Sept. 12, 2019

Dreaming Out Loud with Anna Beuselinck

Have you ever dreamed of taking what you know and venturing out as a consultant? Anna Beuselinck did that and then decided she wanted even more, so she created an organic farm, garden and vineyard retreat. 

Anna openly shares her story, including how and why she made the moves she made to lead a life she purposefully designed.

Meet the Guest
Anna Beuselinck, Life Gardener,  is called a Life Gardener because she believes in planting seeds of humanity.  She is both co-founder and CEO of Campovida Winery, Farm and Retreat Center and founder of Partners in Performance, a leadership development consultancy.

Links
To find more about Anna's endeavors, visit:


Transcript

Beth Davies, host:     
Do you ever dream of taking what you know and venturing out as a consultant? Our guest today did that and decided she wanted even more. Today she's living a life she purposefully designed.

Welcome to Career Curves where we talk to people who have interesting careers and explore how they got where they are today.

I'm your host, Beth Davies. Today we're joined by Anna Beuselinck. Early in Anna's career, she worked in some big name companies, including Nestle, Nike, and Gap. After about 10 years, she struck out on her own. Currently, Anna wears many hats. She's the life gardener and steward of Campovida, an organic farm and winery. She runs a boutique inn and restaurant in the small northern California town of Hopland, and she also maintains a consulting practice supporting both for-profit and nonprofit organizations.

Anna shares her story, including how and why she made the moves that she made.

I'm so happy you're here.

Anna Beuselinck:         
Thank you.

Beth:   
I'd like us to start at the beginning and with your childhood. So tell me about you and young Anna and how your childhood influenced who you are today as an accomplished career woman.

Anna:   
Thank you. Well, I do want to first thank you because I think in the spirit of being here, there's been a lot of reflection about me being here and what do I have to say? And I think it's really helpful to stop and pause and think about how did I get here?

So to that end, my childhood is not your typical childhood. I was born the youngest of 11 children. Yeah, I know.

Beth:   
I'm shocked.

Anna:   
So am. I always say I was born into the public right away. Immediately, I was an observer. And so it really did shape me. It still continues to shape me in terms of watching what worked and what didn't work with humans. Being the youngest. I could watch my older brothers or my older sisters and watch my parents and how they responded to them. And it sort of just started a path for me.

Beth:   
Were there any specific messages that you were given as a child about what career should be in your life or shouldn't be in your life? Were there any expectations?

Anna:   
You know, I've thought about that as a question for myself. Like what kind of messages was I getting about career in my childhood? And quite frankly,, being the youngest of 11, it's funny when you say that you're the youngest of 11. Everybody goes, "Oh, you were the spoiled one."

And I'm like, "Have you ever been in a household of 11 children? It's not actually an option to be spoiled." And neither was career. I think it was survival. It was like, can we make it through this week? Is there enough food on the table? Is there enough? Yeah. I, I think it was not a discussion.

Beth:   
Did that create a drive in you to do things maybe differently for yourself than what you were experiencing as a child.

Anna:   
Yeah. So I think a couple of things drove me to experience wanting more.

My mom came from China, an immigrant prisoner of war. Met my father whose family had come from Belgium. They met in San Jose, California at a USO, dance after World War II ended, which is like stuff you hear about back in the forties. For someone my age, it sounds like you're talking about your grandparents, but they were my parents.

So that shaped me because the first thing I wanted to do was actually see the lands that my parents came from. So there was a part of me that my parents' life shaped my desire to do more. Both my parents were not able to attend college. For me, I just kept thinking, "Well, if I can get to college and if I can get into working, there'll be more choices."

I signed up for community college the first year. I remember it was $33 a quarter, that I earned and put myself through the first year of community college. In community college, I had a great mentor who said, "Why not State College?" And so I was like, "Okay, sure." I mean, it was sort of like I'd never had anybody encouraging me to go to college. And so here it was a teacher who was like, "Why not state?" And so I was like, "I'll go to state."

So then I went off to state college and I think my tuition went up to, I remember it was like $98 a semester. And then I met a professor at state college and he said, "Why not university?" And I was like, "I don't know? Why not university? And then I looked and it was, I remember it was $1,200 for the year, which was a big leap, and asking my dad for a loan to finish out at University of California, Berkeley. But it was all sort of self-led, but with a few hints of help from folks who just could see something more in me.

Beth:   
You mentioned the mentors that you had at college. Did mentors play a role throughout your life?

Anna:   
Oh yeah, and absolutely still do. And , I think about these two teachers and I wish I stayed in touch with them, but I only had them for like one class. And I don't know if they ever realized how much shape they provided. But the same goes for people that you meet throughout the years and you see again and you're like, "Wow, do you remember that conversation? That really shaped me and how I thought about something and what opened up for me."

Beth:   
Yeah, sometimes the mentors are recognized in hindsight, maybe a little bit more than in the moment.

Anna:   
Absolutely. Absolutely.

Beth:   
So what did you major in in college and how did you choose your major?

Anna:   
I majored in psychology. The first year of college, I remember I was trying to be the good student and get through college in a four year program, so you take all these things. Early on I just started noticing, "Well I enjoy that, but I don't enjoy this. I enjoy that, but I don't enjoy this. This is a natural place for me to go. This isn't so natural." So all the psychology courses or in that territory just felt like home for me. And I do think it relates back to being the youngest of 11. I think that human behavior was always just really curious to me.

Beth:   
What did you decide to do then after?

Anna:   
So after college I thought I was going to go into teaching. I really liked teaching. I liked teachers and I thought how they had impacted, already in that short amount of time for me, my life. So I thought, "Well, how can I do that?"

But I was broke cause I had taken out this loan to go to college. So the first thing I did was I needed to find a job. And as any college student might come out, not everyone, but for me, I walked out with a degree and I thought, "Oh, now I'm qualified." I started looking around for jobs. I didn't know what I was qualified to do, but I had a degree.

Luckily, my sister had a job at her company where they were just looking for an office assistant and it was for a search firm in Santa Clara, California. And not to date myself too much, but it was at the time when Silicon Valley was just starting to emerge. It was an executive search firm placing high-end engineers, technical people, CTOs, for companies like Apple Computer...

Beth:   
Which was called "Apple Computer" at that time.

Anna:   
Yeah. And Fujitsu America and Xerox and all these startup companies in Santa Clara. So that was my first job out of college, and I thought, "Oh, I'm going to do this, and then I'm gonna apply for Grad School and I'm gonna go get my teaching credential and get a master's, etc. etc."

And very quickly, again, I had a boss there who just saw that I had some potential and he moved me from doing kind of basic clerical work to taking a look at resumes and matching them to the jobs and then prescreening the candidates. I didn't know what I was doing. I mean I didn't know anything about this language but it was pretty natural right away.

But it was also a system where they didn't need another high-end executive recruiter. They needed office admin. So I went from there to getting a job at Adia, just like the Kelly Services of temporary help, and found myself a recruiting position at what I felt was more of an appropriate entry level position. And that became the start of a very long career in human resources. And I always say "Human Resources with a business spent," like meaning I understood that bringing people into any organization was a value proposition. It wasn't just a feel good thing. It was going to help your organization thrive or not. So that was the beginning for what now is like a 30 plus year career in human resources.

Beth:   
So that was essentially Curve #1, the one that said, "Wait, I'm going to step away from this idea of teaching because I've discovered this whole other area of human resources and it fits."

Anna:   
Absolutely. And what teaching turned into relatively quickly for me was training and organizational development. All of a sudden I realized, "Oh wait, you can do this inside companies and you can learn and you can shape and you can grow."

And I remember thinking still early on, like, "When am I going to get back to school? When am I gonna go back to school?" All this was so that I could go back to school. And I had a really changing conversation with a leader who looked at me and he said, "Well, don't you realize if you could teach one thing to a leader, the ripple effect that it will have for the rest of those individuals?"

And that was it. That was it for me. I was like, "Okay, I can let go of this teaching and think about instead if I work with founders or CEOs or those who are responsible for 10 people or 10,000 people, I can start to shape a positive impact in the world."

Beth:   
A couple of times already, you've mentioned that somebody else noticed you and then they said something to you that had an impact on you. If you were to give advice to somebody on how do they get somebody else to notice them, can you think of anything that you were doing or saying that caused that to happen?

Anna:   
I think for the person that I am, because I'm not sure this is for everyone, but for the person that I am, I look back and I think I really was open to learning, first and foremost. I was really open. Give me any experience, I'll try it. Give me any challenge, I'll take it.

Beth:   
Give me any advice, I'll listen to it.

Anna:   
Yeah, and I think that also having a really positive attitude. It didn't mean that I was a doormat for, give me all your troubles and not pay attention. I think it was more of, I think I can do that and let me try and let me learn from that. And so I do think that caring about relationships, caring about a yes versus a no, helped shape opportunity for me.

Beth:   
So you get this advice to focus on the impact you can have with leaders and this has you double down on the idea of being in HR and even in learning and development. You also mentioned before that you had wanted to explore the world and even go back to your parents' roots. Were you able to put that into your career?

Anna:   
Yeah, actually. Funnily enough, so I took this job, my first one was at Adia and part of the desire was it was an international company. And I thought, "Well there. I'm going to get a job working – they were Swiss-based – I'm going to get at least a trip to Switzerland. And what I got a trip to from Santa Clara was Menlo Park. So I never actually made it to Switzerland but...

Beth:   
And for those who don't know California geography, that's about...

Anna:   
20 minutes at most.

The next job I took actually was with Nestle. So I was trying to find companies that perhaps I would get an international role. So I took a job with Nestle and I ended up taking a variety of different roles and each time with the intent, like how do I get this opportunity to do something overseas? Cause it just felt like part of me, part of my legacy to learn. And so I ended up getting a job with Nestle. Again, still didn't get me over to Switzerland or anywhere in Europe.

But what happened was I did take a role that introduced me to someone who actually was starting the offices for Reebok in Russia. And through the conversations in the work experience that we had together, he ended up recruiting me over to Moscow, Russia.

And that became well... It was really interesting because at that time I was like, "Well, it's not Bruges, Belgium and it's not Shanghai, China and it's not Florence, which also was on my list of places to live and work. But it was a step over and I didn't want to miss the opportunity.

And I remember through that decision, like who signs up to move to Moscow, Russia in her, mid twenties? It was kind of an insane time to move. And I didn't have a lot of risk at that point in my family life, I thought. So I ended up taking this job to Moscow, Russia and it actually ended up being one of the best things I could have ever done. Partly because it wasn't part of the plan, it was sort of in the container or the bigger umbrella of what I wanted to do. But what I ended up learning from that experience served me so well in the next, sort of life moves that I made, to the point the next position I got was Nike recruited me because they thought who's crazy enough to move to Moscow, Russia. And that's literally what they said to me when they saw my career path. They were like, "We were just interested in you because who would move to Moscow, Russia?"

Beth:   
At the very least, we want to interview you and hear the story.

Anna:   
Yes.

Beth:   
A moment ago, you mentioned that with the position in Russia that you learned a lot about yourself and learned a lot that's continued to serve you. Can you say a little bit more about what it was that you learned?

Anna:   
Yeah. So, growing up, Russia wasn't the place that most people would say, "Oh, I'm going to go explore a career or even a vacation spot." Right? Growing up, it was sort of this opposing place that you wouldn't normally explore. So that was the first thing. It's like, I was so out of my comfort zone, from California to Moscow. The contrast alone – American to Russian – the language.

Beth:   
And this was soon after the fall of communism, right?

Anna:   
Yes, it was like within the year of it. So everything from democracy to communism. Scale. I mean, I grew up in a little town in the South Bay of California to moving to a city of 9 million people.

Everything about it was contrasted and what I found very quickly was I actually didn't need a lot to be happy. You know, it was the basic concerns of safety. It was the basic concern of not feeling too alone. It was the basic need of contributing in a helpful way. So that was sort of like, well, if that's the basics to help me have a joyful day, anything's possible. Right? So that in itself, all of a sudden, everything else fell away from wanting, needing stuff in my life.

Beth:   
Yeah, that creates a marvelous safety net for every other decision you're going to be making.

Anna:   
Absolutely. Everything became possible at that point.

Beth:   
Did that also give you a confidence about standing on your own?

Anna:   
Yeah, there was a lot of things that shaped my confidence and my courage. It was also a very dangerous time when I lived in Moscow.

Beth:   
So after two years, you left Russia. Was it because you got recruited as you've just mentioned or was there another driver behind you leaving that experience?

Anna:   
My parents were getting older. I was also really clear I wasn't gonna grow a family, build a relationship steeped in fear. There was a bit of playing with the danger that I didn't think was so safe for a single woman living in Moscow. And there were a few key incidents that just felt like signs that it was time for me to go home.

Beth:   
So when you came back, did you already have another job lined up or did you just come back and with a leap of faith?

Anna:   
Well, a little bit of both. I was working for Reebok and Reebok had offered me a job in Stoughton, Massachusetts at their headquarters, which was now 5,000 miles away from the West Coast family that I had. And it gave me an opportunity to just pause, and examine where am I going, what am I doing? And so I did take a pause. I realized there was an offer. It didn't feel like the thing I really wanted to do.

Beth:   
Was it just a distance or was there more that made it not feel like what you wanted to do?

Anna:   
It was the distance, but more importantly, it just didn't feel like the place for me, the company for me. And so it just made me pause, and quite frankly grateful. You know, working as an expat, there was a financial security and also living in Moscow, there was no place to shop. I had built a little bit of a nest egg and I didn't have a lot of needs, like I said. I was single. So I put the little nest egg and I used it for a period of time to examine what it is that I wanted.

And I had a friend who was starting in a career of coaching that I called her up and I said, "I'm feeling a little overwhelmed from the white canvas of opportunity." And she worked with me on kind of creating my own vision statement for what I wanted in my life.

It was the first time that I had done that for myself in a very articulated way and where thoughts become stable when you put them on paper. So I dreamed about all these things: I want to visit my mom's home and I want to travel through Europe. I call it out loud brainstorming or dreaming out loud. So I had done that, but I really had not taken the time to say, what is my vision for my life? What is it that I really want?

And that moment actually became a new practice for me. So I call it Vision Boarding. So I do vision boards for myself and for coaching tools and career conversations and for others and myself. And, it was the first time I tried it and quite frankly, it was very grounding.

And as soon as I did that, I got a recruitment call from Nike. So I worked with Nike for a couple of years and I took a position, funny enough, that was globally-based, wasn't going to be a lot of travel, but I was gonna meet a lot of people from around the world. So that seemed interesting.

And what ended up happening was within the first month, I had decided that I couldn't wait any longer to go see my mom's home in Shanghai, China. So I had booked a trip personally to go to Shanghai, China. And one thing led to another and I ended up meeting the head of Asia Pacific. And he, again, I think it was back to he saw something in me – positive attitude, openness to learning, really interested. And he said, "Tell me about yourself." And I told him about myself and I said, "Oh, and by the way, I'm going to Shanghai next week. Personal reasons. I'm taking a trip with my sister and we're exploring and I'm going to see my mom's home."

And he looked at me without any hesitation and he said, "If you stop in the Shanghai office, which we're just developing and you give me your assessment of what's going on, I'll pay for your entire trip." And that was the beginning of a new role at Nike that I ended up taking covering Asia Pacific, which I could not have planned for. There wasn't even a position for it, but he ended up hiring me to help lead some significant growth and change in Asia at the time.

Beth:   
It sounds as if you were willing to just put out there who you were and what you were doing and that gave the opportunity for others to come back to you and say, "Oh wait, let me tap into that. There's, there's something here." Did this role require you to move to China when you were covering Asia-Pac for Nike?

Anna:   
No, I just traveled there every three weeks or so. I was heading to Hong Kong for quite some time. I was based in Beaverton. And it was one of the most exciting positions I had ever held and a lot of growth, a lot of learning, some of the smartest, talented people from literally around the world, I had the opportunity to meet. So it was a great experience overall.

Beth:   
Is there anything that you've consciously done throughout these different roles to keep yourself in that constantly learning position?

Anna:   
It's a great question. It's not the title, it's not the financial package. It often has been like, where can I grow next? Where can I learn? And so for me, that's always been the question or what's come up for me.

Beth:   
You're learning a lot at Nike. You're meeting great people and then you left after two years?

Anna:   
Two years, yes.

Beth:   
What caused you to leave that role?

Anna:   
Yeah, you know, and funny enough, I looked a little flighty. Two years here, two years there, and no one was doing that. But for me, I had always known, from my first job I should say, that I wanted do my own thing. And part of that came from watching a woman who stepped into Adia and she was a consultant. She was in her probably late twenties, early thirties. And she walked in and after we had had this meeting, she walked in and she said everything I had just said, and everybody heard her. Whereas I felt like, "Wait, I've been saying this for months," and no one heard me. So I thought that's it. That's the job I want. I want a consulting role where you're actually listened to, you're paid well and you have more freedom to work from home. And so that was as big as my vision went.

So the jobs I was taking, quite frankly, Nestle, Reebok, Nike, and ultimately the Gap. When I took the job with Gap, I knew it was going to be my last in-house position.

Beth:   
Interesting.

Anna:   
Yeah, because I was ready. I was feeling ready that my portfolio of experiences and my own personal confidence and competence was enough where I could go and help those who I'd built relationships literally with all over the world. So I was getting ready to do that.

And so when I came into the Gap, which was very well structured for a long-term career, quite frankly – there was enough positions, there was enough growth, there were enough titles, there was enough movement – I could have spent a couple of decades there. But it wasn't what I actually wanted to do. And I think as a result, I came in thinking my next two years is to learn as much as I can about consulting and how to be a value to a company.

And so whereas most might be coming in to learn how do I get the next promotion, I didn't really care about the promotion and it made it very clean to build the relationships as a result.

Beth:   
How did you know when it was time and that you were ready to go out on your own as a consultant?

Anna:   
Yeah, so I believe that for me it was time to go because I kept finding myself in situations where I felt smaller than I knew I was. And I was ready to break out a bit and not in a dramatic way, but it was more of, "It's time. It's time for me to spread my wings and it feels very scary." And I just decided at that point, the best thing I could do was, and I remember this actually giving a long notice. So I gave three months notice, which is unheard of.

Beth:   
Yeah, in fact, some people are afraid to do that because they think they're going to be shown the door by being disloyal.

Anna:   
Exactly. And that could have been true. That could have happened. But what actually happened was when I gave notice, and I gave three months notice, one, I was using that next three months to really do two things. Transfer all the knowledge that I had in a really respectful way and not leave the company in a way that felt disrespectful or lacked accountability or responsibility. And I really cared about the relationships I built there. So that was the first thing that felt a priority. I didn't work that hard to have them think poorly of me. So that was one thing I really wanted to keep intact.

The second thing, and I didn't really recognize it because I'd never done this before, but it actually gave me three months to market the heck out of, "I'm going to be without a job on August 1st because I'm going out on my own."

And so it gave me three months to market, in a way, what I was going to be up to, which actually worked out really well. And so oftentimes when I do meet people who are like, "I'm gonna leave my company," I think, "Well, here's what worked for me is give, a long notice, have a financial sort of safety net, and leave with a high where people still want you."

The Gap was one of my first clients after I left. And I think it had a lot to do with not doing the traditional things of I'm giving a two week notice or I'm saying no to this. I just think there's more in yes and being in open conversations that leads you to possibilities.

Beth:   
So you go out on your own and was it all that you expected it to be? How has that been for you?

Anna:   
Oh my goodness. So I've been at this now 20 plus years and each year has never been the same. And I've been really grateful is the first word, surprised and grateful. The first year I think I still thought I was going to report into someone, if that makes sense, because that's all I knew. I knew a performance review, I knew of a percentage increase and maybe a potential bonus and etc. And at the end of my first year, I kind of looked in the mirror and I thought, "Oh my gosh, I'm the performance review. I'm giving my own feedback." And so that was both alarming and useful.

The next year I remember having a goal and it was an arbitrary goal and I achieved that goal and I was downright exhausted from the goal and it was a ridiculous goal and I achieved it, but I wasn't happy.

So the next year was an interesting strategy. I decided, well, what's the least amount I have to work in order to cover everything. And that was a different swing and contrast and it was wonderful and I was slightly bored and slightly indulgent and I'm not growing, not challenged. And so every year since then, it's been the sweet spot of what I call mastery and mystery. There's a mastery to knowing how to do this and then there's a complete mystery to how it unfolds. And I try to stay in that sweet spot right in the center.

Beth:   
You've stayed in that sweet spot by layering on some additional challenges for yourself.

Anna:   
Yeah. Parenting.

Beth:   
And then I think you've also taken on some additional businesses.

Anna:   
Yeah.

Beth:   
So tell me about how you decided to take on some of the additional businesses that you have and tell me what those are.

Anna:   
Yeah. So my husband and I met 20 years ago, right when I was starting my own consulting. And I think what drew us together is, and continues to keep us together is, our fierce independence. One of the things we dreamed about was having a space where we could grow old together, that we could have our children grow, experience, learn from, share in. It was a physical space that we dreamed about.

And so, in our dreaming out loud, we take these road trips and we dream out loud and the dream out loud was five acres of land and it would be views of vineyards. There would be a few what they call Valley Oaks, which are these large oak trees that can grow 500, 700 years old. You know, they're expansive. They usually have to be in an open space. We dreamed of no fences. We dreamed of sunsets and long, long days in the warm sun. So that was the extent of the dream.

And so we began looking shortly after we met and got married and who knew we would find it. We've overshot a little bit. It was a property that was 150 acres, which we ended up taking only – I say "only" – only the inside 50 in this little town of Hopland. But it was the dream of having little bit of a farm, a little bit of a place to retreat, a place where I could bring clients. Trying to find places where my clients could actually drop in, get away, but experience nature. That started a conversation.

My husband and I found this farm land, this vineyard, the vineyard became a winery. The buildings became a retreat center. There's a wedding venue, celebrations space. There's places for my children to explore and see the stars and, yeah, stuff like that.

Beth:   
How do you balance all of these different things you're doing, priorities you have? I'm pretty confident you have the same number of hours in your day as the rest of us. How do you make it all work?

Anna:   
Yeah. Honestly, some days not so well. So that's the honest truth. I do believe that all of my life experiences have continued to culminate into this moment. But about 20 years ago, I also started learning about mindfulness practices. And so with mindfulness comes a slowing down in a way of time that I call the "Mom-ments." They're my mom and moments that come together and in a way guide me to be in choice. And so, I think I actually have had to learn to say no more than I say yes. It's discerning the people that will help me and expand what I'm up to and I can help them expand what they're up to and staying in the most positive impact in that way. So I think it comes down to like discernment day after day after day. And sometimes I don't because I'm tired and I don't, and I make a bad choice and then I go, "Ooh."

I remember really early on when we first came to do the winery and Campovida and my husband and I would get requested to meet and see all these people. And then I'd say yes, yes, yes because I didn't know anything about this world. And I was trying to learn and I was saying, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. And I was getting exhausted and I missed my children and I'd come home and I'd say, "I want a refund on those hours." And so I have less of that now. I don't actually want refunded my hours. If anything, I find myself in conversations where I'm like, "Oh, I wish I'd had10 more hours to sit across the table with you and share more and learn more." But I think that's what it comes down to is discernment.

Beth:   
Do you think at this point about what's next? Or are you in a place where you'll just take more of what you're doing?

Anna:   
I do have this practice of vision boarding. And I also am realistic that, we've been doing this work in the last nine years on farmland. And really I say to people all the time, "Yes, we make wine, but we're really we're farmers." And when you work for Mother Nature directly, they're more like dog years. So, I feel like I've been there for 63 years in this little town of Hopland. And so there's a reality to age and time. And so I know I can't continue to work at the pace that I'm working.

So there's an evolution to the conversation. There's an evolution to the mastery of what you bring. There's a recognition that, oh, it's time for something next. And so, when I first started as a consultant that first year, I was like, I'm out to prove everything. You know? And now I'm like, I don't really feel the desire to prove anything. I think it's more, it's transitions into what can I offer that's really helpful and how do I do that with grace and ease and joy?

Beth:   
Well, one of the things that I know that you've already done to be helpful is to share your story. So thank you so much for sharing your story. I have what I call the lightning round of a few last questions. And so the first one is, what would you say is the smartest career move that you made either accidentally or intentionally and why?

Anna:   
I think the first time someone offered me a promotion and it felt like a reward, like a carrot, and I was looking at it and I could see it and I could see there was some like this flash of a moment like, "There it goes. There's goes my life for the next 10 years." And it didn't feel on path to what I really felt was true for me inside. And the other opportunity at the same company meant it was more of a lateral move. There was no promotion, there was no new title. In fact, financially it was sort of a stop. There was no promise. When I listened to myself and said, I'm not going to take that promotion or that title, and I took a step over rather than a step up, I think was the beginning of mastering that confidence and that openness to not worrying about that gold watch at the end of my career.

Beth:   
If you could have one do-over – so the flip side – if you could have one do over, what would it be and why?

Anna:   
So my career, I'm in this generation of #metoo that people talk about. And when I was in these pretty big roles for some pretty big brands in countries where women weren't really seen yet, I think my do-over would be that I would have stepped up and stepped forward and felt more confident in my voice because I didn't realize I was shaping the next path for this next generation. And I know that my work is not done there yet. I wish that I had the courage and didn't feel shamed or smaller than at the time that I was in position. And so that would have been my do-over. I wish I had more courage back then.

Beth:   
Thank you for sharing that   
 
What's one piece of career advice that you wish you could go back in time and give to the younger you?
 
Anna:   
Go for it honestly. Just keep trying. Being open. Learning. Yeah, just go for it. What's there to lose, honestly? I think that's part of it is like this fear and I don't even know where that begins. You know, especially as a parent to two little ones now who are both girls. And, I've taken on some pretty big jobs and I sit on a board and I took this board position when I had the least amount of time in my life. But one of the reasons I took a board position was because I wanted my daughters to know that that was possible. And so I don't know what's going to be true for them, but I do know that I want them to see that anything is possible in living a life that is fulfilling.

Beth:   
And don't be afraid.

Anna:   
And don't be afraid.

Beth:   
And how do you define success? My last question for you.

Anna:   
You know, I think when I see that I've helped someone else be helpful, whether that's just, even being kind back to themselves, which I know has a ripple effect to be kind to others, there's nothing more rewarding. And so that brings me a lot of joy and I know it's got the impact of a ripple and it comes with ease. So that to me is success.

Beth:   
Thank you so much. I really hope this reaches a lot of people and has lots of ripples as a result, but I've really enjoyed our conversation, so thank you.

Anna:   
Thank you. I've really enjoyed it too. Thank you so much.

Beth:   
A quick epilogue… Anna is hosting a vision board workshop in January, 2020 at Campovida. There’s a link on our website, careercurves.com, where you can get more information. You’ll also find links to Anna’s other endeavors including Campovida, DO Lectures USA and Stock Farm. 

While on our website, be sure to check out past episodes and resources to help you in your career.

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