#12: I never understood burnout until...

Feb 21, 2024

E12_Amanda Goetz (feed)About The Episode

A big goal with this podcast is to tell the stories of mothers who are thriving at work and at home, demonstrating how the career and family aspects of their lives were not mutually exclusive.

A perfect example of someone breaking this false tradeoff is Amanda Goetz, a single mom of three and highly successful brand builder, creator and marketing leader.

Amanda spent years running marketing at The Knot and then as a fractional CMO and marketing consultant.

In the early days of COVID, right after getting divorced and with three little kids in tow, she founded House of Wise, a women-focused CBD brand. Over the course of almost three years she raised $2 million dollars in venture capital, and ultimately sold the business in 2022 to a strategic buyer. 

After she sold her business, she went back to corporate America and took a big marketing role. 

But, she couldn’t ignore the pull she felt to get back to being her own boss. So in the summer of 2023 she quit her corporate role to go out on her own, again. But this time - things would be different. 

Today, she’s a solopreneur with multiple revenue streams. She’s capitalizing on the personal brand and community she has built over all these years - to be her own boss, and design the life that is most interesting to her, and also supports her mental and physical health. 

In this episode, we cover how Amanda has built the career she has today while being a mother. 

We talk about her time in the corporate world vs. building her own business, her experience with burnout and how it impacted her perspective moving forward, and what she’s working on next.

Links & Resources


Disclaimer: This podcast transcript is autogenerated and may contain minor errors or discrepancies

Allison: Hi Amanda, thank you so much for joining me today.

Amanda: Thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited.

Allison: I am thrilled to have you here because I think I started following you on Instagram in the earlier days of the pandemic. And I was following your story, feeling like, oh my gosh, I have so much to learn from her. I was also building my business, but you had more kids then and were really in the thick of it. You were also farther ahead of me in your business and fundraising. And so you're sort of my secret mentor that I was following and you had no idea I was doing that.

So I want to start with talking about that. So you have this incredible, more corporate background. What then happened to convince you that you should start your own company? And obviously this was like right before COVID, right? 

Amanda: No, actually, it was after it was right after. Yeah, I'm a masochist. Yeah, so I had a startup before I went to the Knot to lead brand marketing there. It was a it was a wedding tech startup that I back in 2011 2012 in the New York City tech scene was just heating up and like, there's tons of accelerators and I did one and it really taught me kind of the foundations of being a founder. And people always say like being a second time founder, your success rate goes up enormously because all the things you stress about are you didn't know that you didn't know, you learn, and then you're more equipped the second time around. So I went to the not, was there for five and a half years, COVID hits, which it was bonkers.

And I was in New York City. And I remember trying…the wedding industry blew up overnight. Like, I think it was like 200,000 weddings had to be canceled in the span of like a week because of the shutdown. And so I was working insane hours. My nanny couldn't come in to watch the little ones. And then they were still trying to do like Zoom preschool for like a threes preschool where they're like, log on so that you can sing ABCs. And kids are like hitting buttons…It was like, I think back to those days and I'm like, how did we survive? But I had been thinking about this idea for about two years because I went through my divorce. My kids were, my son was pretty young, he was a baby, when we went through the process of starting the divorce. 

And basically I...really, really wanted to help women create space in their day to take care of themselves. And I was really passionate about it. And I had found CBD as this like really, really wonderful tool in my toolkit, in addition to therapy and a lot of other things. But when COVID hit,

I'm not a huge drinker, alcohol does not sit well with my body. And I was watching my friends drink more than I'd ever seen them drink and really use it as a coping mechanism. But it's this vicious circle where it affects your sleep and then it hits your anxiety. And then you're already stressed because of the pandemic. And it was truly, I, I felt this like call to just like, I put a deck together and I was like, I'm going to go back to like a few people I know for my first, you know, go.

And the first meeting, I got a check for 250K to start. And they were like, women need this. This was still in the pre. This was years ago when not drinking was still kind of on. We were on the first part of that, the early adopter part of that. 

So yeah, I was part of that kind of low alcohol, no alcohol movement. And that was like, to me, you have this idea and you like kind of push it a little bit and see if it picks up a little steam and that's what was happening. I kept my full-time job though, because I'm a single mom. I have three kids. And so I'm like, I'm just, just nights and weekends, right? I'm going to start to build this, start the formulations. I found an amazing supplier. So I did that.

Allison: Mm-hmm.

Amanda: And then I didn't quit until I, I didn't stop working. I moved into a fractional CMO role after that, but I didn't stop working until we raised our two million seed round. And then I went all in. So I had a very non-traditional route because I'm a mom, because I needed the safety net so I could provide for my kids. And so yeah, that's kind of my. Yeah.

Allison: Wow. You de-risked then, you got it to a certain point and then said, all right. And did it get to a point where it was like, you can't raise $2 million and not be all in? Like, was that kind of the forcing function?

Amanda: For sure. Like I had to in order to raise they were like, but you're gonna be working full time on this, right? And I'm like, yes, yes. At that point, I can pay myself, you know, 100k salary and be like, I can pay bills and I can like breathe because at the end of the day, you don't want your founder stressed about money and trying to figure out ways to pay their bills because now all their energy is one fear-based.

Allison: Right.

Amanda: They're spread across a couple of projects because they're trying to bring money in. So yeah, and then sold that company last summer. So it was about a three year run.

Allison: During those three years, I have to imagine that it was incredibly stressful, difficult. We're in a pandemic, but then you moved to Miami in the middle of all of this. Looking back, this is gonna be a little bit of a curve ball. What was easier than expected? Because I'm sure everything was really hard, but what was easier?

Amanda: It's so funny because I look back on that time, like life is so much more stable now, right? Like my kids, I know where they're going to school next year. I know where I'm gonna be living next year. That was not happening for years, especially going through a divorce for three years, then the pandemic for two to three. It's like, I had lots of instability, but looking back.

We have this insane ability when we are in fight or flight mode to just push ourselves. And building the company was like all of it felt easy. What was hard was stopping and actually coming up for air and taking myself out of this like cortisol dress, you know, fight or flight mode.

Allison: Yeah.

Amanda: And that's the thing that like, I don't think we realized because when we're juggling work and kids and we're constantly just like an object in motion stays in motion, we are just going. People are always like, that sounded crazy. I'm like, what was crazy was trying to cut back.

Allison: Mm-hmm. And why, what was the impetus to cut back?

Amanda: Truly, my body started to shut down. Like I started to, I never really understood burnout because I grew up, I'm a first generation college grad and I've always had four jobs in college to pay for college. I've always pushed myself just because I was trying to catch up and this was the first time I wound up in the ER twice in a week having panic attacks. 

And I was like, what is going, like why can't I get a handle on this? And I kept like blaming myself. I'm like, you used to be able to do this. And it's like, no, if you stay in that fight or flight mode for too long, your body will physically stop you. 

Allison: Yeah.

And I was gearing up to raise my next round of funding. So we were going after the A and then the war in Ukraine broke out. So now we're in, you know, early 2022 and. Fisi capital just like it was like they shut their doors and well, shit. I planned my runway to raise by May because obviously female founder, you have to give yourself like a good five months to fundraise and I couldn't, like everyone was like, we're not deploying capital right now. We're not doing CPG right now. We're only focused on AI and all this other stuff. 

And I was just like, huh. All right, so we need to sit down and pivot and we need to figure out what this looks like. And so we pivoted, we were fully focused on just becoming a profitable business. And which means you scale back immensely, you scale back on growth funding, you scale back on your team. And when you've been building in growth mode and having growth capital, and then you pivot like that, it's really hard to adjust to writing every email now. And now I'm like, and you can't, you don't have the budget to have influencers post. Like we had every Kardashian talk about our product. Like we were in such a crazy rocket ship. And then all of a sudden it was like, we couldn't do anything. 

And I just sat down because if you look at numbers, if you're not in growth mode and feeling growth, your numbers start to go down to here, which is what's more stable growth. But you'll never get VCE funding when your numbers look like this. And they take a, and so my board was amazing and they just sat down with me and they were like, I think you should sell. Like, I think you, I think that this is a good, you have enough proven track record that there's there, there.

Allison: Yeah.

Amanda: Find somebody who can fund it and let's all, you know, move you on to your next chapter. And I was just like, it took me a long time to come to terms with that. But I think it's important for people to understand that it's okay to step away from something, even if you believe in it and you see the potential. Sometimes, like my board member, Brian Sugar, founder of PopSugar. I remember him just being like, this is your step to the next thing. Like, just you gotta reframe it that way. This wasn't the end. This was a means to an end of something else. And he, like, there's so much shame. There's so much like guilt. There's so much like, why didn't I do this? What if I would have done this? And having him say that to me and kind of give me that permission.

Allison: Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Amanda: Like for anyone raising capital, like find an investor that would speak to you like that, that cares about you just as much as a human, as a founder.

Allison: Yeah, it's so interesting because as you're talking about that, I had a mentor once who said, you have to remember that time is the most important thing here. And do you want at the time when he said this to me, I was working, it was not my own company, I was working for someone else. But the business was kind of in that stage that you're describing. And he said, you know, we only get a couple at bats in life. And do you really want to sit here? And it's hard because I think anyone who's a founder like you are gritty.

Amanda: Yeah.

Allison: And that's the whole point is that you are a fighter. And so it's so counterintuitive to feel like you're quote unquote giving up, but also like time is more important than fighting a battle that you may or may not. It may not be worth it. 

I'm curious as you were making that decision, did parenthood play a role in that decision at all, or was this totally agnostic of your children?

Amanda: A conscious choice I've made from the get-go of having my children was that I want both. I want success. I want to push myself. I love pushing myself and trying new things and being out of my comfort zone. And I want to be a present mom. 

And so it's interesting because I've set my life up in a way, even when I was at the…And was this is pre COVID, you know, when in New York City, that's unheard of. But my kids were super young, I only had them half the time because we were divorced. And I said, Listen, this is a priority for me, I will get my work done, but I'm leaving at four so I can have at least two hours with my small babies. 

And that's just in my DNA. It comes from my dad, my dad worked like crazy hours, but he still coached my brother's high school golf team. He coached all of my sporting leagues. Um, and he was just really always there while providing for our family. And I just believe that what you were modeled as a kid really does. Affect you as an adult. And so that, even when I was building House of Wise and my kids are home for the pandemic, like. 430 comes I'm done. Like I don't take work past that. 

And I've luckily studied time management and productivity. Like I've taken so many courses. I've had amazing executive coaches over the years that my four hours of deep work is like someone else's week. And so I just. It's never been like, well, I want to do this because I'll spend more time with my kids. I'm spending more time with my kids. Like that is a non-negotiable in a steady state.

Allison: Mm-hmm. Yeah, I love that. Do you feel like you had to hide any of that from your investors?

Amanda: No, because it's part of the brand. So, but I will say that looking back, would I recommend being the face of your company and what does that look like? I wish I had someone ahead of me sit me down and fully talk me through what that meant.

Allison: Uh oh.

Amanda: Because your identity becomes like this with the brand. And you feel this almost like a transactional relationship with your audience of like, well, they're supporting by buying my products. So in exchange, I give them information about myself. It's such a weird dynamic when you are a human. And I don't know how we got to this place but now I'm so much more boundaried about what I'm sharing and being intentional. 

And I have tools now in my toolkit about like, how do you build a personal brand while still maintaining the boundaries that you've identified are important. But that's the thing I would say no one really warned me about.

Allison: And say more about that, because I do want to talk about your newsletters, one of which is about building your brand. And you posted a lot about how you've recently started to focus on LinkedIn. We actually years ago, I mean, I was breastfeeding my second child. So that was three and a half years ago. I had my old boss said, you got to get on LinkedIn and it's going to feel painful and you have to post every day, but this is how you build. This is the future of work is on LinkedIn. So I started then, it's now been a huge growth driver for us. And I've actually found that like, I don't do Instagram, I don't do Twitter, I don't do any of that stuff, I just do LinkedIn. And so I have found the boundary thing to be okay because it is a different environment. So I'm curious when you say you needed boundaries, I wonder if that is like the Instagram, Twitter world. Yeah. And so what are your thoughts now that you're newer at LinkedIn? Like how do you see that difference?

Amanda: It is. Yep. Exactly. It's so different. It's exactly what you're saying it is. One, people are, like their profile is tied to their resume and their employer. And you are two clicks away from their boss. People act in a way that is, oh, my reputation is tied to how I'm showing up on this platform, which is how it should be. But Twitter is so anonymous and people can hide behind layers of anonymity. And then Instagram is such a visual platform and visual, like showing your life in a way makes people feel that much more connected to you.

Allison: Yeah, I feel like I know you and you have no idea who I am. Yeah.

Amanda: It's really crazy. Like, in like, there's a weird thing. And I'm sure you feel this too. It's like, LinkedIn, or Instagram and Twitter for me, like, I forget there's like 120,000 people on the other side, like I truly do. I'm just, I have a very low filter. It's better now. But like, I just, I crave meaningful connection with humans at a very deep level. 

And so to me, the pros have outweighed the cons in terms of me being vulnerable. I always say, I'll go first. I'll go first in being vulnerable, meaning I'll talk about going through fertility treatments to have my daughter. I'll talk about divorce. I'll talk about freezing my eggs. I'll talk about dating after divorce. Like, because what happens is when I go first in that someone somewhere comes out and says, I needed to know I wasn't alone.

Allison: Mm-hmm.

Amanda: And now it's definitely different. Like people are way more open and sharing this stuff on social. But back in like four or five years ago, it was still not the case that people were showing their authentic selves, but LinkedIn it's truly like people are there to grow their careers. And that is the tactic there. Whereas like Instagram, it's different.

And people are there for a variety of reasons. People are not posting thirst traps on LinkedIn, like not that I've seen. And it's just really refreshing. I just, in fact, in my newsletter today, LinkedIn, The Cut wrote an article that teens preferred social media platform is growing to LinkedIn. 

Allison: I saw that which makes it as a mom makes me thrilled. I'm like great.

Amanda: Like obviously your kids are younger. But do you have a sense of what your social media policy is going to be? Because it's definitely like becoming a, we are talking more and more and more about it.

Allison: I'm avoiding it. I'm just like, oh, I hope by the time my kids are old enough, the oldest is six. It's like, please just solve all of this stuff before we get there. That's my hope. 

Amanda: My oldest daughter is high next year. So she's, she has friends that have phones and it's bad. Like I just heard of a situation that happened recently that a group of people took pictures of girls and then they were like, clothe that like some events and then they used AI to…

Allison: Ugh. I saw that and it just made me sick.

Amanda: It makes me sick, but it's just like, we have to be aware of how these are being used. And for me, it's just like, it feels super double standard to be like, mommy is building her entire career on social media, but you're not allowed to have it. 

But for me, I'm just gonna, with my kids, they know that, you know, I talk very biologically. I'm like, your brain is still forming. And if you introduce something like this, you're going to alter your brain for the rest of your life. So when you become an adult and you have an adult brain, you can have it. But like this is just until we actually watched, there's an amazing Netflix special or show called brainchild. Have you seen it? The very first episode is about social media and it's geared for children.

And it talks about the it's almost like a social dilemma for kids where it talks about what it's doing to your brain and it's like wanting more and more and more and more and that's why you feel addicted to it. And so after my kids watch it, they were like, I don't want that to sound scary. And I'm like, yeah, it is so but it is just such a weird thing because they see me on it and it feels like such a double standard.

Allison: Yeah. Right. Yeah. It's funny. We asked my son maybe a year ago, what do you want to be when you grow up? And he said a YouTuber. And I just about fell over. I was like, how do you even know what that is? I mean, he's fine. I like…

Amanda: They all, that's the number one answer. Like my kids are the same way. And I'm not even on YouTube. I'm like, what are you talking about? They want to start a YouTube channel. And like there's a part of the entrepreneurial side of me that would be such a great way to teach them how to build a business and like what expenses are, how to produce, how to create a brand. No, no, no.

Allison: I know! Same! Right. Well, actually the real answer he said is, can I be a Netflixer because I like Netflix better? And we were like, I was like, yes, but that's not exactly right. 

Amanda: Yes, we can go work at Netflix.

Allison: I wanna talk about, when you sold House of Wives, you did go back to a corporate role for a short period of time. Now you have launched this solopreneur creator journey. There's something I read, I think this was in your newsletter where you talked about being on a retreat and you were asked to discuss your perfect day. 

And the perfect day was honestly what we hear from so many people who go through our coaching program, which is like balance exactly what we've been talking about today. So you share your perfect day and then the next woman goes and it's all about. I don't even remember, but it was like being on CNBC and you know, all these like very, what we think of as traditionally ambitious, you know, all of that stuff. I share that story because it stuck with me and I've thought about it a lot, which is, again, when we talk about the false trade-off, you can have your perfect day that includes a lot of time on health and wellness and your children and your partner, and also still be really ambitious. 

My sense is that this next stage for you is very much about that, but I'm curious to hear, as you move into this new world, What is the plan? Do you have an end goal here? Why be a solopreneur? Tell me more about that decision.

Amanda: Yeah. So I want to touch on a few things. The first is like, I did go back to the corporate world and I, I have phrased that as my spin cycle. And I think that we, we think of working in this binary sense of like, you're either working or you're at home with your kids when you've been pushing and you've been a founder.

Allison: Mm-hmm.

Amanda: The idea of a spin cycle and what does a spin cycle do? It rings out the water in your clothes so they're not so heavy, right? Going back into the corporate world, I took a VP position. I was making a lot of money. It was so easy compared to what I had just tackled as a founder and I could breathe. And like my coach was like, this is kind of like your version of a sabbatical.

Like I could attend a few meetings a day. I couldn't move as fast as I had as a founder because there's politics and like existing structure. I'm not creating something from scratch, which is so much easier to move fast. And so that was number one, which was wonderful and highly recommend somebody to, if they don't know yet, if they're ready to go be their own boss or whatever, go take the like two levels down job, make a paycheck, and then call it a day because it's crazy how easy that feels when you've been pushing and going 100 miles per hour, driving the speed limit feels like you're crawling, but now two months ago, three months ago, I made the decision. 

I started to get the itch and like, look, I've been a founder twice. Like this idea where you start to think of a problem or think of a thing. And like, it just starts to take over and gets a life of its own. But for me, this was about.

I started watching a few friends, Justin Welsh being one of them, who they're making, I mean, look, he's an exception because he's got this thing down to a science, but like just through having a really, really tight funnel of I'm gonna teach you how to be a solopreneur, I have a newsletter about how to be a solopreneur, and now I have digital courses on how to be a solopreneur, he makes millions of dollars a year.

And I had been tweeting for four years with no intention, made zero dollars off of my Twitter following. When the first month where I put intention behind it and I actually created a funnel, I made five figures and I was like, oh, huh. And so that came a couple of months ago, but I started the newsletter in June because I love writing. Like in my entire marketing career, I love storytelling. I've always been half copywriter, half CMO. And I kind of just had this like life goal of writing a book. There's no other reason behind it than purely ego, right? 

I have this vision of us going to Barnes and Noble and my daughter's walking up to a bookshelf and they get to pick out mommy's book. That is a thing that I have in my head. And so I had no clue if I was good at writing. And before I go write a book, I was like, I need some proof that I can do this. So what's a good MVP? A newsletter.

I wanted to see if people responded to my writing style, the topics I like talking about. And again, no real intention of, you know, turning this into a crazy money generating thing, but it was truly like a step towards a goal I have. Now that I'm seeing, you know, launch that in June.

Allison: Yeah.

Amanda: I was still working full time. A few months later is when I stepped away and said, let me see what could happen if I did this and put some intention behind it. Made five figures and I was like, okay, let me see if I actually put all of my attention on this. Like, could I create a world where I have passive income, sell a book and like have a life that's now stepping into this next phase where I've had a 20 year career, I get to now share everything I've learned, you know, for the next 10 years, and then re-evaluate like I'm entering my 40 soon, like this could be a really fun decade of my life is like, for better for worse, I've gone through a lot of stuff in my life. What fills me up the most is helping someone else not have to learn it the hard way. You know?

Allison: Yeah, I love your newsletter and you know, the fact that it is, because I feel like a lot of newsletters, it's like, okay, I like this person on Instagram, but does that really translate to writing? Like that's very hard to do. So congratulations. And it's not actually that similar. Like your Instagram is very much looking at your life, right? Versus this is very tactical advice that people can actually read, digest and utilize, which I think is really helpful. And you have a very strong point of view. So I love it. I was, I hate to say pleasantly surprised. I hope you don't take that offensively, but I think newsletters are really hard to get people to actually open and read. And I read this every week when I get it. You have another one though that you are charging for.

Amanda: Yeah, so Break An Egg!, which I’m super pumped about. Again, going back to LinkedIn, like LinkedIn is this thing where we all don't realize how freaking incredible it actually could be if you put some attention to it. So Jack Appleby, who's the creator of Future Social, which is a marketing newsletter that was built under Morning Brew, spun out.

He's now a solopreneur and doing his own thing. Jack and I met on Twitter years ago, became super close friends, like best friends. We dated friends of friends. It was like we were in each other's world and we were like, he's been there for me during some highs and lows of being on social media. 

And we always want to do something together and both of us spend like he does this thing he does like he's on a path to a hundred coaching hours in 2023 free coaching hours and he puts it up every month and it's incredible and I do a ton of coaching I have my membership community and the thing that we hear the most is people the step from I know I need to get started building a personal brand and then getting started, that is the widest gap. And so we wanted to solve that problem. 

There are tons of courses and cohorts and stuff for people who want to optimize and create UTM codes and figuring out how to build hooks and strategies and content calendars. That's not our people. Our people are...I know I need to get started. I'm so stressed out doing it. And so for $5 a month, we made it less than a cup of coffee. We wanted to create the most accessible way to get started on LinkedIn. And it's a daily newsletter that gives you a prompt. And then there's a LinkedIn community that you put, once you put your prompt up, you put it in there. And there's now over, we have 1200 people that have signed up in the first month. And they're all, like you post your posts, you will get, like people are seeing insane numbers on LinkedIn. Because all these people are in the same boat. They're just getting started. And it's a dopamine, because you know, like once you post something, and all of a sudden you see it’s growing 17,000% week over a week, you're like, Oh, wait, if I just keep going, this will keep doing this. So that's Break An Egg!. We named it the silliest thing. It was the funniest conversation. We just kept being like, we do not want to take personal branding too seriously. And we show up as our authentic selves online. We believe that that's what's made us both successful is that we're not trying to emulate strategies and hooks and so that's what break an egg is. And we don't know if it's a chicken or a duck, but we have this little like the duck emoji thing or whatever it is and everybody's just having fun with it. And so it's super fun.

Allison: Yeah, that’s amazing.Last question, what is next for you? Cause it seems like you are sort of popping up this portfolio of different projects, which I love to see. Can you share what's next?

Amanda: Yeah. I mean, it's funny because most people will give the advice that I'm not following. They will say, pick one audience, go after one audience, give services to the audience. I'm doing a portfolio, like you said, like I have life's a game. I have Break An Egg! And then I'm joining as co-host of a CMO podcast in January to talk about marketing. 

But on top of all that, I am writing a book and that was the impetus of all of this, which was, I have a goal and it spiraled into these other things. But right now, I signed with an agent a few months ago and I'm learning so much about this process. Like if ever anyone wants to talk about this process, holy moly, I have so many thoughts. But you asked me like, do I know what I'm doing? Like, is there like a lot of strategy to this? I'm actually doing a ketamine journey this weekend because I hit these moments in my life. So I'm very familiar with the medicine and what it does. But I still take moments to stop and say, what is the next mountain I'm climbing? And am I climbing? Or am I camping? And that's like the thing I'm trying like I'm going into the journey this weekend. 

This is only the second time I've done this, like I do not touch recreational drugs like to anybody listening is not like I'm on mushrooms every day like literally I've done this This is the second time I'm doing this. I take it very seriously. I fast, I don't drink alcohol. No sugar like all the things and I Met with my therapist today to really prep for it and it's like I want to go into this and just Really understand like is the next five years a climb of a mountain?

Or is it about camping and enjoying the view I have right now? And I don't know the answer to your question, because I'm still, I think it's really important to take these moments to stop and say, like, am I okay with the view I have or do, am I ready to climb to the next one? And so we'll find out what, how I feel after this weekend, but the book is definitely…The thing I'm most focused on and excited about right now is we're shopping it out to publishers right now. And it's fun to like to have other people read this thing that I spent the last six months cultivating. And yeah.

Allison: Is the book about your life? Is it productivity? Are you able to share that?

Amanda: I have not shared it. I will say it's not about my life. And it's definitely around a new approach to work life balance.

Allison: Oh my goodness, I love it. I can't wait to read it. And I'm gonna steal the camping versus climbing because I think that can be true for anyone and in different periods. And honestly, sometimes I even think of that on a month to month basis. Like it's not even just like a grandiose five year or like what job do I take? I think that's so applicable in life.

Amanda: Exactly. Every month I have this burner exercise and I literally draw the four burners of a stove top. I say, okay, on the first of every month, what are my burners? And that literally is like, there's only four spots on the stove. What's on the front burner, what's on the back burner? And what was on the burners before? Do I need to rotate them? And like right now I have made a conscious effort that my career and my family are on the front burners. Fun. travel, fitness, those are on the backburners right now. And that's not saying they're nonexistent. 

But like, when I'm thinking about the prioritization of my day, those things come but then next month, they rotate in December, I'm really focused on fun and fitness, I'm going to spend I'm going to do a couple of like, cool fitness things and gearing up for a race and all this stuff. But it's like, to your point, like stopping every month to say intentionally, what am I saying no to this month because I want these things to go forward is so smart. And I think it's like creating space to have that intentionality get put in place is sometimes the hardest part. We just like to keep going.

Allison: Mm-hmm. And also can create so much anxiety when you think that you have to make a decision for a long period of time when the reality is like everything is, life's a game, life's an experiment, right? It's like, no one is really picking something and etching it in stone and sticking with it. And I think, I mean, I can tell that you go to therapy and you've worked with coaches the way that you talk about this because everything is in flux and everything is like about, I also believe that happiness is so much about your expectations and like being really clear, what is my expectation? What is my intention?

Amanda: Literally yes.

Allison: So I love it.

Amanda: Mmmhmm. Yeah. Today in therapy, literally our conversation was around, like, process versus, like success, like, and when you put so much emphasis on, it kind of looks like this. You put so much emphasis on the outcome that your happiness is like here, and then like, oh, there might be a blip. But if you actually focus on the growth and the joy of the process, your happiness starts to go like this, and it's more stable. Like you hit the thing, there's not this big spike, and then you come down from it. 

And that to me is really my new state right now. Like I'm so enjoying the process that when you ask me a question, like what's the next big thing? Like I don't even know because I'm so much like enjoying the creation of whatever is happening right now. And we will see, but I've for the first time, like, look, I treated my 20s like a check the box and look where that got me. It got me divorced and all these things.

And so I am very much in this state of enjoying the whole journey, the process, like to your point, like I call it life's a game for a reason, right now I feel like my life Chutes and Ladders. Like I will climb up something and then I'll be like, well, that didn't work. We'll keep going over here and then whoops. And then, and so that to me is like, I'm just playing the game and it's fun. Like it's meant to be fun. 

And I say that to my kids all the time. Like if you are here to just win this game, then you have a 25% chance of happiness. There's four of us playing right now. If you're here to have fun playing the game, you have a 100% chance of happiness. And so that's kind of how I approach it.

Allison: Perfect way to end. I told you this would be shorter, but then of course, I feel like I could keep going on and on. Thank you so much. And actually, I will note, I told you we were gonna talk a lot about parenthood. We didn't. And I actually think that that's kind of the point. Like, I feel very strongly that too often as society, it's like you're a mother and that's your identity and that's it. And so I kind of love that my goal was to pull out all of these motherhood and parenting things. 

And actually, like that's a key part of your identity, but there's so many other things that you have going on. And the thing that we want to constantly be sharing are these stories about people who have that. And it's very important. It's on the front burner, but it's not your entire world. And you can be really good at that and be doing all these other things. So I kind of love that we didn't even really touch on parenthood that much.

Amanda: I know. I'm sorry about that.

Allison: No, I mean, I just think it's really interesting. And I think that too often it's just like you're one or the other, but that's not true. We're complicated.

Thank you so much for joining me today. And we will strongly encourage everyone to check you out across all of these different channels. I think, like I said, you get a little bit of different things depending on where you follow you and what you subscribe to. So I think you're perfect for our audience. And we'll make sure that everyone knows where to find you.

Amanda: Thank you, I appreciate you.