Leadership + People: Episode 16 - Amy Rees Anderson - Part 2 of 2

We welcome back Amy Rees Anderson, Managing Partner and Founder of REES Capital, an angel investment firm, to talk about women in tech, integrity, and faith.

Show Notes

  • Why keep writing a blog 5 days a week for 7 years? [01:22]
  • Entrepreneurship can save the world because it teaches self-reliance [03:14]
  • What teaching entrepreneurship to young people looks like [04:20]
  • “I love companies that solve simple problems” [06:36]
  • No one’s ever going to be offended by you asking for advice or help or input [07:26]
  • No one likes a know-it-all [08:31]
  • Integrity: “Do what is right. Let the consequence follow.” [10:30]
  • Why are we shy when talking about personal values or beliefs? [13:16]
  • Really listen with the intent to understand commonalities [16:43]
  • Women have such a creative knack for technology—they just don’t know it [18:35]
  • All of our kids should be learning to do basic coding [21:08]
  • Work/life balance: “Is what I’m doing right now leading me to where I want to be or to what I need to accomplish?” [22:27]
  • Have faith in business [24:19]

Show Audio

Show References

Podcast-Episode-Art-16

This episode of Leadership and People was originally released on: December 12, 2017

Show Transcript

[BEGINS] 00:00

Welcome to Leadership and People. This is a series that pulls back the curtain on leadership by interviewing CEOs, senior executives and entrepreneurs who had large exits. We ask these experts about how they built trusted networks to rapidly grow their companies, and what device they wish they knew if they could do it all again.

GUEST – AMY REES ANDERSON: And, I think that, sometimes we think, “Oh, they’re so successful, they’ll be offended if I talk to them.” And that’s really not the case because they became successful because they were helping other people be successful. So that’s gonna be their nature 99 percent of the time. So. I just, I think that seeing that example of people willing to be kind to others was really helpful for me to feel more confidence asking.

HOST – JESS LARSEN: This is Part II of our episode with Amy Rees Anderson. Amy, we did this on Part I, but I wanna do it again. Can you give you people the list of, of all the stuff you’re doing these days?

AMY REES ANDERSON: Yeah, I’m happy to. So I’m the managing partner of REES Capital, an angel investment firm. I’m the co-director of the IPOP Foundation. It stands for “In Pursuit of Perfection”. And it’s a foundation that’s dedicated to encouraging our young people to look at entrepreneurship as a pathway to become self-reliant. Love to see more young women look at entrepreneurship as well, ’cause it really was what helped me be self-reliant when I was a single mom for so long.

And then I’m also serving on many boards and writing—I, I do a daily blog—and, also contribute to Forbes and Huffington Post and other outlets.

Why Keep Writing a Blog 5 Days a Week for 7 Years?

01:22 JL: Yeah. Well, we talked a little about your blog on the last episode. But, I, I think people would be interested to hear why you’re still writing it after you sold MediConnect Global for $377 million. Why are you still writing a blog five days a week?

AMY REES ANDERSON: You know [laughs].

01:35 JL: Isn’t it like, seven years you haven’t missed a day?

AMY REES ANDERSON: Seven years, I haven’t missed a day.

01:38 JL: Ok. So why, you made, you sold a company for $377 million, why are you still writing in the blog?

AMY REES ANDERSON: Well, that’s what’s interesting is, you know, I was doing it for the employees and when we sold the company and I let the employees know I was gonna transition out, I was really surprised that they said, “Well, are you gonna keep writing your blog?” And I was like, “Well, you don’t have to read my blog anymore. I’m not your boss, it’s ok!” And they’re like, “No, we really like it!” And so I did, at that point, I turned and made it a public blog and told them I would continue writing. That was kind of the promise I made is to continue writing, and I, and I have ever since we sold the company, I continued to write five days a week and I don’t miss a day.

It’s really just very real, I mean, it’s really anything from don’t put your pants on right out of the dryer ’cause it’s seriously bad on your self-esteem. Or it might be that my husband forgot to fill my car up with gas and I’m giving advice to the husbands out there not to ever do that to your wife ’cause it’s just a bad idea on your marriage.

And then, it’s business lessons, right? It’s about, you know, what do we look for in angel investment deals that come in and what are some of the lessons I’m learning, what are the mistakes I’m making? I think it’s, it’s really good for us to admit that we aren’t perfect and we make mistakes because it really helps other people see that they’re not in it alone. You know, so often, there’s this pressure to know everything and be perfect at everything, and social media paints this pictures of, you know, “Their life is perfect”. No one, there’s nobody’s life whose perfect. Just because they post, who’s gonna post an ugly picture on social media, right? No one wants to put that out there.

But, but I think it’s good to sometimes post what’s really going on so that we can help other people feel like they can be real. And so, so that’s what the blog’s about and it’s become, for me, a little bit of a legacy. I figure, you know, my kids, you know, they don’t think your parents are cool now, right? So they don’t hear you try to say {inaudible}, maybe someday they’ll go back and read it and go, “Oh, that’s what my mom thought.” So, it’s a good legacy to your grandkids and whatnot.

Entrepreneurship Can Save the World because It Teaches Self-Reliance

03:14 JL: I love it. I want to talk about this charity for a minute. I’m, I’m a big fan of Entrepreneurship Can Save The World. So, I, I hadn’t heard of what you were doing before. Tell us about how it got started and what you’re doing now.

AMY REES ANDERSON: Yeah, so, you know, I was, I, when I started my first company, it was really to support my kids. I, you know, I became a single mom with these two kids and I was the sole support of my family, and entrepreneurship, you know, I had dropped out of college to be able to, at that time, put my husband through and then ended up divorced and so for me, I was scared to death, thinking, “What am I going to do to support my family.”

I couldn’t be a doctor or a lawyer, obviously, at that point. So I thought well, I’ll just be an entrepreneur because that’s what you do if you don’t know what you’re gonna do. And for me, it became this gateway that helped me become self-reliant and be able to provide a life for my children, and, you know, my opinion, part of being a good mom is being able to put bread on the table when you need to and feed your kids.

So, I really look at it as an opportunity for our kids today to be able to become self-reliant is to look at starting companies and running companies and that’s why we wanted to be able to give back and encourage people to do that ’cause it was such a blessing in my life.

04:16 JL: And so, what year did you start it?

AMY REES ANDERSON: I started it in 2012.

What Teaching Entrepreneurship to Young People Looks Like

04:20 JL: And give us some examples of what it looks like today.

AMY REES ANDERSON: Yeah, so we have different programs but we focus on high school kids, university students, and then special programs for encouraging women especially. But in the high school, we do business plan competitions. For example, we ran these Kick App competitions that, where the kids were encouraged to come up with a business plan for an app ’cause that’s what they’re so familiar with is their phones. And they would write the business plan and we’d teach everyone how to do a pitch and then we would pick the top ones and do a big assembly at the high schools and have the kids come and pitch before our angel investors.

And, you know, it was phenomenal because the ideas that have come out of the high school level, I hate to say it, but they, by far, blow away what we see coming from adults ’cause these kids are so familiar with technology and it’s exciting. We had several of the kids that have gone on that didn’t plan to be entrepreneurs but have gone on. One of the gals became a Sterling Scholar award winner and now wants to be this entrepreneur and so seeing these kids go from high school and graduate up into to college, it’s exciting to see the impact it had on them just to even have that light bulb go off that says, “I can be an entrepreneur.”

And with the universities, we partner with them and do business plan competitions to help get more of the students involved there and give scholarships away to young women as well.

05:25 JL: And do you have some curriculum at all or guidance of helping kids know what’s gonna make a good business plan? What does that look like?

AMY REES ANDERSON: Yeah. We do, we go in and do mentoring with them and meet with them and try to give them advice on how to do that and help them see that it can be simple and make it not seem like it’s this, you know, super hard mysterious thing. We just try to get down to the brass tacks of what it really takes. And the mentoring part of it I think is the most fun ’cause you’re teaching all these kids and, look, even if they don’t all become entrepreneurs, you’re teaching them to have strategic thinking and problem-solving skills and leadership skills that are going to go on to benefit them no matter what their career is.

05:57 JL: Yeah. Well, I’m interested to hear, you know, talking about investing and what you’re looking for in these kind of things, give us an example of one of the, I don’t know, one of your favorite investments you guys have made.

AMY REES ANDERSON: I don’t have favorites.

06:11 JL: Ok.

AMY REES ANDERSON: It’s like asking your favorite child [laughs]

06:13 JL: Tell us about one of the fun ones.

AMY REES ANDERSON: You know, it’s, it’s. I love the ones that are technology-based for sure. And there’s one, for example, that came out of one of the local colleges here but then had moved to Los Angeles to go out and expand their company there. And they created a simple technology platform that is a really a tie for the insurance companies and the repair shops to be able to process data electronically.

“I Love Companies that Solve Simple Problems”

I love companies that solve simple problems. Or, like, not these big comp—but simple problems that you can describe them in just a couple of sentences. And for me, it’s not always the most complicated systems that are out there that become the fun investments. It’s the easy ones—it’s kind of the “duh”, you know what I mean? What they solve is just kind of an easy “duh” and “why didn’t I think of that?” type thing.

06:57 JL: That’s fun. So, thinking about the leadership lessons you learned and knowing how to associate with the right people, what’s an example of some of the advice you guys are giving at the, these firms that you’re making your angel investments in.

AMY REES ANDERSON: You know…

07:11 JL: Specifically around leadership and connections networking and…

AMY REES ANDERSON: Yeah, I think the networking side, especially when we’re younger, right? There’s that insecurity to approach people and you always kind of feel like you’re the dumb one in the room. It’s just by nature everybody has that, unless you’re arrogant and then it’s, like, that’s not a good thing either.

No One’s Ever Going to Be Offended by You Asking for Advice or Help or Input

But I think one of the things is try to help them recognize that there is no one who’s ever gonna be offended by you coming up and asking for advice or help or input and when you’re in these networking events—you know like Corporate Alliance does their big events. Sometimes you’ll get an entrepreneur there who’s young and they’re intimidated so they don’t walk up and talk to people. They sit in a corner, don’t interact with the event and no value comes to them for it.

And I was that person, right? When I was young, I remember going to one of my first networking events and—it was Women in Technology, which was already weird, right? And I was super young at the time. And I would sit in the corner and go to the event and wait for it to be over. And one day someone came up to me at an event and was like, “Hi, I just wanted to say hi and introduce myself” and I was so happy and everything in me wanted to scream, “I love you” right now—just in my inside voice so I didn’t say it out loud.

But, I ’cause I was so happy that they just were talking to me, and as I drove home that day I thought, “Oh my gosh, you know what? I wonder if other people in that room feel like I felt and if I wasn’t offended, why would they be? And so I started to walk up to people and just introduce myself, shake their hand, and I never once had anybody who wasn’t kind and open and excited to talk to me.

No One Likes a Know-it-All

The other thing I learned is that, you know, nobody likes a know-it-all, right? So in those situations, if you go in there and you feel like, “I have to know everything and I have to be super smart,” that doesn’t get people excited to talk to you. But if you go up to somebody and be like, you know, “I heard you’re an expert in this area and I am so trying to learn more about that. Would you be willing to tell me?” They’d light up! People get excited to share their knowledge and so it’s good that you don’t come in knowing it all because then they’re going to be more excited to talk to you and they want to share everything they learned. And it’s just, my advice is go out there and network with everybody and get to know people and don’t ever be afraid to just shake a hand and smile and say something kind to somebody and it will open more doors than you’d ever expect.

09:12 JL: You know, it’s such a good message and yet there are so many temptations to just stay busy, to not notice people. Are there people that you look up to in your life, is there somebody that set the example to you of showing up and saying something kind? Is there, or are there things that you tell yourself when it’s like, you’re tempted to do something more task-oriented but you realized maybe it’s better to focus with people I’m with?

AMY REES ANDERSON: Yeah, you know, I, I’ve been so blessed because I had so many good mentors so it’s hard to just name one of them. I mean, look at my Board of Directors at MediConnect, right? I had Jim Sorenson, Allen Hall, Danesh Patel, Charlie Johnson, Scott Parker. Like, I had this incredible board of like the “Wow Guys”, right? And every one of them was so kind and so complimentary of others and so willing to talk to anybody and so I was surrounded by those people. I’m just super blessed that way.

But I, I really feel like, you know, people really are willing to help you more than think if you just ask. And, I think that, sometimes we think, “Oh, they’re so successful, they’ll be offended if I talk to them.” And that’s really not the case because they became successful because they were helping other people be successful. So that’s gonna be their nature 99 percent of the time. So. I just, I think that seeing that example of people willing to be kind to others was really helpful for me to feel more confidence asking.

Integrity: “Do What is Right. Let the Consequence Follow.”

10:30 JL: Yeah. Well, let’s talk about what you guys used to have on the wall at the company and how they connect.

AMY REES ANDERSON: Yeah, so, you know, when we first started, I put a sign on the wall that said, “Do what’s right” just because of integrity, right? I talked about that being a core thing for me. Well, as business things started to come up, you start to find yourself almost justifying and rationalizing what you know to be right and wrong. For example, let’s say that you’re going to submit an RFP to a big sale for a new customer and you know your competitor is submitting the same RFP but you know they’re liars and they’re gonna lie and say this on this answer. If I don’t also lie, they’re gonna get the deal and I can’t let them win the deal being dishonest so, therefore, it’s ok if I’m dishonest to try and get the deal. And you can do these weird games with yourself, right? Where you literally convince yourself you can do the wrong thing for the right end result and it’s just bogus.

And so we actually added to the thing. “Do what’s right. Let the consequence follow.” And it was kind of our way of saying, “Look, they’re gonna be times I’m not going to lie on the RFP, even though my competitor’s gonna lie, I’m still gonna answer honest and that means I might not get the deal but I have to be ok with that.” Like, I have to be ok that even, the consequence might be negative for me, but it’s still the right to do, the right thing anyway. And I think that’s where it changed our thinking, right?

And so as an executive team and as a company, that was like a real mantra for us and it’s important to have people around you that will also make sure you hold to that standard. So when you’re having one of those moments where you’re starting to—it’s like when your wife says, “Do I look fat in this pair of jeans,” you know, it’s really easy to rationalize and go [laughs] you know, I’m gonna say what she wants to hear so she’ll be happy. But it doesn’t make it right to lie. So it’s kind of like you have to find the right way to do the right thing even if the end result isn’t gonna be the happiness that you wanted because ultimately, your success is going to come and go, but your integrity is forever.

And I really feel like there is a kind of an unseen dollar value on integrity. You know, it’s not just a feel-good value of like, oh, it sounds good to say I have integrity. Like, honestly, that’s your greatest asset you have. When you have a reputation of integrity that you’ve earned over the years, you get more business. I mean, we’ve been landed business all the time from clients that would come in and say, “Hey, we were working with your competitor and they, we found out they were double billing us” or “We found out they were cheating on this and we know you guys have a reputation of integrity. We want to switch our business to you.”

Like there is a payback that comes from having integrity even if you might not see it upfront. In fact, I think it would be a great case study to look at that, right? What’s the dollar value of integrity? And it is, it’s huge. At least, in my life, that was my experience.

That “Do what’s right. Let the consequence follow.” was our way of reminding ourselves that success is gonna come and go, but integrity is gonna be forever and that’s what matters most to us.

13:11 JL: Well, and you have a good post on Forbes about it.

AMY REES ANDERSON: I do!

13:16 JL: Go read, go to your blog and go find it.

Why are We Shy When Talking About Personal Values or Beliefs?

AMY REES ANDERSON: You know what’s funny about that is, when I wrote that article that night, I was actually really concerned. I was like, “Are people gonna be offended I’m talking about integrity publicly on Forbes,” right? Because you don’t see a lot out—let’s be honest—there’s not a lot of communication about integrity that you see out there. And I put it up thinking, “I wonder if people are gonna be like, ‘This is so, why is she writing about this?'” It has, to date, been my most popular Forbes post of all the posts that I’ve written over the years. And that really was good—like, it really made me feel good to know, OK, people really do care about integrity, like, they want to see more integrity in the world, and we just need to talk about it more.

13:47 JL: Why do you think that we can be shy talking about values like that or beliefs?

AMY REES ANDERSON: I think people are so worried about offending somebody with what they say, right? I mean, for example, OK, I grew up outside of the Utah culture and you just didn’t talk about religion outside of Utah, but in Utah, it’s talked about a lot and that was weird for me when I first moved here. And I was always very politically correct when it came to what I talked about at work because of how I’d been raised.

And, when I was meeting with my board member, Allen Hall, one day, he said to me, you know, “Do you talk to your employees about the fact”—’cause I have, I believe in God, right? And so he said, “Do you talk to your employees about the fact that you believe in God?” And I was like, “Why would I bring that up at work?” Right? I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna offend anyone. He’s like, “Why would that offend anybody? You need to talk about who you are, what you believe in. You don’t do it in an offensive way. Just, just be you.” And I was like, “Really, you’re ok with that as a, as a board member, an investor? You’re ok if we, someone gets… And he said, “Absolutely.” And, so I did.

I started to become more open about my, my own faith and that I believed in God. And it was amazing because I never, you know, I always did it in a way to say, you know, this is what I believe, I respect whatever you believe and I never once had somebody offended. In fact, it led to all kinds of good conversations about understanding other people’s faiths, because we had a huge blend of faiths in our organization.

And, and it was awesome because I learned more about other people’s faith, they learned more about my faith, and I think that as a leader, your faith impacts so many of your choices and your people need to know what you believe in so they know what your values are based in. And when I had a hard decision to make at MediConnect, I would, you know, say to my employees in the blog, I would say, “Hey, you know, I have to make this hard decision. I want to ask that you guys pray for me, whether it’s God or Mother Nature or the Universe, or whatever you believe in, I could use your prayers on this.” And, and people were awesome. They were like, totally, like, it never got anyone offended and it taught me a lot about not being so afraid to talk about those kinds of values. Because if you do it in a respectful way, respecting other people’s beliefs too, it’s still who you are, right? You can’t separate that. You are who you are, so, this is about, again, it goes back to being authentic.

15:44 JL: Yeah. That’s interesting. It makes me think about a story. Really good friend of ours, he’s a New York securities lawyer, Jewish guy who told me this great story about connecting a billionaire investor he’s working with, and I know I’m going to say this name wrong, and I shouldn’t. But the book “Bhagavad Gita”, he had read that. He had read this guy’s church book, essentially, right?

AMY REES ANDERSON: Yeah.

16:09 JL: And it was such an impressive thing. I mean, you’re thinking, so, you know, not the most touchy-feely people in New York all the time.

AMY REES ANDERSON: [laughs]

16:18 JL: Right? So he’s a securities lawyer that became an investment banker

AMY REES ANDERSON: Yeah [laughs] enough said.

16:23 JL: Not the most gushy of people, k? And, it was such a start for a long-term friendship with his extremely busy billionaire with all these international holdings and stuff. And it was an interesting story for me of, like you said, it’s respectful but acknowledging…

Really Listen with the Intent to Understand Commonalities

AMY REES ANDERSON: It helps you get to, I mean, like, that’s how you bond with people, right? Like, I love learning about people’s religious beliefs just, of all faiths, because it teaches me about who they are and it also shows us the common threads we all have even if we believe different things. There’s still so many commonalities there, and you can focus on the differences or you can focus on the commonalities, right? And it totally changes your perspective of people when you choose to look at the commonalities and you’re willing to be open-minded and listen, you know? Really, like, listen with the intent to understand. So.

17:12 JL: But isn’t it interesting how, in almost any conversation—could be at home, could be at work, could be anywhere—there’s the opportunity to discuss what we agree with what the person just said, or the opportunity to discuss with what we disagree. And, doesn’t it have such an effect on where the conversation goes which one we choose?

AMY REES ANDERSON: Absolutely. Because I think that it, it’s kind of, it’s gonna shut somebody down really quick the second you, you know, I, I have a really hard time with all the negative social media stuff that goes on these days where people are having these public fights about issues to try to prove who’s right and who’s wrong, and I’m like, oh my gosh, you’re killing me.

Do you really think anyone is going to be convinced because you’re super negative about the—who’s ever gonna be swayed to what you think by someone who’s kinda in your face and just cutting you down for your beliefs as opposed to someone who’s willing to say, “Help me understand what you feel. Let me help you understand how I feel” and having a conversation more that way. That’s what persuades. Not the, “Well, you’re so dumb because you believe…” you know what I mean? It’s just, it’s just funny how people get it in their mind that’s gonna make a difference, to be negative.

18:14 JL: Yeah. So, I know we only have a few minutes left but, you know, the technology world, venture investing, angel investing—this is something people think is really cool these days, right? It’s kind of sexy.

AMY REES ANDERSON: Yeah.

18:27 JL: You get to do it all the time.

AMY REES ANDERSON: Yeah.

18:29 JL: Why don’t you tell us something about this industry or something about doing it day-to-day that maybe somebody who’s not in it might not know.

Women Have Such a Creative Knack for Technology — They Just Don’t Know It

AMY REES ANDERSON: You know, for me, I didn’t—like I said—I didn’t grow up with a tech background, right? And I think being a woman especially when you’re younger, you kind of think of technology as a bunch of sweaty guys in a back room—no offense to the stereotype—but that’s kind of what the picture is so girls don’t usually want to get excited about.

And I didn’t realize what a knack I had for technology until I started hearing people’s problems, right, in the medical space and I started to just draw screens. It was just simply I started design software by just literally drawing this screen on a piece of graph paper, not realizing that by drawing this screen and then writing down what every button did and what it should lead to, that I was designing the specs of a software system. And, when that, when I started to kind of do that, actually, and the learning to code so I could just understand enough to be dangerous, right? To be able to throw down the BS flag when your programmers are gonna tell you it takes 10 times longer and cost 10 times more.

And so I started to learn that, I’m like, “You know? Gosh, girls have such a creative knack for the user experience because women by nature tend to pay attention to, you know, the user—men are more factually based, you know, just by stereotype, and women tend to be very creative and worry about, “How do you feel about how that was?” Right? And I, I realize that women have such a knack for that side of technology and yet we don’t do much to promote it to our young girls as being this creative role within technology and I think that’s an area where there’s so much opportunity to help our, you know, our young women recognize that there’s these sides to technology that are appealing to some of those girls that don’t like the, you know, just the straight-up coding part of it. But there are lots of things that are super creative there and I think there’s just a huge—for us to fill the job need that we have especially here in Utah, it’s nationwide—to find enough people that are doing the programming, if we don’t start encouraging our young ladies to get into that space, we’re not gonna have enough programmers.

And the way to encourage them is to help them see these creative sides too that they might really enjoy and not really think about. You know, it’s not a sweaty back room person who’s playing video games all day. It’s, it’s really, there’s these creative sides to it that women are naturally super talented at and I’d love to see us promote that to our young girls more in the technology space because that for me was a real lesson and an eye-opener was like “Hey, I’m really good at this and I never thought of myself as that.”

20:45 JL: I have a 13-year-old daughter who keeps coming to me with entrepreneurial ideas, right? And there are a lot of times that she’s thinking so linear and it’s trading her hours for dollars, right?

AMY REES ANDERSON: Yes.

20:56 JL: And, and we really do try and encourage her to think about, you know, continue to leverage, and how can you work once, get paid many times, whether that’s intellectual property production, or whether what are the chances of digital distribution of this idea, I mean, you know?

All of Our Kids Should be Learning to Do Basic Coding

AMY REES ANDERSON: Well, and all of our kids, frankly, should be learning to do basic coding, you know, software coding, development, when they’re young. I think it should be in our required courses for when we’re in high school growing up, right? We used to take typing. I took typing class, I don’t know if you did. But—on the typewriter [laughs] so sad how old I am. But, but I think that our young people, everybody, should be learning that because how can you do anything in today’s world without having a core understanding of technology and how it works and what’s possible? Like, you’ll open their minds to what’s possible if we expose them to it. And I think that’s something where there’s just never a downside to having our kids learn that, even if they don’t do it, like, that was in my day-to-day job, right? But just learning what could be done helped open my mind to what problems I could solve.

21:47 JL: Love it. Well, I know about out of time. Last episode, we, we ended with one of your best pieces of advice that you ever received. This time, let’s do this. Let’s have you give everybody your blog URL one more time and then, what’s a question that you don’t get asked in interviews that you wish people would ask?

AMY REES ANDERSON: Ooh, that’s a hard one. Well, let me first start with the blog site. So it’s amyreesanderson.com/blog is where the blog site is. A question I don’t get asked. Ooh, I’ve been asked so many questions. I can’t think of one that I haven’t been asked.

Work/Life Balance: “Is What I’m Doing Right Now Leading Me to Where I Want to Be or to What I Need to Accomplish?”

22:27 JL: Or just one that you like to answer when you get asked it.

AMY REES ANDERSON: Well, I think, you know, the balance thing. You always get asked about work/life balance and I always kind of laugh because I don’t know why people think I have that down ’cause I certainly do not. But [laughs] I don’t think anybody has work/life balance down. I think that’s a struggle for all of us. But I think that, you know, one thing that, for me, was a big life takeaway is that there’s a lot of things that we can spend our time on that just don’t matter, right? And then, one of the things we used to keep on our little walls of the cubes for people in the office was “Is what I’m doing right now leading me to where I want to be or to what I need to accomplish?” And it’s like so much of our time day-to-day you spend on things, you know, and some of it’s fun stuff, right? And that’s fun to do. But there’s a lot of things we do that just don’t matter and we worry about stuff that doesn’t matter. Five years from now, are you going to look back and care about this thing you were stressing over all day today? So I think that, and I guess it ends up going back to piece of advice here, right? Sorry about that but I couldn’t think of a question.

23:23 JL: It’s great, let’s do it!

AMY REES ANDERSON: But it’s like, just learning in life to separate what really matters, what doesn’t matter, and is what I’m doing right now worth stressing over? Like, can I actually solve the problem? And if I can’t, then stop stressing over it and focus your time on the things that matter. Cut some of those things out of your life that don’t matter or that are distractions from what really matters in the end.

Because I think perspective is huge and if you can keep proper perspective day-to-day, you’re gonna be so much more successful. ‘Cause I, I for one, you know, I stress over a lot of things that are just stupid. There’s nothing I can do so you just gotta let it go. And I think that’s an area where, again, we don’t talk about it as much, right? But I think it’s probably some of the—if I could go back and talk to my younger self, and be like, “Here’s what you need to know.” I would say, “Seriously, first of all, it’s like way better than you think it is. Nothing is as nearly as scary or bad as you feel like it is today and the things that seem like huge emergencies today are really not gonna be an emergency tomorrow,” you know?

Have Faith in Business

That’s where I think faith comes in, right? Whatever your faith is in. For me, it was like that thing, I was like: “What do you mean, have faith about business? How are you gonna have faith about business? What does that have to do with business? But, really, it does because, you know, those, those things where you’re freaking out at night and you want to be with your kids and you got these client contracts that have to get done. And I’m like, “Well, how am I supposed to have faith? ‘Cause God’s not gonna come down and write a contract for me,” right? Like, He’s not gonna step in and do that, so what do you mean “Have faith”?

But it’s really about the fact that you can spend that time with your family and the next day, maybe that contract was supposed to be ready by 10 AM but the client’s gonna give you a pass till noon, that’s where the faith comes in, right? It’s in other ways, and, and so focus on what matters. Don’t, don’t change your priorities out for anything because when you get bored 20 years, 30 years, 40 years from now, you’re gonna look back and there’s gonna be things you’re gonna regret and things you won’t care about and think about those now so that you’re always focused on what really matters, right? And keep those priorities.

25:15 JL: I love it. Got nothing to add. That’s a perfect ending. Thanks everybody for listening. Check out Amy’s blog. Thanks for making time, Amy.

AMY REES ANDERSON: Thank you.

[ENDS] 25:23

X