Ep. 235 When to quit with Sarah Weiler

reimagining-success-with-sarah-weiler

In this week’s episode, Anna speaks to Sarah Weiler in the latest in her interview series.

 

 


Sarah is a thought leader, coach and creative entrepreneur. But as a true ‘Carouseller’ (someone who thrives on living a varied life) she is also a pricing coach, pianist, learning designer, songwriter, composer, writer, qualified secondary school languages teacher and podcaster.

You can connect with Sarah on her website and on Instagram: @sarahweilersarah and @knowingwhentoquit.

*Resources mentioned during the episode*

The Outsiders Business Academy – A self-paced course for you to work through in your own time, to learn – and implement – the foundations of building a profitable business that lets you escape the 9 to 5. onestepoutside.com/course

Sarah’s “quitting quadrant”: https://mailchi.mp/37b57f29026e/the-quitting-quadrant

When to quit

Anna Lundberg  

Hello, everybody, and welcome back to another interview episode on the podcast. I’m here with Sarah Weiler, who I’ve known for a long time we were just discussing how long ago it was. We actually saw each other in real life IRL as the young kids saying. So I’d love to hear from you a little bit briefly, I say often people go off on a tangent for half an hour. But if you could just briefly introduce us, first of all, to who you are, what you’re doing before and what you’re doing now. And then we’ll dig into all the amazing things that you’re working on.

 

Sarah Weiler  

Thanks. Yeah, really lovely to be on here on and yeah, I feel like it was 2016 Maybe or 2017. It might be 20.

 

Anna Lundberg  

Like, yeah, 2016 was when I met my boyfriend. I started settling back down in London I think things began to change for me. So it’s very possibly 2016…

 

Sarah Weiler  

Cafe wasn’t it? Oh, yes. The

 

Anna Lundberg  

happiness. Action for happiness. Absolutely. Yeah. Exactly. Yeah. So we got there in the end. So.

 

Sarah Weiler  

So in terms of what I yeah, what I do, I mean, I actually created this thing, this kind of concept called carousel, which is this idea of, we have lots of interests, and they can kind of come in and out of, of like focus. So what I always say to people is like, what’s at the front of my carousel at the moment, is a way of like, honoring what’s presently happening, but not, you know, not kind of forgetting that there might be other things that I do as well. But currently, at the front of my carousel, there’s two main things. One is that I’m coaching teachers. So I’m doing one to one coaching in a school with a team members of staff one on one. So I used to be a teacher, and I’ve been really interested in teacher well being, how we can kind of shift the culture that kind of burn out culture and education. So that’s like the current thing I’d be working on, I’m really enjoying. And I’ve also started a breakfast radio show with a friend, which is like, absolutely dream ridden this morning. And it’s a really lovely way of combining like my love of music, we also bring in a bit of coaching, I also do some comedy. So that’s those are some things and I think, probably what I’m realizing everything I do has in common is a way of getting to be lots of versions of me at once. Rather than having to keep changing hats. It’s like how can I bring in as many parts of me in one in one setting?

 

Anna Lundberg  

Because that sets so much to unpick already before we even get into the practicalities of things. But I love that because there’s a lot about sort of, I talked about portfolio career and multi passionate, modern potential, like Renaissance men and women and all these things. But it’s so interesting to bring the different characters before in at the same time, as you say, because it’s otherwise you feel like you’re holding sort of meat, you know, can being the serious corporate self over here in my consulting and then oh, now I get to be an adventure photographer over here. But you’re sort of not being wholehearted. So I love that idea. And I love the carousel, instead of just having to say this is my job title. And this is what I do. So if people stop listening there, I’m already quite happy with the insights.

 

Sarah Weiler  

But that’s I think that’s the thing. The carousel is like, you know, you it rather I suppose maybe if your portfolio as well, if you’re listening, and I don’t know if you’ll probably consider yourself portfolio as well, Anna, but like, you can have maybe like 20 different things that you might enjoy or do at different times. And that can feel quite overwhelming if you’re holding all of them equally. So it’s just a way of being like a, you know, for example, my ukulele work. So I also run like ukulele workshops and corporates teaching kind of leadership skills through that. That is something I do, but it’s probably not at the front of my carousel right now. So I didn’t mention it right now. But it is something I’m getting paid for at the moment and still doing. So you know, there’s also I guess, there’s a practical carousel. And there’s maybe like an emotional carousel as well, like, so what am I emotionally excited about right now? But what am I actually practically doing, they might be different things from each other.

 

Anna Lundberg  

And I think it’s very pragmatic and flexible, because I think we can get so obsessed with nailing that perfect elevator pitch. And this is my exact job. And I’ve always been, well, initially, I had quite a few different projects. And as you’re exploring, experimenting, after leaving a very well defined job role corporate teaching, whatever it is, you do think, oh my gosh, this is going to be the thing, oh, no, this is going to be thing. And actually the fact that there can be many things, and they kind of fluctuate back and forth. I think that’s really beautiful. It allows you to explore and not forget it entirely. But right now, that’s a little bit in the background while I focus on this new thing. And I think that gives you a lot more. Yeah, possibility room opportunity to continue exploring, and to be more than one thing without the pressure of doing them all at the same time as well.

 

Sarah Weiler  

Yeah, and also allowing things to maybe have a phase then you have a break from them. And then you come back to it with fresh eyes. You know, maybe you pick up a project, maybe you think a project is finished. And there’s something you know, I’m sure you’ve had this where it’s like, you’re looking at something, you’re just not feeling connected to it anymore. I put a lot of energy into it. Maybe it’s a book, maybe it’s a course you’re running. And it’s like something’s not feeling right. So the idea of actually just being I’m just gonna let that go back around the carousel and maybe like one day you’re chatting to someone and it’s like, oh my god, I really want to write that book now, but it needed that break from to get like it needed. It’s almost like you can overdo something and you can be with it, put too much pressure on it. So actually having that space allowing the thing itself to have a break from you, as having a break from it, I think can be really cool.

 

Anna Lundberg  

And maybe getting too wedded to know I’ve said this, and there’s this pressure to be consistent and committed. And you have to be in order to achieve a goal like to write a book or something, you really have to be quite doggedly working on it, and so on. But actually, sometimes you realize that’s not any more a meaningful goal for you right now. So it’s quite a powerful thing to be able to pull back from it. I love that you mentioned the ukulele piece, because I remember a post that you wrote some time ago that really resonated with me, where you were talking about me that you felt that you’d gone a bit too much. And I apologize, hopefully, remember your posts better than I will be able to put my word. But something like you are trying to make the role of ukulele serve the kind of corporate purpose of being, you know, playing ukulele and playing can actually make you more productive and help you fit it into kind of the metrics that companies use. And I remember you saying something to the effect of you actually, I’m allowing it just to become play again. And that that feels so powerful, because I’m always, of course, if you’re trying to position something that you’re selling to b2b, or even for yourself, if you’re kind of an overachiever, and you’re always going to be busy, and we’re productive. If I’m playing ukulele, it has to be serving a purpose. And you know, I had somebody on the radio this morning saying, I’m reading 50 books this year, and I get it. And I’ve had goals like that in the past, but why can’t you just read a book when you feel like reading a book does everything for me? You know, yes, I’m going to be, you know, ticking off this list of books that I’m going to do next year, I’m going to do this and so on. So, so apologies if I butchered your name, sir, a little bit more about that house, sort of the objective, I guess, of what you were doing shifted with time?

 

Sarah Weiler  

Yeah, no, I remember that was quite recently. So I what I was reflecting on, so I was doing some work with one of the big four. And it wasn’t like one of their senior leadership retreats. And I think historically, I’d been very much with that client. And also generally, when I pitched it been kind of thinking, how can I help them find value for their company. And I think what I was realizing is, wow, the value right now is that they are sitting together and playing music, that value is about disconnecting from the cord from like the work, it’s about coming back to themselves, postpartum or even just being in a room with others. Like, I suppose I’ve seen the value and just the connection, where maybe before I’d overlooked that, because it’s so obvious, of course, we’re connecting, you know, these buzzwords like Kinect, it’s like, no, what does that actually mean? That means we’re in like, regulating with other humans. You know, just looking each other in the eye laugh it some something beautiful that happens. And I think just having the confidence to be like, yeah, that that is the purpose now. That is, and I think it’s partly post panoramic. It’s partly having done it for years and being like, yeah, I am happy to like, see that as a, I don’t need to add an extra layer. In fact, the point is, it’s not the extra layer. Well, sometimes they think the extra layer also happens. So I think that people do feel more productive after playing music. But it’s, I don’t want them to do it so that they’re more productive.

 

Anna Lundberg  

And sometimes you have to put it in those terms to get your foot in the door with a company that perhaps isn’t quite open to something. But suddenlink. But then actually, when you’re in that moment, you realize that there’s a, there’s a simpler purpose.

 

Sarah Weiler  

Exactly. And I also think now, I will go to companies and say, you just need to, we need to spend more time together. And this is a beautiful way of doing it. And actually feel confident in that being up as well.

 

Anna Lundberg  

I love that. And we talked about purpose. It’s quite a big word. I mean, the name of this podcast is reimagining success. And I talk a lot about success, which is sort of interlinked with purpose. How has that evolved the over time? Did you start as a teacher, you know, your view of success of all the last 10 or even 20 years, I suppose.

 

Sarah Weiler  

Before we start, do I need to shine a light on is it getting quite dark on the cloud? I see perfectly? Yeah. Okay, let me know. Yeah, I say yeah, I started my career on the Teach First scheme. So I taught for three years in an inner city school in London. Well, actually, it was in zone six, but it was really amazing and challenging times, I learned a lot. I became a very good facilitator. Because it’s, you know, it really is it’s like your drilling facilitation and planning, like five hours a day and then all of that. I had a feeling around the middle of my third year that it wasn’t quite the right use of my energy, like I had a really strong feeling of that I am drained and drained from this job. i There must be a job for me where I don’t feel drained. Like that can’t be how we’re built that. It’s this fact that like, and I could see teachers as well, where it wasn’t as draining. So there’s something that’s not quite the right fit here. And I went on a really big search, I suppose to understand what the things were that did give me energy. One of the big influences were TP pool. You may know John Williams and Selena Barker, who are two coaches that do a lot around designing a life you love and thinking about getting paid to play. And they earn a lot around. Yeah. So it was, it was exactly 10 years ago that I did a course with them. And I had a notebook and I had to think about what were the things that I felt in total flow when I was doing. And the idea was to start bringing them into your life more, and then thinking about how you could make money from it. But I’m sharing that because I think that that started to become my mark of success is, how much of my day can I spend feeling happy and feeling even feeling inspired. And I also appreciate that some of those things won’t be paid, but they put me in a state where I’m more likely to then get paid work, because of the energy I have when I meet people.

 

Anna Lundberg  

That’s interesting. When you said those names. They weren’t familiar to me. But I’m just thinking John Williams that screw work.

 

Sarah Weiler  

Exactly. Yes. Wait, screw. Well, let’s play.

 

Anna Lundberg  

Let’s play. Thank you. Yes, that was one of the big books for me, too. I did not know he did courses. I don’t know if he did at the time. But certainly, if he had, I would have jumped on that too. But that was one of the pivotal ones for me too. And what I find interesting now having and I was just telling you, I quit my job 10 years ago now. So what what’s very exciting when you’re first doing, at least for me, and I was doing, I met you in sort of my adventurous phase of paddleboarding and going to random events and so on. And it’s easy for things to sort of settle. And then you have a working strategy, and you’ve got your business model and you’re doing your things and I love what I do. But I don’t quite ask myself those questions anymore as much as I did before, because it’s sort of, you know, it has become settled and anchored. And what’s exciting is last year, I sort of finished a lot of things, it’s all there published a book that’s been on my sort of waiting list for in my head for years. And then I feel like that’s almost a chapter. And that’s even a new decade now. So maybe there’s an opportunity to start playing again, because I think that balance of playing and exploring and going with your engineers, but then there’s also only to bring in money I need to do what works and so on, I suppose all this to ask, you know, we talk a lot about resilience, and oh my goodness, to launch a breakfast show and to have the confidence to go into companies and say, Hey, let me come in and play ukulele, you know, how have you found those ups and downs of working for yourself and the spins of the carousel? Or how have you been able to build your confidence and have the resilience to deal with some of those harder periods, perhaps as well?

 

Sarah Weiler sarah-weiler-sunday-assembly-wilderness

Yeah, I mean, it definitely wasn’t immediate, that I was working full time on my business. So we’re not 10 years ago, no, the start of 2014, I came back to London from traveling. And I had two part time jobs. And then one day a week that I worked on my own stuff, and then gradually over time, like reduced the part time job, until I could kind of do my own stuff. So it wasn’t immediate. And I guess, I think one of the big tips I always give people is don’t rely on the thing, you’re creating the income. As you’re making it like See, that’s the intention. But a lot of ins, a lot of creativity and inspiration can be killed when you think you need to the pressure to earn money from it. So that really helps that I’m like, Cool that my income is coming from elsewhere. What do I want to make what I want to experiment with? What’s what’s flowing. And, you know, I started quite a lot of things, and not all of them carried on. But one of the things I did was a comedy night for seven years. So that was like a regular thing I did. Power review. The ukulele stuff is probably like, financially speaking, the most successful thing I’ve done, because it is I have now gotten to the stage where I’m working with really big clients who pay really well. And that feels amazing. Like it has been running for about eight years now. And at the start, you know, I was doing like meeting in Brixton and everyone paying a fiver to sit around. And now it’s like big contracts and stuff. But yeah, that’s taken time. And I think maybe the way I yeah, I suppose I’ve got a few things. And I can actually put a link to it. I did this thing at the end of 2019, which was like, a decade and drawings and I looked at all of the things I’ve done and I started with a layer of working for other people and then I had like ideas side hustles and then starting to get big money for it. And I just looked over the decade of how they’d all moved up so I can share that with you because I think that’d be the how things went through. But oh my god, I mean, it’s I think there have been times there have been some years where I was like it was really good. A really good like flow of different things and and I was earning enough money to feel like I could explore other times like I wasn’t earning much or enough and that really not my confidence and I think the times that have been hardest when I haven’t been busy enough. I don’t think I ever I don’t really overwork anymore probably a bit burnout from teaching. I do like probably under work more than overwhelmed. But I think the times where I do need to be busy, I do need and that’s not a place of toxicity. It’s from a place of knowing what energizes me. I like to have Lots of things going on. And so the times that have been hardest have been times where like, the work hasn’t come in, or it’s felt like a real slog, or I’ve been pushing something that I kind of need a break from. So it’s definitely they’ve definitely been periods of time where I felt really lonely as well. I think that’s also been hard times, whereas working alone a lot, having to generate a lot by myself. Not getting much back. So yeah, I guess this is the thing over time, like working out, what do I need to energize me? Not necessarily, what do I need to bring money? In always, it’s more like, where’s the energy coming from? And I think what I’ve realized is it’s live stuff, like you have live contact, whether that’s hosting a workshop or running a radio or them, or the comedy night or things like that. That’s where I get, yeah, it’s this big point of like aliveness with others.

 

Anna Lundberg  

And the ukulele example is interesting, though, because I think so many people would give up along the way, oh, gosh, people are only paying five pounds. I’m in this little cafe and how is this ever going to become something does it to be able to obviously, maybe, because you have the carousel of different things as well. And because you had the income coming from somewhere else you can afford, you know, literally and figuratively to keep experimenting with that. What does your business model if you can call it that look like now in terms of, I guess, the different rides on your carousel that, that make up your business today?

 

Sarah Weiler  

Yeah, so like I say, I’ve got a few big clients with power of us. So I worked with Google and PwC. And so they like for PVC, for example, that was booked in at the start of the year. So I kind of have all those contracts. Google is more ad hoc, but it’s, they put you know, every few months, we have something. So I’ve got I’ve got these bigger bits. And then I do one to one coaching. And then we’ll see the work with teachers and school, which is coaching. So that’s kind of bits and bobs, some nice deep tutoring. But yeah, it’s a mixture of coaching and workshops, really the income, I feel like I’ve probably forgotten, like a massive thing that I do, as often happens. I’d like to do that. Obviously, also have a queen podcast, but that yeah, that’s not so much. Yeah, I mean, this is the thing, that business model, isn’t it? Like, some of these things are strategic rather than direct? Like you’re getting money back from them? So you know, it’s also about profile raising, I have a newsletter, which I write about having a carousel life. It’s called carousel I have yet I have my podcast and the radio show. All of these things are kind of ways of connecting with people. And then, like, I do find that the work comes in from quite random places. So I don’t know if that answered your question or what my address was.

 

Anna Lundberg  

Yeah, and I think it’s probably more strategic, because he said, then perhaps it sounds or then then you realize sometimes, but it is also quite free to open up because of course, my podcast, although it’s very much feeding into my business, I do want it to be much broader than just sort of quit your job and stuff. But so I have the platform talking to people at other things, and that sort of there. But you’re, as you said, You’re quitting, which is something I’d like to talk about. So why are you quitting podcast doesn’t necessarily then link directly to your power of youth workshops. And that was really, and so on. And yet, it still builds your personal brand platform, it still boosts your credibility. And as you say, It energizes you and gets you having random conversations, I’m sure which, who knows, could lead to something unexpected.

 

Sarah Weiler  

Yeah, I think that’s it. And I remember one of my first big clients for power of Uke was a guy who is a fellow comedian at one of and he performed at my comedy night. And then he messaged me on Facebook and said, in my normal life, I’m a lawyer, and we’re running a team gay, would you like to come do power? If you say that, and that was where I thought, yeah, this is interesting, because this is where I just in so many different contexts. Some point, they will feed off each other. And, you know, the fact that I met put that person there is why that you know, if I have to trace back, okay, so this is another story of like, serendipity. I did a Hindu in 2016. And a girl was there. I know, yeah, as the head and at the end, do a tip Power View, because she was a ukulele player, the bride. And the sister was like, Could you come around a workshop, one of the guests, one of the other hand, hens, had been at a festival, like a learning festival. And she said, You know what, this would be really great there. So I got in touch. I had no idea what this thing was. But it was on Lake Windermere. And they did an annual festival for learning and development. And all of the heads from all of the top companies went to it. I didn’t know this. I’m just like, Oh, cool. I’ll go and do this thing that this girl told me about. So I do power review. And in there are the head the decision makers for all companies. That is how I know how our connections with people. That’s how I have my connections with PwC and many other people. That’s why when one of my team members who are employing out to do other workshops for me, so, you know, I think that’s the thing. It’s like that all of these opportunities have come from me doing it handy. That’s not strategy that’s being it does

 

Anna Lundberg  

make it hard for people then to replicate that strategy.

 

Sarah Weiler  

The strategy is being open. Yes, that’s true. Jeez, like, what if I say yes to this? Yeah. And what if I’m curious about the people I might meet without pressure to meet people.

 

Anna Lundberg  

And what’s important to realize is that everyone is a human being or it’s a thing sometimes when we talk about in businesses and corporates, you think about the corporate oh my gosh, Google or a consulting companies are actually each of them may well have their own, most likely have their own carousel of passions and interests and, and events they go to, and so on. Right, so we lose sight of that sometimes thinking it’s this sort of nameless entity that we have to break into. So that’s quite reassuring to people. I think

 

Sarah Weiler  

I loved about learn faster. Sadly, it doesn’t happen anymore. But what I loved about it is they made it like festival, so you just just chat to people over beer in the evening. And, you know, they really did make networking very human. As I

 

Anna Lundberg  

say, I’m sure lots of people listening would be like, what’s that festival? Was that? Do you think? Or was it?

 

Sarah Weiler  

Not sure. But the total, the whole company like big shout out to impact international International, who weresarah-weiler-headshot-2 the who do still exist? I just even reallocated where? I mean, yeah, my sense was that it was really great for all the attendees, I don’t know how well, they did from it. I think we all really loved it. It was amazing. It shouldn’t have networking and stuff. I think sometimes we can look at this is what I find interesting is like people can have an experience. And then they’ll make a strategy from it. And then be like, This is how you do it. And it’s like, no, that’s how you did. And actually, I think what we might The advice I would say is like, if you’re growing your business is just keep tuning into like what feels like the logical next step, or not even logical, but what feels like the next step. You know, I really feels like follow the joy follow the, you know, with the ukulele as I just feel like doing this workshop, and then who do I know? And then that I’ll try that one. And then it Yeah, I mean, it’s fun. It’s nice to reflect really, because I don’t think it felt like I had some big strategy. I just was like, well, what’s the next iteration? And who can I work with next. And then I guess over time, those clients were bigger.

 

Anna Lundberg  

I think that can be quite scary, because it’s always easier. Just some big coach says, here’s the blueprint, follow this, and you’ll have guaranteed success. And that’s something we want to believe in. I think I’m such a fan of strategies and thinking and so on ahead of time, but at the same time, there’s only so much you could do from behind a computer. And actually, as he said, as soon as you go out into the real what actually you need to start talking to people and evolve and adapt. And and I love that go where the joy is go where you’re being energized. And you may not realize actually this thing that I was planning on building my whole business on something I don’t enjoy doing at all. And that often happens, right? So I think there’s opportunities,

 

Sarah Weiler  

it’s so important to realize that as well. And, you know, I said I quite experimented quite a few things. The first business I set up, I stopped after a year, I just wasn’t enjoying it. I ran some creative retreats for a few years with a friend. And we also brought that to a close after four of that, learn to law enjoyed it, but it kind of came to a natural end. So I think there’s also something around, I’m a real experimenter I really enjoy like, what would what could this be, and I just want to get started straight away so I can put oxygen into it. I’m not the kind of person that sits for a year planning. I’m like I sit from I have to force myself to plan for I have to force myself to like, wait a day before I message.

 

Anna Lundberg  

The two extremes, isn’t it the people only plan and don’t take action. And people actually maybe should have done a bit of planning. But I think hopefully, there’s a nice little in the middle. But it sounds like you’re doing pretty well there anyway. But you mentioned the the quitting podcast. And we’ve been talking a little bit about that pulling back. So you talk about things that energize you and the joy, but they’re also the things that drain you can you tell us more about that how to sort of be sucked into when when you shouldn’t keep going? Because unfortunately, a lot of the time things are really hard. And I have to encourage clients to you know, you have to kind of lean into that and don’t pull away, but sometimes it is right to pull away. So how do we kind of negotiate that delicate balance and knowing knowing when it’s time to quit?

 

Sarah Weiler  

Yeah, I think this is such a good question. I like Yeah, a couple of resources as well, that could help one is designed to single the quitting quadrant. And there’s a Medium post, maybe you can make a link for it. Because it kind of talks you through a process that I created this model when I was trying to decide exactly that question. Like, I wanted to quit something and I was like, Is this because I don’t want it’s just not interesting for me anymore? Or actually, is this a point where I do need to keep pushing? I think the crux of it. I mean, it’s so it. Well, I was gonna say the crux of it is I’m actually Oh, I’m gonna change my mind that I think it’s complicated. And I think the point of why we don’t have an easy answer is that it’s messy. It’s it’s not it’s was a so many factors. But I think there’s a few things that you can consider and one is like, do you still care about the wider goal that it was working towards? Like, is that still relevant? Is it still something you want? Or did someone else want it? Like? That’s the first thing like so say for example, you’re trying to write a book, and you’re just like not feeling it? How do you know whether it’s just not something to write anymore or big or that you’ve reached like a natural fit An unexpected dip that you have to go through. So I guess one of these, like, do you actually still want to write a book? Like, did you ever Was that ever your dream? Is it still your dream? And then I also think there’s something about don’t make a decision straight away. So give yourself maybe like, a month, a week, even a day to not make a decision or decide not to decide. Because there’s also like, there’s a school of life video where it says, people would have quit their jobs and like, get divorced. And actually, they need a good night’s sleep. So there’s something quite, quite powerful about like, just remembering the basics. Have you had a good meal? Have you had enough water? Have you had a good night’s sleep? Because I think when we are feeling when we don’t have the basics, we want to get out of situations. It’s like real activates our fight or flight. So sometimes we can be like, I need to start writing this book, I need to move to Spain, I need to do all these things. You’re like, hold on, hold on. This is like, this isn’t a grounded version of me making the decision. So I think that was what that’s also another thing. Yes. If you want the actual goal anymore, also see how your state is as you’re making this decision. And you know, there’s often people say, like, wait until after your period, like don’t, don’t make decisions when you’re premenstrual other people say, do you make decisions when you’re premenstrual? Because that’s when you’re really honest? And when it kind of most clear

 

Anna Lundberg  

yourself know your moods? Yeah.

 

Sarah Weiler  

Yeah. And then I think, yeah, I really do think they’re giving it time. And I, what I always say to people, because I do a lot of coaching, quitting coaching now. So people come to me when they’re trying to decide whether to quit something. And I say, okay, so this is common, this is telling you, something’s not being met, something’s not being met, you wouldn’t be deciding to quit it, you wouldn’t be thinking about quitting it. If you everything was fine. This something’s not right. So maybe just sit with that idea that there’s something not being met, that you don’t need to make any decisions here. And sometimes, so I’ll give an example very recently for me, is that I run a volunteer choir for Sunday Assembly. And it was a lot of work last year. And part of me was like, do I need to leave completely? And I sat with it. I was like, no, no, something’s not right here. But it’s not that I want to leave completely. Actually, I think it’s just too much work. So what I need to shift is like, How can I take some of the work away? And now I’ve put it out to the community and said, Who wants to like, swap shifts with me? So there’s a few of us running it. And loads of people came up to me there’s a solution. So that was the right solution. It was I didn’t need to quit, but me thinking I wanted to quit got me even looking at the situation. So that’s also what I’d say is usually we don’t have to quit, but something needs to change. So what needs to change for it to feel like a right fit?

 

Anna Lundberg  

I think what’s powerful there is we tend to think in black and white and maybe that’s the sudden we just want to quit cancer right? I’m going to quit I’m going to move I’m going to split up whatever it is boom. Whereas actually the truth is probably somewhere in between as you say something’s not right. So we can’t or shouldn’t stay where we are but we also don’t have to quit our jobs move to Bali and whatever right so there’s a more complicated nuanced spectrum of steps that we could take and is a bit hard but it’s going to make a meaningful difference without ripping apart your life necessarily so I think that’s where the powerful moves are I might just turn the light on you are getting a bit dark

 

Sarah Weiler  

about quitting know when to quit trying to sit okay. But yeah, one of the one of the other things I talk about quitting is this idea of like us having fight flight or freeze, we’re usually we all have a kind of default of how we react when when something gets hard. So as you can imagine, fight might be I’m gonna make this work in relationships, right? People like something from like, not giving up on this. I don’t I don’t leave I’m not quitter. Flight can be like, Oh, my God, it’s too much I got to go. And freeze to just be paralysis, like, I don’t know, I’m just not gonna make a decision. So like, we all tend to react in one of those ways when we’re stressed. And all of those are useful ways to react and when we’re not stressed. So sometimes we do need to make a quick decision and get out. Sometimes we do need to push on like you were saying, like, when is it right to push on sometimes we do need to fight. And sometimes we do need to stop and delivery. So these things of like fight, flight and freeze our tools. But when we’re stressed we often do the wrong one. And so it’s just interesting. I think a lot of this is around self awareness. And if you’re listening to this being like, I’ve got something right now that I’m thinking I want to quit just take it give yourself some space to just sit with that idea. Because often we’re so scared to even look at quitting that we just don’t even see what it is. What is the what is this that is being asked of me here.

 

Anna Lundberg  

And you mentioned before that your tendency is more to under working, which I love. And I think I probably am in that count. I’ve got the three days a week with the kids and nursery. And that’s all I can do. And I don’t I’m too tired and evenings, we still have difficulty, etc. So I’m sort of, and I’m at a place in my business where I kind of can do that and say no to Dan’s, and which is amazing. But it sounds like you have a lot going on. So with that kind of carousel model with all these different things. I mean, first of all, what does your week or month per year look? Like? That’s the first question, I think. And then we can see the second part

 

Sarah Weiler  

of that. Yeah. And just to comment on the work you like, I think I am doing a lot of things. And then But then yeah, maybe at the moment, it feels like nice amount of busy. But I think often people look at my life go well, how are you doing so many things. And for me, it feels quite empty, not empty. Sounds a bit like there’s a lot of space. It will say things just because I like a lot of stuff.

 

Anna Lundberg  

I was gonna say when you when you like what you’re doing and you feel energized by it. It doesn’t feel like it’s draining you right. It doesn’t feel like oh, I’ve got to do this one more thing, one more workshop. Because if you if you’re present there and you’re enjoying it, then it’s the thing that brings something to your life rather than taking away. You know, do you have a typical week? Is it totally random? You just depending on when Google calls you up, you pop over there? Or, you know, what does it look like? Honestly, I

 

Sarah Weiler  

don’t have a routine really. And that’s got its pros and cons. I mean, I have like regular clients, but they’re not always on the same day. The radio show is once a week, but not always on the same day, it depends on my friend a free. I’ve realized I was actually talking to a friend last night, and I think I have a lot of things that are regular in my life, but not necessarily structured always. And like I said, I have things that I do regularly swim quite a lot. I, you know, I? Yeah, I have the radio show, I have the coaching the school, like, there’s things I might do like a monthly day of musical joy at my house, got the Sunday Assembly, volunteering, like these are all things that show up regularly in my life. But they’re not exactly the same model every week. And I think what I need because I am someone that like, needs variety. And I actually like uncertainty. realized recently is like I need a little bit of, if I know what I’m doing. For the rest of the year, I would feel quite bored. And I need some things to be unknown and leaving space for serendipity.

 

Anna Lundberg  

Hmm, there’s a bit of sort of flexibility in the schedule again, right? Because I found at least in my initial experience, when those days suddenly stretched out in front of you. I’ve dreamed of not having an alarm clock and just go where managers. But when you can do anything, you often end up doing nothing. So I think having that rhythm of knowing well, these are the kinds of things I want to be doing this week and this month, and that least gives you you don’t have to every day wake up. Oh my goodness, what am I doing today, which can

 

Sarah Weiler  

be quite amazing. That’s what my darkest moments I It seems strange, but I think my lowest moments have been, when I wasn’t sure what I was doing. I had too much too much flexibility. So it’s like me having the right you have you need to have these building blocks, or these kind of these things that are certain for then this create space to be around. But when it’s all creative space, that’s too much too much void. They need these bits of structure, but not too much structure because then there’s no space to live. I think when I when my like, when it feels right, it’s when there’s like and that’s how I feel it has been recently is like enough stuff in the diary that I’m like, I’ve got something to bounce off. I also got days when I could be in my flat making music or getting a podcast sorted or do you not me dreaming a bit?

 

Anna Lundberg  

But does that just happen? Because to me I had to keep for example, Thursdays the kids are way but I kept them free of calls generally so that I can write my book create my courses they won. You know, if you find that if you just have whitespace then that space easily fills? Are you able to hold that space without actually blocking the space? If that makes sense?

 

Sarah Weiler  

I have to be really boundaried about it. Actually, I was gonna and I noticed that I noticed that like so on my calendar. I try and have one day a week where there’s no nothing. But it’s interesting that because I think, yeah, if you can be like, oh, I’ll just do one call. And then I’ll just pop to the doctors. And then before you know it’s like the holidays gone. So yeah, then I think it’s protecting the the creative time and seeing as a commitment as well. is also really important. But yeah, I don’t think I’m that good at that yet. I’d say that like there’s often days where I’m like I have just a couple of things here and there and it’s I am yeah, it would be better for there to be nothing and then for everything to be on one day.

 

Anna Lundberg  

But I think it’s good to have that intention but also know again, pragmatically that look, if there is sort of a call that needs to happen then we need to get a little more Labra then you can do that. It’s just making sure you don’t make too many exceptions because then you no longer have it in there right then suddenly before you know it’s gone completely And I love the creativity is something I’m really reflecting on now to, you know, it’s one of those things. Yeah, I think for a whole lot of podcasts episode, but it prompted me to reflect on that. So that’s something coming up, I think for me as well in terms of what that means and how to make space for I’m sure you’re familiar with E Brodsky’s. Find your unicorn space. Have you heard of her? Well, maybe not as a parent, she’s written a book called fair play, which is all which I haven’t read still. But I recommend to everybody, which is all about dividing chores in the house fairly, among the couple. And her latest book is find your unicorn space. And the unicorn space is this magical place, which sounds like you’re in where you know, it’s really expressing those different facets of yourself. And it is something great, whether it was dance, or whatever it is, and it’s not something you do like going to gym to keep fit, it’s something you do, because it brings energy and so on. And she argues that, you know, it’s actually the thing that we usually put last especially I think, maybe women lovers to do some stereotypes and so on. But actually, it’s one of the things that should come first. And it’s what as you said, actually, for even from a business strategy energizes you, which then has repercussions and brings joy to others and opens up business connections and so on both but unicorn spaces. I think it would be something worth exploring for you.

 

Sarah Weiler  

Yeah. And I the fact that a lot of people put that last, it’s really interesting, because I think they put it first, I think definitely sounds it. Yeah. And I think sometimes I feel like I’m noticing as I’m talking to you, I’m always a bit like, what is Anna gonna think I don’t work much, because I’m gonna do you know what I mean? But I’m because that’s the stereotype, right? Isn’t it like, this is the thing we should pay laughs and I’ve somehow created a life where I put it first. And I noticed some some discomfort around saying that to you. It’s really interesting.

 

Anna Lundberg  

That is interesting to notice. And I can I can very clearly say that that doesn’t come across an F anything like because I’m in the place where I am, I suppose of maybe putting those things last I aspire to this, then I recall, where I was a few years ago, really just looking and going where I felt like it physically. So. So that is a little part. And having said that, and I have the same you know, now exercise has been a really important thing for me, that’s not creativity, but it’s something where, you know, I’m out in nature by myself running and so on. And sometimes I do feel about Hang on a second. I’m, I’m thinking before I’ve even started the day, I’m always doing exercise, and I’m done. Anytime I sit down, you know, half the day maybe is gone. And I’ve only been even sometimes play the ukulele very rarely. But it’s because that, you know, harks back to being in Hawaii or learning to play and you know, that that was sort of me, Anna, as an individual and creativity and so on. And so yeah, I don’t know, unfortunately, our culture still does kind of have a stigma that we’re supposed to say, Oh, I’m so busy. And I’m so important. And I’ve got so many emails, and I’m so stressed, I’m not sleeping, and somehow, that’s a badge of honor.

 

Sarah Weiler  

And a lot of my coaching clients actually are people who want to bring more creativity in their lives and alike. And feel resistance to it, or feel discomfort about it. And a lot of people Yeah, like, it’s like, how do I even start that like it’s so like, it’s it’s so foreign.

 

Anna Lundberg  

And what’s interesting, actually, bringing all this together with the quitting, as you said, and my realization, maybe naively, very late in the day has been that most people are never going to quit their jobs. You know, even though that’s kind of my message is not quitting a job. But it is, you know, people come because they kind of are fed up with their job, and they want to have more freedom, flexibility, and so on. Many people won’t ever do that. But they want to find better work life integration, in the day to day, they want to have more time for their family, they want to have more creativity, I had a client who went through my whole business incubator program, he decided he didn’t want to start a business. And he ended up writing two novels. And it’s back. And the thing was that, you know, because actually, as you said, you come, and I’m sure the coaching clients come to you to thinking like, oh, I need it. And actually, there’s something missing. And there’s this space outside of the drudgery of of that kind of nine to five as I call it, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to quit your job and work for yourself. That’s one option, which I think is a great option. But I think it’s exciting. And there are so many things within the parameters of your business or your job where you can find that joy again.

 

Sarah Weiler  

Absolutely. And what I also noticed that the people ended up replicating the very things they wanted to leave in by running a business. So they were like, crazy hours. And, you know, I mean, I used to run any accelerator for entrepreneurs for like, female founders. And this girl came in every day, and she was just so tired. I’m been at nine like, why she’s like, I was like, What time do you want to go into something like 930? It’s your business. You could I could start half an hour later. And she’s like, never even considered, like blew her mind that she could choose the parameters of her working day.

 

Anna Lundberg  

And so programmed. And I wrote a blog post on that when it’s not your job. That’s the problem is you actually because so many women these days, hardly hardwired into us that we have to and it’s so culturally acceptable and the norm even now, with hybrid working and four day work weeks and so on, it’s still we still got these generally older white men who are kind of protesting against and so on. I think it’s a bit of Not uphill struggle. But I think that’s yeah, that’s unfortunately, that’s all we know. And so even if you do want to quit, I think start reimagining those things within your life, right? Because if you can start making new habits and change your mindset, and so on within that job, then if and when you do decide to go up on your own, then you already have those habits and different ways of looking at that.

 

Sarah Weiler  

Absolutely. Because I think it’s too, it’s too shocking. Otherwise, when you leave teaching, you uproot, you were able to the minute, it was so shocking, when I left teaching, I was like, I don’t know what to do with myself. Like, I have never had this much autonomy and too much, sometimes it’s almost like a shock, just like a shock to your system. So I think that’s such a good point of like, gradually bringing in some of those habits. And the other bit is when you start to bring in some of the joy and the unicorn time, as you call it, you might not need to quit your job. Exactly. That’s yeah, it’s like when I do the quitting portrait of people I’m like, if you’re in resentment, which a lot of people are, and like you need to bring in more flow and joy. So you kind of see the opposite. If you look at it on the medium posts, you can see what’s needed. So and I’m like, and that doesn’t have to come from your job. And you can add stuff on when you’re overwhelmed, that actually might rebalance. So it’s always about taking things off. And sometimes people clear everything, and then there’s too much space, and they’re miserable even more. Whereas if you’re you know, you can be overwhelmed in your job and be like, but I’m going to start dancing. And suddenly something shifts, and this doesn’t feel so stressful anymore. But when everything is your job, of course, it’s going to feel overwhelming, or too much time in one on one part of your life.

 

Anna Lundberg  

And that’s quite a counterintuitive, tough concept to understand, add something, and you’ll actually feel less overwhelmed. But that’s the really important insight, I think to close on. Because that’s it, you think that oh my gosh, I’ve got to work less than of course, you can’t work less because your to do list is getting longer and longer. And then you’ve got to add exercise and creativity. Oh, no, no, I have to add this stupid unicorn space on. But actually, that’s the thing that energizes you and creates more space. That’s the sort of, in a way really obvious truth, but very hard to kind of get your head around.

 

Sarah Weiler  

Yeah, so it’s add it’s, it’s kind of adding to rebalance rather than adding to overwhelm?

 

Anna Lundberg  

Yes, no, because that’s the thing with all these things, yoga, mindfulness, oh, gosh, now I have to also do yoga, and then it becomes like a stressful to do rather than the whole point of it to begin with was to de stress you. And it just becomes one more thing that you have to take off on your list. And so sir, sort of a double question, because usually I’d wrap up to ask, Where can we find you? And that just brings me back to sort of the concept of personal branding, and so on with all these different projects. How do you handle it? Do you have one website that has like 10 different jobs? How

 

Sarah Weiler  

does it work? I’ve got a Sarahweiler.com Hit me quite a while to get because I was I want one place for like Halloween itself. So and I’ve actually got on it’s quite cool that women who designed it created a carousel. So it’s like this carousel. So I have on that like a bit about me, I have a patient working with me on one on one page working with me, for businesses, and then a body of work page, which is where my stuff lives, and you can browse all of the stuff I’ve done. So it’s kind of a holding page, I think, is probably the best version I couldn’t come up with at the moment of like, display portfolio careers, but I, I think we’re going to need more and more of this type of website. As people are starting to be many things and enjoy their like release since lives and things like that. Then I also do have a power of view website, and then acquitting kojin website as well is more like a landing page from MailChimp. But they those are kind of I have made those separately because actually, I made them before so I’ve kept them. But yeah, the sarahweiler.com is like, you can browse that. And I felt really nice emails from people or paths going. I’m so pleased to find this because it’s like an example of how you can express all the things and in a way that has now become my brand. things. So it’s that’s an interesting one, isn’t it when Robin matter? Rather than fighting it? You’re like, the thing is that I don’t have a thing. Yeah, well, yeah.

 

Anna Lundberg  

Well, yes. Okay. The thing is that you don’t have a thing, but you definitely do have a thing. And that’s the thing. So, but I love the Senator Weiner, it’s so important, because of course, the power of you might, you know, you might quit that one day. And yet Sarah lives on and that’s still part of your body of work. Maybe that workshop isn’t available anymore, right? So it is important to build that presence of you for yourself as well. Because I think, you know, sometimes we have that one one person on LinkedIn, as we said at the beginning and one person on Instagram that suddenly like compartmentalizing yourself, and that gets your being torn into that’s when your calendar gets a work. Whereas if you’re finding a way to flow between them, and you can be your whole self all the time. I think that’s that’s a

 

Sarah Weiler  

beautiful thing to get there. That’s the aim. And I think if you’re asking about your original question of like, what is success? I think it is where I feel integrated where, like, I don’t have to like, ignore that bit here. I can be I can bring it all. And that’s welcome. Which I’m planning for the coaching and schools actually, I’m really bringing everything It’s really lovely. But yeah, in terms of finding me at Sarah Weiler, Sara on Instagram. I’m not really on Twitter, I have a Twitter account, but I didn’t really use it. So I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t try and find me. And then my carousel newsletter, which I put out once a week, that’s where I talk about living a carousel life and kind of musings about all of the stuff. We’ve been talking about creativity, how to manage your time how to say no where to say yes, like, I write every week about what I’ve learned that week about portfolio life. So if that seems interesting, like even sign up for that through my website, or it’s tiny letter.com forward slash carrousel.

 

Anna Lundberg  

If you’ve got a new subscriber in me, so I’ll get that right after this. Thank you very much. Oh, my goodness, I’m so glad it took some time getting there, Sarah, but as expected and amazing episode, so thank you so much for your insights, congratulations on building this beautiful hairstyle. And yeah, it’s rare. That sort of sounds a bit arrogant. It’s rare that there are new concepts to me, given I’ve spent the last 10 years looking at these things, but there are definitely some, some really thought provoking things in there for me, too. So thank you. So

 

Sarah Weiler  

good. Thank you so much. I know what it’s like, I always ask you this, like, what’s one thing you want to remember about this conversation? Like they read, I suppose suppose to share?

 

Anna Lundberg  

Oh, it’s a great question. And you’re putting me on the spot, because now there are so many, but I think this idea of the I mean, it’s hard not to pick up on the carousel, because I’ve, I think I gave myself more freedom to have all these different strings. So anyway, before and now, we’ve consolidated the business and this and this is the strategy and I’ve become quite serious. And that’s kind of the model and I’m sticking with it. And I think, a little sort of chink in the armor of a bit of sunlight coming through. So hang on, how can I introduce a bit more play a bit more, as we say creativity and some of those things that maybe had been at the back of the the play, ground, the theme park, whatever want to call it might come to the fore again. So that’s left me some food for thought, which is great for this new year and new decade as we record this, so yeah,

 

Sarah Weiler  

good stuff. And I will remember this unicorn space. I love a really nice way of talking about the things that I was doing. But like, yeah, it’s great to. Yeah, and just to remember that for a lot of people, that is the thing that is hardest.

 

Anna Lundberg  

And again, because you find it easy in a way. That’s what makes you such a great person. I mean, that’s why it’s so useful to have those conversations with people because yeah, we need we need you. We need you in this world where it’s such a low priority. So yeah, thank you so much, Sarah.

 

Sarah Weiler  

Oh, thanks, Anna. It’s so nice to chat to you. I really appreciate it. Thanks. All right.

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We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure.

Where we have given you (or where you have chosen) a password that lets you access certain parts of our site, you are responsible for keeping this password confidential and we ask you not to share a password with anyone.

Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to our site; any transmission is at your own risk. Once we have received your information, we will use strict procedures and security features to try to prevent unauthorised access.

Links to other websites

Our website contains links to other websites. This privacy policy only applies to this website so once you have used these links to leave our site, you should note that we do not have any control over that other website. You should exercise caution and look at the privacy statement applicable to the website in question.

Changes to our privacy policy

We keep our privacy policy under regular review. Initially created on 18th November 2016, it was last updated on 23rd May 2018 to be compliant with GDPR.

Contact information

If you have any questions or concerns related to your privacy, you can get in touch here >>