Have you ever found yourself at a crossroads in your business, feeling unfulfilled but just can’t quite put your finger on what’s missing? Many of us have been there, trapped in a cycle of work and business, wondering why it doesn’t hit the mark.
In this episode of Influence by Design, we discover the four pillars of business fulfilment with Anne Benveniste. She helps ambitious people create energising careers they love.
The journey towards fulfilment is like solving a complex puzzle. You may be experiencing success, but deep down something’s amiss and you can’t articulate what’s wrong. Anne helps unravel the mystery and shares practical steps to break free from this bewildering state through the four pillars she shares in our conversation.
This episode is a practical guide to transforming your personal journey, and is filled with stories that navigate burnout, negativity and showcases that change is essential. Get ready for an engaging conversation that leads you towards a more fulfilling, successful journey and into a future filled with possibilities.
IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL DISCOVER:
- Why you should listen to this episode (01:13)
- Anne’s experience with people who are unfulfilled with their lives (02:33)
- The journey that led to creating The Four Pillars (03:50)
- Is reaching a breaking point necessary to ignite change? (07:20)
- The three components to identifying your brand (08:23)
- Tips for people who find it difficult to uncover their gifts (11:43)
- The importance of having a network of people (13:39)
- The significance of mindset in career and personal development (18:19)
- Understanding time within two key aspects (22:57)
- “It takes less energy to be yourself.” -Anne Benveniste
- “When I started to think about where my strengths are versus what am I doing in my business, I was able to see where the gaps were and what I needed to fix.” -Anne Benveniste
- “It’s important to have a network of people around you, because you never know where the next connection is going to lead.” -Samantha Riley
- “Gratitude is one of the easiest ways to turn around the pity parties in our head.” -Samantha Riley
WHERE TO FIND ANNE BENVENISTE
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/annebenveniste/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/career_studio/
- Podcast: https://www.thecareer.studio/podcast
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ABOUT ANNE BENVENISTE
Anne is a career and life coach and founder of The Career Studio where she’s focused on making it easier to build an energizing career you love. Her work is focused on the idea that when you boil down the noise there are four fundamental things to focus on to bring your career and life into alignment. And when you create a strong foundation you’ll create professional clarity, alignment, and confidence. She sees these four concepts like a playbook you can come back to again and again as, inevitably, who you are and what you want will evolve.
TRANSCRIPTION (AI Generated)
Anne Benveniste Snippet 00:00
We can get ourselves into these fixed and closed mindsets about who we are and where our businesses and what’s possible for us things like it’s not possible, I don’t have enough time. This is really hard. I don’t know how to do this. If this is too much work, and you can hear those phrases, they’re very fixed and closed mindset. They’re not open. What we want to do is change that.
Samantha Riley Intro 00:25:
Welcome to the Influence By Design Podcast. I’m Samantha Riley, authority positioning strategist for coaches and experts. If you’re ready to build a business that gives you more than just a caffeine addiction, and you dream of making more money, having more time, and having the freedom to be living your best life, then you’re in the right place, it’s time to level up.
Today, we’re going to talk about fulfillment and fulfillment specifically in what you do in the day to day and I think that this is a really important conversation to have. Because whilst people that are in jobs, I find are often okay to say I’m unfulfilled or to leave a job to go find a new career in business, I find that it gets pushed under the rug a little bit more that there’s a feeling that we’re entrepreneurs that we have to absolutely love every day. And we’ve chosen this amazing life. And sometimes we keep this unfulfillment a little bit hidden. So today, we’re going to dive into that, because it’s such a big part of our lives. So I’ve invited and Ben bunnies to the show, to chat to us about career fulfillment. So welcome in.
Anne Benveniste 01:35
Thank you so much for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here.
Samantha Riley 01:38
Tell us why people need to really listen to this conversation today. Well,
Anne Benveniste 01:43
I think my whole business and what I’m about to walk you through, to me, this is really the fundamental components of career success and fulfillment. And by career, I mean, whatever you choose to do, to make money and make impact in your life, and when stuff isn’t working, you can always fall back to the four concepts that I am going to take you through. And in fact, in my business, about six weeks ago, I was pretty burned out and frustrated with my business. And I came back to this model. And that helped me write the ship very quickly and get back into a place of flow. So yeah, that’s why you should listen on.
Samantha Riley 02:31
Absolutely. How often do you speak with people that are unfulfilled, but they can’t put their finger on what that feeling actually is. And they’re not able to articulate what that unfulfillment is?
Anne Benveniste 02:49
Yeah, I mean, all the time, I think that’s very common to feel if I’m understanding you correctly, or the way I would describe it is to feel like something’s wrong and not working, but to not really be able to either articulate what exactly isn’t working, or to not really be able to articulate what the answer is. Often as people can say, I don’t like this or that this is annoying me. And that’s easy to access. But the solution to that feels more difficult to grasp.
Samantha Riley 03:20
And a lot of times, just from what I’ve seen, not only is the solution difficult to grasp, but it’s almost like it doesn’t exist. Like there’s just this feeling of I just don’t know where to turn. I don’t know, you know what, where to go. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. And there’s a lot of kind of spinning on the spot of frustration.
Anne Benveniste 03:42
Yeah, absolutely. I think there’s definitely phrases that sound familiar
Samantha Riley 03:46
Yeah, I thought they might. So you’ve got four pillars that you have created. What was the journey that you personally took that helps you to create these four pillars?
Anne Benveniste 04:00
That’s a great question. I think I built my career in marketing and brand strategy. And that for a long time, I was working at a big ad agency in London. And that was amazing. And I loved that for many years in my 20s Until one day it stopped working the way it had. And that kind of persisted for a few years until I kind of realized this is not the long term solution for me, but I really had no idea what it was. And in that moment, being kind of the overachiever that I was, I thought, well, this is not a good look, I can’t not know what I’m doing. Let me quickly fix that. And I’ll go do an MBA because a lot of people in my community have done that not because I wanted to do the MBA, but because I thought I needed to. And so that took me on this whole journey going down these paths that just weren’t interesting. I started at the MBA and I wasn’t interested in much of what I was learning are the post MBA jobs and the people weren’t really my people and it’s just it was a really bad fit. And then I ended up getting recruited into a tech job that again wasn’t a good fit, and I was miserable. in that job rarely unhappy until I finally got fired. Right. And along the way, I had discovered coaching, and I really felt excited by it. But I hadn’t ever really given myself permission to do it, right, because that felt hard and scary. And I wasn’t ready and not like a real career and too woowoo and a whole host of things. But getting fired, forced me to say, well, this is actually the thing I like to do. And so in feeling so and then this has become my career. And I love it. And I’m so energized by it. But in that moment, it was like, How do I this is so right. Why did it take me so long and so many missteps to get here? Why can I have gotten here faster? What could I have focused on to get me here faster? And that’s basically where these four concepts have come from. It’s basically the fundamental things to focus on when you reach these inflection points of what I’m doing is no longer working, how do I get into alignment? How do I get onto a path that’s really an extension of who I am and how I want to live my life and spend my time. If you follow these four things, that’s how you get back there as quickly as possible. So you don’t do what I did and waste many years and lots of money doing things that do not let you up.
Samantha Riley 06:15
There. Life’s too short, right? But you did say something there. And before we go into the four pillars, I want to dive into this a little bit, because I find that through my coaching and through interviewing people on this show, there’s always this moment where they’ve got their back against the wall, and they’re just like, I cannot take this anymore. And that’s their pivot point. Do you believe that people need to be at that point before they can make change?
Anne Benveniste 06:43
No, I just think that because people don’t have these tools. They wait and wait and wait until it reaches this screaming horrific moment. And that is the forcing function to make that change. But I don’t think it needs to get to that point in order to change.
Samantha Riley 07:02
I love that. So if you’re listening now and you’re feeling a little unfulfilled, you don’t need to get to the point that you’re feeling like it’s all over, I have to burn everything to the ground, that you can take these principles and implement them into what you’re doing now. And just rather than making a huge pivot, maybe it’s just changing things up a little and looking in and distilling what you’re doing. So you don’t have to burn everything to the ground, because you definitely don’t. So let’s start off with the first pillar, your brand. Tell us about what this encompasses?
Anne Benveniste 07:38
Yeah, I think I’d kind of like to maybe talk about all of this in the context of what I went through recently in my own business, because I think it’ll really perhaps resonate with your audience who is entrepreneurs, so your brand, besides these four cornerstones, these four pillars, you know, the other big concept that underpins My business is this idea that it takes less energy to be yourself paid. And when you really design your career around who you are, what you’re interested in, and what matters to you. This is when you’re going to thrive and have the most fun and create the most impact. So your brand is really about getting super clear on those elements. And the way I have people think about them, or think about brand is really threefold. One, what are your strengths? What are the things that come so naturally to you, they don’t really feel like work. You know, that’s kind of how you are. That’s kind of the role that you have in a business, how you are adding value, you know, your role versus someone else’s role, the actions that you’re taking every day, then you want to apply your strengths to the topics that interest you. What is your brain like thinking about what kind of problems is it like to solve, this is kind of the macro topics of your business, the problems that your business is solving the products that you’re creating, etc. And then you know, it’s all well and good doing something that plays to your strengths and your interests. But if you’re working, you know, 80 hour weeks, or you aren’t exercising, or you’re not working with people that that you are interested in, right, then it’s not going to be a good fit. Or if you’re not making enough money, right to live the lifestyle you want. It’s not going to be a good fit. So we combine shapes and interests with environmental priorities. Yes, those are the three components of brand. So when I was feeling burned out in my career recently, I really went through those three areas with my clients, I take all of that together, we pull it we get clear on the themes, and we put it into a tool called your Northstar and it becomes this like list of the things that you need, but generally when I was feeling burned out about six weeks ago, I just thought to myself, well, what am I doing every day in my business and what activities do I like and do I not like? Do I still like the topic that I’m focused on? And you know, what about the other bits and pieces around money and culture and schedule is working? I was able to see that. One I was missing a strategic thought partner to help me think long term about my business too. I was missing. I was doing too much content development. I’m a coach, right. And I love coaching. And that’s great. And also I like writing, but I was just doing too much of it writing, you know, I’m not a writer, right. And I was doing too much writing. So I realized, okay, actually, I probably need to hire a writer to support me with some of my content work. So things like that, you know, when I started to actually think about where are my strengths versus what am I actually doing in my business, I was able to see where the gaps were, and therefore what I needed to do to start to fix the way I was feeling.
Samantha Riley 10:28
I love that so much. So you talked about the strengths, the things that come to you so easily that it’s almost not like work as the first piece of this. Now, this is a really interesting piece, because personally, I found this really difficult to uncover in myself. And it’s something that I find a lot of other people find difficult to uncover, because often our gifts are so effortless, we don’t even recognize them. What are some tips that you can speak to? For people that are also feeling like that?
Anne Benveniste 11:02
Yeah, I think one you can ask people that, you know, so people that you work with, or people that are, you know, your friends and family about, you know, what am I good at? What would you not ask me to do? What was I born to do? Ask people those questions? Think also ask yourself, you know, if I could just go and get paid to do anything, every day, like, if I could just be put into a, you know, doesn’t have to be an actual job, like, just pretend you could get paid for anything? What would you get to do every day? Like, what would feel fun? For me, I am a coach as a person, right? Like the conversations I have with my clients are the ones that I just have with my friends and family and people that I managed back when I was working. It’s just like what I love to do. And now I get paid to do the thing that is just me. And that’s basically the whole thing here. So yeah, asking other people in your life who can see you asking yourself, if you got to pay to do anything, what would you get to do? Like, how would you add value in a business? I would start with that.
Samantha Riley 11:58
So good. So good. So there’s the first pillar your brand, I’m really super excited to hear about this second pillar your people. Tell me about your people. Okay.
Anne Benveniste 12:08
Yeah, people are the lifeblood of your career, right, they guide you, they open doors, often, you know, the reason that people are stuck is because they’re not having any conversations. They’re in their own little world. They’re not asking for help. They’re not asking for guidance, they’re not getting enough support around them. They’re trying to do everything themselves. And look, I mean, we are social beings that have thrived because of our ability to communicate and work together. And no one gets there alone, literally no one, you know, it’s all comes from a team, right? Gathering a team around you of people who complement your strengths and weaknesses, because you’re not good at everything, you’re only good at a handful of things. And so you need other people on your side to help you. So a part of it is is basically making a list of like, what are your questions and fears and concerns? Like what are your problems? And what what are your questions and concerns and fears about them? And then go and finding people who can help you answer them. So for me, when I was feeling burned out in my business, I basically, you know, I kind of had these ideas of types of support that I needed in my business. And I thought to myself, Okay, well, who can help me find these types of people? Or who can help me think through? Are these the right types of people to ask? Right? So I talked to some of my friends who are entrepreneurs, I talk to some of my friends who are connected to coaches and marketing people. And then I started having conversations. And the result of that is being introduced to tons of new people making so many new connections, getting answers and new ideas, right things I hadn’t even thought of before, because now I’m talking to people with different brains than me. And I got some, I got a free coaching session from one of my friends who’s like, entrepreneur coach, like I just I got tons of like, extra added benefit that I wasn’t even intentionally going out there for so and then just things start to energetically feel like you’re in flow, because you’re talking to people, things start happening. You know, when we’re not talking to people, we’re just in her own little bubble and things will feel static.
Samantha Riley 14:00
There’s nothing worse than being in your office and having this conversation going on in your head, that the only person you’re talking to is yourself, and it can get really loud. It’s interesting. I was just chatting to my daughter on the phone last night, she lives in a different city. And we were talking about something that was unrelated to business, but she just said, you know, mom, she said my memories of you when I was a kid, were you of just speaking with everyone. She said you knew everyone, you were always surrounded by so many people. We’re just having a really funny conversation about that. She’s like, my memories that would walk into the shopping center. And you wouldn’t every second person would stop and say, Sam, how are you going? And she said that she has actually taken that into her career and understood what it does mean to have a network of people that you know, because you never know where the next connection is going to lead to. And I wasn’t connected to those people to get the next connection. Like it’s not something that you go out to get something But being surrounded by people open so many doors.
Anne Benveniste 15:04
Yeah, I think that’s a really important point. You know, a lot of times the reason people don’t have conversations is because they feel like it’s inappropriate to ask for their time, or it’s inappropriate to ask questions. First of all, again, people love being spoken to and asked for advice because it flatters them and makes them feel like their hard won wisdom can be shared, but to if you have this perspective of just curiosity of wanting to get to know people seeing you know, for me, it was an opportunity to connect with a lot of people I hadn’t connected with for a while, and also just learn about things that I’m trying to figure out. I’m not yet asking for anyone to do anything. For me. I’m just trying to learn and connect. So if you come from a place of curiosity, and genuine interest in other people, it makes the whole process easier.
Samantha Riley 15:50
I love that word. Curiosity is one of my favorite words, because I think that that is one of the superpowers that we have. And if we can really embody curiosity, it’s amazing what can happen and what doors can open, not just with the people that we know, but in, you know, what we do in every area of our life. So I love that talk to us about mindset. Most of us know that we, you know, we need to have a good mindset. But talk to us a little bit more about what this means. And what it can mean, when our mindsets, I guess a little bit wonky is the way you described it before.
Anne Benveniste 16:27
I like that word wonky. It’s not an American word. And it’s a great one. So my little phrase here is that when you’re stuck in your career, you’re often stuck in your mind. And you know, as humans, we have a tendency towards negativity, obviously, we’ve seen that in social media. And it’s a protective mechanism. But often, we can get ourselves into these fixed and closed mindsets about who we are and where our businesses and what’s possible for us, you know, things like, it’s not possible when I was looking at my own mindset earlier this year or earlier, at the end of July, I was in the space of I don’t have enough time. This is really hard. I don’t know how to do this. If this is too much work, I don’t like this. And you can hear in those phrases. They’re very fixed and closed mindset right there. They’re not open, they’re fixed, they’re closed, they’re definitive. And so what we want to do is change that if you notice, and I’ll explain how to how to figure it out. But if you notice, you have fixed and closed mindset that your thoughts create how you feel, which impacts how you act, which creates your results, right? Everything starts from your thoughts. So if you’re in a fixed enclosed mindset, again, you’re going to be stuck and you’re going to be stagnant. So in order to create more flow and energy and to take the actions you want, you have to change your fixed and close mindsets to open mindsets, open beliefs are things that are focused on possibility, curiosity. So you know, I can figure out how to have more time I can figure this out, this is the next step in my business journey. I can do hard things, you know, I’m committed to making this happen. Even if I’m not sure how to do it, right, you can see that those things are much more open and curious. And that would be kind of the antidote to where I was mentally. And what I did for that is I basically just what was my problem or, you know, thinking about how I was feeling, and I just did a free, right, you know, for as long as I could until I didn’t have anything more to say. And then I’m scanning my free right for my fixed enclosed mindsets, things that are definitive, and that keep me stuck. And then I’m looking at that when I take those out. I’m looking at, okay, how could I think about this in a more expansive way? What’s the what could I be open to? And sometimes it has to be like, I’m practicing believing that I can create more time or I’m open to believing that this could be easier than it seems right? Sometimes you’re not ready to be the opposite. But you have to, you know, we always make better decisions. From a more positive place. There’s actually a very good TED talk about this. I’m blanking on his name at the moment. But the data behind it shows that we make poor business decisions when we’re coming from a negative place. So
Samantha Riley 19:04
100% That is why whenever I’m in a negative place, and we all get there, right, we were humans living a human experience. We can’t be, you know, joyful and happy all the time. Because otherwise we don’t appreciate, you know, everything that goes on in our life. But I do notice for me when I go into the place where I’m having a pity party, that I definitely will double down on gratitude. It’s, you know, what am I grateful for in my life, and just really journaling all of that. And, you know, a couple of weeks ago wasn’t I wasn’t feeling great. And I even texted some people, you know, just been sitting here and thinking how grateful I am for you being in my life. And you know, I was very specific about certain things that they’ve done. And not only did it completely turn me around instantly, but it made someone else’s day because they felt so valued and that you know that just completely changes the energy. And yeah, gratitude is one of the easiest ways to turn around the pity parties in our head
Anne Benveniste 20:09
Totally, yeah, gratitude is an important one.
Samantha Riley 20:11
So talk to us about your time. This is the last pillar. And this is an interesting one, because 100% of the people that I speak with always say to me, and I’ll say, 100%, I don’t have enough time,
Anne Benveniste 20:25
The way I think about time for this pillar is kind of in two parts. One, it’s about boundaries. We have, you know, Malcolm Gladwell popularized in the early noughties, this idea that it takes 10,000 hours of something to become an expert. And that stat comes from a study. And he didn’t publish the whole study. And what’s important for us to recognize is that those 10,000 hours, according to the study, can only be successfully realized if they’re combined with 12,500 hours of deliberate downtime, and 30,000 hours of sleep. Go Oh,
Samantha Riley 21:04
yeah, that completely changes the thought of the study. Yeah.
Anne Benveniste 21:09
So you know, you cannot rush your way to expertise. Hey, hate you. And notice, it’s more deliberate downtime than work. And obviously, much more sleep. So when I say boundaries, it’s about making sure that you are carving out time for deliberate downtime and sleep, right alongside your work that you’re really thinking intentionally about, when do I do my best work? What is the tasks I’m going to do in that time? You know, and then what do I need to do outside of work to fill my tank, right to fill my battery, right? Exercise time with friends, drawing some creative activities, you know, whatever it is, that makes you feel whole that inspires you that recharges you, that’s what you need to be doing alongside of your work. And a lot of people just don’t have the boundaries in place with themselves or with the people that they’re working with, in order to do that. So there’s some intentionality there that’s required and thinking about what are those activities, and then there’s the boundaries. The second part of this is, you know, I was a master procrastinator for a lot of my life. And so it’s just, it’s just about really planning your work intentionally thinking about what do I need to get done? What are the steps to get there, and then I like to block all of that on my calendar. And again, thinking about Alright, well, you know, I really have five hours to work today I do I have deep thinking work in the morning, I have calls in the afternoon, whatever. And mapping that onto your to do list in an effective way is something I do a lot of work around. So you have to manage your you have to honestly, I present this one last but on, it’s actually you have if this is bad for you, you actually have to start with time and boundaries, you have to have a full tank, in order to do everything else,
Samantha Riley 22:52
you know, what I love about this so much is that I don’t know, I think this is a conditioning from like, maybe school or from when we’re younger. That work is when we’re actually sitting at a desk doing the thing, or you know, it’s where we’re actually, you know, using our skill set. And as entrepreneurs, you know, innovation is a huge part of what we do, you know, the process of refinement is a huge part of what we do. And the only way that we can come to the conclusion for these things is by taking time away, it’s not sitting at a desk in front of the computer, it’s actually being away from it. And one of my you know, I heard this described as CEO time, and I’ve always I talked about it all the time, it’s that as the CEO of our business, we need to actually walk away and journal or be in nature, or go for a walk or go to the gym, or, you know, problem solve with other people, you know, discuss things that some of the things that we have thought in previous times, that is the actual work isn’t actually the work that we need that time away to be able to move forward. And I don’t think that this is talked about enough.
Anne Benveniste 24:10
Again, so while I was in this whole, I’m burned out, I hate my business phase. At the end of July. One of the things I got from networking, talking to people talking to people was I got this three ish coaching session from an acquaintance of mine. She’s like a business coach. One of the things that she told me her name is Catherine Campbell, Hearst, one of the things that she told me it was like, think about your business. Like you’re an artist, right? Like you’re a creative person, right? When you’re running a business. There’s a lot of creative energy and this is what you’re kind of saying is like CEO energy but like creative energy, and you need that writer’s retreat, you need that time away, you know, in nature to reset to think creatively about what you want. You know, this is why we get our best ideas like in the Shower on a walk, it’s like they’re not going to happen like the desk is for executing, it’s not for ideating. And you need to create this spaciousness in an inspiring or space that’s comforting. In order to do that, that other part of the job,
Samantha Riley 25:16
I love that so much, there’s a book called create like an artist. And I, for the life of me, I’m sitting here, I know it’s behind me. And I’m not gonna turn around the second and I can’t remember who it’s written by. But I’m gonna link it up in the show notes, because it is such a great book. And as someone who I’m a creative, my, you know, my first business was owning a dance studio, I was a choreographer, I would design costumes, I would, you know, come up with lesson plans, all these things. So, you know, I was in this creative zone all the time, and I never for once, when I was in dancing, thought I wasn’t working when I was creating, yet when I moved into coaching, that perspective change that took me a little bit to go, I need to get back to that more, you know, creative side. And to know that when I’m out, and just like, what could that look like, you know, getting back to that curiosity you were talking about for? What could this look like? What could this be what, you know, just imagining and taking time out? That’s when the magic happens.
Anne Benveniste 26:19
Yeah, I love that you are so important. And as a creative person, you you know how that works.
Samantha Riley 26:25
Yeah. But you know, we’re all like I said, humans having a human experience, every now and again, we all get tripped up, right? And that’s why this conversation is important. Just to bring that focus back and say, Alright, well, you know, what could we do now to bring that fulfillment back into our lives, and I say back, because that’s where everyone starts, when they start a business. It’s this passion. And, you know, I’m here to do big things and, you know, a really deep purpose to do what we’re doing. So it’s really important to come back. And you know, if we’re feeling unfulfilled say, alright, well, which of these pillars do I need to spend some time on? And I’ve loved the way that you’ve packaged this up for people that have been listening and want to stay connected with you. How can they do that?
Anne Benveniste 27:10
Yeah, I post frequently on LinkedIn, you can find me there, or my website is www dot CareerFH dot studio. And I also have a podcast called The career studio, which talks about all this stuff. So between those three places, you can find me
Samantha Riley 27:25
lover um, of course, we’ll link all of that up in the show notes over influenced by design podcast.com. And thanks so much for coming today and having this conversation with us have absolutely loved it.
Anne Benveniste 27:35
Thank you so much for having me. It was a pleasure, Samantha.
Samantha Riley 27:38:
Thanks for joining me for this episode of the Influence By Design podcast. If you want more head over to influencebydesignpodcast.com for the show notes and links to today’s gifts and sponsors. And if you’re looking to connect with other experts who are growing and scaling their business to join us in the coaches, thought leaders, and changemakers community on Facebook, the links are waiting for you over at influencebydesignpodcast.com