The Whole Shebang

Ep. 05 - How to Measure Success by Finding Your Soul Salary w/ Former Engineer and Bestselling Author Jess Kaskov

November 08, 2023 Jen Briggs Season 1 Episode 5
The Whole Shebang
Ep. 05 - How to Measure Success by Finding Your Soul Salary w/ Former Engineer and Bestselling Author Jess Kaskov
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Have you ever wondered if there's more to life than your everyday 9-to-5 routine? Ever felt like you're trapped in a job that doesn't resonate with your inner self? Join us as we sit down with Jess Kaskoff, a bestselling author, speaker, and coach who broke free from her 15-year engineering career to start her own business. Jess lets us in on her journey of self-discovery, the emotional rollercoaster of career transition, and the significance of acknowledging our feelings in shaping our personal and professional lives.

In the heart of our conversation, we shine a spotlight on the concept of 'Soul Salary' - the intrinsic reward derived from aligning your time and energy with what truly drives you. Jess challenges us to examine our lives through this lens and offers practical tips on discovering our joy triggers and how this understanding can serve as a compass guiding us towards a life that echoes with our soul’s desires.

Jess bravely shares her personal journey of overcoming fear and anxiety and the invaluable role a supportive network, coupled with therapy and coaching, played in her career reinvention. She serves as an inspiration for all who feel stuck and yearn for a career that not only pays the bills but also fuels their passion. Tune in and let Jess guide you on a journey from feeling confined to finding joy and fulfillment in your life.

Resources: Free Quiz to Discover "What is Your Soul Salary?" 

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Speaker 1:

One thing I would say is is it a should? I shouldn't leave this job. I should use my degree. Is it a should? Then? Can you change it into and I want to. I desire to. I feel like this is the right thing for me statement. If you can't authentically change it into an I want to, I desire to. You know your answer.

Speaker 2:

Hello, it's me, your host, jen, and fellow journeyer on this path of learning how to reintegrate the divine feminine energy into the boardroom. So we'll talk about things like conscious capitalism and leading with vulnerability and awareness and connection and play. We'll be diving into the bedroom. So basically we're going to talk about the horizontal mambo and all seriousness. We're going to look at how to create a deeper level of intimacy and connection in your romantic partnerships, but also in all of our relationships. I think we've become so disconnected, so how do we gain that in our relationships? And then we're going to look beyond that into any tool or practice that helps us become more magnetic and more full. So manifestation techniques, meditation and personal development approaches that will help us move through challenges to step into our brightest, fullest, most magnetic version of ourselves. It's all the things. It is the whole shebang. So buckle up buttercups, we're diving in. Welcome to the whole shebang.

Speaker 2:

We are speaking today with Jess Kaskoff, number one bestselling author, speaker and coach. She's had a huge transition. She left a successful 15-year engineering career at a Fortune 500 company to start her own business. Joyfulness with Jess so trading her hard hat for headbands. Today she does what she feels called to do, motivating and supporting others. She lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her encouraging husband, two active sons and two oppositely lazy cats. So, jess, welcome to the show. We're so glad to have you here today. Thank you, jen. Thanks for having me. Yeah, it's my pleasure. So much I'm excited to talk about this is. A big part of my journey has been really diving into what lights me up, and I've seen such a need for that in so many people to tap into what does bring joy into their lives. So I've been really looking forward to this conversation with you and hearing how you got to where you are. So let's go backwards first and kind of talk about that career that you had in engineering. Tell me about what your pathway was prior to where you got here.

Speaker 1:

Oh, I think that's a good starting point for sure. I mean because that 15-year corporate career did lead me to where I am today in a very unexpected way, like you mentioned 15 years in the engineering corporate world and food manufacturing actually. So I actually made the career switch. I did kind of a dimmer switch, I call it. It wasn't like an on-off I quit my job and moved on. It was kind of a dimmer switch.

Speaker 1:

But it all started with my company actually announcing layoffs. They said in a few months we're going to let you know if you have a job or not. And I said, well, this is probably a good time to do a little self-discovery while I wait to see if I have a job or not. So I really asked myself a few questions and one was what's the biggest impact I've had in the last 15 years? And it wasn't really an answer that I would have expected. Two of the plants that I'd worked at that were manufacturing plants had already closed. So my impact was not that process I put in place or that equipment improvement I put in place. Those no longer existed. Those plants are closed. So really the lasting impact is on those people I managed or interacted with. That was pretty eye-opening to me. I know it might seem pretty obvious, but having the plants closed really helped me reflect on. Oh, the really important impactful items were that and honestly, those were my favorite pieces of my time there.

Speaker 2:

Can I ask, looking back? You said that as they have made that announcement, you naturally went inward to ask those questions. Was there anything going on in the months and years leading up to that that caused you to be like now? I need to reflect. Or did you just think this is a good time to do it? Or were you feeling like something? Maybe is a little off for me here.

Speaker 1:

Well, that's a great question. I think, intuitively, I just started doing that. But also my kids are older now and so I think I also had bandwidth to pause and do some self-assessment and reflection and made the bandwidth. They weren't incredibly at that point, they were four and six, and so it's not that they were very old, but I think it was just.

Speaker 1:

It was a moment where I purposely stopped and said OK, this is like a pivotal time to really take the moment where before I think I would have just trucked on and waited to hear whether I had a job or not. And I think another piece was that we had a few months. It wasn't like we're announcing layoffs on Friday. It was, hey, we are just letting you know, giving you a heads up, we are doing layoffs in a few months, which I didn't love, having that long ramp. But at the same time, having it really made me take the time, because it wasn't like a OK, I'm just going to see really quickly if I have a job or not. And previous layoff rounds had been like that. They were pretty quick turnarounds, and this one was a little different in that it gave you more time and I was, so I used it. I used it to pause.

Speaker 2:

Got a practical level, so you had two little kids. There's going to be a lot of women and maybe some men listening that are like I feel like I don't have the time. I like how you said you made the bandwidth. How did you make the bandwidth or what did that look like for you on a pretty practical level?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think part of it was. I used the first hour of my morning to journal and reflect and I didn't really feel guilty about that because, yes, I could have been doing the emails for work or whatnot, but this was a part of what was going on at work. So I did use a little bit. I probably wasn't an hour, but you know, I used some of the time at work to do this reflection. You know, and I think you know, we all have a lunch break, right, so use that time whenever time you need. It doesn't have to be at lunch. Well, how about this? We all should take time for lunch.

Speaker 2:

We all say that we always do, like a lot of us are just powering through, like I got six minutes and I don't know what I'm going to pee, but yeah.

Speaker 1:

I am guilty of 90% of my lunches being eaten in meetings back in the day. But you know you have. You have your loud breaks in the day, so I used those breaks.

Speaker 2:

So they announced the layoffs and you took the time to start asking. You were I think I interrupted you. You were going through some of those questions that you were asking yourself about where you made the biggest impact. To continue on there, yeah.

Speaker 1:

So the next question I asked myself is, of all the roles I've had you know, operations, leadership, continuous improvement, all these things what was my favorite role? And it was really interesting. It was not really related to my engineering roles, it was actually a human resources, cross functional role. I did so when our plant was closing. I was in charge of climate and culture at during that plant closure, so really supporting people through the gap of hey, we're still running to, you know, the exit or the end of the plant closure. So that was my favorite role and it was just kind of shocking to me because it's it was definitely a cross functional, as in it was different and I loved supporting and motivating others through that role. It really changed me as a person and a leader because I realized again how important the people side really is and how much I really enjoyed it and I had managed multiple of the departments, so I knew a majority of the plant personnel. So it just it helped me heal from the plant closing and also helped me support others.

Speaker 2:

Did you realize that while you were doing that? You know, I think sometimes I I've been saying lately like, notice when you're lit up and notice when you dim, and sometimes we can look back and see it. But I'm curious if, like while you were in charge of that culture piece, where you, where you like man, this feels good or this lights me up, or did you notice it more in retrospect?

Speaker 1:

I think, in the moment. So I was feeling very dim in the sense of this plant is closing. I thought I would work here for years and years and years and years, and so I was feeling dim in that sense and I feel like the role brought back sunlight right Cause it like opened my heart. You know, and you know I'm already feeling really deep grief for the plant closing and the job loss and that piece, and then I felt like my heart got to really be involved in my work in a differential way.

Speaker 2:

It's just horrible. I keep thinking of the Grinch, where his heart's just growing bigger. You know like I was a little shriveled, but that's really what a powerful experience to go through when you feel your heart opening Like it's so much of what I've become, I would say, pretty passionate about that that work can be a place where we feel that kind of connection to people, because it is because we're all human. You know, we aren't robots, we're not machines. We're not machines, but we are working to produce things and so how can we bring in that human element? So it's really beautiful that you were open to being open. Do you know what I mean?

Speaker 2:

Because I think sometimes a lot of people will just like oh gosh, here comes a feeling and I'm at work, I'm going to shut that down, but versus you just opening up your heart and then seeing where that's taken you ultimately, it's really beautiful.

Speaker 1:

Well, it's interesting too, that role came after I just had my first child. So I think also like my heart was just opening more because I felt that motherly love and then I think it just translated well to the role I had.

Speaker 1:

So I think I don't think I was the Grinch level of a heart but, I do think my heart did grow in that period for sure, for many factors. So I was like, kind of going through this, I realized the theme was motivating and supporting others. That's what I loved and, as you said, what lights you up, that's what lit me up and I realized was my impact and my favorite roles. And I did end up having a job after the layoffs. But you know they say, like you can't unsee it. You know I'd already done the self discovery. I can't unsee it Like. I know this is a really big passion of mine. So I did a few things, one being I asked for more items at work that aligned with that. So I became a mentor, I became a peer coach, so some things I did within my job. So I'm not saying quitting your job is always what needs to be done, right, you can also find work, find happiness where you are, isn't that from Moana?

Speaker 2:

Yes, something I've also learned that water the grass where you're at. It's not greener on the other side. Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

But then eventually I did pitch a part time arrangement and that is not at all normal for 24 seven manufacturing, but I'm lucky they did say yes to that. So I started to go to night school, became a coach and they eventually asked for a sabbatical and then ultimately quit my job. And that's what I mean by like a dimmer switch. I kind of did some steps until I felt comfortable. Okay, this is not going to just be a side gig. I want this to be a new career to try.

Speaker 2:

Did you know when you were going in the dimmer switch? Did you? Did you sort of I don't know, I'm not an engineer, so I don't know engineer brains, but I feel like I imagine that you had a plan and then you're like here's the plan, I'm walking it out. Did you know, walking into that like the part time deal, that it would probably eventually lead to something full time? Or were you like let's just, let's just do more of what I love and keep this job here for stability?

Speaker 1:

So my engineering brain did not like this period of life because I was more I mean, not really if she was fine, but I really was doing more of the like intuitively feeling it out, which was not normal for me. I do love a good plan, for sure, but I really said, let's just like one step at a time. And I don't think I I mean I don't think I knew that at that point that I was going to quit my job. I was under this kind of staircase or dimmer of okay, this step, how does it feel?

Speaker 1:

this step? How does it feel?

Speaker 2:

Can we take it to this?

Speaker 2:

I'm so fascinated by this piece of it, because I talked to a lot of people who are wondering how do I know what my intuition is Like? And so, especially for somebody like you, that's you're, you're not, you're a high powered woman and a fortune 500 company in an engineering position, your brain is functioning probably mostly pretty logically or like you've exercised that muscle really well and it served you really well. And then you lean into this new phase of following your intuition, like, specifically, if you were to tell somebody how to follow their intuition, what would they look for what? How would they know?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I would say two things. One, if you want to listen to your intuition, you need to get silent. So I know meditation is like a taboo word to some people. Like meditation you're saying it again but you have to get silent if you want to hear. So that's my first one.

Speaker 1:

But the second one is really I think it was Martha Beck who wrote this, but it's if you know that, if it's aligned with you or like within your intuition, or just aligned with your soul, right, similar aspects there If it feels warm, kind of cozy, kind of like a, like a sigh, like you, just it just feels in that, in that realm of feelings, it's not aligned with yourself or your intuition. If it feels panicky or like a false sense of urgency and this got to go, got to go right now, or like your shoulders rise up, you know those type of things, it's just getting in in tune with your body, which I will say I was not good at for many, many years. But really getting in tune with your body and what reactions you have, like I would get a pit in my stomach right at top, like that is my number one cue. That like I something I need to address or like reflect on.

Speaker 2:

I was in a coaching appointment with my coach at one point and I was telling her like I just don't know what's right, and she said well, look back at a time in your life when you, when you knew, something was this you know the right thing or the wrong thing, or what, what? When you were clear, where did you feel it in your body? And I was like I don't know.

Speaker 2:

I don't know I was moving so fast and thinking so hard and putting a plan together and she said that's okay, but next time pay attention to where you feel it in your body and what you feel. And that was hugely transform, transformative for me, because I'm like no one had ever asked me that question and I'll just be for myself. I don't know if you felt this, but I feel like and I don't know if I even want to play like the female card, but I feel like it's hard to talk about, especially in a workplace, right? This just doesn't quite feel right to me. It's like well, what's the data to back that? You know it.

Speaker 2:

Just, it's harder to navigate, especially in a business setting, when you, when you're bringing into it your intuition to it. And so I I didn't lean into that for a long time, and that's part of what I'm working on now is how can I blend both of those things and and go okay, here's where my intuition is. I know my intuition to be pretty accurate. Now. Now, what do I look for? Where is the data now? Or where's the logic now?

Speaker 2:

or now how do I take the next step? Do you? What are your thoughts on that? I'm just curious, like what your experience with that has been.

Speaker 1:

It's an interesting one because it is. It is a blending of your masculine and feminine right. There's that logical and feeling side mixed together. So I would say, for me it was if I felt a feeling, I would start there and say I know, this is what I need to. I know that I need to pitch part time. I feel it in my soul, I know that I need to do that. Okay, so how am I going to do that? So it becomes it goes from your feeling phase of okay, I have decided that I'm going to go with my feeling, and then it goes into your logical phase. How can I convince someone of this? How can I convince myself of this?

Speaker 1:

So, for me, I met with multiple mentors to practice my pitch and they helped me find to. You know, like you, just you go into your logical execution side because we both, we have both sides right and so there, there is always a way. You know, there's always creative solutions. It's not black and white like our logical side would see, so intuitively. Hey, I know I need, I need more time for myself. How can I make that happen? Part time, sabbatical, you know, that's where I came up with these kind of creative solutions and going to like that's so powerful.

Speaker 2:

People because I've seen it happen and I'm sure I've done this to my boss will probably listen to this and be like, yeah, she's done this, but like I'll get an overwhelming knowing, especially navigating. You know we've had a lot happen here Minneapolis in the last few years with COVID and George Floyd, and all these different dynamics were navigating that I was like I don't know how to explain this, but here's my intuition on how we should move forward. And and you know that, the more serious things aside, even in the little ways I've seen people approach meetings, like this just feels right and it's like you can immediately be discounted, you know, if you don't. So I think there's so much wisdom in that. On a practical level, just to kind of reiterate what you're saying, like yeah, of course you know what your intuition is and then you'll go. Okay, in order for me to reach people where they're at and help them see what's happening, I've got to bring logic into this too.

Speaker 1:

I need to translate it into a way that will gain support Right, which it stinks that we have to translate, but that is what we have to do and I will say, like the feeling, saying I have a feeling, I have a gut feeling. That is so taboo for women, especially to say in the workplace, like I know I got a performance appraisal once at the end says you're too emotional and I'm like okay, well, that's just come on, and that was actually when I that was when I that was when I had the climate and cultural role and I literally said you have assigned me to a role where I am supposed to be in touch with the emotions of the plant, you know.

Speaker 1:

and so that's that was the feedback I gave and, similarly, I'm one of the only women director reports you have. How does that? I had had conversations about it because it was is it because you're stereotyping here as well, you know. And so he agreed about the, as it was a man, he agreed about the role. Yes, I put in that role to be in tune with the emotions of the plan and yeah, but it's still, it's still obviously within the workplace, a something that makes people uncomfortable. That we're saying, you know, leading with feelings. Sometimes.

Speaker 2:

I'm not saying every culture, but yeah, I think it's interesting too cause it's like we don't have to lead with feelings that there's so much research out there that shows especially now after COVID and everything too, that people need connection, the longevity, the productivity, the happiness, all of that. And so, you know, we're all kind of figuring it out together, right, Like, well, what does that look like? What does it look like for me to actually be emotionally available to our employees and to our team, to create a safe space for them to be vulnerable? But also, I feel like there is a line right. It's just finding where is that when I'm like, okay, I can't be your therapist because I'm not a therapist for one but, also, where is that line then where we go?

Speaker 2:

okay, great, there's a safe space here. Now do you have what you need? Let's go now do the job we need to do, whatever that looks like. But it is a really tricky balance and I agree that I think my perspective has been that there's. There are a lot of people, myself included. Historically, if I look back 10 years ago, maybe even five years ago, I was afraid of my own emotions. So I was like like, if I'm not, of course I'm not gonna be comfortable with your emotions, and it seems pretty basic that people project right, so they're you're too emotional, but I'm like maybe you're not emotional enough.

Speaker 1:

Right. If you wanna build a world, you need to heal yourself. Yeah, yeah kind of absolutely, so it's like, yeah, right, so I totally get that.

Speaker 2:

Well, thanks for venturing on that tangent with me. I just I find it fascinating, especially given the experience that you've had in that kind of position and in a pretty historically speaking man dominated industry, male dominated industry, with a lot of logic. I can really appreciate that that must have been challenging for you to step into that role and navigate that. So congratulations on doing that well.

Speaker 1:

Thank you. Thank you, like I said, it changed me. That role changed me. Yeah, it was the role that I feel like I could tap into the feeling and thinking balance.

Speaker 2:

So Really great. So you come, you've dimmed the light and you make the leap. Tell me about what that was like to make that leap into going full time, into coaching and all of the things you're doing now. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

I was very excited to do it. I absolutely love writing, so I was really enjoying the concept of writing the book, which is Soul Salary, and I kind of dove into that during my sabbatical, and that's really how I realized that I was ready to quit my job. They say you write the book you need, and I absolutely did here, so the book actually helped me. As I wrote it for myself, apparently, and others I realized that it was time for me to try this. I would really regret it if I didn't try this, and so that's really what had me take the leap.

Speaker 2:

So I wanna dive in and hear about the book. I mean it's you know who is the book for. I mean you were that person that needed that book. Who might be wanting to open that up? Why and what would they find in there?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I would say like a lot of my audience is just badass professionals, most likely overwhelmed, overworked, near or already in burnout. You know they're not making time for their basic needs, much less their joy, right. So that's kind of my audience and I think this book resonates with a lot of people beyond that, but particularly that group, because it is such a concept that we understand logically salary, we understand salary logically and I put the book into that logical framework with adding the heart of soul, right. So how does the salary of your soul so? It has that balance again of that kind of masculine, feminine side. It's like even the title the soul is the feminine, the salary is the masculine, it uses both my engineering and people brain.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, yeah great. So what are some of the main concepts in the book?

Speaker 1:

Talk to me a little bit about that.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely so. It is called soul salary, s-o-u-l, and really it's not the financial salary that you make in your job, it's the salary you pay yourself. So I define soul salary as the value your soul receives when your time and energy are in alignment with what feels joyous and fulfilling. So when you put your biggest resources, which are time and energy, towards what feels joyous and fulfilling, you are a high earner in soul salary. If you're not even making your basic needs, much less your joy, you're at a minimum wage level of soul salary.

Speaker 2:

I would call it so the book really so you're saying joy, joy, joy, most joyous and most fulfilling, yeah, yes, yes, yes, Was that a huge? I mean, you kind of talked about this, but I'm looking at all the bad-ass women in my world right now and I feel like we've been taught or we've adapted or we've decided that what I'm gonna measure success by is by what do I achieve, or the pile of things I accumulate. How and why do you shift from that to like I'm gonna measure success by what brings me the most joy? Like what right Were you always of that mindset?

Speaker 1:

No, absolutely not.

Speaker 2:

Okay. So that was during that pivot, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it was always of the mindset of achieve, achieve, achieve, be impressive was, I think, what was driving my decisions right. So that was the goal it really actually hit. The concept came about when I was talking to my best friend during COVID and I said we were just basically overwhelmed. We're like society is telling us to parent like we don't work and work like we don't parent. We are overwhelmed, we are trying to do both perfectly and that's what seems to be expected of us and that's when we kind of that's when I kind of said, gosh, it's like success is the biggest thing or your financial salary is the biggest thing. When can it just be like what you pay yourself? I was like, oh, that's a concept. So it actually really started with a complete burnout moment talking to my best friend, and that's where it began for myself, and then I later turned it into a concept to be shared broadly, which is the book.

Speaker 2:

That's great. And so then you go through a process, which you described your own, of just figuring out okay, so what is bringing me most joy, what is most fulfilling to me, and how do I line that up right, that I love that word alignment. I think so many times. I just read something this morning and I don't know that this applies necessarily to my age group as much I'm 41 right now but that a lot of us are still living even for the approval of our parents, and whether it's our parents or a spouse or society or a boss or whomever that it's so easy to fall into a trap of living life from the outside in Well what do they?

Speaker 2:

want, well, we'll make them happy. What will make them more money? What will make and feeling like, well, once we do that, then I'll get the medal or I'll get the salary or I'll get the whatever, and then I'll be happy versus what's an alignment with, what brings me joy, and I think all of the other things follow when you go from the inside out.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely and it's putting your validation of your word in other people's hands versus your own. You know what I mean. So, like doing other people following society and what other people expect of you like you were saying, your parents or whoever's parents is really just seeking validation from external sources. So you'll always be seeking, because you're not giving it to yourself.

Speaker 2:

Seeking and then following down this path that I think you experienced in your writing about like leads to burnout. It doesn't lead to joy usually, unless people are wired where they just love to achieve for somebody else, but I think that's probably pretty rare.

Speaker 1:

And that can. It doesn't have to be rare, right, I mean as long as you. I feel like the main thing is actually being self aware, knowing what brings you joy and fulfillment, and I think people don't have. Many people and professionals that are doing the grind and the hustle haven't even stopped to say what are those things for me. I don't even know what to ask for or seek out, because I don't know that of myself, right.

Speaker 2:

Because I have you have other tips for them If they don't know. Like yes, I do.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. So I would say like to start starting in the book we start with, like what is your sole salary? So, like, using that framework, you know where are you at right now. And I even have like a free quiz online, but it's just a where are you at right now? Like, let's, let's like pause and figure that out and that can show you where is it joy that you're lacking? Is it fulfillment you're lacking? Is it basic needs that you're lacking in? Are all three excellent, good for you? It really starts there, and then the first starting piece for you to get to reflection is you have to meet your basic needs. So I call I mean that's obvious, but I call that chapter demand minimum wage. It's the law. So you are literally the CEO of your life. If you're not paying yourself minimum wage, you are against the law.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, right.

Speaker 1:

And so I, I, I, I say in there you know you really, you really need to to do that. So that's the, that's the piece to start and I'd give, I give great example, I mean there's examples in there of how to start doing that. And I'll say, and as you were talking about, with like intuition, starting in that basic needs chapter is really bringing you to a self trust level. Like you say that I'm going to give myself XYZ and you do it. Now you have self trust and the more you trust yourself, the more you trust your intuition. So, like it all comes around, you know, like if you're, if you're meeting your basic needs, then you're trusting yourself, then you're trusting your intuition. It's all, it's all. Knock a million birds with one stone, you know.

Speaker 2:

That's so huge. I talk a lot about that too. I just think, you know we we oftentimes are I don't know if I can trust them, and I think that's it's an opportunity to Steve and stop and go. Why am I saying that and where? Where is the lack of trust really showing up? But I I've experienced that in my own life was I've gone through my personal growth journey and some transformative things loss in the last few years of like wow, I can trust myself to hold space for myself when I'm feeling scared or when I'm like, what is what am I doing at this job? Or how am I? You know, I think sometimes we're afraid to even ask ourselves or get in touch with our intuition because we're scared of what feelings might come up or how we might handle it or what, and just even that, whether it's following through on a promise we make to ourself or trusting our own ability to weather the storm so to speak.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's like oh. But then once you start dipping your toes in the water and then you get in there a little bit further, you go oh, I, I survived that, or I handled. For me it was going through grief, it was like man, I let myself feel that and I, I didn't die and now I'm better on the other side of it, but I had to show myself that I could trust myself to handle that, if that makes sense, Absolutely, Absolutely, yeah. And then I think the same thing starts to show up with whether it's habits we're building or whatever else, where I agree with you you learning that you can trust yourself in a process, especially in a process like this. It's a muscle you exercise that is absolutely invaluable, that's really powerful.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I totally agree that it's an invaluable resource because then if you, if you can trust yourself, then you can go in my book to the next step, which is identifying your paychecks, which is what fills you up and that's that, that those joy pieces, that's that fulfillment piece. And then really, once you understand that, then you can give yourself raises and promotions, as I call them, which are how do you increase your paycheck? So how do you add more joy, add more fulfillment? And like a raise for me was pitching part time. A promotion for me was quitting my job. So like a promotion is obviously like a bigger thing. Right, it's a, it's not the low hanging fruit, it's something that scares the heck out of you. You know where a raise is much more easy to implement. So, anyway, yeah, that's that's kind of the first half, but what we haven't talked about is the bills and this is the part that I think is talking about the bills.

Speaker 2:

Give it to us straight, jess.

Speaker 1:

No, people will just skip this section. And, honestly, if you can increase your paychecks, as far as you can go, but if your bills are really close to equaling your paycheck, your sole salary is still minimum wage, right, so you can bring as much joy fulfillment as you have. But if you have all these things that drain you, you're still. You know you get how a salary works, right. So the point is, is you need to, is you need to dive into these bills? And I call the bills joy killers and soul suckers.

Speaker 1:

So the joy killers aligns very much with what we were talking about earlier and that's other people's expectations of you and your own out of alignment, expectations of yourself or inauthentic expectations of yourself, right. So that's what we were talking about on. Maybe we're living for societal approval or whoever's approval. That really fits into joy killers and that was kind of what I was talking about of my race to be impressive and really just get that external validation and, honestly, still recovering from that it's, it still feels like something I want, even in this new career, like, oh, hopefully I get some external validation to you know, show that I'm on the right track.

Speaker 1:

Where I stopped myself. I've stopped myself many times a day. No, no, I know that I'm doing what I love and yeah, so it's a continued journey, but then the sole suckers are really those limiting beliefs and fears that hold us back from living our fulfilling life. So those two I mean, really diving into those is hard work, but, similar to what we talked about earlier, once you see them, you can't unsee them. So you either have to decide I know about this, about myself, but I'm not changing it or to start the budgeting and budget cut process, which is, how do we take out some of these draining things from our life that's so huge.

Speaker 2:

I feel like the limiting beliefs and the fears. Like you said, it is so much work I hate to even frame it that way because I don't want to discourage people from doing the work. I heard something once a while ago about like, if you let fear be your compass, it will guide you where you need to go. Basically that I think that those fears or those things were anxious about, it's like the greatest pieces of gold are on the other side of that, because there's something there, there's something there right, like, if I'm afraid, I don't know, maybe I'll ask you what would you say are some of. I don't know whether you want to show your fears or some common fears that you see that people are experiencing. That's either taking their joy or holding them back from something that would bring more joy.

Speaker 1:

So let's talk about the person. Who's the badass professional? They don't want to make a mistake. They don't want to make a mistake. I just left my job to start this new career. For example, what if I flop? What if my book doesn't sell at all? This is my own personal one.

Speaker 1:

What if I have to go crawling back and say, hey, can I have my job back? That was one of my big fears. It's like what if I fail at this? I don't like that. One of my big tenants was I want to be impressive and then to have to. There's nothing wrong with having to go back and ask for the job. Right, if you look at it from a rational sense, there's nothing wrong with that. I loved my job. It's not like I didn't like my old career. I just wanted to try this new one because it felt very aligned with myself. So the point is, like, these fears that are so irrational and it's again that other perspective what about you? Would you feel like a failure yourself If I asked myself that? No, because I tried some things that I wouldn't regret never trying it. Do you know what I mean? If it's just this fear, you let it run these stories in your head.

Speaker 2:

How do you tackle it then? How did you take the fear on?

Speaker 1:

So, unfortunately for some people who are not going to like to hear this, I went into therapy. I know there's like a taboo.

Speaker 2:

I think they want to hear it. I think it's great.

Speaker 1:

Because there is such a taboo still. Unfortunately, especially I would say especially with men is what I've seen, is when you have that conversation. But yeah, I tackled it through therapy, worked through it in talk therapy and that really supported me in overcoming those.

Speaker 2:

Well, thank you for sharing that, because I do think that there are probably a lot of people that need to hear that and it to me.

Speaker 2:

I've had so many therapists and so I've had a plethora Not really, but a few and then also coaches, and I think it's so interesting that we will get a coach for every other area of life and they can see what we can't see. I mean, you look at a professional quarterback and they have a specific coach for specific techniques on how to throw and where to put your feet, and those coaches help them see what they can't see and then execute what they need to execute. And I think it is kind of crazy that we think that we should be able to objectively see all of our goodness goodness too, because I think we can't see that objectively and all the crowd and the fears and the stuff that's getting in the way. So how, how? Of course we're getting stuck, because we're human and we need, we need other people, we need mirrors, we need people that can encourage us. We're not designed, I don't think, to be isolated like that.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely, and I think I mean another big piece was the mirrors in your life, like you said, like the best friend who will tell you how it is, or even just a fringe friend who will tell you how it is when you need you know, like a someone who will do that. Yeah, oh yeah, I mean that's definitely a piece of it there's. I mean there's a lot right. There's also, like we talked about what feels authentic, you know, that warm feeling and what your body feels like versus what doesn't you know. I mean I'll give an example of not being in my body.

Speaker 1:

When I was pregnant with my first child, I was still working 10 plus hours a day. I was just really going hard. I was not resting, I was, it was a. I had a high stress job. I was on call 24, seven and and working a lot. So I actually, in the second trimester, started having Braxton Hicks contractions, which are like practice contractions, and I would have to sit down and hydrate and if they stopped, you're good, obviously, if they continued your action in labor.

Speaker 1:

But that didn't happen. I always. They always stopped when I like sat down and took a break and I was like, well, this is, this is annoying, Like I need to get to that meeting or you know, like that was my mindset, which is embarrassing now to admit, but that's how out of touch with my body I was. And I went to my, my OB appointment and she's like I'm going to put you on work restrictions if you don't slow down, Like I will put you on bed rest if you don't slow down. So you know she would not let me leave without work restrictions. So I had hours of the day that I could work in the plant, that I was allowed max and otherwise she was going to put me on bed rest. And it was so embarrassing that I it took a doctor to tell me are you kidding me?

Speaker 2:

I think you are not alone at all and I'm so glad that you're sharing the story, because if I was to get pregnant again right now and that was to happen to me, I would probably do the same thing you did, because I I think there is an enormous amount of either perceived pressure or unsaid pressure that is actually real of an expectation and maybe even a lack of empathy. If you've never been pregnant or don't have anyone close to you that has been and you don't know what it feels like to have your body going through what it's going through, it would be hard to have empathy for like I'm sorry, I need to put my feet up right now and drink water. It's like, what are you doing? We have a meeting, we're starting now and we need you to be here. The circumstances are real and it's hard to say I can't do this right now.

Speaker 2:

I had a woman in previous job on one of my teams that she'd get really maybe this is I'm not going to share her name, but her monthly cycles were excruciatingly painful and she would get migraines and get sick and just like couldn't. She was in an accounting position and like couldn't see straight sometimes, but she's like I don't want to use up my sick days because I won't have any vacation time at the end of the year, and just felt this pressure to like keep showing up, even though her body was telling her in every way possible you need to go rest, and that's something that is not easy to change in a workplace environment overnight. But even when you can hear your body, how do you communicate what you need? And that's a form of advocacy. At that point, then it's like I need to speak up and say what I need and hope that someone can hear this and give me what I need. Right.

Speaker 1:

And I also needed to slap in the face because I come out and like it. You know, under under it all I knew, you know I knew that I need to change something. But you know, like you said, like if we are taught I was taught for all those years to you know, you work when you're having excruciating period cramps. I would have, I would have these, you know, those hot and cold packs Like I would have. Just, I mean, it actually felt like labor now that now that I've been through labor, the the period cramps felt like early labor and like I would. So I was basically in labor every month.

Speaker 1:

You know cramps and just working I'll have that report right over, bob I would be like bent over taking notes in a meeting. I mean, just, you know we've been taught to just work through our menstrual cycles and so I it's not shocking that when I got pregnant I just worked through the pain, Right, I've been trained that whole time to do that. You know I'm not saying that's because my job trained that, it's because of what, like no one speaks of, like taking a break during your period.

Speaker 2:

I mean not no one, but like no, I mean, this is maybe one of the first times I'm actually really talking about it. So welcome Jess. And I'm in a position of leadership too. We don't, you know, we just don't talk about that. Because we don't talk about that at work I I ran across a company recently that she was talking about giving all of the free time off necessary for menstrual cycles for women, just at.

Speaker 2:

And there's, I think Gary V talks about, like I give people unlimited vacation and they still don't take it. I think that there is an element of you. You just have to be willing to trust that your employees that aren't going to take advantage of it, which I don't feel like most people actually would. But knowing that it's there is is a big thing in an environment to go. Okay I, it is okay for me to listen to what my body needs right now.

Speaker 2:

And some days I hit a mental. You know I'd be working, grinding, grinding, grinding, and I'd hit a mental block where I'm like I am not productive. I would be way more productive if I went and took a walk for 15 minutes and then came back and did the thing, or whatever it might be. But I think when we take that time to rest and recoup whether it's because our physical were pregnant and we need more rest or it's some other thing when we can listen to what we need, I believe we're way more productive in the times that we're producing and overall we'll be more productive and more successful. But it's kind of scary to try to figure out, like, how do we actually walk this out without we still have goals to meet, we still have money we need to make? You know, it's still a business. So it takes a lot of good faith, I think, in an environment to try to figure that out. How do we do this different, you know?

Speaker 1:

Absolutely. And there's this quote that I just love, and it's if you don't make time for your wellness, you'll be forced to make time for your illness. Oh, and so that's basically what happened to me. I wasn't making time for my wellness.

Speaker 1:

I know pregnancy is an extreme example, but that's what I needed to get right with my body, you know, and so you know, every day we have needs, you know, and one of my, actually one of my basic need exercises is in the morning to take a deep breath and say what does my body feel, what does my emotions feel, what did my mind feel?

Speaker 1:

So, for example, my body feels very tired this morning. My emotions are I really, really need to cry. I need to get some grief out. My mind is it is way too loud up there, like there's just too much chatter going on, and then I say pick one thing you could do for each of those. So my body's tired, I'm going to take a nap in my car for 15 minutes at my lunch break, or I'm going to go to bed early tonight. My emotional state I'm going to have a good cry for 15 minutes in my car at lunch. So we're going to take a little good cry and then we're going to have a little nap at lunch or at lunch, yes, just crying in your car for a half hour and then, you know, or I'm going to watch a tearjerker.

Speaker 1:

Tonight I have this movie that I know makes me cry. I'm going to do that. You know there's things you can do and I say, pick one. You don't need to do all those things you just listed. Pick one to help yourself. Right, and 1% beats 0%, but it's it's. The point is like, every day we have needs and we need to tune into those.

Speaker 2:

I love this so much. I love to. I think sometimes we we recognize the needs and we think that we're weak or we don't want to take the time or whatever, so we just shove them down and they end up coming up later. My experience with moments like that and sometimes I need to cry for no good reason, I just feel energetically, like I'm like, oh, there's something kind of stuck in here or what, or maybe it's the time of the month and I'm going to cry a little bit today. I don't know. But my experience is when I allow whatever's bubbling up including joy, by the way, because I think sometimes we suppress that because we're afraid of falling from joy or but like whatever's coming up, like embody it, feel it, let it move through you, and usually that process is way quicker than if I'm putting a damper on anger or grief, particularly the like, the lower vibe emotions for me. I'm like if I'm going to try to stifle those, they just simmer beneath the surface for a lot longer time, days even. But if I just like take 15 minutes and have a good cry, it usually just moves through me.

Speaker 2:

I'm like it's so interesting when we pay attention to what we need. You know, I'm looking at it raining outside and leaves falling from the trees. There are natural cycles in all of nature and when we can get in tune with that with ourselves, we have so much less resistance. It seems so basic, but it's like why am I resisting what is naturally trying to happen? Right now the leaves are falling. I'm not going to go glue them back on the tree Like it's time. It's time for that to happen.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely. No, I totally, I totally get that completely. Yeah. Yeah, it's the way that things are meant to be. And tears, oh my gosh, are the best way to energetically get rid of something in your body. Yeah, I mean it just. I feel like that the tears are literally like energy, that like it's the leaves falling. The tears are the leaves falling. There you go.

Speaker 2:

We broke a good cry for no reason, yeah.

Speaker 1:

A good cry for no reason. Even is fine, because you're letting go of some leaves that just needed to be let go, yeah.

Speaker 2:

I think one thing, jess, that's coming to my mind. I'm thinking about people right now that are, that are in scenarios in life, whether it's personally, but we'll speak professionally. That's really who your book is catered to and who what process you've been through. They're in a situation right now, let's say they're in like a really high paying position, or they've finally climbed the ladder and it's what they always wanted, and they have a sense of I'm going to use the word trapped, but kind of like I can't get out of this now. You know, for me I had a moment like that because I had invested a lot of money into a graduate degree in my former field, which was music.

Speaker 2:

I'm doing nothing with that now but I'm like, well, I've invested all this time, all this money, I have all this know how, but this doesn't feel right anymore, but I just doesn't make sense, Like I can't, I can't make a change now, or or maybe they don't even know if they really want to right Cause they're not. They're not, maybe they're not burnt out at this point, but they're not full of joy either and they're just kind of status quoing it. What would you say to those, those people?

Speaker 1:

So one thing I would say is is it a should? I shouldn't leave this job. I should use my degree. Is it a should then? Can you change it into and I want to, I desire to. I feel like this is the right thing for me. Statement If you can't authentically change it into an I want to, I desire to. You know your answer. It doesn't mean it's gonna be easier to change. I'm not saying that makes it easy to change by any means but you can at least say to yourself I need an exit strategy. That can be something that you start working on or it can be something you don't Like. It doesn't mean you have to change it. You get to decide how you live your life. You are the CEO of your life.

Speaker 1:

If you want yeah, if you, when maybe you make that choice of I will stay for three more years, and then I know that I can retire young, you know, cause? I mean I've heard the term golden handcuffs when you're at a higher paying job, maybe you have stock options or whatever it is it's like, or like 401K vesting, whatever it is it becomes these golden handcuffs Cause, oh, if you stay three more years, you're vested, okay, but now you have three more years of that. So you know, I've heard it called the golden handcuffs which I get and it's like, okay, I'm leaving all that on the table.

Speaker 1:

An example I have in my life is I did night school to become a coach. That is no longer a primary part it still is a part, but it's not a primary part of my business. Cause I realized that, you know, even though I put that money and time and energy into becoming certified, I really really enjoy writing and I really enjoy content creation and speaking and those types of items, because I want to make a broader impact. So, like, my lofty goal is to spread love and joy broadly, like really make a huge impact, and I realized what was aligned with. That was actually something that I've. That lifted me up more, which is the book writing and publishing, et cetera. So I invested that time and money, but I did finally make the plan to. That's not the majority of my business anymore, so it it happened.

Speaker 1:

So then, go ahead.

Speaker 2:

Sorry to cut you off. I love. I love how it's kind of like which comes first, the chicken or the egg. I am a believer in because I've seen it, not just because I just want to believe this, but I'm a believer that when we start aligning with more and more things in our life that do bring us joy to things happen, we make a more positive impact, whether that was the reason we chose to do the thing or not, it just becomes a byproduct of it and we get more joy. And then, because we're getting more joy, we make more of it and not and not that we're in this perpetual state of ecstasy.

Speaker 2:

Right, there's still pain, there's still things in life that show up, but I think that you know when I'm thinking about the person that's feeling stuck or feeling trapped or that's in the should state, often I want to illuminate, like, well, what's on the other side of the? What you said, jess, was. It was just like if you were to be able to turn that statement into I desire to, or I want to, or I feel drawn to X, y, z, what's on the other side of that for you, and what's the ripple effect of the people in your world. If you have children, like what are they?

Speaker 2:

It's been fun to see my daughters watch me launch this podcast, which I'm not doing for them. I'm doing it because it's bringing my joy, but they're like, oh, mom, you're gonna do that thing and I'm realizing like they're watching me as 41, not quitting my job, but I'm starting something new and it's giving them permission to realize at any point in life we can go what brings me joy. I want to do that, but that's you know. You talked about that a little bit when we connected prior to today's conversation, just about how joy filled people change the world, and I'd love to kind of hear your take on that piece of it too.

Speaker 1:

Yes, so I'm gonna use a story to give a take on that, and that was something I read in Transcendental Meditation Magazine that there was an area that was very crime-ridden and this project made sure that there was 1% of the population that was meditating. So they did have to transfer some monks to the area to get to that 1%, but for a year 1% of people meditated every day and within that year crime went down 16%. Wow, and they attribute it to this 1%. So you can make a difference, like every person can make a difference, like that did, and it's just a really fun, interesting story to show that.

Speaker 1:

Put another way, in a quote, in a way of a quote, is in one acorn lies an entire forest, so in that acorn it plants a tree. That tree has a bunch of acorns that fall down, but then those all become trees, et cetera. So one person can make an entire forest, can make an entire change in the world, and that's really why I wrote my book. That's not the original reason. I was like, oh, it's on my bucket list, but when I really dove down into it I realized that I want to make a profound impact on the world and everyone who reads and does my book does. That Is an acorn Team acorn.

Speaker 2:

Team Hashtag, team acorn. It's really inspiring what you've done, from the inner work and asking yourself the tough questions to start facing the fears and the process you went through to do that phasing out of a 15 year career and a Fortune 500 company, taking a leap into something that was unknown and even you talked about that flowing with intuition. I mean letting that be a part of your guide it. I think, from the outside, looking in sometimes or maybe this is my own old preconceived ideas that that stuff feels soft, which aka can mean weak, but to me that's that takes so much courage because it's going against societal grain, it's going against a lot of what you grew up with or knew in your own way, and who likes change and who likes going into the unknown?

Speaker 2:

Not a lot of people do, and so thank you for sharing your story and it's inspiring to hear of people who are walking down a path that is not easy, to easy to pull out, so to speak. Thank you, I really appreciate that, yeah, and thank you for your work. So for our listeners, how can they connect with you? How can they get more information or kind of start on their path? And if they're like man, I want to be more aligned with Joy. Tell me a little bit about that.

Speaker 1:

Just start with my free quiz. It's at wwwjesuscaskov. K-a-s-k-o-vcom. Slash SoulSollery Free less than two minutes. It will tell you where you're at and it'll also break it down into subcategories and give you some suggestions. Start there. If you're not ready for reading a whole book, because you probably are overwhelmed, start with a free quiz, get a few tips and then, if you want to continue the journey, the books on Amazon.

Speaker 2:

Awesome. Thanks so much, jess. It really is a pleasure diving in with you today and again, thank you for your work and for being an example that a lot of women, and men too, can look up to in walking out their joy-filled soul salary life. I love it. I so appreciate that. Thank you, as always, thank you for tuning in. I hope that this episode is supporting you in becoming your most whole self so that you can lead your most full life. You are definitely worthy and deserving of that.

Speaker 2:

All of the resources that we shared today are gonna be linked in the show notes. You can check those out there, along with ways that you can connect with us if you've got questions or feedback or people that you think we should reach out to to highlight their story on the Holschwain podcast. In the meantime, please be sure to hit that follow button so you don't miss a beat. Share this episode or any others with those that you think could benefit from this conversation, and you can do the podcast a huge favor by leaving a five star review In the meantime. I hope that you have a fantastic bangin' day. Sorry Bye, stop f doin' man.

Discovering Where Impact Was
Following Intuition in Career Transitions
Navigating Emotions in the Male-Dominated Workplace
Finding Joy in Your Soul Salary
Navigating Work and Pregnancy
Importance of Tuning into Our Needs
Resources, Connection, and Podcast Promotion