Episode 43

Creating Sustainable Pace In Your Business

November 17th, 2021


Today we’re chatting with Elana, an award-winning business coach, and founder and managing director or Foundher.
We dive into:
  • Being present with ourselves
  • What success looks like for each person
  • Reframing the way we give and receive feedback
  • Supporting women to create boundaries
  • Reviewing the data on what you spend time on

Connect with our fabulous Speaker

Elana Robertson | Foundher
About Elana

Elana Robertson is an award-winning business coach, the founder and managing director of Foundher – dedicated to transforming habits and behaviours that lead to sustainable success.
Drawing on her experience in systems-thinking and executive leadership, as well as ongoing academic studies and research, Elana equips ambitious leaders creating industry change with the toolkit they need to catalyse powerful results in who they are, for their business and the world.
Elana believes that when you connect who you are with what you do, powerful results will follow. Always. Her work focuses on elevating those at the forefront of disruptive industries such as wellness, fashion, hospitality and tech to evolve the behavioural skills needed to navigate uncertain futures and sustain peak performance in challenging times. Elana’s driving conviction is that becoming sustainable as humans is the first step towards creating a healthier planet and more equitable society.
Want to see where your time is going? As Elana mentions in the episode, check out her Sustainable Performance Planner.
Connect with Elana on Instagram
Elana’s Website

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Full Episode Transcription

Nicole Smith 0:02
Welcome to take control with Nicole. As business owners we experienced firsthand the fine line between our personal and business lives. During our conversations, we will look at simple hints and tips to create time, reduce overwhelm, and help you to navigate through your journey to where you want to be. If you’re looking for smarter ways to work, and create space and time freedom in your day, then you’re in the right place. All right, let’s go. Hello, and thank you for joining me for this fabulous episode of take control with Nicole. Today I have the amazing a lot of robots in here with me and we are going to be talking all about creating sustainable pace in your business. But firstly, I would love to introduce you to Elana, Elana is an award winning business coach and the founder and managing director of found her dedicated to transforming habits and behaviours that lead sustainable success is what she is all about. Well, hello, Elana. Thank you so much for joining me today. And I’m so excited to meet you. We had a fabulous person in common the beautiful Leanne from audacious empires. And I was so thrilled to receive her email of our introduction.

Elana Roberston 1:21
And Nicole, so lovely to be with you today. Yeah, I’ve been so looking forward to this exciting conversation with you. It’s great to be here.

Nicole Smith 1:29
So fun. Well, firstly, I would just love to jump in. I want to know about you, your community, all the things your business found her. What makes you sparkle?

Elana Roberston 1:41
Yeah, let’s do this. So I would love to share a little bit with you about the incredible community, and what is foundher. So foundher is essentially my purpose, I have a background in corporate finance and insurance, and absolutely loved those couple of decades. But found for me personally, laying on a deck chair in Bali, that the annual Bali vacation had become the place that I would run away to in order to recharge myself and have to sleep for days away before I would feel like a sense of myself again, and just have this vivid memory laying there thinking, I’ve got to come to Bali way too often to feel like I am operating at my best. So I can go back and face the next round of, you know, another years worth of work. And that really was the spark to be honest around thinking, why am I running away from the life that I’m living in order to feel recharged, something doesn’t feel quite right with that. And so that that really set me off on a journey over the next couple of years to find myself. So the name found her by no stretch is very serendipitous, and has so much meaning attached to it, which is the conversation I’m having so much, especially over the last couple of years, we’ve what we’ve all been navigating people and incredibly ambitious and successful business owners and leaders in organisations who are saying, I do like what I do. But I feel like I’m losing myself and there has to be a better way. And that’s what we’re all about connecting people more with their best version of themselves rather than this false old notion that’s not working. So they can do their best work.

Nicole Smith 3:56
Totally resonates with me, I’m from the you know, financial sector as well. That’s where my majority of my career was in, in Melbourne and in over in London in the old school investment banking style, as well, so very much can hear what you’re saying to me right now. And it’s so so needed, especially in that corporate space, being able to find that way of being and working. That’s not just hustle, hustle, hustle hustle all the time. And that, oh, I have to go to work rather than I’m really excited to do what I do each and every day. There is such a different feeling. So ah, amazing. And I love the name. It’s beautiful.

Elana Roberston 4:41
Yeah, thanks so much. It has so much meaning right.

Nicole Smith 4:44
Yeah, absolutely. Sustainable pace.

Elana Roberston 4:50
Yeah, let’s talk about that. I think just just speaking to you about I know we’ve had a conversation around that, you know, That’s similar a corporate background that’s familiar to us. And the, you know, the the times in which we had our corporate career and have transitioned into using all of those amazing skills that that, that that journey gave us into what’s next. Ultimately, for us, I just think, speaking to, you know, the things that we’ve learned in our careers, what, what it takes to be super successful and what you have to compromise or give up. And I really believe, you know, sustainable pace that I want to share with you. But really, what the what is at the core is really, again, what founder is about, which is shifting the tired notions of how we, how we have been doing life and doing work. And we know that that’s not working. And everyone knows it’s not working. And I think the question that we’re all sitting in right now is, so what else? How else, and that’s really the first step that we’ve started to create, because everyone is there, you know, you can read reports, you can Google the latest app to help you be faster, work longer, go harder, and we know how to do those things really well. And I think we’re stuck in the rules and the actions of that being the only way to stay successful and ambitious.

Nicole Smith 6:41
Yeah, that is so true, isn’t it? Like, who sets those rulebook so that we have to be working hard all the time, I had a conversation earlier today around, you know, actually empowering yourself to work within the rhythms that are supporting you. If you’re trying to do something, and it feels hard, guess what, it’s going to be hard, and you’re probably not going to be working at the level you want to be working at. So then the output isn’t at the level that you want it to be, then you feel not so great about it. And it’s just a cycle, isn’t it. Whereas if you just pause for a moment, and go and sit out in the sun and have that if you want cocktail, who knows whatever, coffee, let yourself come back. And then you will be in the fabulous frame to do that action that you want to do.

Elana Roberston 7:35
So, so true. And you know, what sounds like what you’ve just described, you know, sounds so simple, and a beautiful, like segue into this exploration of what a sustainable pace is all about. And what you’ve described is the the actually being present with ourselves and really knowing why, what what works for us. So there’s lots of as I mentioned, apps, there’s lots of what are the top 10 entrepreneurs do to you know, live this amazing life? And? And absolutely, that’s that we’re seeking another way. And we’re, we’re stuck in the only way. And if we’re seeking another way, what I, you know, hopefully, she has a little bit of sanity and inspiration is to the point that you made, which is it’s about paying attention to designing a rhythm and a performance approach. That is individualised for us, like what is high performance for us? And actually finding, finding out spending a little bit of time finding out what that looks like for us and getting that right, using some tools and new approaches. And I think that’s, that’s really like the next step that we can all look to make around or how do I design what high performance and productivity and success looks like for me? And that requires absolutely some external things. But absolutely, the part that gets missed is and what does that look like for me too, and bringing those two pieces together, which is ultimately what sustainability which I know is such a buzzword right now. I’m watching it be used in so many places and environmentally amazingly so, but I think if we look at the even definition of what sustainable means, it’s actually like two key pieces show up for me there one is that there is insurance for something to lost over time. And it is not depleting of natural resource and So we look at sustainability in the outside world of not doing that to the environment. But sustainable pace is all about how we take up those principles and apply them to ourselves and our actions and our ways of being. And move away really, from the older version that we’re all trapped in and want to escape from, which is harder and faster and longer. Which, you know, I love using the analogy of, you know, we all know how to drive in fifth year, we all know our hustle. But what could it look like? And how much more to your point, like enjoying the work we do? What could fourth gear look like in third gear? Because we need to learn how to use all of the gears not just one all of the time. Yeah.

Nicole Smith 10:50
Yeah. I love looking at the definitions of words and how, like, when you look at that, that just fits like, explores and like. Yeah, of course, like and, you know, we can’t go and football all the time. We just it’s not sustainable. Or there’s the word again, it isn’t. Because what ends up happening is we become unwell. We become, you know, mentally unwell as well, where you know, it, there’s so many things that happen and I’ve seen it so many times for these fabulous people just go Go, go go go and, you know, crash basically. So what a fabulous way to look at it and think about it and help people become aware that there is another way. You know, we don’t need to continue on this journey of the churn, the churn the churn, stop for a moment, pause. Take a little sidelight glance over that way, what can we discover on what’s the most important thing for me? The, what does success the measurements of success as well, that’s a really interesting conversation. Because, you know, whenever you think of success, go back to the corporate world, you have your annual, you know, your your check ins, whatever they called forgotten. Now, I’ve done it a long time. And they’re really a ticket flick, are they they’re like, you know, how are you going to get a bonus this year, if you meet these data don’t like it’s very much you forgot to be the highest performing person to be entitled to the things that really you deserve? So flipping that and making or creating that new definition, that’s probably something I should do as well.

Elana Roberston 12:39
Yeah, I love, I love that I love that you that you speak as well around, you know, the way in which success has been defined. If you if you have worked in a business or an organisation or had a corporate career, you know, I love the reframe of success has to be determined within. And we have to author that for ourselves. And many of us through experience and careers absolutely have been externally validated by what are we? Are we being successful, we have to ask someone else? And how do we really shift that into? What does success look like for me? What would that feel like for me, and I, you know, I think, the journey that you and I have, which is we’re, we’re getting really great at feeling and looking at what’s good, we, you know, we we’ve spoken about being experimental, like, try something, give it a go, does it feel good? And you know, things are going well for you? And you see possibility from that. That’s successful, right?

Nicole Smith 13:51
Yep. Absolutely, absolutely. It is, it’s that it is. When you first start a business, you’re always seeking guidance, that approval to take that step forward to do that thing to charge that much. You know, whatever it might be work with that client that may seem out of reach, and you’re like, should I should I mess right? Whatever it might be asked to go on a podcast, you know, and you just kind of move through and at a point if this is my journey, anyway, at a point I was like, and look, I still reached out to my people, because we all need our community to either witness or brainstorm or work through work through that thing that might have that little bit of block you know, that is so important. That’s what community is all about, especially when a circle majority of the time I just do it, just do it. And you know if it works awesome if it doesn’t work, well, I’ve learned something from that. Take it away, won’t do it next time. Probably do the next thing and then That’s what I’ve been doing the whole almost will be two years in January, and doing well so far. Still well.

Elana Roberston 15:08
Yeah, yeah, that’s so. So success as well, for sure. You know, like the, the absolutely the balance of having awareness of you know, we get to write that for ourselves, it shouldn’t be externally validated. So the the corporate notion of, you know, having an annual performance review, should be a really great guideline for you and a marker, but we want to make sure that is the that’s not the only way in which we’re deeming success by someone else’s measure. And being able to cultivate that within for sure. You know, that’s, that’s linked to who we want to who we want to be, you know, is this in alignment with what, who I want to be as you know, the human that I want to show up and be in the world and starting to cultivate what what success would not only look and think and sounds like but also feel like is super important. And that also links to building resilience, which is another connection into, you know, if we are only looking externally to be validated, or to get certainty around success, we absolutely want that, you know, I’ve won, you know, I’ve won awards, and we get recognised by peers. And all of that is so important. This is not definitely it’s not an or statement. It’s an end statement writer. And we also want to know what it feels and looks like, for us. Because being able to know what it looks like for us at the core. And having that as a foundation, that that’s a great point base to operate from that connects to not being burnt out, that connects to being more sustainable in the businesses that we run. And we have incredible communities that we definitely surround ourselves with, to support us being sustainable as well.

Nicole Smith 17:09
Something that some you know, I discovered on my journey is I’ve never been one to accept praise. Your I will go and celebrate everybody else. Like tell me about something fabulous. And I’ll be there with the champagne like, Whoa, let’s go fabulous. Awesome. And but when it was happening to me, I was like, Oh, that’s so hard. Oh, no, no, don’t say that. Somebody said to me, he said, If you like accept that comment, except that cuz that is valued. That is how people are seeing you. And you’re almost doing a disservice to the giver of that comment by doing that. And when that became a real awareness in front of mind, for me, it changed the way I thought about it as well. And so I was able to embrace those comments rather than push them away as whatever. And then as a result of that, I became more confident in what I was doing and how I was delivering things. And, you know, the experience that I was creating for my community and my clients, and it was just Yeah, I just wanted to share that. Because if that’s something that our listeners are thinking, or have experienced, embrace and accept those comments from people, because it is such a powerful part of your journey to do that.

Elana Roberston 18:35
I think that’s such an incredible like shift Nicole and message to call out that reframe. For those listening around, you know, how do you collectively support each other and part of it is the giving and receiving notion that you’re speaking about. And, you know, being able to receive is as just as important as being able to give so I love that reframe that you shared and the giving and receiving, you know, it’s that circular creation of abundance, you know, the more we give, the more the more that we receive, the more energy and sustained we are and feels our cup up and like I love how you noticed for you that you know, once you started receiving and feeling confident with that step, you notice the impact that that was creating for your community as well. I love that insight.

Nicole Smith 19:36
Thank you. Yeah, it’s funny what you discover and along your journey your own now we all have our own journeys. That’s a powerful one. Such a powerful one. I love it. I love it. So I knew our conversation was going to be amazing. It’s very so yeah. Now, the notion of I don’t have enough hours in the day I’ve got too much on my list I’ve got Oh The things I’d love to know what your take on that is or how you kind of look at and support your community through that thought pattern.

Elana Roberston 20:10
Yeah, I, yeah, I’d love to talk about this and probably just share some really practical steps to step us out of the busiest bullshit kind of story that we hold on to, I absolutely can attest to the notion of work and life and the world that we live in constantly throwing things out way for adoption. And we absolutely can relate to not having enough hours in the day. And I love there’s a lady leadership, American leadership coach, by the name of Jim Rohn. And everyone knows he’s very famous quote, of run the day or the day run Siri. And that’s that, doesn’t that sound so inspiring? What the hell do I do to make that happen? And so there’s a really interesting shift around that external notion. Again, if if we believe externally, we don’t, we don’t author of we don’t write the day, then the day will take over and consume, because there is always, you know, a team member to support a client to support errands to run families to take care of. So absolutely. We want to be able to be capable and operating at our best to do all of those things. And, you know, we could step into the realm of how do we particularly as women support setting boundaries, because we are such caregivers, by nature with our own feminine leadership qualities that we have. And so coming back to not having enough hours in the day is a very pivotal piece around the framework that we use that founder, which is a bit of a it’s known as the ripple effect framework. And particularly, the dimension, which sits in the middle of that framework is around productivity, which is a shift of change, which we’ve spoken about earlier. And in particular, escaping the not enough hours in the day and busy know, the notion of you get what you focus on. I’m busy, I’m busy. I’m busy, I’m busy. And so we have our brain and our body giving us a great signal that we’re busy. And so what, yeah, so what could we do about that? And what like a couple of great, simplistic ways in which we support our community to, to pay attention and step out of the busy cycle. And really find where the hours in the day are going is we have a productivity planner. So just like for those of you who have had a personal trainer, and you go along and start with a new personal trainer, and they say, Can you please fill out a food diary, like to see how everything, I don’t need to do that I kind of I know that some things I’m eating are not great. And some things are okay. And and we believe in our mind that we have a good understanding right of what’s going in our mouth until that hard first week of seven days in you really look at what’s being eaten. For example, if you’re doing that kind of training at the gym.

Nicole Smith 23:57
The data doesn’t lie.

Elana Roberston 23:59
The data, oh my goodness, I love it, that data doesn’t lie. And so and so this is this is the first thing that we say to people who I think sometimes feel a bit deflated because we’re so we’re so stuck in feeling busy and really want to actually escape it and we are looking for, you know, absolutely if you Google productivity or you hit productivity in the app store, there are so many techniques and ways of helping, you know, productivity tools that we’re using our businesses, project management tools, and all of those things are super, super helpful. They absolutely are needed. And when we’re looking to escape being busy for ourselves, the first step is really to there’s no point in getting a quick tip tricks, hacks or apps. If we don’t actually know where our time is. To start with, yeah. So we really encourage anyone to, just out of curiosity, get curious and just track for a week for seven days, because we’re busy on the weekends to where, where your time is actually going. And, and I then really encourage you to, once it’s out of your mind of where you think it’s going, and it’s actually in front of you. The data does not lie, and it becomes a first first step, and a really powerful one of realising. There are some small moves that you can make. And actually quite, it actually feels quite relieving to go. We’ve had, you know, some of our community saying, Oh, my God, I know why I’m so Oh, my God, no wonder I’m exhausted. Yeah. And wow, I realise how much time I am spending on social media, which we all speak about that we know isn’t great.

Nicole Smith 26:05
But we all do it.

Elana Roberston 26:07
And we all do it in our own different ways for different reasons. But just having having more control, and insight and data to where it’s going, then putting effort into Okay, now I actually know some helpful moves I could make right from there. I think is a super powerful couple of steps to make moves around.

Nicole Smith 26:36
Just interrupting this episode for one little message. If you have been listening and love what you hear and want to come in Connect, we have a tight control with Nicole, Facebook, cumulate, right over there on Facebook, that I would love to invite you to come and join us. We are a supportive community, we are looking to really take action in our businesses and change the way or evolve the way we’re working right now. So I invite you to hop on over and join our community and connect with us all. Community is the essence of everything, your business, being able to really build those relationships that you can nurture, and grow and support and celebrate each other. Oh, how fabulous, I hope to see you over there. pop on over to Facebook, take control with Nicole, see you soon.

That his spot just spot on. Love it. Absolutely love it. So I support people building those tools, those project management tools to in their business, right. But ultimately, the most successful clients are the ones that already know, their time, how to manage their time where thing what’s what, and when and how and all the things in it. Man, look, we do discover some fabulous things as we go through one of my most recent clients, we were talking about the project, and how long we actually wanted to take not how long it is taking. Cuz she said she turns around in two days. I’m like, fabulous. But is that how we want it to work? She’s like, Oh, no, we realise the process. Take them up. Right? Just that five minute conversation. We’re like, Oh, wow. Okay. So by doing that, I now know that I’m going to be able to see what my capacity is. I’m not going to be panic, panic, I got to get this done. Got to get it done. Because I can pace myself. I know now when I go to a resource planning or planning your own time and your own energies and your own resources, your internal resources, how you can manage those when you can book that time to go and sit in the sauna. You’re in Brisbane, aren’t you? I am there is this thing that all of my people in Brisbane keep posting this code city cave. Yeah. So tell us first thing I’m going to do. And I kind of am able to come and visit prison or get a book into that it looks amazing. But being able to have that time because you know, again, the data, you know when and where and what you’re doing. And it’s it’s structured, organised, you’ve got room to breathe.

Elana Roberston 29:17
100%. Knowing where your time is going is so liberating. Because then you’re not stuck on the trap of I tried the app, I tried the software support, I did the automation and I’m still busy. And so again, it’s the end we want to know where our own time is going. And we want to use the tools then in the right way that actually supports like re reforming how we’re using our time and I love what you shared Nicole around. Should can so I can do it in two days and you can get an outcome or do you want a great result? Because I think that starts to play into it as well. Right? Are you looking for any outcome? Or are you looking for a great result?

Nicole Smith 30:07

Elana Roberston 30:08
And being able to ask that of ourselves as well, like, what? What would great look like? You know, that’s a really brave question to be asking more often? What would great look like because I can do it. But what would great look like? And what time would I need to spend there? And what, what is less important?

Nicole Smith 30:29
And how would you feel as well? How would how would that make you feel?

Elana Roberston 30:33
What would be great about that?

Nicole Smith 30:34
Yeah. So good.

Elana Roberston 30:39
Questions, I love that insight around just the work that you’re doing with your clients and helping them have a bigger conversation around that space.

Nicole Smith 30:51
There is always a band aid fix, right? Everyone has the band aid fixes. I’ve been in businesses, and I arrive and I’m like, wow, we’ve got a lot of band aids going on right now. How about we like have a little peek underneath what’s Why do we have so many band aids, and then we can build something that’s going to be again, sustainable? I don’t think I’ve used this word as much ever but it is, so I’m going to be using it all the time. It’s amazing. It’s such a help helpful conversations, by the way. Like, so good. Now, social media, we talked about it briefly. How do you see refining or redefining what your time spent on social media is about is there something that you work with your clients when they say or they they’ve done their their time sort of review, and they see the hours that they’ve spent. And they’re like, oh my gosh, like, wow, I didn’t realise I was, you know, procrastinate, scrolling as Suze Chadwick users for so many hours. Like, how, how can I? How can I change?

Elana Roberston 32:03
So, so, so true. And I absolutely love the phrase roasties shadowmaker ever cross the scroll as well. So relevant. And so here’s, here’s the shifts, right, that we want, that we want to be thinking about differently is, you know, moving away from the notion of all or nothing, you know, I was successful, or I failed, or chatting on social media, or I can’t be on it at all. And so how do we move into more of this blend? And even, you know, taking a thread from the notion of work life balance. My God, it feels like you’re walking on a tightrope, right? And so if we, like, throw that away, and come back to how do we design a pace and a rhythm for ourselves, and, you know, pick up the language around, I want to create a work life blend that works for me.

Nicole Smith 33:03
I use integration like same like that. Because why are we balancing every time? It either here or? Like, I’ve never thought about the tightrope, but that is so yeah.

Elana Roberston 33:15
It has to be equal, right? If there’s an implied rule that, you know, we’ve somehow inherited that that work life balance has to be equal. And so that’s, you know, the beautiful notion that we’re talking about around being being sustainable, not doing sustainability, but being sustainable. If we pick up how do I be more of that, and think about a sustainable pace, being building and designing your own rhythm and rituals that keep your cup full and keep you sustained and let you blend work and life for you. You know, not what the billionaires of the world do for their for our work, we can all of those lotions, they get thrown onto us where we feel even, you know, more concerned about how we’re not getting it right and just really come back to how do I find it for me? What are the steps that I can take and going back to? Absolutely you get to decide how much time do you want to spend on social media is absolutely up to you, you get to decide that there’s not a black or white roll for anything in life, to be honest, you might have some beliefs and values that are important for you. But there shouldn’t be any black and white rules to follow. And so you get to decide how much time you spend on social media of course, and you’re also responsible to understand whether you’re using it for relaxation and joy time and also being connected. did enough to who your being to work out is if it’s a procrastinate girl? Or is it an avoidance mechanism? Or is something else going on for you? And just be curious with yourself around, you know, really, really deeply curious and a little bit honest, because we can be great at also like negotiating that I’m not using it as an avoidance tool. That one’s for me when I’m like cleaning the kitchen, rather than like, writing the report. Like, the kitchen really needs cleaning.

Nicole Smith 35:37
For the second time today.

Elana Roberston 35:40
So social media, and everything that we know that we should moderate is just coming back to what what’s best for me, how do I want to regulate this. And, you know, for me to share a personal example around this, I, I really look at the months that I plan ahead and the first week of every month, I actually don’t have client meetings, that’s absolutely my design my business expand and do growth. And that’s how I know I show up and be the best with the community and supporting clients that I work with. And I also know, the weeks that I’m with clients that my bed time and my wake time and my morning rituals and what goes in my mouth and how much Netflix or social media time. It’s just all considered. And I really own the responsibility around what that looks like when I take a weekend away, Instagram so much, because I like I like looking at the creativity and the incredible things going on on Instagram. So I think it’s about really just being aware of one, absolutely find joy in your social media of choice. And make sure that you’re no, we’re all adults hang around. And am I using this as an avoidance mechanism or a procrastination tool right now? And that becomes the harder conversation to have. Right? I am. And now what? And making choices around, you know, limiting the time that you want to do or just as long as it’s a conscious decision, I think is that you’re asking and paying, paying attention not being on autopilot.

Nicole Smith 37:42
I love adulting. I love that. And it’s so true. We don’t, we still many of us still have parents around. But they’re not like Nicole, you have been on your phone for too long. It’s time to turn that off and go to bed now. It’s we need to do that ourselves. We need to make those decisions for ourselves. I know that you know the last time I show up on social media and my stories most days, you know, that’s just me. I love it. Love. Amazing. Yeah, that was one of those things that at first, you know, my backgrounds singing, drama, dancing. So performance is not a thing for me, right? I’m not scared about it. But going on stories for the first time, I was so nervous and I was editing and self editing and deleting and re recording and I said stop it. This is just silly. Just post the thing out there. Probably only two people will watch it and then it’s gone in 24 hours. But with the stories recently, I didn’t feel like I wanted to show up a few days and so I didn’t and that knowing that that was my choice. People are gonna be there still, they’re not going to go away because on a call hasn’t been on stories today. Well, I’m going to unfollow her follow numbers and not a thing for me anyway. But, you know, I know that I can show up when I’m looking after myself the best so that you know, you can see it. You can see when I’m on as as my friend Kathy Ross just said to me this morning. We’re all drinking the unicorn Kool Aid today because we’re all like happy and fun and sparkly. And we know it’s it’s choice. Absolutely. As you said.

Elana Roberston 39:30
Oh yeah, yeah, I love sorry, where is this unicorn Kool Aid. Okay, please, sir. Although I know you guys probably needed a little bit more than us up here at the moment.

Nicole Smith 39:46
We afraid now I actually went away last weekend to Daylesford which was stunning, so beautiful.

Elana Roberston 39:55
Unicorn Kool Aid I’m taking that one Nicole.

Nicole Smith 40:00
Well that comes from Kathy but I’m sure she won’t want it she she loves language so she will love the the definition of the sustainability as well. So I’m going to share that with her afterwards fed up. Wowzers. So fun. Tell me a little bit more about your favourite thing about foundher. What is your absolute? Like? What makes you just sing inside? I obviously Sing Sing inside when you when you experience it?

Elana Roberston 40:29
Yeah, so are such a great question. And so delightfully and grew so much gratitude to be able to so easily answer. So, to geek out a little bit on you, we we offer a short course called sustainable pace. And you now I guess, have a little bit of insight into the passion around that, for me, and, and even the experience of where that came from, you know, I’d like this started as a, I can’t go back to the life that I meant to be loving and living that affords me to sit here in this deck chair, in Bali. And you know, from from that, from that space, it took me on my own journey really around, you know, looking at knowing that I couldn’t do what, so the work incredible, so amazing, so connected with it, so much experience from it. But the thought of doing that for another 20 or 30 years was, like I remember, I still remember like I can feel in my body right now just thinking, oh my god, I like I’m not going to be able to last and that’s thread, really transitioning all the way through to starting founder in 2018. And working privately with some incredible clients, having some consulting with a couple of internationals and working with always people who were successful and ambitious. And so often we associate right productivity and success or they have to be and if I’m not this, then I can’t be successful or ambitious. And so what I always say to people who are, I’m worn out, I can’t perform and do the things I’ve been doing just means you need new productivity tools, it doesn’t mean you’re not successful or ambitious or no longer capable. That’s not what’s at play anymore. But really, really working in those first couple of years where, you know, I have a I have a background in strategy and I was also an IT project manager for a very long time. So if you want to plan if you want to be organised, but you..

Nicole Smith 43:01
You know, it’s gonna take no wonder we are connecting cuz like, I love the IT space. I was the person in the middle between the business and the IT department like that trend was that that was my sweet spot. Yeah.

Elana Roberston 43:19
Definitely I can put my hand up for having that role as well. So that’s where I started in project work was I was a subject matter expert for all of the business requirements and speaking to the people building the systems and so spending almost 14 years of my career in the IT space and predominantly doing project management. So obviously, that thread when I started working in found are really showed up with the execs and the clients that I was working with Who were you know, it didn’t matter the industry, so incredible people in wellness, beautiful, ethical fashion doing like that is a very disruptive market right now, people working, you know, in more traditional corporate tech companies, all of them who were we have a plan and we need coaching to make it happen. And we need help in designing what’s next for us, which is all of the great stuff that we get coaching around. And whilst absolutely 80% of success, my belief is about how healthy we keep our mindset and know what is possible that is back to the plan to make it happen. The other really big thing that kept showing up was the only way people were getting things done was the 16 hour days and going faster ticking the box just getting any outcome over great results. That that just kept being the repeating pattern and clients would come back and say I have all these new things that we need to get done. But I already don’t have time. And so that became the real segue into going what’s going on with this, I don’t have it like, I don’t have enough time would have to be an organization’s most strategic risk a and for an entrepreneur to fold right? Our biggest risk to our business is time and start learning how to have learning the tools for what will help you be more productive over time and not do the you know, the typical 90 day cycle burnout Go, go go go go fall over, go go go go to fall over how do we how do we break that cycle, and have more confidence more often that we know how to set out a pace that helps us perform highly individualised? Because some weeks are gogogo, it’s not about sustainable pace is not about going slower. sustainable pace is absolutely having fifth gear, fourth gear, second gear, first gear, for those of us who even bother to drive a manual transmission anymore. But that notion or analogy, that I think we’ve all become so used to driving only in fifth gear or going only in fifth gear, and it’s learning how to know when fifth year is needed? And what are the things I do around that to support myself being my best version. And what what’s required for other gears in terms of mindset, so not every week, if you have a sustainable pace, not every week is 180%. Some days are 70%. And some days, you know, are we fall over and get wiped out from illness. And so how do we even get back on to not feel like we’re running at 180. So all of those things are really at play around productivity and sustainable pace, not being slowed down and don’t get the outcome. It’s actually the way in which to almost build in a great foundation and certainty that the goals that you have for your business and the things that you want to do. They are already at risk. If you’re already oversubscribed, if your cup is already full. You can’t play Tetris even more. If you’re adding you cant Tetris a fully packed Tetris screen.

Nicole Smith 47:42
No, you just hit the ceiling. Love Tetris.

Elana Roberston 47:48
So many old references that we’re using.

Nicole Smith 47:51
Good. Just chucking them out there. It’s amazing. I love it. But what’s really yelling at me and it’s something I talk about as well is everybody is so fabulously beautifully unique. And the power of all these things that we’re looking at, is finding what works for you the pace that supports the way that you are, you know, we talk about working rhythms and things you know, if your morning, evening, middle, wherever it is, it’s okay, you’re allowed to do it doesn’t have to be nine to five, we don’t have to squish all that work into that time. Because if you own your own business, guess what? You’re the decision maker. You have control of how all of that works. So yeah.

Elana Roberston 48:39
Your biggest job is you. Yeah, and get to your point getting that right getting, knowing like your job is to know am I the morning? Am I the evening? Where do I need time in the middle of the day? I am feeling in my body because I’ve done for days really huge that today needs to be a lower pace for me. And that’s what will keep me going to do big days next week. All of that, that conversation more often with yourself. That’s your number one job.

Nicole Smith 49:14
Be curious to discover. What’s the way that works?

Elana Roberston 49:18
Absolutely. Get curious and, you know, step into a more sustainable rhythm for yourself. Because burnout and hustle are no longer the only options.

Nicole Smith 49:34
And Amen to that. Boom. Yeah, yeah, bring out the champagne. Um, amazing. We do three questions with all my guests. So is there anything you’d like to share? Before we jump into that?

Elana Roberston 49:45
Let’s do three questions. Nicole. Yes.

Nicole Smith 49:48
Yay. Love through questions. Okay. What is your go to app that creates ease in your day?

Elana Roberston 49:56
Oh I absolutely know this. So recently I so I, in my morning routines that I practice, I have really struggled with just transitioning out of winter. And I’ve just noticed that my meditation in the morning, I’ve always struggled with meditation I’m on, I’m off, it’s happening. It’s not. And you know, again, just being aware rather than forcing that you have to, so it’s about the practice of what you get from it. And so I’ve recently subscribed to the show for app. So Deepak Chopra has an app on mindfulness. It’s linked to some era Vedic, or the doses of Ayurvedic so you do a quick little survey, find out what doses you are, and it prescribes for you some great morning meditations. So that app right now, I’m actually really loving for my morning meditation. So the other app that I love having not on my not on my phone, but really helpful for on the go. So I use Asana so much with the team, having the ability to use tools like clique up and Asana, to support working with a team, where everyone can just be autonomous, but still be connected. I really love having a signer as just a quick way to jump in if I need to, if I’m out and about so you’re not tied to the desk that you’re out and about. And you can update bits and pieces and be inspired. So Asana, Asana would be my best business geeky tool that I’m loving that I’ve used for a really long time. And definitely the chakra app.

Nicole Smith 51:48
I love that I have had a recent guest on who was talking all about meditation, it’s one of those things that I know I want to introduce, I just have yet to, to do it. Sorry, I said to her, that I’m going to do it. Funnily enough, last night, I was sitting in bed, I was going to watch something on Netflix, and my husband added some things to our list. One of them was about discovering sleep. And it was, I think it was like the mind maybe Mind Body app or something. And it was for I put that on literally without and that was because it was basically it was meditation that was giving you some facts. And then meditation, I woke up slightly four episodes in. So I switch the phone off and went to sleep. But it was so powerful. So I know the power of it, I just need to introduce that into my world into my my daily routines.

Elana Roberston 52:40
Yeah and totally find the one that works for you. Right, like that’s that notion again of we should. And, and so forcing when our body like whether it’s our senses, or our feeling, or our brain is telling us and here’s the thing is that the resistance and the avoidance going on, or is it that this is just isn’t working for me and just being curious around, I’ve tried so many apps for meditation, that just haven’t worked. I have my own practice. I’ve done meditation teacher training years ago. And just notice that that was the thing in my morning routine that I was a bit resistant to and got curious as to why and I’ve just switched up and it’s great.

Nicole Smith 53:23
Finding what works for you. Yeah, my room. A lot of my releases singing as well. Like when I’m going through or I’m feeling a little bit, you know, you just feel a little bit ugh, I’ll turn the music horn just sing. Because it’s about the breathing. Same as meditation. breathing from the diaphragm, when you see it, it’s very releasing, and yeah, so that’s my thing, but maybe I should do that every morning. Maybe I’ll try that. Maybe that’s my meditation. I love that listen to this space, I’ll probably record things I say get people often anyway, right get back on track. So are you an online or paper to do lists lover or a combo.

Elana Roberston 54:02
An online or a paper to do lists to lover. Ooh I so I have I will share with you as part of our our sustainable pace course and the routine that I have. Again, the I’m not coaching and supporting anything unless I know that I’ve experienced them lived in that for myself. And so it’s both and so I absolutely have a Google Calendar. I use a beautiful journal on a daily basis where I hand write out what was in the calendar so I we often have our calendar that is loaded with things to be done in meetings that we need to go to and Asana in my instance tells me what to do. But each morning I will write out what my day looks like because Because what’s actually happening is our whole EQ is being activated. So our thinking, our sensing, and our feeling is all playing a role in the day ahead. So my to do list is kind of Multiset. And it needs both.

Nicole Smith 55:16
Yeah, I love that. But you’re not alone there. Many of my guests on here are that hybrid. And for that exact reason that sort of that written, getting it, there’s something that obviously, you’ve got the research there and the experience there on why that works for you. So, yeah, I think the common theme here is find what works for you, there is no right or wrong way. It’s whatever suits the way that you like to work. So, yeah,

Elana Roberston 55:44
Your best version of you. You’ve got it. Yep,

Nicole Smith 55:47
Absolutely. Yep. Ah, so good. Final question. What would you do if you created more space in your world?

Elana Roberston 55:57
Finding more space. Think space is an interesting question as well, right? Space, meaning time space, meaning bigger than my two bedroom apartment. So if I had more space, I think I would be doing a lot of a lot of what I’m doing now. Because I mean, for me, and I know, this is really true for you as well, like, we’re doing what we love, we’re living on purpose. And so having having more space, I, I definitely feel probably at the moment for me more connections. So one of the one of the factors that I know we’ve all individually experienced very differently over the last couple of years is, you know, the way in which we haven’t have not connected. So having more space, for me, would be all about connection, and having more connection going on. So I’m really looking forward to that.

Nicole Smith 57:03
Yeah, that’s a beautiful one. I’m in the same mind at the moment of things just opening up here. And I’ve got a few things in the diary that are in person. And there is such a different feeling. I’ve been very active online throughout the last couple of years. But being in person and that sort of physical space. I was talking to someone, I don’t remember who it was now, but we’re talking about a bit weird now is that but the touch that something about, you know, just physically being in the same room as people is just Yeah, but also knowing what is the right amount for you. Because for us in Victoria, there’s this, I guess this buzz of excitement about we’ve got to do all the things now. But that may not necessarily be right for you. I know. It’s not for me, I’m not rushing out the door to do everything. I’m very selective with what I’m choosing to do and where I’m choosing to go still. So.

Elana Roberston 58:05
Yeah, that’s such an interesting, I love that insight. Nicole, there’s lots of there’s a lot of insights into, you know, the return to work or the transition to two, what’s next? And loads and loads of research at the moment around how do we how do we intentionally create re entry? And, and again, just making sure you have have time like you for yourself mentioning that for you. It’s not a I don’t need to rush out and I don’t I do need to connect and I’m looking forward to that. But almost what is the right reentry for you to?

Nicole Smith 58:55
Yeah, so true. Very, very good way to, to frame that. Well, thank you so much for coming and having this conversation.

Elana Roberston 59:06
Oh my god, how great has this been?

Nicole Smith 59:09
Oh, my goodness. Like I knew it would be like, it’s just amazing. So fabulous. So where can our community find you? How can we connect?

Elana Roberston 59:24
Yeah, absolutely. Let’s share that. I have given away already that. I am a bit of an Instagram fan. So I absolutely hang out on Instagram. You can follow foundher community on Instagram. We love sharing a lot of the experiences and work that our clients are doing. We absolutely have a notion around how do you be and do sustainable things. So you can head over there to kind of follow along and be inspired and learn more In terms of education of how powerful it can be to reframe, write new rules for your mind and be able to operate in a really sustainable way. So absolutely. Head over there. Our website, what I absolutely want to share is some of the things that we’ve spoken about today with the productivity planner. Absolutely, we offer a little mini way in which you can we can guide you through doing a little productivity planner. So how do I actually see where my time is going? Before I try and get the latest app and tips and tricks to do it, let’s find out where your time is going. So you can absolutely jump onto Instagram and grab a link there. And I can drop into your inbox daily to step you through what that looks like on a little video and do some mindset and activities that go with that. So what is the action of knowing where your time goes? And then it’s how do I rethink and reimagine what time can be for me. So that’s how they can reach out to us.

Nicole Smith 1:01:04
That’s fabulous. And I highly recommend that you take a runner up on that offer. Because as we said, the data doesn’t lie. And as soon as we have the awareness, we can actually make informed decisions for not only yourself but for your business. And that is just such a powerful tool to have in your toolkit.

Elana Roberston 1:01:26
Absolutely. I love that. Thank you so much for having me. It’s been so wonderful speaking with your ad, I know we have so many aligned beliefs about the support that we want to give to our clients. So it’s been amazing.

Nicole Smith 1:01:38
Absolutely. Thank you so much for joining me and everybody. We’ll put all of those links into the show notes. So please pop on there. Have a look connect with Elana. And everybody that’s listening. I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day and enjoy creating space and time freedom by now. Well, there we go. Thank you so much for joining me today. It’s been such a pleasure having you on board. Have we connected on social shares? If not, please come on over say hi, I’m on all the platforms at the artisan solutions. So I’d really look forward to seeing you over there. And if you enjoy today’s episode, don’t forget to tag me and I’d love it if you could leave a review. And of course share this with others so others can come and join us next time. All right, then everyone have a fabulous rest of the week. And until next time see you then.


Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which we work and live. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We celebrate the stories, culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of all communities who also work and live on this land.