Stories, Success & Stuff

Episode 25: Content or Confined?

December 08, 2023 A Siarza Production Season 1 Episode 25
Stories, Success & Stuff
Episode 25: Content or Confined?
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever feel like you're walking a tightrope between being content in the present and striving for more in the future? We've been down that road as we juggled our daily responsibilities while nurturing our dream of making our company the top agency in the Southwest. Join us as we get real about the emotional side of ambition and how we dealt with the pressure of watching our visions come to life.

As humans, we all grapple with the fear of stagnation and embracing the desire for stability. In this episode we are discussing harmony, self-acceptance, and the elusive concept of finding balance in life. It'll leave you pondering your own journey towards growth and self-awareness, so buckle up, this is one enlightening ride you don't want to miss.

A Siarza Production
Hosted by Kristelle Siarza Moon & Jace Downey
Executive Producer: Kristelle Siarza Moon
Producer: Jace Downey
Video/Editing: Justin Otsuka

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www.misskristelle.com
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www.jacedowney.com

Speaker 1:

How are you also staying here and now? With everything we have going on, we don't get to just jump to the future, right? So how do you do that and how do you handle the emotional component? ["the Emotional?

Speaker 2:

Component"]. Do you notice that his ears perk up like a little rabbit? Charlie's here today, which I'm very excited about. So if you hear the heavy-riding hi-bike you heard me talking about you. Charlie is your bear and our wonderful furry team member.

Speaker 1:

Yes.

Speaker 2:

We also always have Indiana here, who's currently licking the floor right now yeah, we don't know why? Yeah, and they're in the moment. Yes, kind of along the lines of today's topic on stories, success and with stuff which is mindfulness in the workplace, mindfulness in your life, mindfulness all around. Help me know where you came up with this brilliant topic.

Speaker 1:

Oh, actually it came from someone when I was talking about oh, I co-host this podcast and we talk about realistic paths to success and happy living and they said have you guys tackled finding ways to be satisfied with the present while also having ambition for a different future? And I was like dang brah, that's a good that's a legit topic because that is a tough harmony to find.

Speaker 1:

We can, I can't. I'll speak for me. I can often get caught being too future focused and then I feel dissatisfied with my present, which is not helpful in any way, or I can be okay and content with my present and not really working towards the future I want. So living in mindfulness of both of those simultaneously is not something I have nailed, but a topic I was like, yeah, let's definitely talk about that for sure. So someone else handed the topic over for us to discuss. It was a request.

Speaker 2:

Thank you for the topic idea. I think that whenever I think about being mindful of where you are now, I'm terrible at it, too Awful at it. It is sometimes some of the friction that I have in my relationship where the question is why aren't you happy with what's in front of you?

Speaker 2:

It's like I am, but I haven't had the opportunity to quote an amazing Broadway musical that some of you may or may not know that I love, but I am obsessed with Hamilton. Oh, hamilton is a fantastic production. Lin-manuel Miranda and the cast and the crew and the producers bless their hearts. They're ingenious, especially for when it came out and what we needed at the time. He wrote a song that Angela Shiler sang. Do you know what she went? Angelica Shiler sang. Do you know what song I'm talking about? I think so Satisfied, yeah, great, great, great song. I mean.

Speaker 2:

She talks about how Angelica is a socialite, like the definition of New York socialite class. She's the oldest in her family, her family had no sons and so she has the pressure of social climbing. She didn't even wanna talk to Hamilton because he had no wealth, he had no money, and somebody else even approached the money subject, which was Aaron Burr, and Aaron Burr was just like I'm a trust fund baby, you can trust me, great line. So there's a lyric and it caught my attention even during the actual show that and I had heard it for the first time where Hamilton tells Angelica Shiler, you strike me as a woman that never seems to be satisfied.

Speaker 2:

And she just what do you mean? And he's like I'm never satisfied. I'm always looking at ambition, and I think ambition and satisfaction and being mindful in the present is part of the reason why business owners are sociopaths. In my honest opinion is because we're willing to climb the highs but we're always so willing to accept the lows when they come. These are things that are just very common, like it happens, and so I think that's a really great segue into the conversation or when we were talking about what this topic was gonna be. That, and then also some of the plans that we have at CRS, are kind of a great conversation about how do you stay present in what we're currently working on right now but also look towards the future in a very optimistic way.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, which we're in the midst of doing our strategic planning for 2024. So, as a business owner that has, we're nine years in now right, you're nine years in. I'm here now, but I haven't been part of the whole journey, of course. So you've come a long way. You've done a lot of the highs and lows, a lot of the roller coaster that goes with running a business, and you're looking to our next year and what that is going to entail, and you're creating plans for it. How are you also staying here and now with everything we have going on, Because we don't get to just jump to the future, right? So how do you do that? And how do you handle the emotional component that comes with being a business owner? That has to hold the vision. You're a CEO. Big part of being a CEO is visioning and holding a big picture vision while also managing day to day. Those are separate skills entirely. How do you do that?

Speaker 2:

It's very hard. I look at the classic example of you take a little day by day and work with me while I go through kind of an operational mindset that sometimes turns on as a CEO and mine operates in a way where I work backwards. What's the big vision? Ciarza? To be the top agency in New Mexico and the Southwest, and then the world. I wasn't ready for that thunderstruck homie, but I mean it right. And what's our measurement of that success? It's the book of lists. When it's time for us to be on the list, we want to be number one on it.

Speaker 1:

Right now we're number two, awesome and up from number 10 in a year, though yeah, that's pretty badass. I was like that's more impressive, I think, than being at numbers. That was a big climb. That was a very big climb.

Speaker 2:

Just going to throw out there and a lot of that success is the team following my vision. So I appreciate that visioning work. I appreciate them giving me the opportunity to fail at that visioning work, which hasn't always gone to plan.

Speaker 2:

Definitely hasn't. It never does. And so, where my operational mindset comes in, I set that goal. And then somebody incredible, had taught me that look at your lagging and leading indicators to help you see where you're going. So I wrote the playbook.

Speaker 2:

And how I measure that playbook? I measure it by net operating gross sales, net profit. I also look at hiring, I also look at turnover, I also look at cost per labor. And I get into the weeds of it, not only because I enjoy it, but that's those leading and lagging indicators for me to realize, like what am I doing to help the company be successful? But what am I also helping the team realize from a micro-focused lens, like one of the things that we used to do that I hope to bring back is here's the big picture, what's your pieces to the pie and when people feel their individual goals and how the individual goals work towards the team goals, that really helps us understand where we are in the future. But it goes back to the question of how do you balance what's in the now, one thing that you don't know yet and the rest of the team doesn't know yet.

Speaker 2:

And you heard, it here first is that we're not going to get aggressive with it this year. We don't need to. That is what can kill. So growth is a very delicate balance. It's like ballet if you fuck up your ankles you're screwed, and I don't want to fuck up the core of the company, so I'm leaving it very stable for next year. You've mentioned that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we're all ready for that.

Speaker 2:

But that also puts a potential lull because you're like, well, what are we kind of working towards? It's the wave we have to kind of write out right now because the economy is so volatile. I mean, when you walked in like I was talking about small business Saturday and I was talking to another business owner, the owner of Gray School, great small business here in Albuquerque, big Funko Popper, and he's like we don't have as much expendable income anymore out in the world and he sees that from his sales trends. I get it and I see that where companies don't have that expendable income like they used to in marketing, the best types of clients are for us so the ones that see that marketing is essential, essential. So when we look at those clients, that's how we focus on the now and it's those wins, it's those micro wins, it's those big wins, it's the little wins. That helps us going and enjoying the moment, I think.

Speaker 2:

And then I also operationally, I have a very robust chart that tells me how we're doing. How's our sales going, how's our leads going, How's our proposals going? Are we progressing forward on our sales goals for the quarter? Are we looking good for our? Are we looking great? Those Now moments are like the little crumbs that eventually lead into a bigger pile of breadcrumbs and breadcrumbs on a cake are delicious. So there you go.

Speaker 1:

I assume those will be gluten-free and vegan for Justin and I to also enjoy them Okay great, don't be leaving us out here with those crumbs.

Speaker 1:

I appreciate that, and it actually the year ahead, as you as you share, which is not going to be defined by leaps and bounds and big growth, but really scaling in a smaller, in a smaller way, in a responsible, responsible way. That's where I'm at in my own personal life as well, and it's been something I've really been struggling with, especially over the last probably two months, where I've been used to same like a huge shifts in life, yeah, and like I'm moving or I'm taking on a totally new adventure or whatever. I've had like these really big, noticeable changes going on, which was part of of the journey. At the time and last fall I set out to work on security and stability not sexy goals at all and what my good friend called sticking power. He's like, jace, you're so good at starting over, at taking big risks, you're really good at following your heart and all of that. What you're not particularly skilled at is sticking with stuff when it's no longer exciting, when there's not a good story to tell along with it, when the when the romance from it is gone, if you will. He's like you don't have great sticking power and for me, I'm always like, okay, I already have these skills, let me bring on a new one, and so I this.

Speaker 1:

Last year I focused on sticking power and building outer stability, where I've worked really hard on my inner stability, which is fantastic, and I'm so glad that I did yeah, but my outer life didn't represent that, yeah. So last year I went, okay, let's have the outside match the inside, yeah. And then I've gone through I don't know how many like beginnings of an existential crisis over the last couple of months, because I'm like, oh my gosh, nothing cool is happening in my life. I'm not striving towards anything like what am I actually doing with myself? And this isn't the life that I thought I was gonna be living and just going through this emotional upheaval.

Speaker 1:

And I've been fortunate to have my team aware of the goals I set out and they go whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, time out, time out, time out. What was your goal this year? But they're like, hey, you set out for stability and security. Are you on track? Yeah, I'm like, oh, yeah, I am on track with those things and they're not sexy and they're not gonna be my big epic adventure stories, right, but they're building a foundation that then I can take the leap from right and that that, for me, my biggest fear is stagnation.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I am terrified of mediocre life Bomb just dropped in my head, so like there's nothing spectacular about my life right now and I have a hard time with that until I'm reminded. Oh yeah, that's what I set out to do.

Speaker 2:

I find it very fascinating that you see stagnation as it has this like somber tone with you, which I think is very fascinating.

Speaker 1:

And it's, and it's shifted.

Speaker 2:

It shouldn't be somber at all.

Speaker 1:

Well, okay, so judgment free zone. My greatest fear in life? I don't know what happens later, but my fear is that I think this is my, my thoughts on existence in a nutshell. Okay, that up in the energy, ether universe, whatever before we're embodied, we have lessons we want to learn. We have a growth that we're trying to do, or and for what I don't know? Maybe because it's neat, maybe nirvana, I don't know. And so that we choose a life that will best give us the opportunity to learn the things that we want to learn, as like a limitless being right like a school like we're like oh, I'm gonna go to this trade school, so I come out with these skills okay, so.

Speaker 1:

I came to the trade school of Jay Stowney to learn the specific things, and my fear is that I will not have completed that work in this lifetime and I'll have to come back and do it again. And it's not like I'm living a bad life. I love this episode already. Okay, there was a rough go of it. The first chunk of my life, though, also had love and kindness and joy, and like. It was not something I would want to redo, and so I have this just crushing pressure to make sure I don't have to come back and do it again.

Speaker 1:

Yeah and that might not even be what happens, right. Maybe we just die and then poof gone, like that's what Ed would say. Right then, there's just nothingness, which would be great.

Speaker 2:

Oh, ed.

Speaker 1:

And so if I am stagnant or I'm not living my true life, or what, then I'm at risk having to come back and redo it.

Speaker 2:

Okay, so tell me when I say this phrase. Tell me what your reaction is. Carpe diem.

Speaker 1:

So here is an interesting part of life that I was just checking in with my, with my bestie, about. Today. I've lost a lot of my gusto and hope. I don't know what I believe anymore, so I don't have a lot of.

Speaker 2:

Carpe in my diem.

Speaker 1:

So I don't know, and it's life right, like some days. You just you get up and you, you chop wood and you carry water, and then that's the day and that's okay, because we need wood and we need water. Not everything is gonna be a big epic day, which is what I'm coming into recognizing, and I'm really fortunate. In fact, the person who recommended this episode has taught me a lot where I've gone and I've lived in so many different places and I've moved a lot and I've tried a lot and I've done a lot and I've thought like, oh, that's been such an important part of my journey to become the person that I am. Well, this person has lived in two zip codes their entire life, which is like bonkers.

Speaker 1:

Wow, yes it's like and it's, and I was just like whoa. I just don't connect with that and they don't connect. They're like oh my god, what chaotic nonsense.

Speaker 2:

So I've been living.

Speaker 1:

And yet I super respect the person they are. I really admire who they've become and they didn't go through all of this stuff that I have and so I've recognized stability and sticking can result in a beautiful life too. So when you stay stagnation or any of those things in the past I would have been like that's death, like just kill me instead, like I just can't handle that.

Speaker 2:

That's so funny. You said that because instantly in my head I'm thinking grief, that's grief. You're grieving the past, I'm grieving the I.

Speaker 1:

I'm being very mind we talked about harmony I'm being very mindful to not let my hope and magic and wonder men die. I'm right at that point in life where it's too much in your DNA, girl.

Speaker 2:

I'm tired. Oh my god. That's all I kept on saying.

Speaker 1:

Like the like, my get-up is brought to you by naps, something you don't have. If I'm napping, be very worried. I'm not a napper, but I'm right at that point where I could go either way. I could become the bitter jaded. Nothing worked out in life. You try and it doesn't matter the things I used to believe didn't happen. Right like I'm right at that growing up point where I could easily follow up it doesn't.

Speaker 1:

It doesn't, but I could easily fall into that category and become a very unhappy person. Or I fight for holding on to wonder men, yeah, and magic, and the belief that I'm here to do something exceptional, okay, but it's not coming easily right now. I'll be honest.

Speaker 2:

I, as much as I would love to share a story like I really want to dissect this, please, please, because it's it's actually like it's a reflection of what I've been facing in many different ways, which is, you know, you look at Metaphoric success. Yeah, you have it, I have it, we all in this team have it, we have it together. Metaphoric success means just a constant climb, constant improvement, some fails, some excitement. You know, and if I'm listening to this correctly, the sticking power that you're talking about Is almost this uncomfortable level of complacency, with this mixed in with a level of comfort and and steadiness, like I think that the world operates.

Speaker 2:

The world operates with water. There's always a high tide and a low tide, and I think that some of us have a low tide that are longer than others. I think some of us have sporadic waves. Some people are just used to be banging on rocks and that's just how dysfunctional their life is, and there's some people that prefer to be in calm waters. Water's water to me, and I think that the situation that you're in I don't think you'll always be that way Like I'm ready, and as painful as this is gonna say I'm ready for you to leave the walls of CRs.

Speaker 1:

I don't want you to I don't you're like Right now, please don't fire me.

Speaker 2:

No, no, no, it's not even that, but like, I understand that this company provides you this ability that you're looking for, but I'm never gonna hold it against you if you're like. I'm ready to be the next Ryan Seacrest Bitch.

Speaker 1:

I know you're going to be successful as the next Ryan Seacrest.

Speaker 1:

Do I have to frost my tips? Because, I mean, nature is like doing it on its own, but let's do it. You know, speaking of what I had the absolute best compliment or most like most accurate description Of of me of my whole life, where I was just like holy smokes this is someone who's getting to know me, um and Said jace, you are spectacular. When I think of you, I think the vision that comes to mind is fireworks reflected on a still lake. Oh, oh, I like that.

Speaker 2:

And I was like another t-shirt.

Speaker 1:

I was just like I always. I was like, okay, but in my mind I'm like, yeah, every so many people see the fireworks, they see the magnetism, they see the, the wit, the jokes, even if they're bad jokes, uh, the big smile and all of that, which is true, but it's not actually the core of who I am. That calm, still Water is who I am. Yeah, and it's the, it's the fireworks, and I was like that is literally the most. I'm like I've never felt more seen in my life Like holy smokes.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I was like who are you? I?

Speaker 1:

get that, but it's. It's me getting comfortable with that. Still, water, yeah, where my life has been the fireworks, but it's not actually what I want. I don't want to be explosive, I don't want to be separate and away from others. I don't want flash. I so, when you talk about water, like I do want that, but it's not something I'm comfortable with. So I'm in that space of being comfortable with where I am now, while not giving up looking up to the sky.

Speaker 2:

I. I also see that element of being kind to yourself in the element of yin and yang right, yeah, I don't know the philosophy of yin and yang, as well as I, as I want to, as well as I should, but I think that Balance is really key to a life and I think that you're the white part of the yin, of the yin part. The white part of the circle right now is just Overtaking, it is more dominant, and sometimes the black overtakes too, and I think that's normal.

Speaker 1:

It's so interesting. I pulled an oracle card today and it was all about the harmony of the yin and yang. Oh was it? Yeah, oh, cool, yeah, it's very interesting. And I have this jerk guy in my head every time he goes. It's pronounced yang, and now that fuckers in my head. So, right when you said that, his stupid voice is like ooh, it's. And I'm like dude, fuck you.

Speaker 2:

Nobody wants to hear that. Was he an?

Speaker 1:

Asian. He was not Asian.

Speaker 2:

Okay, there you go, he was kind of a cool dude.

Speaker 1:

I was like where is this guy? It's pronounced yang and I'm like dude, nobody cares. Like don't be a dick. So right, that's what's in my head. But yeah, that sense of the yang which is more active, right where the yin is more receptive and you're absolutely right and sometimes for me in action can feel like complacency when in truth sometimes the just being is a huge part of the next thing, right?

Speaker 1:

And so when I talk and I don't say balance, I think balance is a myth, I think it's bullshit, I think it causes a lot of problems for people. We can do a whole episode on that if you'd like, because I have a lot of things to say about it. So I think about harmony, because it's trying to keep things like this is unrealistic. We're humans. Harmony is this movement.

Speaker 2:

It's constant right, Just like water, Just like water.

Speaker 1:

And so that harmony of being in acceptance we talked about, I'm on track. So when I start to panic oh my God, I'm becoming complacent I'm gonna be settling for mediocrity. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Like I'm on track. These are the goals that I set, and keeping my open mind and open heart for what's next.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah 100%.

Speaker 1:

That's where I'm at.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, no, I hate to cut this episode short, but I also think that this is a fantastic way to really reflect on what's the present, what's the future, and thanks for sharing that. As deep and as confusing and as mentally stimulating as the conversation might be for you or definitely for me, but everything that you shared Just what I love about this show is just how every episode just puts us through a wide range of emotions.

Speaker 1:

Never know.

Speaker 2:

You never know.

Speaker 1:

And you just gave me an epiphany real quick, as you're talking about the depth Still water requires depth. Shallow water is not still right when you see that's where the deep spot is and it's dark and it's cold. There's something to that. You got me some things to reflect on, absolutely.

Speaker 2:

Thanks for joining us on Stories, success and Stuff. Don't forget to subscribe on your favorite podcast channel. Follow us on your favorite social media channel at CRS of the agency. I'm Crystal. This is Jace, and thanks for watching and listening to Stories, success and Stuff. I'll see you next time.

Balancing Present Satisfaction and Future Ambition
Struggling With Stagnation and Embracing Stability
Finding Harmony and Self-Acceptance