The Resonate Podcast with Aideen

Finding Purpose In Mid Life with Erin Duffy - Episode 30

February 27, 2023 Aideen Ni Riada/ Erin Duffy Season 1 Episode 30
Finding Purpose In Mid Life with Erin Duffy - Episode 30
The Resonate Podcast with Aideen
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The Resonate Podcast with Aideen
Finding Purpose In Mid Life with Erin Duffy - Episode 30
Feb 27, 2023 Season 1 Episode 30
Aideen Ni Riada/ Erin Duffy

Erin Duffy is a  career transformation and stage presence coach. After 25 years of managing dual careers, first as an executive in a creative agency by day and simultaneously as a singer/actor by night, she combined the two to create her company InspirationSQRD. 
She works with mid-career business professionals and leaders who struggle feeling fulfilled and confident and want to step into their personal power and advance their career. She helps them to clarify and own their unique personal story. She believes our stories hold the insights that help us transform our lives. 
In her highly curated programs, her clients develop a richer personal narrative by clarifying the stories behind their life experiences. She then helps them to use the personal power of their story to catapult their career journey and use it to supercharge their stage presence.

Connect with Erin:

WEBSITE: inspirationsqrd.com

LINKED IN: linkedin.com/in/erin--duffy

Support the Show.

Thanks for listening! To book a free consultation with Aideen visit https://www.confidenceinsinging.com/contact/

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Show Notes Transcript

Erin Duffy is a  career transformation and stage presence coach. After 25 years of managing dual careers, first as an executive in a creative agency by day and simultaneously as a singer/actor by night, she combined the two to create her company InspirationSQRD. 
She works with mid-career business professionals and leaders who struggle feeling fulfilled and confident and want to step into their personal power and advance their career. She helps them to clarify and own their unique personal story. She believes our stories hold the insights that help us transform our lives. 
In her highly curated programs, her clients develop a richer personal narrative by clarifying the stories behind their life experiences. She then helps them to use the personal power of their story to catapult their career journey and use it to supercharge their stage presence.

Connect with Erin:

WEBSITE: inspirationsqrd.com

LINKED IN: linkedin.com/in/erin--duffy

Support the Show.

Thanks for listening! To book a free consultation with Aideen visit https://www.confidenceinsinging.com/contact/

0:04  Hi, it's Aideen here at the resonate podcast and my guest today is Erin Duffy. Welcome, Erin.

 0:10  Thank you. It's nice to be here. Thank you so much for having me.

 0:13  Oh, you're so welcome. It's a pleasure, another performer here with us. And I'm going to share with everyone some of your background so that they have an idea of what brought you to being on my podcast. So give us a second. I'm going to read this out to you everybody now. And let me introduce Erin. So Erin Duffy is a career transformation and stage presence coach after 25 years managing dual careers versus an executive in a creative agency by day, and simultaneously as an actor, and singer by night. She combined the two then to create her company InspirationSqrd. She works with mid-career business professionals and leaders who struggle to feel fulfilled and confidence and want to help want to step into their personal power and advance their career. She helps them to clarify and own their own unique personal story. She believes our stories hold the insights that help us transform our lives. In our highly curated programs, her clients develop a richer personal narrative by clarifying the stories behind their life experiences, she then helps them to use the personal power of their story, to catapult their career journey and use it to supercharge their stage presence. Sounds intriguing and exciting. Before I talk to you about your work and everything that you're doing now, tell us a little bit about where your confidence started, where did your confidence come from? And how did you develop it? You know,

 1:54  that's a great question and one to really ponder. Because, for me, it was always evolving, to be honest with you as a I would say, as a young kid, teenager, 20 something I think I questioned myself quite often and wondered, you know, if I would look at other people who had real high level of confidence that I always wish I could be them. And, and I would say it really came through experience, Aideen. It was sort of like, you know, stepping forward and taking chances. You know, a perfect example. And this is really small. But I remember way back, like you, we’re both singers, right. And I knew when I was three years old, that I wanted to be a singer, actor, I knew that you know, and I was always the one, you know, performing and running around and having a fun time. And I remember when I was around seven or eight years old, I knew is after the first time I was on stage, and I just fell in love with being onstage and I went home. And I told my mom that when I grow up, I want to be an actor that sing songs. And I was just so full of joy and excitement, because you know, I love being on stage. And I remember her saying really clearly to me, you know, Oh, honey, you can't do that you'll starve in the street. And it really at a 78 year old that really took me back. And it causes a bit of fear, like, oh, who wants to start with the street, right? And that's sort of followed me throughout by junior high school years, but I still was performing. I was still dreaming and wanting and wishing for this because I just knew I was born to sing and act. And when I was 18, I told my parents, I want to major in theatre arts. And they said absolutely not. We won’t pay for that. You know, so I ended up doing Communication Arts, which was television and film production, which I love is like my second love. But I still was singing and acting, I was still doing it. And then even when I graduated from college, I had to find a job, you know, didn't want to starve in the street, right? So I found myself going into corporate America. But at the same time, I was still performing and singing on stage, people looked at it as a hobby. But then what I was doing through those next years, and as you can tell in my bio, I actually created a dual career. So I was being a professional singer, actor, as well as a businesswoman at the same time. And so I guess in a way, I think I always had a level of confidence inside me. That came from a drive that said, but I know this is my gift I need to pursue it. Even though I had so many voices telling me you can't do that. And I kept doing it even when I literally could have shut that dream down very easily. You know, I could just said, Okay, that was a dream that was fine now I'm just gonna go and, you know, do something else. But it always was with me it never left me. And, and, you know, it's interesting because I, I wrote a one woman show a cabaret show that I produced, wrote, directed, as well as you know, performed many times. And it's called, I Never Went Away. And it's all about my journey in having that, from the day one yeah, great dream, you can't have it me overcoming. And it's all about that idea of you have a dream, you can kind of lose that dream. And then you reclaim that dream. And that's what my show is all about, you know, and it really is my journey, but it's matches so many other people's life's journey as well. You know, when you have that deep, you know, desire and that dream to share your gifts. And the world can kind of try to shut it down. We have the power to reclaim that and own that. And I think in a way that sort of, has always been with me, because that's also really easy for me, when I look back that I could have shut that down really well a lot of people do, it was always there. And they do they really do and I think in a way, that's it was always with me, but I will say it was through that journey, that I was able to really claim it. And I would say I really found that level of, you know, confidence, in a way it came with experience. And it came with me learning to believe in myself. And I think that only could have come for me through my journey and looking and saying, look what you've done, as you proved it to yourself sharing that I proved it. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Wow.

 6:59  Do you think if your parents had been more supportive, that you would have taken a completely different path, or would have been much similar?

 7:08  That's actually, uh, you know, I have thought about that is such a great question. Because I wonder, yes, I think if they were supportive, I think I would have done way more shows, because when I was in elementary school and junior high in high school, most people didn't know I sang. Most people had no idea I want to act because I kept it at bay. It was something I did on my own, you know, my own bedroom, you know, kind of thing. And I dreamed about and I would, you would see me in the choir, you know, or you would see me in the, you know, the cast, but I was never, I never put myself out there. And yet, I dreamed I wanted to do community theatre. I wanted to do the Children's Theatre, the local children's theatre, but I didn't have those opportunities, you know, and also back then, too, we didn't have access, like you do today to a lot of that. I mean, it wouldn't meet meant, you know, we have five kids too, we would have meant like if I was doing theatre, it would have meant a lot of work for my mom to drive me here, do that go up to San Francisco for auditions, all that kind of stuff. So I'm so aware that things were much harder than but I also believe that they were supportive, I probably would have had more courage. I didn't have as much courage, I was afraid of the fear. I beat I was afraid of that. But you know, it's interesting. The starving in the street line stayed with me for many, many years. And that's why it's

 8:34  so hard. Same here in my one was my dad said to me, you can't make money in music.

 8:43  It's very similar. Right? Exactly. Basically the same line.

 8:47  Yeah. So it took it took me until my 30s to go back to college to study music. And I did it all myself. And that was my starting point. With up to that point, I was always a wish, but nothing I could take direct action on. And seriously, because of that thought that was stuck in my head. I know. But I think yeah, our soul knows are something deep inside us has that that draw is being pulled in a direction. And I think people do get nudges and you know, get little pushes toward the things that are going to help them to evolve like I think yeah, the people think that you know, pursuing the arts is a waste of time or something but or you can't make money at it. But actually there's a beautiful evolution and to learning who you are developing who you who you want to be and what you want to do through performance. And I know this is something you understand very well because you know, this is how you help people with your work a little bit too, isn't it?

 9:58  It is, absolutely and, you know, there's a reason why we have the arts in schools and why I, you know, I believe it's as important as STEM, you know, the arts are as important to how our children learn and how we evolve into adults. You know, I remember when I was in school, and I wonder how it was for you. I fortunately grew up at a time when in California when the public schools were excellent. And I happen to go into a school system that starting in fourth grade, you had the opportunity to play any instrument you want. And they started first with the violin, the cello, right. And then by fifth grade, it was band instruments, and they were handing them out. So everybody was doing band, everybody was doing orchestra, everybody was doing choir. And then you had sixth grade, seventh, eighth, ninth grade bands. And then you had you know, in high school, the symphonic band and the whole. And the thing is, our bands. I mean, we had like two and 50 people in our band. And we went to competitions, and we had all this extraordinary experience. And not everybody was going to become a musician. But man, the life lessons they learned by being amongst other people learning instruments and working with a conductor that was teaching them the beauty of music and how it's transformative, and doing concerts, and just the whole bit, they have an appreciation for the art and for the arts. And to me, it's ideal for anybody, especially as we step into our careers, bringing our artistic creative side is so important, doesn't matter what your job is an accountant could benefit from using their artistic side, there's creativity in everything. And I think the more we promote, and support that I truly believe the better we are. And I've seen that with my clients, I have seen my clients in both the career transformation work and the stage presence, we're literally step in to their unique self, because they have learned to claim their voice, they've lost sight of it. And when they are able to find that and claim that and own that. It's incredible to watch how they step forward. So much stronger and more believing, believing and who they are the confidence that they have, and the clarity and the comfort they have in showing up as themselves and who they are. And a lot of that is reclaiming that side of themselves that they've let go of, and a lot of that tends to be that artistic side, because we all have it in us. I mean, don't wait. I mean, you've seen that too. And all your clients, right?

 13:00  Yeah, and I'm just thinking of that, you know, that inner connection, you know, that part of you that knew that you wanted to do dot, dot. And I feel like as adults, we get used to following that advice of, you know, the parental figure or your boss will say what your career path is this promotion next and da-da-da, that we stop listening to that part of us that has an opinion, and may even have a bright idea or some inspiration for us. And I think when we do the artistic stuff that encourages that connection to you on the inside, would you say that's part of that journey for some of your clients as well?

 13:44  Absolutely. I mean, here's the interesting thing is that the majority of my clients, you know, as we said earlier, lot of mid-career professionals now these are professionals that have entered the workforce, you know, right out of college, maybe before college, they've climbed up the ladder, they've done really well they've grown in, in, in there, making good money, lots of accolades, lots of promotions, and they hit that point, where it's just not enough. And something inside them, it's a voice inside them saying, Hey, there, I'm still here, I'm that thing, you might have checked out the door, like back in your 20s, which was totally fine. But it doesn't disappear. And what happens is, are you ready to listen to it? Or are you going to keep ignoring it? And my clients are the ones who are listening, and they're listening really deeply and saying, you know, they're either saying I'm bored, or I'm missing out on something or I know there's something better than this, or is this as good as it gets and, and they're ready for what's next but they have no idea how to find it, but they know that voice is calling to them. And my whole thing is, you know, many people will go and look outside, they'll go look for another job. And they'll go find another job. And it's a fantastic job. But a year later, they're like, whoa, I'm back at the same place, you know, or they'll just keep ignoring it. And what happens is, the answer isn't outside. The answer is right down deep inside you. And that is that voice. And it is that soul speaking back to you saying, hey, it's time, it's time to listen to that voice and do that inner work before you take that next step. Because the answers right inside, I always refer to, you know, it's, you know, Wizard of Oz is literally one of my favourite, you know, films of all time, I love the story. And I relate to Dorothy, very much kind of a superhero. And, and she, I always say, when you think about it, Dorothy had the answers the whole time, she had to go on this grand adventure, right and go, and all the stuff that happened to her, but the answer was right in her backyard the whole time. And that's why I try to tell my clients the answers, right, your backyard, you've just got to be willing and open to take that step forward, and listen to it. And it's amazing. When you listen to you open your ears. The answers are there, and you're doing the work. It's your story. It's you who's doing is this somebody else telling you what to do? You're figuring it out. And when you do, there's no going back. Because it's just like, wow, this is who I am. And it really does come through that story. And you start to go back and you're starting to reclaim all these things that, you know, you may have just kind of left dormant for a little while or kind of checked out the door. Or like you and I, I mean, I have a feeling there's quite a few people out there who heard the same thing you and I heard, you know, a version of it, you're going to starve in the street can't make money at that, you know, how are you going to raise a family with that? Those kinds of things? I have a feeling there's a lot of people out there and what you and I both know, is that's a limiting belief. You can change that belief, you know? Yeah, people, many people do and enormous journeying.

 17:16  I mean, there's, there's so many opportunities for people who want to work within the arts, within culture, within music, it doesn't always have to be what we think, you know, I mean, I think when we're kids, we just want to be on the stage. But there's a lot of fulfilment to be the person who puts other people on the stage. That's what I found out when I started teaching

 17:38  me to, you know, after 25 years of performing, you know, full time and with my other job, you know, I hit a point, you know, in around 2016, and 17, where it just wasn't enough anymore, because I had been doing it and I thought, oh, there's something more I could do. I wish I could merge these two careers together. And I just knew, I mean, you and I both we love being on stage. I love performing I love, you know, taking a song and making it mine. I love that. But what I realized it wasn't enough anymore. I thought, what can I what could I give back. And when I realized I could take the best aspects of both of my careers, and build something where I could teach others to find their voice and own their voice and take that out into the world. It's incredible when you know, somebody in business can actually come into their voice and take that out. I mean, talk about incredible leadership. And that is that's in most that mid-career professional. And those leaders, that's what they're looking for, because that's when you want to come into your voice it's time to, and it's your unique voice. You know, and a lot of people don't have the tools to figure that out. And yet, it's actually quite simple to do. It's just to me, it's making a commitment to yourself to say, I'm going to put myself first now, I'm going to do this work for myself, because it's going to help me and my career. And when we are on the right road, the right road for our career. It's amazing how it affects all the others around you. They see that they see how like, happy and focused and really how you're just stepping into who you are. And then they want a part of that. They're like, how do you do that? Yeah, absolutely. You're so full, you're so alive. Maybe you start to be a great example for others. And how cool is that? Right?

 19:36  What do you say to those who are in that mid stage of a career who start to feel like they're diminishing in value because I think there's this arc that sometimes people feel were the newbies and the fresh, you know, employees are the valuable ones and that I'm going you know that my status in my business it can get is going down as I get older, and then eventually, I'm some form of obsolete as a retired person, what would you say to someone who is feeling that energy,

 20:14  This is the best time to put yourself first. Because when you're at this point in my career, it is all of that experience and wisdom and passion that you have. That is your strength. And the newbies and the people coming up the ladder, they actually want you to show up that way. They're looking for you to share your wisdom and to step into your leadership. And this is when you get to define what leadership is for you. And when we get to step into our unique leadership and bring ourselves to the stage. And when I say stage, I mean it is every time you walk in a room, I'm not talking about standing on the old stage, right? Yes, that's part of it, right. But it is, every time you walk in the room, bringing yourself fully your full presence to that room. All those newbies and those people coming up there looking at you have like, I want to learn from him or her. They really do. But we have to show up. We can't ask them to do it for us, we have to step into and say, this is the best time of my career. Most people, the best time of your career is going to be after mid-career. Because now you've already proven yourself. Now you have choice, you have choice to say, yeah, this is what I love. And oh, by the way, getting clear on the stuff you don't love, and you don't ever want to do again. And I always tell my clients, that's just as powerful as the stuff that you are really good at and that you really love. Because guess what you do, you say goodbye to the stuff that doesn't fill you up and the stuff that doesn't matter anymore. You literally park that in a garage and say, Ba-bye bye, I don't thank you. And I always say bless it, thank you for how it served you, but you don't need it anymore. Because then you get to focus on the stuff that really makes you unique and that you're really good at and that you just love, it just gets you out of bed in the morning. And when you start showing up every day like that, the people around you want more of it, they're going to be knocking on your office door, wanting to have a meeting with you, and they’re going to want to learn from you. But we as leaders, we as mid-career professionals, it's up to us to show up that way. And it's so easy to do if you just step into it and say, I'm going to give myself the gift of time for myself to figure this out and own who I am, and bring that to the world.

 22:49  So it sounds to me like what you doing is you're asking people at that point in their career where they don't really know exactly what it is to do next, to start to look inward, and to see your own value, and to see the value of all the experiences they've had and to start making choices based on what they truly would like to have happen next. And that brings all of that experience and all that value with them into a completely new phase rather than going oh, it was always the time. And you know, what do I do next? Exactly. Is telling you what to do next. If you take a look at it is that am I getting this? Right?

 23:29  You are exactly right. And that's why one of the parts to that we do especially the own your story, Change Your Life Program, which is the crew transformation program is we do this whole part, you know, once we get through the, what's excites you what your value is, you know that piece, then we start to dive into what I call your life defining stories. This is where we draw on the stories throughout your life. I mean, we go back childhood, teenage years starting out yours in your adult years. And you start to see through the stories that you are coming out of you your writing arm and things are coming out, you start to see these incredible golden threads that all tie back when you look back at the things that excite you the things that drive you the things that you value, and you start to look back at these stories and use it starts to reveal your true essence. And sometimes, and then we ask questions like how's that showing up today? And so many people like it isn't? And it's like, okay, well, there's a hole, right? It's like, this is your true essence. But you're not bringing it every day you shut it down whatever but God when you when they find it because let's say the interesting thing about the stories is these are stories. We're remembering again, right? We might have parked them, and now we're rediscovering them and owning them again. And what's fascinating about these stories is once you've done that, you won't forget these stories ever again. Because now you realize they're part of your fabric you’re your time tapestry, and they are so important to who you are and who you are becoming. They're a driving factor,

 25:08  and like a fuel for the next thing,

 25:10  they are a fuel, they are such a fuel and they cement what you already know. Like you're like, Yeah, I mean, this is who I am. And it allows you to truly step into who you are becoming, I mean, this truly becomes your truly your best next move in whatever you're doing in your career, you know, because you did the work, it's best not somebody telling you take this course over here and go through this thing. And a lot of times people will do that. Two weeks later, they've kind of forgotten it because your life gets in the way, right? And the binder goes back on the shelf, or the module gets parked on a PDF somewhere on your computer, but life gets busy. But this kind of work, you're doing it, you're doing it, and it’s not getting parked anywhere, right? It is, it's literally happening as you go. And you can't forget it. And you're transforming the entire time. You know, and it's powerful, it's powerful. And when you can bring that unique personal presence, to your job, to your job interview, because people are interviewing, right, or to a leadership meeting you believe me? They will notice.

 26:26  And the one you give us any example of someone you may have worked with that you've seen a big transformation. Is there some something you could share? Yes.

 26:34  Yes, absolutely. So I had one client on the career transformation who was literally at a loss, you know, she had had a very successful career in corporate. And she found as she as she was going up the leadership ladder. And she hit this point where she really felt like she lost her voice. She really wasn't speaking up. She every time she did, she felt completely like everybody's judging me. I don't know what I don't belong here. And yet incredibly smart. And her career was incredible to like, if you look back at her resume, you know, it's like, what's wrong, you know, but she came to me because she knew she wanted to continue up this ladder. But she didn't want to show up the way she was showing up. She knew she wasn't being authentic. She would go home every night wondering, did I screw up today? Did I did I, you know, ruin somebody's day? Did I not lead well enough? Does this is a CEO looking at me like I was a bad choice. Like, these are the kinds of thoughts she was having. And so she dove into this program with me. And just by her just what she was discovering the things that excite her and the things that don't excite her, which by the way, I call your non-negotiable. Because when you get down to the point when you can define the top five things. And then you look at it, and you realize, oh, I'm missing three out of five. There's an issue. There's an issue, because you must have these things, you know, and she had noticed that some of it wasn't showing up for her. She realized, oh, yeah, I really wanted to, you know, I can't remember exactly. It was something about leading teams, and she wasn't able to lead the way she wanted to lead. It was almost her own limiting belief, by the way that was holding her back. It wasn't something that company, it was a belief she had that she was unable to be the she was more of a collaborative leader. But she felt like she couldn't be that way when she stepped into this directorship. And that was holding her back. And so we've distilled that down and then we went through values went through the whole program. And what was amazing. One, she just started speaking up. Like she realized what her values were, what she realized her values were, she suddenly got her voice back because she was basing her values on somebody else's values. I feel I need to show up this way. So she lost sight of really what mattered to her. When she got clear. Suddenly, she was walking into these leadership meetings, and she was able to be herself again, she freed up her voice. And again, they were they were happy. She was making inroads there like things were happening at the company, because she was showing up in her leadership. And I know that the C suite knew who she was as a leader. That's why they promoted her. It was her judging herself. So for them, they were excited because she was really showing up, you know, but it was her holding herself back. And once she found that voice, I mean, she just excelled and it was just so rewarding to watch because you could tell over here looking at her resume her experience everything she brings to the table so Why would she even be hesitant at all, but it was uncovering, you know, those beliefs she had about herself, that we had to change that story. And her doing that deep work on her own story made all the difference.

 30:15  Isn't that amazing? And it seems to me it maybe had something to do with the job title or something or be getting to a certain stage. I mean, I know what can happen, like you become a wife, or you become a mother, or you become you know, the principal of a school or something, you take on a slightly different role. And it's almost like your preconceptions of what someone in that role should do. Take over a little bit from you just being the best you can be within it.

 30:43  Exactly. Yeah. That's so funny, you bring that up, because one of the original statements she had said to me, you know, when we first started out is she says, I don't think I deserve to be here. I don't deserve this title. She was the VP she, I don't think I earned this title. And it was that was really cause a roadblock for her. You know, it was fascinating, but yet you hit that nose, and it's amazing. How many people have that belief?

 31:14  Yeah, I mean, with singing, and I've worked a lot with people on you know, just reclaiming the idea that if I sing a song, I sang it. So I sung it. So can I call myself a singer? Yeah, you could call yourself a singer, like you. And I remember in college did teacher came in and he said, you know, you can be a full time musician, a part time musician, you can be a hobby musician, he started to say all these different ways of saying it just trying to instill in each of us there, that no matter what we ended up doing, we would have that as part of our identity. And that we could still add. I'm a singer, like, if I don't like I'm a podcaster. I've called myself a podcaster. Since last May, I did my last podcast in May 2022. And then I took this long break, but I didn't take podcaster off my, my No, no. But I had to step into that I had to, I had to say, I, you know, what, what happens then when we kind of say, Okay, this is what I'm becoming. And it's change, isn't it a sense to me, like, what you're doing is you're like, you're the fertilizer for change in someone's life, you know, that they can be awesome. You they needed something, they needed some extra nourishment, to find they needed some extra kind of clarity, obviously, as well. But once they had that, change was really possible.

 32:38  You're exactly right, you hit it on the nose. And what's so wonderful about that statement is, and I use this all the time, is that it's never too late. It is never too late. One of one of the statements. I do hear many, many times, especially from women. And their mid-career. I mean, we're talking women in their 40s. And it's like, it's too late for me. It's too late. And I changed that thinking and it's true, it is never too late, is never too late to step in and do what you want to do. Never, ever, you know, and you know, and you know what's interesting, this is a great example of how I came to embrace that more than ever. This was moved I don't have maybe seven years ago. And they had at the Minnesota Institute of Arts here, they had a Matisse show. And of course, I was so excited to go to the show and, and it was lovely. It was it was it was curated. So well.

 33:44  What is it? What is it Matisse show?

 33:47  Oh, Matisse, the artists Matisse okay. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, it made come through. And, and so you know, I was they the way they did it is they took us a journey through his life, starting as a child all the way until his 90s, before he died. And what amazed me was, throughout his career through this journey, he was always creating, his art changed almost every decade. And it was this evolution of an artist. And when he was in his 80s, he did some of his most famous works. And you're looking at like, look what he did. And by the way, it was different for what he did a decade before. And yet it was stunning. And I'm like, I remember saying, at the time to my husband, I said, this is a true example of it's never too late. And you're really not done until you say you're done. And it was beautiful. And that was just really transformed me at that moment. And that's why we say to people Bored, I don't care if you're 60 or 70, if you want to do something, it's never too late. I love it never too late to step into your artistry ever. Yeah.

 35:09  Oh my gosh, it's been so exciting talking to you. I just feel I mean, I've made a choice myself, this year is a year where I'm giving myself a little push to be to become different and to change because I sometimes can be a little bit like, oh, things are working. So just keep going with the way things are working. But I'm just feeling like there's, there's something new on the horizon. And I'm wanting to embrace that. So I just love our conversation, because it really is inspirational to me, and it helps me to, to remind myself that, you know, yeah, the dreams I had when I was a teenager could be relevant even now. And there's stuff that I can do, I'm at the beginning, again, I can, I can start something fresh if I want. And I can build on what I've had from before, and nothing takes away what I've already done, like what I've already done comes with me.

 36:03  Exactly. You're so right about that. You know, interesting on that same point. I remember for many years, when I was doing the dual career, especially the earlier years, I kept that beating myself up, I kept saying to myself, Oh, I just wish I could perform full-time because I had a lot of friends who were full-time performers, you know, I but I always had a serious day job. I didn't, I didn't do the waitress thing, right? I did the serious day job. And I loved it. The thing is, I thrived in my day job, right. But I always call it my day job. Because as a singer, actor, it's like, you know, I'm good on this performer. And I've been for many years, I kept like, Oh, I wish I just do this full time, full time. And what's interesting, especially as I got, you know, to like the 2016 17 timeframe, when I was deciding to Oh, should I do something more, you know, merge my careers together, I realized that actually, having that dual career actually fed both parts of Erin, I know, even if I did full time performing, I do know, I would have had to do more than just perform, I would have had to produce, I would have had to do something more, because I realized I had to feed both sides of my brain, which is probably why I did both. And I even remember when I was in college, and I was a television film major. And with that you had to do everything you were you were directing, producing, you were hanging lights, you had to like do camera you to do everything. And I was good at all that I was good at the story stuff. I was also good in front of the camera, obviously, that's why I love doing but, and I was great at directing. But the one thing I thrived on. And my even my professor at the very end, he says you're an amazing producer, you have all the makings of a producer. And what that meant is I understood the whole thing. And when I look back in my day job, that's basically I took all of my creative skills, and producing and I put that into the creative agency. That's why thrive there, I was able to be in a creative space, be a producer. I mean, I climbed up the ladder, all the way to VP. But again, I was feeding that producer side that business side that with creativity, it had to be creative. And then I was also singing, acting. So I realized that it was really when I look back. Now I don't have any regrets. I'm glad I really thrived. And I was able to create this company InspirationSqrd, because of all that experience. So I'm so excited for you because I can't wait to see what's next for you. Because the beauty of also starting my own business, was also realizing its amazing how much this business has evolved in four years. And I realized the one beauty about doing our own businesses. You're we're constantly evolving. We're constantly growing and adding new things and going deeper and things. And it's been quite a journey. It's been so much fun.

 39:21  Yeah, I agree. I think running something yourself is a personal evolution as much as like a business evolution. But we're going to be wrapping things up in a second. And I'd love to just ask you if there's anything else you'd like to say to the listeners before we sign off.

 39:38  You know, I would say you know, this is really resonating with you. Make this the year that you decide to put yourself first if you're hearing that calling right now. You know, give yourself that gift and say I'm going to take some time and I'm going to figure out what is next for me because it's going to take you on A journey where you are going to thrive, because you've given yourself that gift with grace. So that would be my note.

 40:09  That's beautiful. And just anything is possible. We've got to take those steps. And we discovered a path by taking the next step. A lot of people think they need to know too many steps in advance.

 40:20  Yes, that's so true. And you don't take one for what do they say? Put one foot in front of the other and just walk forward. Yeah,

 40:28  I love it. Oh, thank you so much, Erin. I'd like to thank Erin Duffy for being my guest today. Please check her out. I'm going to put all your links into the show notes. And if anyone is a mid-career professional trying to re-establish themselves and refocus on what you really want, then Erin's your girl, she's going to take you there. And I look forward to seeing being on the podcast again. As I'm seeing everyone. I'm going to see you all again. Hear you all again. I'm making a mess at the end of this podcast now, but I'm looking forward to my next podcast and I really like to thank you, Erin, for being here.

 41:07  Thank you so much. I really appreciate this time. This has been a fun, fun discussion. Thanks Aideen. You're welcome.