Episode 497 – Anna N’Jie-Konte

Anna is a CFP & Kickboxer

Anna N’Jie-Konte, Founder of Dare to Dream Financial Planning LLC, talks about discovering her passion for kickboxing, how it translates to her career, breaking through with sharing her passion in the office, how founders can play a huge role in the foundation of a company’s work culture, and so much more!

Episode Highlights
• Getting into kickboxing
• How her passion for kickboxing applies to her career
• Breaking the habit of not sharing in the office
• Why it’s up to the founder to set the tone for workplace culture in newer organizations

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    Welcome to episode 497 of What’s You “And?” This is John Garrett, and each Wednesday, I interview a professional who, just like me, is known for a hobby or a passion or an interest outside of work. To put it another way, it’s encouraging people to find their “and”, those things above and beyond your technical skills, the things that actually differentiate you when you’re at work.

    If you like what the show is about, be sure to check out the book. It’s on Amazon, Indigo, Barnes and Noble, Bookshop, a few other websites. All the links are at whatsyourand.com. It goes more in depth with the research behind why these outside-of-work passions are so crucial to your corporate culture. I can’t say how much it means that everyone’s reading it and writing such nice reviews on Amazon and more importantly, changing the cultures where they work because of it. If you want me to read it to you, that’s right, this voice reading the book, look for What’s Your “And”? on Audible or wherever you get your audio books.

    Please don’t forget to hit subscribe to the podcast, don’t miss any of the future episodes. I love sharing such interesting stories each and every week, and this week is no different with my guest, Anna N’Jie-Konte. She’s the founder of Dare to Dream Planning in Washington, DC and the host of the Financial Powerhouse Podcast, helping female entrepreneurs manage their money, and now she’s with me here today. Anna, thanks so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?

    Anna: Thanks so much for having me, John. I’m really excited to be here.

    John: This is going to be a blast. I have my rapid-fire questions, get to know Anna out of the gate here.

    Anna: Let’s go.

    John: You’re ready. You’re like, bring it. Here we go. Maybe an easy one. How about a favorite color?

    Anna: Red.

    John: Red. How about a least favorite color?

    Anna: Magenta.

    John: Interesting, because that’s kind of in the reddish family.

    Anna: Yeah. I don’t like pink very much.

    John: Right. There you go. It’s got to be fire red, like, bring it. How about more talk or text?

    Anna: Talk.

    John: Me, too. It just gets it done faster. How about a favorite actor or an actress?

    Anna: That’s a good question. Favorite actor or actress. I love Idris Elba. He’s wonderful.

    John: Yeah. Absolutely. That’s all that needs to be said right there. He’s just wonderful.

    Anna: Yeah.

    John: There you go. This is a fun one. How about a favorite cereal, even when you were a kid?

    Anna: Lucky Charms was always a favorite as a kid.

    John: Yes. There you go. That’s a solid answer right there. How about a TV show that you would binge-watch?

    Anna: Gosh. I really love random international TV soap dramas. That’s something I love. I really love Korean dramas, and I really love Turkish dramas. Very random. I don’t speak Korean or Turkish, but I watch them. Any of those, I would watch any of those.

    John: It’s reading the show basically?

    Anna: Yes. My husband’s like, listen, your eyeballs have been glued to the iPad for three hours. Can you make eye contact with me, please? Whenever I get into one of those, he’s like, can you blink?

    John: That’s awesome. How did you get into those? You just stumbled into it?

    Anna: I just stumbled into it. I’ve always loved history. I just love cultural stuff, and I love period pieces. Those usually marry all of those together. It’s so fun to get a window into somebody else’s culture.

    John: A totally different culture, too.

    Anna: Yeah.

    John: That’s awesome. I love it. Puzzles, Sudoku, crossword or jigsaw.

    Anna: None. I don’t like puzzles.

    John: I don’t have time for that. I don’t have time for that.

    Anna: Game night with my children is always like, oh, God, are we going to cry over who won Candyland? I don’t like board games and that stuff.

    John: Mostly your husband crying.

    Anna: It’s my husband, yeah. Not the three-year-olds.

    John: No, not at all. That’s hilarious. Star Wars or Star Trek?

    Anna: I don’t particularly love either, but my mom loves Star Trek, so I feel like I have to say Star Trek.

    John: All right. Just in case she listens. I’m still her favorite. How about computers, PC or a Mac?

    Anna: PC.

    John: PC. Yeah, me, too. How about on your mouse, right click or left click?

    Anna: Left.

    John: Not making decisions. That’s like picking the stuff. There it is. Boom.

    Anna: Always.

    John: Totally. How about oceans or mountains?

    Anna: Oceans all the way.

    John: Oceans. There you go. This is a good one. I’m an ice cream junkie. Ice cream in a cone or a cup.

    Anna: Cone. If I had to have one ice cream forever, it would be those paper-thin cones like you get when you’re a kid, and vanilla soft serve with rainbow sprinkles. That’s just childhood in a bite.

    John: There it is. That really is right there, yeah, with the sprinkles, of course.

    Anna: Yeah, you have to have the sprinkles.

    John: Because it’s a little bit of crunch, a little bit of texture to it. I love it.

    Anna: And it’s pretty.

    John: I’m with you. There you go. Because there’s rainbow sprinkles then.

    Anna: Yes, rainbow.

    John: Not chocolate. Okay, got it. All right. Since you have the financial background, this will be a fun one. Balance sheet or income statement.

    Anna: Balance sheet, baby.

    John: Okay. All right. There it is. Because I, at least, then know it’s done because it balances.

    Anna: Yeah.

    John: Perfect. It’s clearly right.

    Anna: Yeah. I think also you just want to know what’s going on. You just want to know what’s going on, on an ongoing basis. I think that’s how you can really make progress.

    John: A little more under the hood. Got it. Are you more of an early bird or a night owl?

    Anna: Definitely an early bird. If you ever catch me awake past 10pm, I’m not a happy person. Just, I’m not happy.

    John: There’s an emergency.

    Anna: Yeah, or somebody dragged me out of the house.

    John: That’s awesome. How about a favorite number?

    Anna: Seven.

    John: Seven. Mine, too. Is there a reason?

    Anna: No, just came to mind.

    John: It’s definitely the most popular one, for sure. The last one, the favorite thing you have or the favorite thing you own.

    Anna: Oh, my gosh. Favorite thing I own is probably a ring that was my grandmother’s that I wear all the time, just so special.

    John: Nice. That’s awesome. Absolutely. That’s a great answer. Very cool. Let’s talk kickboxing which is probably something you don’t wear the ring during.

    Anna: No.

    John: Right? How did you get started with kickboxing?

    Anna: I have a neighbor who was doing kickboxing. She always tried to get me to go. I was like, no. Megan, I’ve got these long nails. I’m not doing kickboxing. It’s just not going to work.

    John: Right?

    Anna: For months, I was like, I’m just not going to do it. Then, this was right after the world started to open a little bit up after COVID, and a different friend said, “Hey, I do kickboxing, and it’s so much fun. You should really just come try it.” I was like, all right, I’ll try it out. I’ve been hooked ever since. I love it so much. It’s just incredible.

    John: That’s awesome.

    Anna: It’s such a good workout. I do it three, maybe four times a week.

    John: Wow. Holy cow. You’re on my side then.

    Anna: Yeah.

    John: I’m not coming at you. No. We’re all good. How are the nails? How are the nails through it all?

    Anna: The nails are decidedly shorter. Those get kicked to the curb.

    John: Well, I guess you go through COVID, you realize what’s important.

    Anna: Exactly.

    John: Kicking some butt ranks a little bit higher now than the nails.

    Anna: Absolutely.

    John: All right. That’s awesome. Do you have a favorite memory? Are you going against someone? Or is it mostly just like…

    Anna: Yeah.

    John: Oh, really?

    Anna: I’ll do one of two things. I have a friend of mine that we’d do two-on-one classes with a trainer, three days a week. It’s just like he’s got the pads. We’re just like going at it, she and I, for an hour. Or sometimes we’ll spar too, which is really fun. I love doing that too. That always challenges you a little bit more because it’s not like a routine jab, cross, right hook. You have to improvise and read the other person’s body language and go with the flow.

    John: Wow. Then still be friends and walk out together.

    Anna: Yeah. Oh, my God, we have so much fun. We really do have so much fun. Our trainer has become a friend too, which is really cool.

    John: That’s awesome. That’s so great. It’s got to just give you some energy and make you feel better about yourself, more confidence, I’d imagine.

    Anna: Totally.

    John: All the things I don’t have because I don’t kickbox.

    Anna: Well, I will recommend it. It definitely, as a woman, I think, it gives me a lot of confidence. We didn’t talk about this, but I grew up in New York City. I’m already a tough chick. Period. Right?

    John: Yeah. Yeah.

    Anna: No one’s messing me. I grew up in the city and riding the subway at 12. You add the kickboxing on top of that, whatever, what you got?

    John: I don’t even blink anymore.

    Anna: Exactly.

    John: I lived in New York for almost ten years, in Brooklyn. It’s like, yeah, I don’t blink. It’s just like, whatever.

    Anna: Yeah. Exactly. I’m just not fazed.

    John: Just doing stand-up comedy in New York City, I’m like, I don’t even care. Whatever you got, bring it.

    Anna: You probably have the thickest emotional skin from that, I would imagine.

    John: Well, it’s thick and then underneath, it’s super, super thin. It’s this weird dichotomy of, I could take it and then, but if you get through that, I’m going to start sucking my thumb in the corner. I’ll cry when we start Candyland. I don’t even care. Just to make it normal. Hopefully, he doesn’t listen to this. Either way, it’s all good.

    Anna: He has a good sense of humor.

    John: All right. Good. Good. Do you feel like any of the kickboxing translates to work at all?

    Anna: Absolutely. I will say, being a financial adviser can be a pretty stressful job in that we manage people’s money, which is inherently stressful. It is also a very emotional thing for a lot of people. We’re oftentimes dealing with a lot of emotions about their finances, about the market, managing our own feelings about the market, especially lately. It can be really stressful. I personally feel it allows me to blow off steam really well. I usually do kickboxing in the morning. If I wake up and I’m like, I can’t do anything today; usually a good kickboxing session will snap me right into gear. I’m like, let’s go. I got it.

    I also think that it reinforces just sticking through things when it’s hard. Even when you feel like you’re messing it up and even when you feel like you’re not doing a great job, you just continue to see the improvement, over time. When I look at my first videos of me kickboxing, I’m like, oh, that was pathetic. Now, I’m like, hey, I got this. I’m sure, in two years, I’ll look at and be like, that was really pathetic. It’s a continuous process of improvement. It allows me to have a space where I’m learning something new. I’m not expected to be perfect or great at it. I can just show up and try and do something fun and keep going through the sucking of, I’m exhausted and I just want to lay down.

    John: Yeah. Exactly. Exactly. It’s like you’re in your own lane.

    Anna: Yeah.

    John: We always compare ourselves to the masterpiece, whatever. We didn’t see their first training. We didn’t see their brand new or the Jackie Chan or the whatever. Even your instructor, you didn’t see their first lesson.

    Anna: No.

    John: Maybe it was just as pathetic. It’s cool that — it’s also cool that you’re willing to do something that’s outside of your comfort zone, that you’re willing to be vulnerable and not good at. It seems like it takes some of the pressure off because, well, I’m not supposed to be good at this. This is great.

    Anna: Absolutely. I’ll give my coach a lot of credit. Shout out to Shags. Shags is awesome. Shags, he’s like, listen, you’re not going to be the worst one here. Even if you suck, you’re learning, and you’ll get better. You’re still not the worst person here, which he continually tells me. Thanks for the reassurance.

    John: The first time that felt good, but the seventh time, I’m starting to wonder. I’m starting to wonder. Can you tell me who the one that’s worse than me? Because that would just help.

    Anna: Yeah. That would help me feel better. I’ll watch him or her and say, oh, that’s better.

    John: They only come on Tuesdays. That’s not your day.

    Anna: No, it’s not. I’m the worst on Wednesdays. The other day, I will say — he’s like a martial arts dude. He’s not like an MMA dude. He’s not cuddly. He’s not cuddly type. He’s like, I wouldn’t want to get in a fight with you. I was like, oh, well, that’s a compliment. I appreciate that.

    John: That’s a huge compliment. There you go. That’s very cool though because a lot of people are scared to not be the alpha all the time or not be really, really amazing at everything all the time. I think that’s a good lesson of, it’s cool to step back into something that you’re not supposed to be good at. It feels good actually. There’s no pressure.

    Anna: No. It’s just for fun. That’s the thing. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be excellent in everything. This has been a place where I cannot be excellent because I’m not trying to be a professional kickboxer or MMA fighter. That’s not in the cards for me. I’m 35. I’m past the prime of that. There’s no reason to put that level of pressure on me like I do with so many other things. It’s just purely for fun. I think as adults, we take life really serious. We don’t have a lot of things that we just do for fun and are willing to suck at.

    John: No. I love that so much because it’s so true. It’s so true. When we’re kids, we’re terrible at everything.

    Anna: Yeah.

    John: It’s totally cool because you’ll get better. It’s fine. Keep going. Then as adults, all of a sudden, we’re afraid to fail, and we stop trying anything where we might look silly or might look stupid or won’t be the best at. It’s just a hobby. It’s just something outside of work just to, like you said, release the anger, give you a different mindset and all that. I think that’s awesome. Is this something that you talk about that clients hear?

    Anna: I don’t. You know what’s funny? Thinking about it, I don’t talk about it. I’m very vocal that I exercise often and that physical health is important to me, but I don’t really talk about that I get my butt kicked every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at kickboxing. I don’t talk about that very much.

    John: Yeah. Right. Well, just always curious, or even earlier in your career before kickboxing because I know that you have other “ands” as well. Is there something else that maybe comes up or something like that?

    Anna: I think this is one of the biggest challenge of being a professional is that we’re taught, and especially in, you come from public accounting, it’s similar to financial services where you have to be so buttoned up and so stiff and so perfect and not a hair out of place. I think I got into the habit of very much being that way. My entrepreneurial journey has allowed me to be more free and be more open and be myself more, which has been amazing and so welcome, but I think there’s a little bit of that habit still there of not sharing that much. Once again, I don’t share that about myself, and I never realized it.

    John: Well, it’s what they tell you. You’re modeling behavior of people that are “successful” in front of you, but it’s been cool to hear, as you’ve gotten out of that, you’re starting to open up a little bit.

    Anna: Yeah.

    John: How has that been? Are clients leaving because this is embarrassingly unprofessional?

    Anna: No. That’s the thing. My clients love it. I think that I have a much deeper connection with them because they see me as myself. They see me as a whole person. Especially with finances where it is a very vulnerable area, them seeing that I’m not some perfect human and that I’ve made mistakes and I have a life and I have things that frustrate me and all of those things as an all-encompassing being, that gives them comfort and allows them to trust me more. I think it’s really been super beneficial for my client relationship and my business growth too. Now I just say whatever I want which, the cat’s out of the bag.

    John: I love it that you said it allows them to trust you more because that’s 100% true. Someone who’s totally perfect, that makes me nervous because there’s a yin to your yang.

    Anna: Yeah.

    John: As perfect as you look, there’s something just as evil and dark there that’s coming around that I don’t see right now. It just makes me nervous. It’s just like someone that’s too perfect. It’s like, what? Come on now. I love that where that’s where the true trust is, is actually, being vulnerable, being human, because that’s what your clients are, also human.

    Anna: Absolutely.

    John: That’s cool to hear that you opening up has flourished. It’s helped so much in the relationships and the stuff. It’s not the opposite. Because we tell ourselves in our mind, these lies of, well, if they find out that I kickbox, then they’re just going to all leave. It’s like, no, probably the opposite.

    Anna: Yeah.

    John: Is your financial person a kickboxer? Come over here. Mine’s freaking, literally kicking butt, literally kicking butt. It’s in the name.

    Anna: That’s it. That’s it.

    John: That’s awesome. How much do you feel like it is on an individual to create this space to share, or how much is it on the organization to open up and encourage that?

    Anna: That’s a great question. I think it’s a little bit of a chicken and egg. I would say, for newer organizations, I think it’s up to the founder to be comfortable being themselves and be open and to set the culture of the organization to be an accepting, open, inviting place for the staff and clients and whoever is walking through the doors, whether physical or virtual. If it’s a large organization, that’s harder because, especially if you’re not in senior leadership, you don’t really control what happens. You just, I think, have to decide how much you’re comfortable sharing and in what way and with what people at work.

    Being a black woman, being a Latina, especially if you’re in a predominantly white space, that can be really hard. If you’re LGBTQ, that can also be really hard. In a predominantly heterosexual environment, that’s really difficult. I don’t say that cavalierly, but I think, on some level, we just have to say, with ourselves, I can’t just completely check my personality and my likes and my dislikes and everything about me at the door. I just have to make a choice of what I’m going to bring here.

    John: Absolutely. You deal a lot with entrepreneurs so, of course, it’s that tone at the top and as the founder, well, people are going to definitely follow you when you’re the founder of the organization. When you get into those larger organizations, what I’ve heard from clients that I’ve worked with, which is really cool, is how much the “and” really creates a nice middle ground for the DEIA conversations or these other conversations that might be harder as just co-workers. You’re more friends because, well, we both like to mountain bike or we both like to kickbox. Now we can have those conversations as friends or as colleagues, as opposed to just co-workers, kind of thing.

    Anna: Totally.

    John: That’s been a cool thing to just, you don’t have to lead with the thing that’s going to maybe be a little bit awkward to talk about for other people, but you can lead with something else, create that relationship and then have those conversations maybe.

    Anna: Totally.

    John: It’s just been what I’ve heard from clients is the cool thing of, we’re all human at the end of the day, and you hire the whole person, so what’s up? As long as it’s not super controversial or super taboo, then we’re good. It’s not illegal. Cool. All right. My “and” is selling cocaine. Maybe let’s lead with something else.

    Anna: That’s not a hobby. That’s a side hustle, John.

    John: My bad, my bad. That’s the entrepreneur in me coming out. It’s just one of those where, just lead with the human, and it’s really impossible for another human to reject that. If they do, then you’re really not at the right place.

    Anna: Totally. That’s a total sign, too. If you’re just talking innocuously about your knitting or your mountain biking, people think you’re the weirdest person and they don’t let you sit with them at lunch, that’s probably not your place. You know what I mean?

    John: Right. It’s like, wow, this is not a good place for anyone, not just you, but anyone. That’s so good. Do you have any words of encouragement to people listening that maybe have an “and”, but they feel like no one cares or it has nothing to do with my job?

    Anna: Yeah. Our jobs are just one sliver of who we are. We’ve talked a lot about being your whole self. Being okay with you have places and people and spaces where you share certain things, and you don’t share everything. That sounds counterintuitive, but it’s like, alright, if you have a work friend that you like to bake bread with, I don’t know, I’m just making things up. You like to bake bread with your work friend. You guys get together and make all kinds of crazy cool meals. Maybe they’re not your friend that you go mountain biking with. Maybe they’re just work and bread friend. You have different circles within your life that you do different things with. That’s great, but don’t hide all of those things from yourself on some level. I think sometimes we will not share those things we like to do with others, or we feel shamed or judged, or people think we’re weird. We end up just being in a corner and doing whatever it is that we like, by ourselves. I think that’s a disservice to yourself in having joy in this life. This life is too short. We were talking before we started recording about the last two years and lockdown and COVID and how it’s been crazy. I think if that was any example, find the joy and the fun where you can because God knows, who knows what next week is going to be like.

    John: You’re totally right. I love that so much. Hiding it from ourselves, that’s the biggest crime of this all is these “ands” that we have, they go dormant. If you don’t pay attention, they go extinct. I was speaking at a huge software user conference. The North American vice president comes up, and she goes, you know, this was amazing. She goes, I used to like to run. I don’t remember the last time I went running, half marathons.

    Anna: So cool.

    John: I go, you don’t even need a uniform. Let’s go now. Take off your heels. I’ll chase you. Let’s run down the hall. What have we got to do? She worked and life and things. The one thing that brings you joy, or however many things, that’s the thing that we put aside because it doesn’t pay the mortgage. People don’t seem to care. It’s like, no, no, you’ve got to make that a priority because it’s always with you no matter what job you have or what level you’re at, in that company.

    Anna: Totally.

    John: It’s so weird how that’s the first thing that we throw out. It’s like, no, no, no, that’s the only thing to keep. Throw everything else out.

    Anna: Seriously. That’s the thing. There’s so much conversation about self-care now. It’s all about like bubble baths and manicures and facials, which there’s nothing wrong with any of those. I love all of those things, but it doesn’t have to be the only way. The thing that lights you up and brings you joy and makes you happy and makes you feel alive, that’s the thing you’ve got to keep doing because what the hell else is the point? I always ask myself, what are you going to regret not doing when you’re old and you’re stuck in a rocking chair in the living room and you’re ignored because you’re old? Hopefully, not ignored, but you know what I mean. You’re sitting in the rocking chair in the corner. Oh, grandma’s doing it again, whatever. What are the things that you’re going to say, I’m so glad I did that, or I’m really sorry I didn’t do that? I’m all about prioritizing that all through because life’s too short to live with those regrets.

    John: You’ll be the grandma in the corner doing kickboxing.

    Anna: I will. Hey, listen, you little whippersnapper, talk back to your mom again, let’s see what happens.

    John: She’s like 50. It’s like, I don’t care how old you are. You’re still a whippersnapper.

    Anna: Exactly.

    John: That’s so good, so good, and such great insights here, for sure, Anna. I feel like it’s only fair though, before I wrap it up, that I turn the tables. You host, of course, your own podcast, the Financial Powerhouse Podcast, but we’ll make this whatever version of podcast Anna wants to make it. I’m your guest. I’m all yours, whatever questions you have. Since I rudely questioned you at the beginning, it’s only fair that I turned the tables.

    Anna: I love that. I love being in control. Tell me a little bit about, what was your “and” and what made you keep up with your “and”?

    John: Sure. Yeah. Well, when I worked in public accounting at PWC, I started doing stand-up comedy just for fun. The Funny Bone in Westport in St. Louis was my first time onstage. Then moved to Milwaukee for work. We do a little bit of comedy sports as well, which is improv, but also the stand-up. It’s just when I had time and when I could, but I definitely enjoyed it. It made me feel alive. It was a challenge. It was something that I wasn’t, stand-up especially, no one’s good at. I don’t care who your favorite is. Chappelle, Bill Burr, Brian Regan, whoever your favorite comedian is, Chris Rock, they’re not good at first. Similar to what I was talking about earlier. You don’t see Chappelle’s first time on stage. You see his specials which are amazing.

    It was a challenge for me, and something that just pushed me out of that comfort zone, but I enjoyed it and was decent at it. You just have to make it a priority. This is what brings me joy. I’m going to do that, type of thing. Actually, it came to a point where the huge client I was working on, was merging. Everyone was going to move to a different city. I’m thinking, I’m just going to leave the firm, and I’m going to see what the stand-up is all about. I did an industry job, like a nine-to-five, so then I would have more time and not travel, so I could do more stand-up and see how it went. Eventually moved to New York City and did it full-time for a long time.

    Anna: That’s so cool.

    John: Even when I did comedy full-time, I had to have an “and”. College football. I’m a huge ice cream junkie, massive. It’s amazing I have teeth. That’s how much ice cream I eat. Concerts. I play the piano. I love music. All those things. You have to have these other dimensions to who you are because if you’re all one thing, anxiety and depression, through the roof. There are studies done to show that you’re just not as good as what you can be if you don’t have other dimensions to you. They don’t have to be world-class anything. It’s just other dimensions that it’s so important.

    Anna: That’s so beautifully said. I will say, I found myself at a time where I was just working, and I had the kids. I was doing the, drop the kids off at daycare, get to work, grind every day. I found myself really depressed and sad. I think it had a lot to do with, because I was just those two things. It was mostly about what I was doing for other people, work-wise or my kids. Not to blame them, but I wasn’t prioritizing the things that would make me happy and bring me joy. That’s been, over the last two years, has been my biggest lesson. You got to get after it because — I actually had somebody who was very dear to me, pass away at the beginning of the pandemic, I suspect from COVID. That was before COVID tests and stuff like that. That just was such a wake-up call. You just don’t know how long people are going to be around, how long you’re going to be around, and what life is going to look like. Years will go by. Why not just do the thing, do all the things. Eat all the ice cream.

    John: You said earlier, what are we here for? Yeah, totally. What are we doing? Who cares? You have to wait until you’re 80 to be able to… No, you don’t. Do it now. It doesn’t matter, within reason and don’t lose… What is it? Everything in moderation except moderation. I don’t know. It’s great. It’s just cool to just see what lights people up and what makes you feel alive. For some people, it’s work, but it’s also something else.

    Anna: Yeah. There’s always something else.

    John: I’m going to challenge you. If you think, well, work is my thing; well, I’m going to challenge you there’s something else. Because at some point in your life, you’re going to have to retire. You’re going to have to hang up the work outfit. You’re going to need something to go do. Why don’t you start doing it now? There’s more to the people around us than we know. There’s a human behind that job title. Tap into that.

    Anna: What’s your advice to someone who has this thing that they love, maybe they’ve lost touch with it? They don’t really do it as much. One of those things for me is salsa dancing. I always love to dance. I’m a great dancer. I just stopped going out dancing, maybe children, I don’t know, but I just stopped. I went out once, recently, in the last two weeks. I was like, why didn’t I start doing this? This is so much fun. I feel alive. I feel great. I had to have a moment where someone asked me, hey, let’s go, and I went. What’s your advice for someone who’s sitting there feeling as though they just are feeling so sucked and they don’t know how to reconnect to anything that excites them? What’s your advice for them?

    John: I’d imagine a good amount of people are there. It’s just almost making a list of things that you used to do that you used to like. When you were 12, what did you like to do? Or even when you were 25, what did you like to do? Pre-marriage, pre-family, pre-kids, pre-whatever, what did you like to do? When you were in college? Wow, salsa dancing, I haven’t done that in a while. I should just do that. Why not? It’s having to be intentional with it. Some of it may be, salsa dancing, I’m not doing that again or whatever. Okay, cool. No worries. It’s just being intentional and just going… It could also be binge-watching Netflix. That works. Your Korean period piece dramas, that’s an “and”. That’s totally an “and”.

    Anna: So fun. So fun.

    John: You’re clearly passionate about it. If I told you, you could never now watch any of those again, you would kickbox me.

    Anna: Yeah, I would. I’d give you a jab, cross, left hook and then…

    John: I’d be down and then you would go back to watching your show. It’s just creating that list and then just seeing, hey, here’s something I want to go do. I’m going to be terrible at it. I’m not going to be what I was when I was 22 or whatever, but just what brings me joy and then do it. If it didn’t bring you joy; okay, cool, don’t do it again. Also, take a lot of the pressure off. I found that the phrase, instead of giving you a title, salsa dancer; it’s like, no, no, I enjoy salsa dancing. Am I good at it? It doesn’t matter. I enjoy it. I didn’t ask your opinion. I enjoy painting. Are they any good? Who cares? I enjoy it. You’re doing it for the sole purpose of you enjoy it. That’s all. It’s okay to be not great. Just take the pressure off, and just whatever it is that you like to do, find that. Find that joy. There’s more to who you are. Don’t let anyone tell you that, especially anyone at work, tell you that that’s all you are. No, you’re not. You could quit today, and you’re still a person. It’s not like you disappear because you don’t have that job anymore. You’re still there. Don’t forget that.

    Anna: That’s beautiful.

    John: We got deep on your podcast.

    Anna: We did.

    John: Wow. We did. This has been so much fun, Anna. Thank you so much for being a part of this.

    Anna: Thank you. This was great. Unconventional topics. People are usually asking me about the market, so I’m happy to talk about kickboxing and salsa dancing and ice cream.

    John: Oh, yes. There we go. We can actually mix it all up together. I feel like it’d be one great evening.

    There we go. Everyone, if you want to see some pictures of Anna in action or maybe connect with her on social media or the link to her podcast, Financial Powerhouse Podcast, be sure to go to whatsyourand.com. All the links are there. While you’re on the page, please click that big button, do the anonymous research survey about corporate culture, and don’t forget to check out the book.

    Thanks again for subscribing on Apple podcast or whatever app you use, and for sharing this with your friends so they get the message that we’re all trying to spread, that who you are is so much more than what you do.


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