuances in life that are important to who we are and how we grow that you miss when you're running at that fast pace. You know, when do you have a minute to even look at yourself and understand who you are because you're so busy, running fast, trying to get to the end goal.

Right. And you just lose touch. So the advice would be to do an audit. You said you were very self-aware. I am very, this is why you're very measured in this conversation. Like extremely definitive about how important this is. You said it right up front. I'm very self-aware and I didn't wanna interrupt you in that moment, but I wanted to say that.

Kind of the key to this success here is stop the rest of the world. And for a moment for a moment, look at yourself, what do you need? Yeah, they need. Yeah. Even if you know, I'm tired, I'm frustrated. I have to stay on this treadmill because that's just the space I'm in, in the moment being self aware is being able to say out loud, I hate this.

I'm tired and I'm frustrated by this. I have to keep going, but it doesn't mean I have to like it, but just saying that out loud, it's like, put it out there. It gives you the strength to carry. Because you're acknowledging what you're feeling. You're not trying to sugarcoat it or cover it up. You know, I can be on the treadmill and say some, not so nice words, but I'm letting it go right about how I'm feeling in that moment.

And that in itself, as a reprieve from the moment, I love that. That's my personal tip for the day. And I hope everybody caught. That is just be honest. Say it out loud. Yeah. So that was a good word there, girl. That was good. We don't do that. Cause we wear masks. Like we have to, we're trying to be all the things for all the people all the time.

And if we dare say how we're feeling, we put a crack in what people think of us. The truth is everybody we're at like what? 80% of people are feeling burnout. I promise you there's a real solid chance that the person that you're talking to feels the same way. So hiding your feelings. It's not serving. No.

And we've spent too much of our time worrying about what other people think and making decisions based on how we're going to get perceived by someone else. One of my realizations is if you're not paying my bills by any other means supporting me, I'm really not going to care about how you think because in the end is not going to make a difference because we seem to many stories.

People give their whole life to something. They die. We say, oh, we're gonna miss Bob. Now what about that report? I don't know. Let's keep it real. Right. So we have to stop living our lives for, you know, the other one is. You think about a tombstone? It says he was great wife or a great husband, loving father. They don't say great worker. Never, never. Nope. Right. So when you look at edit through that lens, it helps you to set some of those boundaries to say, if I give it all the way here, Where am I going to enjoy when I'm working for, when do I have a chance to appreciate the fruits of this hard work before I burned myself out or worse things happen, find those boundaries, their spaces.

I have a question before our last question. It's one that I just want to get your insight on because I think you'll have. Perspective on it. There's some debate around our younger generations, new workers, young workers is like, oh, they want to have, you know, whatever millennials, gen Z. My son's a gen Z. Oh, they want to live the easy life and all that stuff.
And they're not, they don't work as hard. And that is not my experience actually with these young people, but they do work very hard. At least the ones who are on my team are working very hard. They do have a different perspective. They do have a different way of looking at this. And so you just talked about legacy.

We talked about Bob, right. You know, work until it to himself, to the ground. What's the difference? What are you seeing in our younger generation? What is the mood out there? They are much better at finding balance. And the things that are important to me, they want to work hard. They want to make a favorable impression, but they're not going to sell their souls to do it right, because having those other interests is important to them and being able to do those things are very important to them.

What touches my heart? The most, many of them are mission centric. Whether they're working for corporate America or nonprofit organizations, they need something to believe. And right. And how do I leverage the experience I'm getting wherever I'm working to now give back to the things that are important.

To me. And to me that says balance in life, the importance of it, it doesn't mean that they're lazy or not contributing or not dedicated. Now in the spirit of candor, being someone who's been at this game for years. I had to learn to appreciate them as they are, because they show up sometimes in ways that I wouldn't, but that's a part of that younger generation.
And so the beauty of it is I've taught them and they've taught me. Right. We've learned to value and appreciate that generational gap in a way that benefits one another, as opposed to poo-pooing either side. Yeah. Yeah. A compliment. I do feel like the pendulum is swinging kind of back in the middle there with a lot of too much of one.

Right. And we're kind of really getting in the middle and I love what you said. There's harmony becoming a little more harmonious because we're all getting to understand. What and how the, how we compliment each other. Right. How we compliment. And we do, I'm learning a lot. I learned a lot from my son.

That's things that he says to me sometimes I'm like, your head is not on the right things. Right. But then if I step back and I do, I take time in the moment and then I take some time and, and I'm like, you know, it's not that it's not wrong. It's just different. It's just not wrong. It's not wrong. Yeah. So, um, so thank you for that insight.

That's helpful. Last question. Advice. Well, he's going to end on some advice. I'd love for you to give me some advice. You mentor young women and you've seen them be successful. You've seen your mentorship work and I'd love to get some of those tidbits. Personally, I'm being selfish here. I'd love to hear whatever it is.

You tell them the things that you inspire them with and then anything you're reading, any podcasts, anything you want to share, that might be a good resource for folks that they might want to grab it. So one of the things I've learned to appreciate over life is you gotta come to understand what's your passion, what's your why.

And if you're working in that passion and that why life is so much easier, work is so much easier. Hard work is so much easier because you're doing something that means something to you and is bringing you joy. So I have tell everybody understand what your passion is, which will, why is incorporate that into your life and in your work you're going to be naturally successful if you do that, because you're going to naturally give more of yourself.
That's number one. Number two is be, have to be your authentic self because when we masquerade as something that we're not at least the burnout quicker and it's, you're not happy. So if nothing else I've learned through the years to find my voice and be myself and be as honest as I can. And what I give and what I do to me, it's key.

You asked to be selfish a little bit, and that gets to this whole topic we've had today. And you've got to carve out time for you. Whatever that means. And don't judge your life by somebody else's because their circumstances are going to be so different. Yeah. You have to live your life according to what gives you balance and what best fits your family comparison is the thief of joy.

That's right. Do you think about this often is it's hard not to do it, and you have to remind yourself that when you do that, it does change your mood because you're like, I can't, I can't be someone else. Just me. I don't have to be the best me that I can be. Exactly. So right now my reading list is, uh, I don't know if it's inspirational because my focus is, is how am I preparing for that next step in my journey, which will eventually be.

Retirement. Right. So I'm reading a lot about, and learning a lot about financially planning for the future now. Yeah, we've done that along the way, but now is when the rubber starts hitting the road. And what does that really mean? And what do I need to anticipate in between. For, so I'm on a lot of the financial websites getting everyone's opinion on how do you plan for this.
But then when I have downtime, I'm keeping it real. I'm watching HDTV hallmark channel because I need some money. Fun. Yeah. When Bridget tin came out,  I just think yes to my eye candy, but I just need something. That's going to be loud. It's think about it. It's going to be formulaic. I know what's going to happen, but it's mindless and it gives me joy.

So that's what I'm doing. All that matters right in that free time. That's great. Yeah. No, it definitely didn't need to be like, here are the five things that you should go study and, and. Yes. I love that financial planning piece of it because we do have to have agency over our money. So I love that you said that and like you, I I'm also, not that I don't know that I talk about this much on my podcast, but like you I'm a repeat watcher.

So like I like British mysteries, like in all the funny, like father brown and mid summer and all that. And, and I watched them four or five times all of it. And then, you know, there's like 27 seasons. Yeah. I've seen all 27 seasons several times. And the way I do it as I work with it in the background, because it just, I know it's coming.

I don't have to be totally zoned in. Right. But I can work a little bit and watch father brown saw, okay. He said kind of in and out, and I've been doing that since I was a child and I watch little house on the Prairie. My mom would tell me that I always had to watch a thing that I've already seen. I couldn't tell you the words, but it's somehow meditative or therapeutic or something.

Yeah. Or you start saying. The character will say, I'm going to do such and such in your mind. You're going well. No, you're not.  Yes, that's good. Well, that's all I had for you friend. This, I feel like we could talk for a long time, but these podcasts need to be hoop, you know, right. And tight. So that folks get what they need. But gosh, You know, I don't even know. I think the world of you and so many people, like I said before, do, and that's so obvious why you lead a lot of folks, but you do it.

It feels like one at a time. Like you see people and that came through today. So thank you. Yeah. Thanks is all mine. You know, I adore you as well. So any time again, this love Fest, this good. All right, friends, we'll see you next time for the wrap-up of our burnout series. Thank you so much for tuning in. I hope this is helpful.

Let us know in the comments, all the good things and I'll see you. See you back on the road.

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