CwL Ep82: Checking in with Brook McCarthy

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You know it’s going to be a good day when the first few minutes of a podcast include a LOT of laughter.

Meet Brook McCarthy, a Business Coach and Digital Marketing trainer and a friend I made back at the Problogger Conference in 2016. She’s an absolute cracker. 

Her description of the end of 2021 feeling like the party that’s dragged on too long and the sun is coming up and you can see the mess that’s been made and the drinks that have been spilt and you just want to go home and go to bed and yet … you have to stay up. 

Woah – how true?! 

Our catch-up reveals not only her hilarious side, but also an honest reflection about the past two years and how she’s managed. 

I appreciated hearing about the toll her daughter’s anxiety took on her, what has helped her navigate running her business being someone who ‘holds space for the space holders’.

We talked boundaries and exercise and so much more. 


Enjoy the episode. 

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Prefer to read? Access the transcript here

Lisa Corduff:

Hey, it’s Lisa Corduff. Welcome to the podcast where you can expect inspiring, raw, energising, and transformative conversations with people on the path of personal evolution. I’m here to really live my life. And if you are too, these conversations are just for you. I’m really glad you’re here. Enjoy.

I love our chats Brook, because you are a talker like you’ll pick up the phone and actually call someone now. This day and age, that’s actually quite unusual. It’s not a voice message that’s left. It’s a note, “I want an actual conversation with you.”

Brook:

Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

Let’s talk. And I really appreciate that in you. And I think most people who know you would appreciate that part of you or else they just flat out ignore you and send you a text back. And so when you were like, “Hey, you’re doing these catch ups, trying to catch up.” I was like, “Let’s do it.” You are the perfect person, and I would love to get your perspective on where you are at. So welcome to the podcast. We’re having our conversation.

Brook:

Thank you.

Lisa Corduff:

The microphone in our face.

Brook:

Thank you. And that’s funny because some people do, are really shocked when I call them. Sometimes they’re clients, sometimes they’re assorted others that I’ve met on the internet. And I like people. I don’t like everybody, of course. But if I like people, I like people. And it’s like, well, why wouldn’t I want to cement this or consolidate this or get to know you. But yeah, people find it weird for sure.

Lisa Corduff:

Oh, that’s the met. I just love the way you talk. The first time we met, we was at ProBlogger. And it was… It’s sort of the end of the night, end of a big night. And I just found myself talking to this person. You’re just giving me… You have a very interesting life story. Some very interesting things have happened in your life. I feel like I just sat there with my jaw open the whole time and just thought whether I wanted this or not, a connection has been made.

Brook:

I remember that. You know what I remember of that, I remember your very large blue eyes kind of like, “Oh.” Because I have this really annoying tendency is when I get socially anxious, I think most people get socially anxious and they shut up and they go mute, I do the opposite. I tend to like, I think, “Oh shit, this is the really awkward getting to know you thing, I’ll just vault straight over the small talk and get right into the vulnerable sharing.” And depending on how people take that determines whether or not we could be friends. It’s just when I get socially awkward, I totally overcompensate, but I just speak shit like nothing meaningful. I’ll just speak anything that comes off the top of my head, which means a lot of like just probably frustration and wasted time. But you did, you went straight in. And I definitely appreciate that. So who knows where this is going to go right now? I mean, this is just meant to be cash.

Lisa Corduff:

How is it going? Like is it for real?

Brook:

The look on his face, and I need to try and stop laughing.

Lisa Corduff:

How has 2021 been for you? Like how are you feeling right now? I mean it’s the of November.

Brook:

Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

Of a pretty full on year. Do you want to tell people where you live and should we tell people who you are?

Brook:

Sure.

Lisa Corduff:

Because that might give some context, I think.

Brook:

Yeah. So, I’m a business coach, please don’t hold that against me.

Lisa Corduff:

Also not a traditional business coach.

Brook:

No. I’m also a digital marketing trainer and I’ve been self-employed for 13 years, which makes me happily unemployable hopefully for the rest of my years. So I started my business in the middle of the global financial crisis.

Lisa Corduff:

Good.

Brook:

And yeah, as it stands. And then the beginning of 2020, I had just turned down… I had this kind of work like signed off on with a particular client, it was about $18,000 worth of work. And I just decided, I’d taken a very sensible decision and thought, “No, this is for the best. I shouldn’t do this work.” So I informed the client, “No thanks, I don’t like $18,000. Thanks anyway.” And then the COVID happens. And then I lost all my face to face training work as well, because I train on behalf of various training institutes and other places, organisations.

Brook:

I train under my own banner as well. So 2020 just felt like a rollercoaster of adrenaline and emotion and excitement for one of a better word. Like it was really, really intense. And then 2021 feels like the party that’s just dragged on too long, like the sun’s coming up and you can see the dirt under your fingernails and you can see the drinks that are spilt everywhere and you just want to go home, you just want to go to bed and you’re like, “Oh no, I do have to keep turning up because I run my own business and people are relying on me.” But yeah, it has been very different from 2020. What do you think?

Lisa Corduff:

Well, I guess, because for us down here in Melbourne, because you are in Sydney.

Brook:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Lisa Corduff:

So, it feels like two years of that for us. Like we had this moment last summer where like life and this is good and-

Brook:

No.

Lisa Corduff:

… that it wasn’t long enough to not have what happened this year just feel like added something. Like, I just feel like I’ve aged 10 years into-

Brook:

Yeah. Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

Because like if you are thinking that the lights are coming up for you, I just… Yeah. I mean, I just feel like that times two, times a hundred.

Brook:

Yeah. Okay.

Lisa Corduff:

So, but I totally get that feeling. I feel like at this end of the year, we are feeling a little bit ragged.

Brook:

Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

And yet we’re having to kind of pull it all together and stuff’s happening. I mean, your kids are back at school, you’ve got two daughters.

Brook:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

And I mean, at the moment, we’re just managing lots of in and outs and lots of tests happening at school because it’s in the school and it sort of feels like it’s everywhere and my kids are less like… So you can’t actually say that we’re fine. We won’t have COVID because we actually might have COVID. And so that’s messing with their heads-

Brook:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Lisa Corduff:

… because it’s a whole new sort of level for them, but how about your kids? Like how’s the fam?

Brook:

Look, they’re better this year. I think last year was pretty intense. My daughter has had anxiety for about, I think coming up to three years now and it was inspired or it was provoked by my sister-in-law dying unexpectedly and she was fairly young. And so it’s been a long thing. It’s been a lot, a big deal and a long thing to kind of be helping her with. And so last year I was still sleeping on the floor of her bedroom and I was… She was in our bedroom and we were transitioning her slowly out of having her in the bedroom with us. And it was like, it was just not fun at all because having to go through really intense work days where I felt like every client was panicking and every… All my clients are business owners.

Brook:

And so they’re having to be strong and confident and put on a brave face with their clients and do all of the emergency stuff that people had to do last year. And then I’d go to sleep at night and I would not be in my own lovely bed, it would be on the floor. It was just… It was not fun. So this year, I think they’re a little bit better this year. We’ve had a lot of home schooling. We’ve done the lockdown. We’ve been locked down for about, I think there was about four months lockdown, which I know is-

Lisa Corduff:

No. It’s massive. It’s massive.

Brook:

But yeah, no, it really like, I want to make it clear to anyone who’s listening that I have a unbelievable partner and I take every opportunity to sing his praises because I don’t ever want any woman to listen to me or watch me and go, “Oh well, she’s just some kind of superhuman-

Lisa Corduff:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Brook:

… and I can’t do what she does.” Because there’s absolutely no way in God’s green as I could do what I do without my partner picking up a hell of a lot of the slack, including the homeschooling. He really kind of set the parameters and he’s really good with the discipline. I’m the fun parent.

Lisa Corduff:

Really?

Brook:

Oh yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

Wow, I wouldn’t have got that.

Brook:

So they ask, they come to me like, “Can we have a sleepover? Can we have a dessert? Can we watch your movie? Can we, I was like, “Oh yeah.” Yeah. My partner’s like, “Recess is at 11.” And so I’d come downstairs from my home office at like 10:55 and I’d be getting myself a snack and I’m like, “Do you want a snack girls?” And they’re like, “Oh, we have to wait till 11:00.”

Lisa Corduff:

Wow. Wow. That is-

Brook:

I don’t know.

Lisa Corduff:

… so impressive.

Brook:

I know.

Lisa Corduff:

I mean, I’m actually just impressed that they were still doing school at 11:00 to be honest. My kids were done.

Brook:

Well, they just like… And you kind of get it. You’re like, “Why are you at school for six hours a day-

Lisa Corduff:

What did they do?

Brook:

… when clearly it can be knocked over so quickly?”

Lisa Corduff:

I’m sure they ask themselves that question as well.

Brook:

Yeah. Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

So a few things on there. I mean that whole… Obviously a lot of the people that I’ve talking to and catching up to are kind of the people who are like space holders for the space holders or, when you are having to manage other people. I mean, I remember reading that article about psychologists who were like, “We literally, weren’t trained on how to manage people going through a global pandemic while we were going the same time.” And this is something that I’ve spoken to… I spoke to Lisa Carpenter about too, because it’s like, where do you get it from?

Brook:

Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

How do you recharge? Like what helps you be able to show up to work when you are feeling like you actually don’t have much left in the tank, but you’ve got to bring something for your people.

Brook:

Yeah. Great question. I have many and varied things that I do. I think sleep, I have to start an end with sleep. I suffer from insomnia from time to time. I think it’s hereditary, my mother is a terrible sleeper. My partner is not a great sleeper either. And so every time he clears his throat at 3:00 AM, all of a sudden I’m awake.

Lisa Corduff:

Oh.

Brook:

It’s like that really. So I do a lot of things to try and calm myself down in the evening. But also if I can tell I’m not going to sleep. If I know I’m not going to sleep, I won’t hesitate to take a pill. I will happily pop a pill to get myself to sleep because absolutely, definitely that sleep is worth so much more than any worry I might have that I’m dependent on the drug. I think sleep is just ridiculously important. Exercise is also a huge one. If I could put my personal training through my business as a business expense, I’d think it’s totally warranted.

Lisa Corduff:

Aww. Yes. Yes. Already is.

Brook:

Yeah, absolutely. And she doubles as my therapist, poor woman. She has to listen to me blather on about everything. She knows all about my business. She just gets it all. If I’ve got a new business strategy, I’m going to try something new, she hears about it first.

Lisa Corduff:

I actually loved hearing the changes that you made to your exercise. I loved that. I mean, you come from like, you’re a yoga instructor. You come from that world and suddenly-

Brook:

Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

… you felt like you needed something different.

Brook:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Absolutely. And it is so-

Lisa Corduff:

Ready team.

Brook:

… radically different.

Lisa Corduff:

Yeah. Lifting god damn weights, like a god damn super human. I’m just like, how can you not feel fabulous about yourself when you’ve just like dead lifted 65 kilogrammes. I’m like waving at everybody at the gym going hello, can I get some clapping? Are you noticing how amazing I am right now?

Brook:

Can everybody just admire this for a moment? See that shadowing.

Lisa Corduff:

Oh yeah. I’m feeling it from here through this point.

Brook:

Oh yeah. We work hard for these tiny little muscles.

Lisa Corduff:

Tell us how it makes you feel. And I just, I love it. Like at any moment we get to choose the type of movement-

Brook:

Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

… that feels good to us.

Brook:

Yes. Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

And this is like, that you just went from yeah downward dog to lift that.

Brook:

Yeah. Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

Heavy, heavy weight.

Brook:

Yeah, absolutely. Because I think, the thing is that you got to keep experimenting. Like you got… You can’t rest on your laurels, and especially when things go pear shaped. Especially when you need all the help you can get, don’t just grab onto the stuff that used to work 10 years ago because it stops working. It’s different times in your life, different things will be appropriate and things that used to work for a period no longer are as effective. And personally I’ve found it to be so radically different to everything else that I used to, that I’d done to date. I was not a joiner. I was not an athletic person. Even though I’ve always been tall and everybody’s always pushed me into sports. I can’t stand sports. I’m missing a sports enzyme. I just, I don’t get it.

Brook:

I left Sydney during the Sydney Olympics, went overseas. So it has… The other thing that I’ve found super useful with the gym is it’s challenged my identity, and I think that this is something that is particularly necessary or relevant to business owners. So many of us are trapped in our identities. And I had told anyone who’d listened for 39 years that I was not a gym goer. I was not an exerciser. I didn’t like to sweat. I hated all that rah-rah stuff. I hated attending sports. And then to actually… Like, I didn’t tell anyone that I went to the gym. I didn’t tell anyone I had a personal trainer.

Lisa Corduff:

Wow.

Brook:

Yeah. Like my personal trainer came to a party at my house and I told all my friends that they had to tell my mother it was just my gym buddy, because I was like, “My mother’s going to judge me. Oh my God. This is going to be radical.”

Lisa Corduff:

Serious?

Brook:

Yes.

Lisa Corduff:

What?

Brook:

I know, sounds silly. I know it sounds ridiculous. But it’s true.

Lisa Corduff:

Isn’t that… I would not expect that from you.

Brook:

They didn’t recognise me.

Lisa Corduff:

That’s surprising.

Brook:

You thought that-

Lisa Corduff:

You build an identity around this stuff.

Brook:

Build an identity.

Lisa Corduff:

Yes.

Brook:

An identity that for decades you’ve had this identity and like, this is your armour, this is what you believe, and this is what you tell everybody. And then to go back and do something different. Like I appreciate now in a way that I don’t think I did how radically tricky it is for a lot of business owners to even admit to friends and family that they run a business or to say to themselves, I could be good at this. I think I like sales. I think I’m enjoying talking about money. There’s so many tricky elements to running your own business, and I think that identity piece is a big one.

Lisa Corduff:

Oh. And I think, I mean, especially you know, because you’ve worked with a lot of people in the space that yoga or holistic health and things like that where it’s not cool to charge.

Brook:

No.

Lisa Corduff:

It’s very… So, I love the work that you do, you’re helping especially. Well, business owners actually get paid for the work that they’re doing-

Brook:

Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

… and build a business from it.

Brook:

Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

You actually have to have those hard conversations, you have to speak yourself with.

Brook:

Absolutely. There is so much shame and so much self-judgement particularly for women, and particularly for women in the helping, healing professions. That they shouldn’t charge. That they shouldn’t talk about money. That they shouldn’t be ambitious. They shouldn’t want more than what they’ve currently got. They should be grateful. They should wait to be chosen. Like so much bullshit and baggage that is actively against your best interests, and it takes a lot of so many things, it takes a lot of self insight. It takes a lot of courage. It takes a lot of confidence. It takes a lot of trial and error. It can be an incredibly painful process to go through and come out the other side. And you may well lose people. You may well lose friends. I’ve lost friends because it’s too challenging for them

Lisa Corduff:

Because it challenges their sense of self.

Brook:

Yeah. Challenges this.

Lisa Corduff:

And what’s Possible, and-

Brook:

Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

Yeah.

Brook:

Yeah. I think that we still… There’s still some weird binary thinking about, it has to be this way. It has to be that way. You’re either kind, or you’re good at business. You’re either generous or you’re good at money. Like there’s some really weird kind of all or nothing thinking, which I think is terribly simplistic and untrue, and not helpful.

Lisa Corduff:

Not helpful.

Brook:

Not helpful.

Lisa Corduff:

And because I obviously, I work with entrepreneurs too, business women. And it’s why mindset is like a huge, huge part of it. It’s why I went down that path. It’s also why I started to see when I was working with people with Whole foods, it’s like if you identify as someone who can never create a plan, if you identify as someone and like subconsciously you are a terror eater and you’ve been a terrible eater, well, why would you like breaking that? Is where the work is.

Brook:

Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

Because once you actually identify as someone who makes good choices, anything is possible.

Brook:

Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

But as long as you hold onto that story of who you believe you are based on things that have happened in the past, shit that people have told you about you, all of that sort of stuff.

Brook:

Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

Then it’s almost impenetrable. That’s why I do what I do. And I think that’s why a huge part of the reason why you are successful is because you get that side of things and you can just lovingly call people on their bullshit, which is also a helpful thing to have in a friend. So can you tell me then over the last… However, if you are saying that the end of 2021 is actually better than the end of 2020. What has changed for you? Like what would you say you’ve learnt or shifted based on just what you’ve been through the last few years?

Brook:

Oh, look so many things. I think that my ability to pick myself up has definitely gotten better.

Lisa Corduff:

As in resilience.

Brook:

Yeah. My resilience has definitely improved and I think that that’s definitely progress. Like that is one of the things that I use to measure my progress, is how quickly can I turn around a bad mood? Having said all that, I don’t think I’ve got it all sorted. I think that 2020 made it really clear to me that I still have a big issue with boundaries. I am way more sensitive than people tend to appreciate. Look I’m always going to go a little, because even that when I grew up, you’re too sensitive was an insult. This was something that I heard all the time, “Brook, you’re so sensitive.” Such a terrible thing.

Brook:

So, I spent the next 20, 30 years building a… I don’t know.

Lisa Corduff:

Shield. Armour.

Brook:

Yeah. Armour around that. All in. Nothing bothers me. I’m just a big mouth. I’m a smart ass. I can take it. And it works until it doesn’t work. And what I noticed in 2020 in particular is… I’d be lying down to fall asleep at night on my daughter’s floor on this god damn horrible, uncomfortable mattress. And I just had my client’s voices in my head. It was like, it was all this discombobulated people around me, like presence around me and I had to work with. And I’d be lying there on the floor drawing like a golden boundary around myself and going, time to sleep now Brook, time to hush those voices. But I could hear these client’s voices in my head.

Brook:

And I think that’s… It’s like it’s a huge big deal because it’s tricky for people that are sensitive, it’s tricky for people that are empathetic to create those boundaries and to create them in a way that works for all parties, because I have in the past created sky high boundaries that are super tall and super strong, and I’ve kind of locked people out and I’ve put people off because I didn’t know how to find that middle ground. I really didn’t. It’s tricky to find that middle ground between going, “Well, what do I want when I’m in the presence of somebody whose energy I’m picking up on?” And the worst is when somebody’s really complementing and they’re like, “I want you, I need you. I need your services. I want your services. You are wonderful. I really want to work with you.” And I just know it’s not a bad idea. And it’s really difficult in those moments to say, “I think you’d be best served by somebody else.” And I think that 2020, 2021 that’s a huge lesson in that for sure.

Lisa Corduff:

That’s a big one because learning how to say no is massive, but also learning how to… So for me when I was listening to that, I was remembering a time where I was still living in Brisbane and it felt like I was always on. That was back in the days of posting multiple times to Facebook to keep in people’s faith, all of that sort of stuff. And I never felt like I was off.

Brook:

Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

And I was doing some, maybe I think it was ThetaHealing. And what we did around that was we created this image of like, what does it feel like to be on? She was saying, and it was literally on a stage. And she said, “Well, can you pull the curtains? And can you go backstage?” Like just sometimes, so the crowd can still be there, but you pull the curtains and you can go backstage. Take a breath. And you get to decide how often you come on. And that was really like it was so powerful. I still remember it now. And it completely changed this relationship that I had, not the… Because I was getting pinged all the time in Facebook groups.

Lisa Corduff:

I had memberships, I had all of that stuff happening. And then I also had to show up on social media and it just never felt like there was a break. And I mean, I had three tiny little kids and all other things. And I still remember that now. I know it looks like I share a lot probably on social media, but that’s me pulling the curtain meaningfully, and then I can close the curtain and I can go backstage. And that’s sort of my version of creating boundaries around like, well, this is work time, and this is not work time. And I definitely-

Brook:

Got it.

Lisa Corduff:

… don’t have the balance a hundred percent right. But I needed to get that, have that moment of clarity-

Brook:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Lisa Corduff:

… so that I could live my life, and then be a working person too. Does that-

Brook:

Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

… does that make sense?

Brook:

Look, it totally makes sense. And there’s there’s so much that we could talk about here, because I think for a lot of women there’s so much, I think personally you and I probably don’t have issues with visibility, but I know that there’s a lot of women that do for very real reasons. Because this is thousands of years of socialisation. This is women being burnt at the sake. This is… It was never ever a good thing to be a woman in public, unless of course you’re a queen and there weren’t that many of those. Like if you were visible as a woman you were probably-

Lisa Corduff:

Yeah.

Brook:

… about to come to a gruesome ending. But there’s also this strange thing I think where in the last probably 10 years there’s been this big move towards authenticity in marketing, which is great. I’m all for it. It’s values based and being vulnerable, Brene Brown, and blah, blah, blah. But I think the trap here is when some people feel or interpret this, that they need to share their traumas on the internet. And I think for a lot of women especially, people that have started their own businesses because they’ve been bullied. They’ve started their own businesses because they have chronic health conditions. They’ve started their own businesses because things aren’t easy for them. Maybe they just were overlooked or over and over and over again. I know for older women, a lot of older women start their own businesses because of ageism because they can’t find a job. They can’t get promoted or they can’t get a job in the first place.

Brook:

They’ve taken time out perhaps in their career to have kids. And they’re just being overlooked over and over and over again. And told if they’re told anything, that they’re overqualified for the position. They’re like, “Really. Oh, bloody. Photocopy, I’ll do anything.” So you have that. And then you come into self-employment and all of a sudden you’re expected… You feel that you’re expected to be on the internet, being visible and being authentic and sharing all this stuff. And it’s like, it’s a recipe for disaster oftentimes. Because it’s like, well, what’s vulnerable? What’s appropriate? What’s professional? What’s not professional? What’s authentic? What’s inauthentic? It’s a really vexed issue. And I know it causes a lot of overthinking and a lot of angst for a lot of women.

Lisa Corduff:

Yeah. Yep. And I started it all in a very… Without knowing that I was going to go through what I went through, and for a long time just didn’t share any of that. It just became like, “This is who I am for the bit.” And so, but I show up to social media I’m always like, “Is this going to help someone? Is this helpful to somebody else?” And that’s always kind of the lens in which I go through, but yeah, look, I do. And I often think about now as life changed for so many people, just even the visibility that must have happened because you and I do business, like we’re used to jumping onto podcasts with other people, working from home offices, remote teams that-

Brook:

Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

… we manage, like in all sorts of areas of the world and that’s our normal. But the-

Brook:

Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

I feel like the world, the working world kind of went through this big that we got used to. I mean, I started working for myself in 2009 before I even had kids. And there’s also a vulnerability, an exposed kind of feeling I think that a lot of people have had-

Brook:

Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

… having to turn up on video when they’re not used to video in their home, kids in the background. Like can you imagine, it must have been so full on and still ongoing because flexible work is, I don’t think there’s going to be a change from that.

Brook:

No. And I thought I’d know-

Lisa Corduff:

Anything about corporate life because I’ve never been in it. But-

Brook:

Yeah, we’ll say to be completely frank, same, same like the most corporate job I had was in PR and it wasn’t really corporate, it was a small consultancy, small agency working with another small agency. Like I’ve never worked in one of those massive big high rise buildings with panty hose, wearing panty hoses.

Lisa Corduff:

Well, that’s on. Imagine having to wear high heels.

Brook:

No, I cannot imagine. I cannot imagine. But yeah. I mean, it must be radically tricky and I think there’s a lot to be said for working through your uncomfortableness or at the very least treating your discomfort with something as a curiosity rather than, “Oh my God, this is terrible. I feel uncomfortable. I need to run away from this and numb myself with Netflix and ice cream.” It’s curious, isn’t it? It’s curious that we feel we can’t show our children. Like I had that, I had that for years. I thought I don’t want to be a mummy blogger. I don’t want to be associated with being a mummy blogger.

Brook:

I don’t want people to know I’ve got kids. And in retrospect, I think gee wiz that was really sad. Like what a sad fucking thing to think. And the truth of it was, when my first baby was born in 2009, I had a handful of retainer clients that I’d talked to every single day and I didn’t get a single bloody card. I didn’t get a bunch of flowers.

Lisa Corduff:

What?

Brook:

I didn’t get anything. And I think you bunch of mother fuc-

Lisa Corduff:

Yeah, like-

Brook:

No way I would do that. There is no way, I would not do that. I would… If someone’s having their first baby and I’m talking to them every day of the week, you bloody better, I’m turning up with a double triple layered chocolate cake and I’m going to bloody… I’m going to pay for your massage. I’ll bring a cheese platter, forget about the baby. It’s all about the feed the mother.

Lisa Corduff:

Yes.

Brook:

Lots of calories.

Lisa Corduff:

Yes.

Brook:

She’s very hungry.

Lisa Corduff:

I could remember thinking after I had our third and she sort of got to about one like, “Shit, how am I going to promote this business with…” If I don’t have any babies? Like, what’s that actually going to be. I was used to pawn my kids, but my best ads and my business were always like kids going, “Eh, eh.” In the background and stuff, because it was so relatable. And-

Brook:

So relatable. And so vulnerable and so authentic and so real.

Lisa Corduff:

And people still remember.

Brook:

Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

That’s what people remember.

Brook:

Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

It’s how humanness. And I actually do think that what COVID has done, like our humanness has been more on show.

Brook:

Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

Like we’ve had to talk about things feeling really hard. Like it’s not as though we all weren’t experiencing some level of difficulty. Like who sailed through this bullshit? I don’t know anyone.

Brook:

Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

And I mean, I’m now seeing down here in Melbourne, it’s actually fascinating. Just in this last week, I have seen, I’ve heard about friends who have autoimmune conditions kicking off for the first time ever. Their bodies are starting to show signs. They’re doing stuff with their kids that they’ve never done before. Like in terms of reacting to them, it’s like, we’ve held on, held on, held on, held on, and now it’s like, “Yeah, we’re kind of breathing out but we don’t really appreciate.” We should really live properly because like, a friend just popped around something just before.

Lisa Corduff:

And she’s like, “Everyone’s organising holidays and stuff for next year, but I’m still like I organising anything because just too many of it was too much has been cancelled.” And like, none of us in Melbourne really actually believe that 2022 is on and it’s going to stay on. Like, we’re traumatised by all of these.

Brook:

Yeah. Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

But now our bodies are like, we want to kind of chill, but we’re still holding on a little bit. And now like health issues, like physical health issues are starting to come out for people.

Brook:

Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

It’s actually really fascinating.

Brook:

Yeah, I know. And that’s how stress works, right? I mean, you tend to be able to put up with a hell of a lot in the moment and then-

Lisa Corduff:

Yeah.

Brook:

… it needs to come out somehow.

Lisa Corduff:

Somehow. Yeah. And I think it’s starting to come out. Okay.

Brook:

Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

I don’t know, is the same thing happening in Sydney? Like, are people normal?

Brook:

No. I don’t think this year has been one of the trickiest years in business, really? Like it hasn’t been smooth sailing. Last year there was a lot of adrenaline, a lot of cash. People had money from the government. They had grants and loans and all kinds of stuff. And they were keen. A lot of people realised they needed to do something. And so they were investing in training. I was really, really busy. I was getting a lot of work through Google and other places. And this year it feels like everybody is sitting and waiting and they’re like, “I don’t know what’s going to happen.” Like, “What’s going to happen?” Like there’s this real caution and this conservatism of like, we can’t make plans because you know what could happen next? And then we’ve had a pretty underwhelming government who has succeeded despite themselves in relation to the handling of COVID. So, it’s not a lot of fun.

Lisa Corduff:

Yeah. Yeah.

Brook:

I’m thinking who am I supposed to vote for because neither of them look great.

Lisa Corduff:

I know.

Brook:

If I passed Anthony Albanese in the street, I don’t know if I’d recognise him. Like he never really talks up or makes himself known really. And Morrison. Sorry. I don’t know if we’re supposed to be talking about politics. I can’t help.

Lisa Corduff:

As I said, I don’t know where this is going to go, but go share your views.

Brook:

Oh yeah, no. But then I think, well, we had Trump, didn’t we? Like in the middle of bloody COVID last year. We had Trump, we had black lives matter, we had riots in the streets-

Lisa Corduff:

Yeah.

Brook:

… in London and New York. There was so much weird and wacky shit going on last year and this year. Yeah. Like I said, it’s just so different. It’s like a funeral. It’s like a waiting room where-

Lisa Corduff:

Stagnant. It’s a stagnant energy. Yeah. I totally agree, because the energy ran out. Yeah.

Brook:

Oh yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

I’m done here. I mean, I really, yeah. I was going to get blood tests and all this stuff. I’m calling my doctor, “What are the results?” So it’s like, “It’s all actually looking good.” There’s something wrong. There’s got to be something wrong. Maybe Lisa, you’re just tired. Maybe you are.

Brook:

Yeah. Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

And maybe that one weekend you had in and out of bed might not be enough to kind of-

Brook:

Yeah. Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

Bloody hell.

Brook:

Yeah. Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

But life’s happening now and I want to be there for it.

Brook:

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it’s like an existential crisis. No, Not an existential crisis. An existential tiredness. 2021 was the existential crisis and 2020, sorry, 2020 was the existential crisis. 2021 is like existential tiredness where it doesn’t matter how much you sleep and it doesn’t matter how much you have lovely, healthy meals and you go on bush walks and look meaningfully at your children, you just got tired. And you’re like-

Lisa Corduff:

Yeah.

Brook:

… I’m done with this.

Lisa Corduff:

Well, so tell me, because I’ve got to go in a few minutes to pick up the kids from school. Tell me what about 2022? Like what are you feeling or are you just not even there yet in your head, you’re just limping to the finish line of 2021? What’s-

Brook:

No, a had a little coming.

Lisa Corduff:

… the vibe?

Brook:

Having said all of that, I am now going to be annoying and tell you that I am feeling very creative-

Lisa Corduff:

Yes.

Brook:

… lately and I’m-

Lisa Corduff:

Fine.

Brook:

Yeah. Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

Just come back.

Brook:

Oh, I know. I know. Yeah. Yeah. And I felt incredibly frustrated this year because there’s been enumerable times where I just feel like I’m giving and giving and giving and giving and giving and I’m not getting, and part of that is my own fault for sure. But I’ve just gone to this point where I’m like, I’m sick of double guessing all the good ideas, because I’m great at coming up with 10 ideas before breakfast and then I talk myself out of them and I say, it’s not on brand. It’s not strategic. What’s the point of this?. But advice that I give to my clients all the time is you owe it to yourself to follow your curiosity and you can’t know the end goal.

Brook:

You can’t know where it’s going to end up, where you’re going to end up, but you owe it to yourself. If it’s been squatting in your brain to at least give it a go because what have you got to lose? Give it a go and at least you can say, “I’ve done that, tick. It’s out of my brain and I can move on to other things.” So I’m taking my own advice right now, and I’m doing that. I’m creating training. I’m creating lead magnets. Freebie trainings. And I’m like, “I’m just going to do it because I want to do it because I’ve been thinking about it.” And it’s fun

Lisa Corduff:

But when you need to get energised, and when you’re trying to get your groove back, you have to follow what feels good. It’s never ever going to work when it’s like, “Oh, I’ve got to get this done.”

Brook:

Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

Like when you’re running your own show, it just, you can’t… It will just never work.

Brook:

Right.

Lisa Corduff:

It’s the wrong energy. And I’m a bit the same. Like what do I really want to do next year? Is the question that I’ve been sitting with myself and that-

Brook:

Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

… my team really need me to answer. And so we’ve come up with this plan that feels really, really fun and-

Brook:

Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

… expensive and trying something brand new, like something different is going to come into the fold. And it just feels like it just lights me up. I need to be creating.

Brook:

Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

I can’t just be doing the one thing all the time. It’s just never going to be how I roll.

Brook:

No. No.

Lisa Corduff:

Even although that might be effective-

Brook:

Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

… business strategy, it’s not effective Lisa strategy. And so I’m just glad that I just feel like I’ve got the juices flowing again to be able to get in that zone because I just think I was just like, just keep going, just keep going, just get this done, just come on. I feel so good. Look at me. I’m doing really well. Because I get out for 15 minutes each morning before home learning starts at eight o’clock. So I just walked to go and get my coffee. And there were two songs that I’d listen to there. And two different songs that I would listen to back and I’d be like, “Yep, we’re in the mindset.” But really I was just fucking going through the mess.

Brook:

Yeah. Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

Yeah. And that’s not thriving, maybe that’s just surviving.

Brook:

Yeah. Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

And so now I’m just, yeah. That’s why I’m like, “Let’s just see out the podcast we’re having conversations with people who I really like.” So thank you Brook, for reaching out and putting up me, yeah.

Brook:

No worries. No worries. I think it’s a really good point to finish on is that joy should be a KPI, and looking after your mood even though it seems silly and frivolous and doesn’t really make sense when you’re kind of in that hustle mode of, “Oh my God, I need more clients.” It’s always a good move. If you look after yourself first and foremost, it will be reflected in your business.

Lisa Corduff:

In everything. Think about your relationships. They thrive when you are thriving.

Brook:

Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

And your parenting is easier when you are feeling good in yourself.

Brook:

What if, yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

Literally everything. I just don’t… I’m like, you say it might feel frivolous. It’s literally everything that I do is trying to convince women like, “Actually you matter. Actually you need to prioritise your own stuff.”

Brook:

Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

“Actually you’re the silver bullet. Stop looking around. Just focus all that energy on yourself for a little bit and see-

Brook:

Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

… what changes around.”

Brook:

Yeah. Yeah.

Lisa Corduff:

Yes. I’m so glad we ended on that note. Thanks for talking to me, Brook.

Brook:

Thanks, but I’m all right.

Lisa Corduff:

Well, I will expect your random phone call sometime. Really, really awkward time where I’m like, “It’s Christmas eve, why the fuck? Hang on a minute.” Sorry guys. I’ve just got to… “Is everything right?” “Yeah, I just wanted to chat. Merry Christmas” You’re awesome.

Brook:

You’re welcome, Lisa. You’re welcome.

Lisa Corduff:

I’ll speak to you soon. Bye. Hey, if you are enjoying the conversation, then it would mean the world to me if you head over to iTunes and give us a rating and review, it really makes a difference. And it’s my intention to get as many of us involved in real conversations that really change the game as possible. Thanks so much for your help and I’ll see you in the next episode.

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"I’m here to help you break free from the stories holding you back, and create change that sticks"

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