Doing Less, Focusing More After Taking a Two-Month Leave with Adrian Klaphaak - Transcripts

March 19, 2023

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Joy and frustration can be equally motivating. Sometimes joy pulls our focus like a magnet to where it needs to be. On the other hand, sometimes being grumpy and frustrated is a sign we need to pivot in another direction. They both help us understand what roles or activities, or ideas we need to say no to to make sure we have enough space for what we want to say yes to.  Today, I’m joined by recurring guest host Adrian Klaphaak, who is just returning from a two-month parental leave after welcoming his second child into the world. We’re talking about preparing for, and returning from, time off; the challenges of parenting while running a business; and working toward sustainable joy and focus amidst it all. Are you working on a Pivot-in-progress? For guidance on reconnecting with what lights you up and creating an action plan to move forward, check out Adrian’s flagship Career Pathfinder Program and apply promo code PIVOT at checkout. More about Adrian: Adrian Klaphaak is a coach, purpose guide, entrepreneur, therapist, and founder of A Path That Fits Career and Life Coaching. His coaching approach is holistic—a constant balance between getting results and a quest for meaning and fulfillment. He describes himself as “a deep seeker with a constant itch to make things happen.” 🌟 3 Key Takeaways: If you’re feeling dread upon returning to work after a break (or even just the weekend), ask: What am I resisting coming back to? See the resistance as a message from a wiser part of yourself telling you something might be off. Surrender to the reality of your life, and remember that you’ve chosen it, even amongst the challenges. Life is long, if we’re lucky, and no situation lasts forever. Sometimes you have to say no and clear space first, before clarity on next steps emerges. Be patient: the biggest dreams take time. ✅ Try This Next: What do you want to say no—or not now—to right now? 📘Books:  Free Time: Lose The Busywork, Love Your Business Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One Life After College The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food, and Love by Kristin Kimball Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown Grumpy Monkey by Suzanne Lang The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living by the Dalai Lama 🔗Resources: Adrian on the web, Yelp, Facebook, LinkedIn Course: Career Pathfinder (promo code PIVOT) Articles: Startup Parent Substack, Parable of the Trapeze Video: Finding Your Calling by a Path that Fits Podcast: Startup Parent Podcast 🎧Related Podcast Episodes: Pivot x Career Pathfinder Playlist (previous episodes with Adrian) 204: Radical Alignment: Getting to Hell Yes with Alex & Bob Free Time 166: Crashing into Quiet Time 🏝️ 320: The Beauty of Late Bloomers with Jenna Valovic ❤️ Enjoying the show? I'd be grateful for a rating and/or review! Even better? Share this episode with a friend :) 💌 Get my curated weekly(ish) PivotList newsletter 💻 Check out Jenny’s Pivot courses on LinkedIn Learning: Figuring Out Your Next Move, Holding 1:1 Career Conversations With Your Team, Managing Introverts, Coaching New Hires, and Coaching New Managers 💬 I’d love to hear what’s on your mind! Take the Pivot listener survey ☎️ Submit a question or comment for future episodes 🎧 Make sure you’re subscribed wherever you listen to ‘casts 📝 Check out full show notes from this episode with links to resources mentioned at Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


I remember reading something that the Dalai Lama wrote at one point that we should really take the time to reflect on what's most important to us and set our priorities on the basis of that. And that's how to really live a fulfilling life. And I thought like that's the best time management productivity strategy of all time to try to figure out what is most important to me

and then to focus on that. What's next? This is a question we're all having to ask and answer more frequently. I'm Jenny Blake, your host of the Pivot Podcast and author of Pivot, The Only Move That Matters is your next one. For show notes from this episode, visit slash podcast. If change is the only constant, then let's get better at it. Here we go. Welcome back, pivotters. We have recurring guest host of the Pivot Pod, Adrienne Clapack, my very first career coach. He's an incredible coach in his own right, the founder of Path That Fits, Career and Life Coaching. And we now have a brand new Spotify playlist of all our episodes that we've done together. So if you want to hear the full Jenny and Adrienne pivot by career pathfinder playlist, we're going to put that in the show notes.

Adrienne is just coming back from two months of parental leave welcoming his second kiddo into the world. And so we're talking today about doing less and focusing more. Adrienne, welcome back to the show

and welcome back to life outside of a newborn. Thank you. It's great to be back here. I'm not sure if I'm happy to be back to life outside of a newborn or not.

But it's always good to be here with you for sure. It can be so tricky navigating anything, career and work, health with something as monumental as having a child. I guess I just want to start by asking you about heading into leave, like how you prepared. And then we can talk about how it feels kind of having to re-enter because I could imagine that both heading into a leave and coming back out can be kind of jarring in their own way. So maybe you could just start by telling us how you decided two months, how you prepared for it.

I took a lot of time off for the birth of our first child. It was new. And I was very anxious about it, about becoming a father and receiving a life. And so I took a lot of time. I think it was kind of indefinite. I knew I was going to come back at some point, but I didn't have a return date. And with the second child, I decided to take two months. I knew that I wanted to take enough time to deeply bond with our baby boy and support my wife and our daughter and the massive adjustment. And I also did want to come back to work. And I'm in a position where I really need to for our family. So two months, I guess, just felt right. Enough time to do that bonding that was really important to me.

And then not so much time that I was going to have to come back and start from zero again. And I did it by planning well in advance. And the planning was actually pretty easy because I have an amazing team now. So it really didn't take that much to organize things and hand things over to my team because they were already up and running, so capable, so reliable, so talented, good at what they do, that it was really quite easy to leave everything in their very capable hands. So I'm really grateful for that. And what I've learned from this particular time is that if I have a great team, I don't really have to do all that much planning and agonizing over taking time off. So that makes me want to continue to invest in my team and in maintaining those relationships and really giving and growing all my team members

and letting them know how much I value and appreciate them. Were there certain areas where it was like they don't contact you for 90% of things, but then certain exceptions where they would get in touch? And then I'm also curious, did that happen?

Did they need to reach out to you at any point? There were certain things. I think it was like if there was a really tricky situation with a client or a client having a really hard time, which happens infrequently, but it has happened. And that was the main one that I said, send me a text message. I'm not going to be checking email, but send me a text message if that were to happen or something else unexpected that feels more like an extremely sensitive or emergency situation. And that did not happen at all.

Didn't come to pass, thankfully. That's good. You mentioned feeling like two months would be the right amount of time. And I feel like sometimes it's guesswork. Sometimes you head into a leave and there's decompression time from the pace of life and work prior. And then sometimes coming out, you may or may not be ready. So how do you feel now that you're emerging, getting back into the swing of things? Do you feel that two months was the right amount of time

or would you have wanted more? I think it was the right amount of time, all things considered. And that said, it is so full on having two young kids and all the needs that are a part of a young family. So on some level, I feel like I could do nothing but parent right now in my life and take care of myself and pursue my own passions in health outside of work. So on that level, I feel like, wow, I could go indefinitely. That said, over time, I do feel like something does start to feel like it's missing for me if I'm only in the world of parenting. There was something pulling me back. But honestly, I could have taken more time, six months, a year or two years. It would just be like, at some point, I would think that my soul, my being, would want to give and contribute through work in the way that I have. And I found so much purpose in that. I could turn around and go back to parenting right now

and be pretty happy and satisfied with that for a while. You actually love your work. You love your business. It's fully aligned. And yet I know the feeling of the case of the Mondays, or some people call it the Sunday scaries. And for me, sometimes that gets really magnified. The longer I've been away, I still will experience dread, sometimes coming back into things. So I'm wondering if you've experienced that. And because it's so fresh for you, what advice would you give somebody else who rain or shine has to reemerge and get back into the day-to-day if they've taken a sabbatical or leave,

even from a full-time job? I didn't experience that this time. Part of it is parenting is extremely challenging. I really think it's the hardest job. To say it's a job is both accurate because it's so challenging and it is work, and then also it's much more than a job. But I think everybody knows what I mean. It's the deepest, most challenging work I've ever done. So on one level, I appreciated having the break from parenting, coming back to work was like, okay, I get to change gears, engage a different part of myself, get a break from the often extremely frustrating way that parenting constantly erails my plans. It's so frustrating. It's very hard to feel like I'm making any kind of progress. And with work, I feel differently. I feel like, oh, I can set goals, have any impact.

People listen to me, unlike with my kids. It was a relief on that level. So I did not feel any kind of resistance or blues coming back to work. It was welcome and exciting, change of pace and meaningful in its own right. But for somebody that is feeling those Sunday or Monday blues are just resistance to getting back to work, I think that's a great opportunity to do a bit of a check-in with oneself. What is it really that I'm not wanting to come back to? What am I resisting? Because it could be that that resistance is a message from a wiser part of ourself telling us, hey, something's off here. Let's try to explore something new or redesign or pivot towards something that's more wholly fulfilling and exciting for us. It could also be that the resistance is just resistance to work, to being uncomfortable, to doing the hard thing. And I think that's something through parenting that I've really actively worked on myself, tried to grow myself, and my ability to be uncomfortable because so much of it is uncomfortable, emotionally or physically, lack of sleep or just the frustration of kids not listening to you and dealing with a toddler and a baby or whatever. So I've been actively trying to grow myself in my capacity to be uncomfortable, to be frustrated, but to sort of stay the course that I know is right.

It could also be that, and I would say investigate it and then see what's really true for you,

and then begin exploring from there. I love that encouragement to actually ask, what am I resisting? And to not just berate ourselves, I'll just kind of be like, what's wrong with you? Just get up, people have such harder jobs than this. And actually just see the resistance, as you said, as a message from a wiser part of yourself. It's funny you mentioned sleep, so I'm pretty sure I got COVID, even though my test was negative, on December 27th. So I had carved out this beautiful 20 days of unscheduled time that I always do from after I go see family at the holidays. Anyway, I spent the first two weeks this year completely laid out flat, just trying to recover. There was no rest. I mean, slept all day, all night, but it's not that restorative. It's just trying to get back to normal. And then it triggered my asthma, so my asthma's been worse.

So I have been sleeping horribly, waking up with asthma in the middle of the night. And it's improving slowly but surely, but we're recording this in February, and I still haven't hit any sort of groove of 2023. Like, when everyone was talking about goals and plans and dreams for the year ahead, I was just the grumpiest grumpy monkey. There's a children's book called The Grumpy Monkey that my friend Laura told me about, and I've been so grumpy because the lack of sleep will do that. So for you, you have two young kids. You definitely can't control your sleep. What even I'm facing is nothing compared to the complexity you have with trying to get enough sleep. And I just find my resourcefulness and my mood drops so dramatically. So how do you find that resilience when you're sleep deprived?

Because they almost contradict each other in a way. What comes to me is that I just love my kids so, so much. And so it is easy to be incredibly fulfilled, delighted, just like pure delight, not all day, every day, but like it's always happening. The delight's always happening. So I really do get this amazing fulfillment and energy and vitality, love from them. That's not happening in the midst of a COVID recovery, right? So I would say that's one thing. And I think if I were to expand that kind of into just a sort of general principle, I think seeing the joy, feeling the joy, like really appreciating the joy or the fulfillment that is a part of one's life or work or whatever is really important to let that in. It can be so tempting to focus on what isn't working well and fixate on that. And there's usually something. There's usually some thorn on our side, right? So focusing on the joy of fulfillment is really important.

The other thing is I've just really been surrendering to the reality of my life and that I'm choosing it. And I did choose it. And it's really challenging. I'm constantly derailed by a baby's needs and a four-year-old's wild psychedelic behaviors. And I have to just let go of my agenda. And I feel like an emotional maturity or something that I'm working with myself on because I get really frustrated. And so it's not like it's easy for me to surrender, but I do feel like that is the way to preserve the sanity that you're talking about, to not just be so aggravated all the time. I gotta let go and just surrender and trust. Life is long, hopefully. And I'm not gonna be in this situation forever. And so I don't have to fight an uphill battle to try to maintain my life exactly like it was before or have the best year ever in my business. No, that just seems silly, ignorant, immature to try that.

So there's something about having the maturity to really be where I am and appreciate it and let go of things that aren't aligned

with the actual moment in my life. It's really beautifully said. My friend, Sarah Peck, I'll put a link to her. She has a great newsletter podcast called Startup Parent. I'll put that in the show notes. She often writes about that too. It's just the relationship to clock time once you have kids has to change or you will be perpetually frustrated. You can just can have the same expectations. And as you said, like the constant derailment, but even thinking that you could have such a plan, it seems like having young kids disabuses you of that notion altogether. And then on the flip side, I've heard a lot of, especially newer parents say they get so good at focusing, like saying no to even more, doing even less and really honing in on the vital few activities. So I'm curious for you coming back, is it magnified having just had your second child or did that clarity really come in with the first

and now you're more maintaining that clarity? It came in with the first and it's magnified with the second. And it's so true what you just said that as a parent, I'm more discerning than ever. I have better time management than ever. It's easier than ever to focus on the most important things. I'd say my kids are the most important things, but then also when I'm working, inside of my work in that context, it's easier than ever to focus on what's most important. And I have felt forced to focus on only what's most important. There's pretty much one big thing in addition to the normal work that I do of seeing one-on-one clients and running the career Pathfinder coaching program. There's like one additional project at a time that I can take on and that's it. And it's frustrating, like I was saying before. And then also I've come to accept it and it's a more joyful experience actually for me to focus on less and do it well and go deep into it and not have to be holding in my brain five other projects that distract me and stress me out. So I may even be more at peace in some odd way with the complexity of parenting because it's forcing me to focus on only one thing at a time

and be fully present with that one thing at a time. That's a really interesting way to put it in a silver lining that actually you might be much happier with a single point of focus and one project at a time, but it's just that until you had two kids, you never had to only choose one. And yet it might be the happier way of working for you for so many of us.

And yet we'll be right back just after this. What about for you, Jenny? You don't have kids, you have a dog, kind of like a, I would say that's a child of sorts, but you don't have kids. How do you choose what to focus on

and how much to focus on? Well, it was funny, I was just talking about being a dog parent the other day to a friend and they're like, I think you treat your dog more like a kid than I do of how this person is with their dog. And that's kind of true because we do treat Ryder with a lot of care and affection and attention. And he's a German shepherd, so he's really smart. He gets bored easily. He needs a lot of physical activity. And so I think about that a lot that if it weren't for him, I definitely wouldn't be like playing at the park in the dirt with sticks every day for 90 minutes. That's our latest routine. And even we play with balloons in the house. So there's a lot of my day that's taking care of him in a way, cause I feel too guilty. If I just see how bored he is and I know that he hasn't had any attention for too long, it makes me very antsy. I think that's cause I have a lot of guilt for how it was for my dog when I was growing up when I didn't know any better.

That's a long way of saying that I too have to drop the notion of what I could have done before. I think because I was single for so long and I lived alone for seven or eight years in my late twenties, early thirties, I mean, living alone it's so delightful. I know some people have never had that experience. I never wanted roommates. I never wanted to have to make small talk when I came home from somewhere. When I did have roommates in my very early twenties, I was always praying they weren't home. Please don't be home so I don't have to talk to you when I come home from my day, like who does that? But that was me. My mom would always say you gotta have roommates. It's like you're young, that's what you do. and I never wanted it. So I found living alone to be heavenly.

You can sleep when you want, wake up when you want, and same thing with working, and especially once I was self-employed, it was like the bliss of pure focus. So what I always have to reconcile is that vision of what I call my single solo self, because I know what that was like and what she was capable of, and yet now life is more beautiful, more chaotic, the house is messier, but it's more fun. Even Ryder infuses so much joy and playfulness and life, it's just with him running around and kind of animates the whole house. I also have to remind myself, I cannot compare my pure output on a work sense with what I could do before, but it's hard because I know what that felt like before. And I don't sleep as well, because I'm a very light sleeper. So between having Ryder running up and down the stairs or whatever he's going to do, whatever Michael's doing, but I just don't sleep as well. So it is reconciling and kind of animates the whole house, certain sleep factors, time, energy, attention, with a totally full life that, as you said, of course I'm choosing, and I would choose it again, and over and over again, it's just holding both, the nostalgia in a book called The Dirty Life. I'll put the link in the show notes. And my Readwise app gave me a snippet back that I had highlighted a couple of years ago, where she said, we never really grieve for our single life. It's always a celebration when you get married, but we never properly grieve whatever side of ourselves and that pure freedom you have when you're young and the possibilities are totally endless, because we keep making choices that makes our life really full and meaningful, but changes things. So I thought that was a really helpful reminder. And that's kind of what I remind myself to, even on a day-to-day basis, when, I don't know, lately, like there's the start of 2023, how it started.

I'm not that motivated. I'm just not. So to me, it's also trying to read the signals of, like you said, what else could I drop? It's always a question of what else could I drop, even though like you said, I don't have kids that's like this immediate forcing function in that way. And I must need more rest, because when I have that dread, if I theoretically enjoy the work, but I'm still dreading doing it, it might just mean I need more rest more than I think. That was a very long winding answer,

but it's a complex question. What about for people who have time? And we're listening and they're like, I get what you're saying, Adrian, Jenny, but I have time. So what do I focus on? How do I be most effective? What do we wanna say? It's almost like talking to ourselves 10 years ago, something like that. What do we wanna say about how to focus on what's gonna be most meaningful?

Which is, I think, essentially what we're talking about. I'm so curious to hear what you have to say. I think about this great diagram that I've mentioned before, Greg McCown's book, Essentialism. There's on the left side, there's what looks like a sunshine. So a circle with a bunch of short arrows coming out of it. And then on the right, there's a circle with one super long arrow coming out. And that's the power of focus. But I think when you have a lot of time, sometimes you don't know what you wanna focus on if you're trying a bunch of different things. So it's a tricky balance between trying enough stuff, but then knowing how powerful it can be once you really do decide to focus. But I don't know if seeing that diagram would have just changed things for my younger soul. I don't know. I feel like I've had to learn the hard way by juggling way too much, way too many times.

So I don't know if I have a good answer.

What would you say? I love that. Yeah, I was still smiling about your authenticity.

I don't think I have a good answer for that one. Because if nothing was making me focus, I don't know.

Too many apps running. I think for me, it would come down to what's my purpose or what's one's purpose or some variation on that question, which could be what am I most excited by, passionate about right now that sort of has the most energy in it. And to look to purpose or passion or some other aspect of just what is most important to me and to prioritize that. I remember reading something that the Dalai Lama wrote at one point that we should really take the time to reflect on what's most important to us and set our priorities on the basis of that. And that's how to really live a fulfilling life. And thought that's the best time management productivity strategy of all time to try to figure out what is most important to me and then to focus on that. Of course, it's not always easy to do. And then even when you do have the thing that you know you really wanna do, there's all kinds of stuff that can get in the way. But as a starting point,

I would sort of guide somebody in that direction. I guess part of the reason it feels challenging, yes, it could be uncertainty. And then sometimes it feels riskier too. Like, let's say you go all in on your own business, but then within the business, you're still what I call in free time, the chief everything officer. You're still wearing all the hats, AKA doing too much, not focused. Or you have too many income streets. I've been there, done that. Or you have too many clients and not at high enough rate. So that's almost scattered, kind of disperses energy. So sometimes I think it feels risky as well to claim whatever that one thing you're most passionate about and go all in, I think it's risky. It feels risky at least. Absolutely.

Because that's assuming you're right in that moment. Absolutely. I don't know. Have you had that clarity within your journey of business building? Oh, was there a point in your business building journey where you felt unfocused? Like you just knew you had too much going on?

Absolutely, absolutely. When I had launched the Career Pathfind Your Coaching Program, it was the first thing that I had done that was beyond me seeing one-on-one clients or having other coaches that were seeing one-on-one clients. And after launching that and running that with the one-on-one clients that I already had in existence and my team as it was of other coaches, I felt way overwhelmed at that point. And that I think was the first time where I really started to invest in building a team that could support me and starting to delegate some of the many hats I was wearing to other people and training them and supporting them and growing into those roles. And that was a huge point of growth for me in my career and served me really well and served our clients well and also taught me that I can do more,

offer a better service when I'm not trying to do everything. Yeah, I have such an interesting relationship with team building in that way. I do think going from zero to one in terms of having never hired even a part-time VA to hiring someone or hiring for help around the house after having never really worked with anyone can make such a huge difference, especially for the stuff that you dread. So I always say delegation is easiest when you start with what you dread, with what you don't wanna do anyway, but needs to get done. Maybe it's even bookkeeping, filing taxes, whatever it is that you can't stand, that's the most motivating place to start. And then it's tricky on my end because I find as soon as the team gets too big or too complicated, I'm also maxed out, overstimulated. For some reason, it takes a lot of energy from me for me to manage people. And I know even hiring experts who don't need to be managed or trained past a certain onboarding point, totally on board with that, but it's like the more people I have in my orbit, the more overwhelmed I am. So it's tricky balance where sometimes I've actually scaled back my business or my business model or certain revenue streams simply because I don't wanna manage a team to support it. So I'd almost rather run a smaller or different type of business than have to have that complexity in my life, which is a running theme, me being the grumpy people curmudgeon that I am,

as I shared with not ever wanting roommates. I'm so glad you mentioned that because I think that's where we need to know who we are and what we each need in order to thrive and then make those adjustments. And sometimes you gotta try it. Like you were saying, oh, this is too much. I'm grumpy, it's too complicated. I wanna scale it back. So I'm gonna scale it back and okay, this is the sweet spot. I'm much happier here. And I share your feelings that bigger isn't better. A bigger team is not necessarily gonna be more fulfilling. It's not necessarily gonna make one happier or even free up your time in the way that you want to. So it's a great point.

It's really important for everybody to consider

what is right for me. Yeah, and it's funny, it's like we've talked about the joys and the joys that draw you like a magnet to where you inherently want to focus, like your kids. And then we've talked about dread and grumpiness as being these signals of little wake up calls like, hey, I'm really grumpy about this, what's that about? And that that can be motivating in its own way. And as you were talking, it also strikes me that it's all a series of trade-offs. So you said very powerfully earlier in the conversation that you remind yourself that you're choosing these things. And I do think we can make informed trade-offs that help us focus. I am going to shut down these three things in my life that aren't working, but the trade-off is I know I'll be able to invest so much more in this other area. And for me, just getting clear on the trade-offs so that I know I don't have to do any one thing. Like I don't have to have a big team, but the trade-off is taking a leave might be more complicated than it otherwise would be,

for example. I will often coach people, I'll say, okay, if you're gonna say yes to this new thing, which usually is a part of coaching, what's the new thing or what's the goal you wanna set or the change you wanna make? And usually that can't just be added into a person's existing life. Like you were saying, Jenny, there has to be something taken out, let go of. You have to say no to something in order to say yes to the new thing. Otherwise, the new thing doesn't have the space, the time, the energy, the resources it needs in order to succeed. So this is a key point, I think. If you wanna do that new thing, what are you gonna say no to

to make the time and space for it?

We'll be right back just after this. And I've always found that sometimes I don't even have clarity on what the new thing is until I say no first. Even in the life after college book, I share the parable of the trapeze, and I'll try to find an online version that we can link to in the show notes, where the author says sometimes you have to let go of the first trapeze bar before you are holding on to the second. And so sometimes this question of focus and doing less, or even getting clues as to what's next, it's like the hardest part sometimes, at least for me, has been shutting something down before I'm fully holding on to that next bar, before I even know what it's for, and creating that space, because the answer doesn't come in until there's a little more space and quiet. And that, it's nerve-wracking even as I say it out loud, because I'm always hitting moments like this that take courage up front, and then clarity that follows.

I'm wondering if that's true for you too. It is true, absolutely. You said the word courage. I was thinking in my mind, how does one do this? Well, there's no, I don't think there's really much of a trick. Like, yeah, you could give yourself a runway, some savings or whatever you need to feel more sort of secure to ease some of the real concerns or constraints, have conversations with family members to get them hopefully on board, whatever these things. But really, I think it comes down to having the courage to believe in oneself, that it is possible, or just the courage to try it. So yes, I've felt that many times. And I see this all the time when working with people in the career pathfinding and coaching program, in my one-on-one practice, people are saying some version of, I'm unfulfilled with my work, I know something needs to change, I want something new, and they are understandably afraid to really be in that not knowing space, because it's terrifying to not know. And again, I think I was speaking to this earlier with parenting that I'm trying to get more comfortable with being uncomfortable in the just discomfort, the unknown place. And that is also something I'm working with clients on all the time. And I think it's a really good one.

And one way I've done this is to start taking cold showers. I hate the cold. I was hearing about this, reading about this online, all over from friends, et cetera, et cetera, for years. And I always thought, man, no way, like I just don't get that. And then when I connected it to wanting to help myself get better at being uncomfortable, I was like, oh, right, yeah, I hate the cold. That would be something that would grow my ability to be uncomfortable. And it's really helped. It seems like a small thing, but I really hate it, but I forced myself to do it. And I always come out feeling like, okay, yeah, I guess that wasn't that bad. And I just have this experience of doing something, I hate doing something uncomfortable and it does make it that much easier to do the next uncomfortable thing. I guess one question just to throw back to you or to put out to the listeners is, we could all benefit, I think, from being a bit more uncomfortable. What's the thing?

How would you train yourself, or what do you do, Jenny, or what have you done to help yourself get more comfortable

with the unknown with discomfort?

about. I'm shivering in my cold office, just dreading the thought of a cold shower. But you and Michael both, I've heard so many people say that they do it for exactly the reasons you described. I just cherish my five minutes of scalding hot. Michael calls me a dragon because I love like the hottest water possible. And I know that's not the point of being happy and comfortable, but it's a good question of like, what is the literal cold shower or the proverbial uncomfortable zone? And I have to say, like juggling more people than myself, it makes me uncomfortable every day. Like every day it stretches me. So I do feel stretched in that way. And I had a question for you too. So I'm curious if there's anything else you would answer to your question. And also thought of a day, especially since you're just in this liminal space of coming back to things, is there anything you're going to stop doing?

Is there any dial you're going to turn to focus even more or do even less than you were doing two months ago

when you took your leave? I am having to be more patient with the things that I want to do with the projects that I want to pursue in my work for sure. And so what I've done is not like let go of these things that I want to do, my career goals, ways that I think I could be more supportive, starting programs, et cetera, for clients. I'm just saying not now. So that's been one of my main strategies. I know I want to do this thing. There is so much excitement in it for me and I know now isn't the time. So okay, it's not a flat no forever. It's like a not now. I'm going to do that later. I'm going to focus on the one most important thing now, which for me is onboarding a new team member because one of my amazing team members is taking some leave. That's been my thing, like not now, but I don't know if there's something that I've outright stopped.

I don't think so because my life was already so focused on the core with one kid and a business and all these other passions that I love to do. What's happening is patience is not now is putting

things on hold until later for me. That's a good one. And I love that framing of what do you want to say? No, or just not now too. Cause that way it doesn't feel like it's taken off the table forever, but you're saying not now. And I've had those conversations with friends even who get maxed out on, let's say coaching. And it's like, maybe you want to not take any new clients for three months and that's a not now. You'll see if you want to take them after three months, you might, or you might not. Some people I've spoken to myself included when we stopped one-on-one coaching, it was like, I'm so relieved. Actually, it was a great 10 years. It was a great period of my life and career. And I'm so happy that it's a not now, but it doesn't have to be a no forever.

So that's really helpful. Thank you for that. Oh, I just love what he can say. Not now too. What I'm trying to do is to your question of asking, what am I resisting? I'm trying to have patience with the feeling of not being on and focused. So it's almost like, have patience, listen, the real good quote. So many people would know of just listening, something new has entered upon you. You don't yet know what it is and that there's a sadness. You can't even describe it. And I often feel that and it's hard not to judge the sadness or the lackadaisical vibe or not having a clear driving jump out of bed, super focused, other than like, well, gotta get to my email inbox. You know, I love podcasting.

That is true. I'm going to borrow your word patience and apply it to patients while the focus, it's almost like the camera lens is refocusing, like how it gets

blurry sometimes. That lens just needs to recalibrate. Beautiful. To continue with patience, the big dreams take time. They always take time. There's no way to accomplish something really big quickly. It just doesn't happen. For people say like, oh yeah, like the overnight success was really like 20 years of work that's just now being noticed by the masses. I think it's really important to remember patience. We live in this culture where we see these overnight sensations or things going viral or things happening really quickly. Everything's all maxed out, optimized all the time. I don't think we're seeing the whole picture, the whole development cycle, the whole growth cycle with those things.

We're just seeing that one peak moment of success. I think it's really important what you're saying, to have patience, to work on being more courageous, to stay in the unknown, to wait for that thing that really we want to do, that we have a ton of energy for, that feels purposeful. Explore around if you need to until you find that one thing and then to stay focused on it, to stay committed, to say no to the distractions and really prioritize

that thing and stay committed to it for long enough for it to grow into something around.

Yes, so well said and there will be an episode coming out in a few weeks with Jenna Valovic. We talked about late bloomers and even just that moniker, late bloomer, it's even such a judgey term and she has so many great things to say about the silver linings and you can't put a timeline on and as you said, the biggest dreams take time, who's to say what's late and to just have that patience and not judge the process too soon. That I think I'm always reminding myself of that too. So thank you so much Adrian. I feel so grateful that we get to connect as one of the earliest things you're doing coming back from leave. So thank you so much for being here and coming back

to the pod. It's so good to be here. This is so good for me. I feel in touch with what I really need and want to do and what matters through this conversation for my own life. So thank

you for the amazing questions and the opportunity. Sure thing and listeners, if you ever want to ask a question for Adrian and I to bat around in a future conversation, you can leave us a voice memo at slash ask. Thank you so much for listening everybody. Have a beautiful rest of your day. Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the Pivot Podcast. Make sure you don't miss an episode or my insider tips and templates by signing up for Pivot List, a curated twice monthly newsletter where I share the inside scoop on what I'm reading, watching, listening to, and the latest tools I'm geeking out on. Sign up at slash pivot list. Get show notes from this episode at slash podcast and connect with me on Twitter at Jenny underscore Blake. Remember, build first, then your courage will follow.

Hasn't it always?