ET-041: A conversation with Milena Regos
ET-041: A conversation with Milena Regos
with your host Wayne Brown on April 4, 2023
with your host Wayne Brown on April 4, 2023
Episode notes: A conversation with Milena Regos
Hello and welcome to the first episode of the quarter, the first week of April, 2023 in episode 41 of the ET Project podcast. Today we’re visiting Baja Mexico, the home of Milena Regos, a rebel entrepreneur, visionary and founder of Unhustle.
Milena is on a mission to disrupt the status quo and revolutionize the way we live and work to design sustainable live workplace success without stress and burnout. Milena’s thought leadership on the future of entrepreneurship, well-being, mental health, digital well-being and the future of work awarded her a seat at the World Economic Forum agenda at Davos, and also the People’s Choice Award at the Wisdom 2.0 conference, where she shared the stage with business luminaries and world leaders to activate change on a global scale.
You’ll hear us chatting about a number of topics in this regard, including her decision to create the world Unhustle Day, which occurs each December. An award-winning digital marketer, Milena has worked with some of the most powerful brands in the wellness industry, such as The Hard Candy Fitness, founded by Madonna and Dr. Veil. In 2014, she left her seven figure marketing career to start Unhustle after realizing that the way we are working just isn’t working.
Here is an extract from our conversation as we start to get into it…
“…I started Unhustle about four years ago, but personally I started going down this journey in 2013/2014, seeing that it is just, our lives continue to move faster and faster. Technology is moving faster and faster, yet our human needs are the same. And there’s only so much our brains can fit in. So how do we create the space and the discipline and the practices to really weed out to the business of it all and to, show up being fully present and feeling good so we can create from a… Create what we are meant to create, but from a place of… Fulfilment and joy and freedom. And so yeah mental health is imperative in all of this…”
Today’s Guest: MILENA REGOS
An award-winning digital marketer, Milena has worked with some of the most powerful brands in the wellness industry, such as The Hard Candy Fitness, founded by Madonna and Dr. Veil. In 2014, she left her seven figure marketing career to start Unhustle after realizing that the way we are working just isn’t working.
Through Unhustle, she’s inspiring organizations to replace the hustle culture with human culture for increased well-being, autonomy and flow. Unhustle has been called ‘amazing’ by Ariana Huffington, founder and CEO of Thrive Global, and ‘legendary’ by Christopher Lochhead, number one Apple Business Podcast. Unhustle has been featured on CNN Business, NPR, Thrive Global, and multiple podcasts like Deloitte’s WorkWell.
Milena has an MBA from Alliant University and is a certified Human Potential coach, which is recognized by the ICF. She’s also trained in mindfulness-based stress reduction, chasing curiosity, passion and flow, Milena lives for the beach in Baja with her 10,000% supporting husband and Brindle Baja rescue dog, Taz, chasing more flow, kite surfing, mountain biking, and skiing. So with that, teammate, if you’re inspired by the idea of changing your personal professional lifestyle and dream of achieving this one day, then get ready, as this is probably the episode you’ve been waiting for. Today’s episode is titled, Launching Your New Life of Unhustle As You Live, Work and Play.
- Milena’s website
- Unhustle Rebels Magazine
- Unhustle Baja workshop in May
- Listen to the Unhustle Podcast
- Free Masterclass
Final words from Milena:
Why companies need to learn the art of “Unhustle”
The concept of “Unhustle” refers to the idea of slowing down and prioritizing well-being in the workplace, as opposed to the traditional “hustle culture” that values overworking and burnout.
Here are some potential business benefits of adopting an Unhustle approach in the workplace:
- Improved employee health and well-being: By prioritizing well-being in the workplace, companies can help employees avoid burnout, reduce stress levels, and improve their overall physical and mental health. This can result in reduced absenteeism, increased productivity, and higher employee morale.
- Increased productivity: When employees are well-rested, less stressed, and more engaged with their work, they are more likely to be productive and produce high-quality work. This can help companies achieve their goals more efficiently and effectively.
- Better employee retention: Companies that prioritize employee well-being and work-life balance are more likely to attract and retain top talent. When employees feel supported and valued, they are more likely to stay with the company long-term.
- Enhanced creativity and innovation: Employees who are less stressed and have more time to recharge are more likely to be creative and innovative. By encouraging an Unhustle approach, companies can foster a culture of creativity and innovation that can lead to new products, services, and solutions.
- Stronger company culture: An Unhustle approach can help companies create a culture that values the well-being of employees and promotes a healthy work-life balance. This can help build a sense of community and camaraderie among employees, leading to a stronger and more positive company culture.
1. Supporting facts:
- According to a study by the University of Warwick, happy employees are 12% more productive than their unhappy counterparts.
- A survey conducted by Virgin Pulse found that companies with effective well-being programs reported 11% more productivity.
2. Improved employee retention:
- A study by the American Psychological Association found that employees who feel valued are more likely to report job satisfaction and stay with the company long-term.
- According to a survey by Deloitte, companies with a strong culture of well-being have 3.5 times higher employee retention.
3. Better mental health:
- A report by the World Health Organization found that depression and anxiety cost the global economy an estimated $1 trillion per year in lost productivity.
- According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, companies with comprehensive workplace health programs that include mental health support have lower rates of absenteeism and higher productivity.
4. Increased creativity:
- A study published in the journal Social Science & Medicine found that employees who feel supported by their supervisors are more likely to engage in creative problem-solving.
- A report by Gallup found that employees who are engaged in their work are more likely to come up with new ideas and innovations.
5. Better decision-making:
- A study published in the Harvard Business Review found that emotionally intelligent leaders are more effective in complex and ambiguous situations.
- According to a report by the Center for Creative Leadership, leaders with high emotional intelligence are more effective at building and leading teams.
6. Improved work-life balance:
- According to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, 89% of employees say work-life balance is a key factor in job satisfaction.
- A study published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology found that employees who experience work-family conflict are more likely to report burnout and decreased job satisfaction.
7. Stronger team dynamics:
- A study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology found that team members who feel supported by their colleagues are more likely to engage in productive and effective collaborate.
0:00:00.0 Wayne Brown: Hello and welcome to the first episode of the quarter, the first week of April, 2023 in episode 41 of the ET Project podcast. I’m Wayne Brown, and we’re delighted to be delivering this podcast for executive talent all over the world whom we’re affectionately referring to as Team ET. Today we’re visiting Baja Mexico, the home of Milena Regos, a rebel entrepreneur, visionary and founder of Unhustle.
0:00:29.4 WB: Milena is on a mission to disrupt the status quo and revolutionize the way we live and work to design sustainable live workplace success without stress and burnout. Milena’s thought leadership on the future of entrepreneurship, well-being, mental health, digital well-being and the future of work awarded her a seat at the World Economic Forum agenda at Davos, and also the People’s Choice Award at the Wisdom 2.0 conference, where she shared the stage with business luminaries and world leaders to activate change on a global scale.
0:01:05.8 WB: You’ll hear us chatting about a number of topics in this regard, including her decision to create the world Unhustle Day, which occurs each December. An award-winning digital marketer, Milena has worked with some of the most powerful brands in the wellness industry, such as The Hard Candy Fitness, founded by Madonna and Dr. Veil. In 2014, she left her seven figure marketing career to start Unhustle after realizing that the way we are working just isn’t working.
0:01:37.6 WB: Through Unhustle, she’s inspiring organizations to replace the hustle culture with human culture for increased well-being, autonomy and flow. Unhustle has been called ‘amazing’ by Ariana Huffington, founder and CEO of Thrive Global, and ‘legendary’ by Christopher Lochhead, number one Apple Business Podcast. Unhustle has been featured on CNN Business, NPR, Thrive Global, and multiple podcasts like Deloitte’s WorkWell.
0:02:10.0 WB: Milena has an MBA from Alliant University and is a certified Human Potential coach, which is recognized by the ICF. She’s also trained in mindfulness-based stress reduction, chasing curiosity, passion and flow, Milena lives for the beach in Baja with her 10,000% supporting husband and Brindle Baja rescue dog, Taz, chasing more flow, kite surfing, mountain biking, and skiing. So with that, teammate, if you’re inspired by the idea of changing your personal professional lifestyle and dream of achieving this one day, then get ready, as this is probably the episode you’ve been waiting for. Today’s episode is titled, Launching Your New Life of Unhustle As You Live, Work and Play.
0:03:00.7 Speaker 3: Welcome to the ET Project, a podcast for those executive talents determined to release their true potential and create an impact. Join our veteran coach and mentor, Wayne Brown as we unpack an exciting future together.
0:03:14.4 WB: All right, well, good morning team ET. It’s great to be back for another week and have you listening and, fastened in your seats waiting to receive our guest who is extremely timely for me, I have to say. I was just mentioning before we hit record that I’m feeling a little bit frazzled today. And Milena, who you’ll meet shortly is somebody that’s world renowned, I have to say for her focus on helping people get out of that hustle environment, that hustle culture, and moving into Unhustle. So, I’m really looking forward to this conversation and I’m hoping to take a lot of notes. Milena, welcome to the ET project. It’s great to have you on the show.
0:04:05.8 Milena Regos: Thank you so much, Wayne. It’s a pleasure to be here. Thanks for the intro. [laughter]
0:04:11.3 WB: So maybe we start just by, letting the listeners know a little bit about yourself, where you are at the moment, and what you’re doing.
0:04:20.9 MR: Yeah, sure. Thank you for that. I’m currently in Baja, California, Sur Mexico. I am coming here via the United States. I’ve spent about 25, 27 years in the United States, originally from Bulgaria. So in a way, I’m in country number three for me. And, what brings me here is a lifestyle change… A lifestyle design change in combination with the values of the Unhustle mentality and philosophy that I preach and would like to live at the same time. And that really comes down to how do we create that success that thrives us and fulfills us and gives us the meaning and the purpose and the impact we wanna make in the world.
0:05:02.7 MR: And, I pivoted a long marketing career to start the Unhustle movement because I just see the need and the craving and the potential in doing things differently in this different way of being and living and working that doesn’t put us in stress and overwhelm and burnout, but is rather the opposite, brings more creativity and more innovation for companies. Employee well-being, holistic kind of work life balance that taps into so much more of human potential to bring to the workplace and more meaning and purpose in our lives.
0:05:45.3 WB: It’s so topical right at the moment in many countries around the world. So in Australia, I think in the last couple of months, they’ve just introduced legislation for corporations that they have to now take responsibility for mental health and well-being of their employees. And I see the movement has grown. So the timing is perfect, I have to say. How long have you been in this transition? So out of marketing into this way of life.
0:06:14.7 MR: Yeah, it’s, I started Unhustle about four years ago, but personally I started going down this journey in 2013/2014, seeing that it is just, our lives continue to move faster and faster. Technology is moving faster and faster, yet our human needs are the same. And there’s only so much our brains can fit in. So how do we create the space and the discipline and the practices to really weed out to the business of it all and to, show up being fully present and feeling good so we can create from a… Create what we are meant to create, but from a place of… Fulfilment and joy and freedom. And so yeah mental health is imperative in all of this.
0:07:06.8 WB: Yes. We’re going to dive into that in some detail shortly. Before we get too far into that though if we backtrack a little bit I’d love to share with the listeners a little bit about yourself and what you do in your spare time. I know when we first connected I identified that we share some common interests particularly around music and the type of wine that we enjoy, travel. If I remember correctly some of the bands that you… Or the music you enjoy, Queen, U2, Bowie sorry. [laughter] Anyone that knows me knows that that’s my era. Right? So you’re not that old though. [laughter]
0:07:52.0 MR: You’d be surprised, you’d be surprised. [laughter]
0:07:56.7 WB: In in terms of enjoying life. Like what do you do when you’re not focused on your business as such? What do you do outside of that?
0:08:07.3 MR: You know I just had… I told you before we hit record I just had a really interesting week that was awe-inspiring week and it made me do a little bit of research and find the book, Awe. And I’m starting to think that what we are all missing is this moments of awe and enchantment and moments in flow that we are fully focused and these are just deep emotions that we’re not connecting with anymore. And I realized that I’ve been chasing awe for quite some time. There are different ways actually to chase… To find these awe moments. And so one of them is let’s say moral beauty when you are awestruck by another human being or by another act of a human being. And so for me what I like to do in my free time is, have these meaningful deep conversations with other people.
0:09:05.8 MR: Another one is this collective effervescence. If you know I used to go to Burning Man so you know whether it’s sporting events or Burning Man or, or I go down to the beach and we are all connected with like-minded people because we are all into the kite surfing and the wing foiling. And you can just see people really cheering for you as you’re learning. ‘Cause it could be a brutal sport to learn. And another one is seeking awe in nature. You know what I like to do is mountain bike and hike and wake up with the sunrise and just have these moments of connecting with the universe around me. So I like to say I like to live a high flow living and working. And I like to stay fully engaged. I haven’t watched TV in about a year. I don’t even have a TV in our house. I get my news on a somewhat regular basis but I don’t read the news on a day-to-day basis.
0:10:02.3 WB: Right.
0:10:03.2 MR: And I just… I’m very selective about what I feel, my experience throughout the day and what I spend my time and attention and focus on. And I feel like we all have that choice of what we do but it’s very seductive right? I mean there’s all these dopamine hits from social media.
0:10:22.4 WB: Yes.
0:10:23.3 MR: And from news and from everything that wants to grab our attention. Marketing I know of because it used to be one right? So it requires even more discipline to say what do you wanna spend your time and energy and attention to.
0:10:38.4 WB: Right.
0:10:39.0 MR: And so the things that fulfill me are gonna be different than for everybody else obviously. But it’s a question of are you doing things that inspire you, that fill your cup, that rejuvenates you, that re-energizes you? And if you’re chasing awe I’m actually doing 365 Awe-finding challenge on my Instagram account, trying to find a moment each day that is awe-inspiring. So I’m gonna commit to doing that for the next 365 days.
0:11:06.9 WB: Wow. I love it. I’m going to have to follow you and and just see how you go. I can cheer from the sidelines.
0:11:15.4 MR: Yeah. There you go. You can find me at… At Unhustle. Don’t… I’m not as active on my personal account on my name but yeah. At the Unhustle account you’ll find a 365 days of awe-inspiring moments in the stories.
0:11:27.2 WB: Excellent. Excellent. Let’s go to the beginning of the journey at that moment where you decided to step away from marketing and I can imagine this decision must have been extremely difficult. You were in a high paying role, that was your life at that time. Was there a trigger that made the decision for you? Or how did you come to this decision?
0:11:53.3 MR: Yeah that’s a great question because there’s so much fear. I mean I just spent a week with people who are in transitions and when the… In that kind of transition you may be thinking yeah, that sounds great but how do I do it? There’s a lot of fear and obstacles and limiting beliefs and self-doubt and and limiting mindsets.
0:12:06.8 WB: For sure.
0:12:10.1 MR: That come in that you know it’s like how am I gonna make money again? Am I gonna make money again? Is this really wise to do? You’ve been in a career for like 23 years. I have an MBA in marketing. Is it… Is this really you know my… That’s what I’ve… And I still love marketing. I think there’s a creative component to it that I absolutely love.
0:12:28.6 WB: Yeah.
0:12:29.4 MR: Is this really wise? Am I doing the right thing? And at the end of the day I think we need to be honest with ourselves and we need to know what drives us and what are our values.
0:12:38.4 WB: Mm-hmm.
0:12:40.2 MR: And if you’re grounded in these values then it becomes a little bit easier. But it was absolutely not an easy thing. What did it for me is that I felt like I was banging my head against the wall. I had a team and I had an agency and I had phenomenal clients and at the same time I just didn’t feel like I was a hundred percent aligned with who I am.
0:13:04.0 WB: Right.
0:13:04.4 MR: And I didn’t feel like I was growing from a place of fulfillment and joy but more so because I had to. And so it had turned into a grind for me and I was able to luckily for me disconnect for 10 days and come to this place where I am right now, which turned into a digital detox 10-day experience not by design but default.
0:13:26.9 WB: Mm-hmm.
0:13:27.3 MR: There was no internet in town. And this 10 days really allowed me the space to sit with some difficult questions. Learning to kiteboard in the meantime, trying to focus my attention on doing one thing at the time. And I realized I wasn’t… My mind had just was so busy with thoughts and with projects and with work that I hadn’t given myself a chance to pause and say… Is this really the life I wanna have? Or is it some slightly different variation that’s a little bit maybe more intentional, maybe a little bit more simpler, yet filled with all of the right things that contribute to who I am as a person. I wanted more well-being. I wasn’t thriving in my health even though I was in my… I don’t remember how old I was? Maybe 30s or 40s back then? So yeah, I wasn’t thriving.
0:14:18.5 MR: I was in hospitals and in and out and going to some doctor’s appointments for, I don’t know what reason. My marriage was… It’s okay, we’re soulmates, but I wasn’t giving it the time and attention that it needed. I didn’t have any hobbies. My creativity was kind of dying. I was experiencing like creative burnout, so there was a lot of symptoms leading to… My sleep was horrible. So I knew it was a slippery slope and I didn’t wanna continue down that road, and I just caught myself before something drastic happened.
0:14:52.5 WB: Yeah. I’ve just stepped away from the corporate world in the last 12 months as well, and it’s a big moment regardless of how well you prepare or you think you’re prepared. I was building for it for several years, so it wasn’t a sudden decision. But even so, it was still really believing and having the conviction to make that decision was very helpful.
0:15:17.4 MR: It’s hard. It’s really hard. And the hardest part of it all… I’m sure you’ve… You might have seen it, tell me if you haven’t, we leave corporate world to have more freedom and flexibility and balance. As entrepreneurs pretty quickly, we jump right back on that treadmill and then it’s all on you. You’re wearing all the hats and it becomes just as stressful, but with way less money, which is just as stressful. And so we get right back into where we all started. And so now entrepreneurship is definitely not for everyone. And also it’s very hard for a lot of people who are in that high over-achieving mindset or workaholic or just love what they do to create the boundaries and to have the discipline to separate a little bit. And that’s where high flow living and working helps.
0:16:13.3 WB: It’s as though you are sitting here beside me [chuckle]
0:16:16.7 MR: I know, yeah. I think a lot of us crazy entrepreneurs, rebels and misfits are in the same boat. We do what we do because we are a little crazy, but it’s hard. You still have the sleepless nights. You just… You don’t have a boss now. You have many more bosses ’cause all your clients are your bosses and you are your own worse boss. Right. I’m not trying to put entrepreneurship down by any means. I absolutely love it. But we need to be sensible about how we go about it, which is why I wanted to create this new way of living and being and working that is somewhat science based and somewhat our consciousness based. But there is a lot to be said about surrendering and letting go and listening to your heart and intuition and Daoism and all these things that we can go down the rabbit hole. But it’s true. Because we strive and we push and we struggle and sacrifice and I just… I don’t think it needs to be that way.
0:17:18.2 WB: I know when we spoke the first time you mentioned to me the topic of Blue Zones. I knew of it, but not a lot of it. So I’ve looked it up in the meantime. So now I’m a little bit better versed to have the conversation. Blue Zones as I understand it, right. It’s… So, just as a broad definition, it’s essentially areas in the world, particularly five as I am led to believe where people are deemed to live longer and through the lifestyle they’re living. And how important do you find lifestyle to longevity? Do you make that connection yourself and what you are doing?
0:18:00.5 MR: Yeah, I would say it’s more than just lifestyle. I think community is a really big one there. Having the right community that you’re surrounded with contributes very much so to longevity. Relationships in the longest… In the long… One of the longest Harvard Study show that actual relationships are the contributing factor to well-being. And so if we take this to a work context, then I just wanted to circle that around because it shows that, happy employees… There was a study by University of Warwick, happy employees are 12% more productive than their unhappy counterparts.
0:18:45.2 WB: Right.
0:18:46.5 MR: And another survey by Virgin Pulse found that companies with effective well-being programs are reporting 11% higher productivity. So if we take the Blue Zones as an example, and the Blue Zones being areas in the world where people are thriving. Right.
0:19:01.0 MR: How can we create that same environment in our workspace? How can we have people thriving that have the deep relationships at work, that have the lifestyle ’cause work and life altogether, right? So how can we have… How can they have the wellbeing while they’re at work? How can they have the learning opportunities? Because I think one of the things with Blue Zones is that some of the people in the Blue Zones never retire. I think in Japan, they just…
0:19:32.8 WB: Right.
0:19:33.2 MR: They wanna work until they die. They don’t want to retire. That’s because they’re so passionate… Not just passionate about what they do, but work gives you so much meaning and purpose in life, right. And I think we’re, with our lives extending longer and longer, let’s say we’re gonna live to a hundred years. And let’s say our careers are 60 years old. It’s crazy to think that we’re gonna be in the same career for these 60 years, right? So, I would encourage companies and business owners to start thinking, “Okay, what if… ” And the people who are listening to this podcast, “What if you break these 60 years into smaller chunks?” And it doesn’t have to be just one career. Maybe you take a sabbatical every 12 years to think of what you wanna do. Maybe you move this retirement years before your body wears out a little bit earlier, right? And say, “Okay, I’m not gonna retire at 65 or 55, or whatever it is, but maybe I’m gonna move some of these years earlier in my life and enjoy more of life and go travel and visit all these places and then get back to work.”
0:20:42.1 MR: But maybe it’s the same vocation. Maybe it’s a different vocation, right? I think we wanna start thinking differently about life and work. It’s not the whole mindset of, first you go to school, then you work for 40 years, then you retire, and then basically you play golf and then you die. I think that’s no longer a valid argument for me anyway.
0:21:04.7 WB: And there’s a lot of evidence that people that aren’t prepared, and they do retire, they end up dying very early, and because…
0:21:15.8 MR: Yeah.
0:21:16.5 WB: They just don’t have that ability to fill the gap as… You’ve also done something that I’d never heard of before, but ever since we spoke the first time, I can’t stop thinking about what can I do myself? You have a day. You’ve called the World Unhustle Day. I just love that. How did you even come up with your idea? I know you’re in marketing, and this must have been a creative moment. The World Unhustle Day.
0:21:40.9 MR: It was actually a letting go. It was a surrendering moment. You know, I was… The pandemic had happened and I was trying to get the word out about obviously Unhustle and grow the business, but struggling with it. And I just, it was, I said, “Okay, what does, instead of struggling, what does the world need right now?” And it was one of these kinda, almost kind of little spiritual moment when I had this dream of flooding down this river and it was like people standing on the side of the banks. And I was like, “Oh, we need a World Unhustle Day.” And so I launched it to the universe. And then what happened is somebody picked it up, somebody who didn’t know of me, didn’t know what I was doing, completely stranger, picked it up, and then she threw it into this high level leadership Zoom call with Google and all these really big companies.
0:22:34.5 MR: They were talking about something else, but then at the end they was like, “So is there anything else?” And she goes, “Yeah. So two weeks from now is World Unhustle Day.” And then she sent me the video and she said, “I just saw you now, I’m a big supporter of the work you’re doing.” Well, that it got me invited to the World Economic Forum at Davos, which is crazy to think that just from that moment of like, what does the world need? I’m just gonna surrender to what the universe needs at the moment. And then being able to be on a panel and talk about mental health in Gen Z and burnout and all these things at a much, much higher level. And yeah, I like to do it, and I do it every year. It’s I’ve combined it with the last full moon of December. So I encourage the world to celebrate, at least for a day with me, this concept of a little bit more of slowing down and taking a pause and a little bit of self-reflection, taking care of yourself, fueling your cup, making plans from a place of deep thinking and sitting with yourself instead of just the constant activity and the business that we were in.
0:23:49.4 WB: Which day does that fall on this year?
0:23:52.7 MR: You know, it is on my website. I wanna say it’s like December 7th or something. It’s on the website. Yeah…
0:23:55.8 WB: Okay, okay. No problem.
0:24:00.4 MR: Whenever Full Moon is, it’s an old tradition. It goes back to Native Americans in the United States where this was a day for them to kind of pull in and it’s winter. And they wanted to kind of have this day as a way of planning for the year, but planning from a concept of being safe, being warm and taking a little bit of time for self-reflection. So that was my tie in with the ancient traditions.
0:24:26.7 WB: It’s a great idea. And for sure it’s fixed firmly in my mind at the moment. It’s got something… Unhustle Day.
0:24:33.5 MR: Well, how are you going to celebrate it?
0:24:35.6 WB: That’s exactly right. I know one thing I’ve already decided I’m not going to be working. I’m gonna…
0:24:41.7 MR: There you go.
0:24:42.2 WB: I’m gonna take some time out with my family…
0:24:44.5 MR: There you go.
0:24:45.4 WB: Another thing that I really enjoy that you’re doing is the articles that you write. You have a fantastic writing style, by the way. Just digressing, but…
0:24:55.1 MR: Well, thank you so much. That’s the biggest compliment I’ve had in a long time.
0:25:01.3 WB: I’m obsessed with reading what you write, and I was just flicking through one of the sites a couple of days ago, and you’ve written some articles this year. One of them really resonated with me, which the title in particular, I think it was Burnout Doesn’t Discriminate. And I know you’ve borrowed that title from another author, but I thought that was so relevant to where we are right at this moment. Is there something around burnout that is really important that you like talking about?
0:25:33.3 MR: I just don’t understand why we’re so burnout. I just see this huge pressure burnout is not just an individual thing. It’s an organizational problem, right? And when I talk about rebelling against hustle culture, it’s partly rebelling against this cutthroats mentality that we need to be constantly more and more and more work, work, work, give it all. But there is a sacrifice to that, and I am all about making an impact. But I think there is a gentler way to go about it. And it just… It saddens me to see that so many of us are burned out because we’re losing our progress and innovation and health and so many valuable years in burning ourselves out. So it’s a big pain point for me because I don’t know if I had my personal story with burnout. I was never diagnosed. You know burnout wasn’t necessarily something that existed back then, but if I am to guess, I would say that I had a bit of a creative burnout. And the sad part about it, especially for people who work for themselves, is that once you burn out, you can easily get back there. So you have to be very vigilant about the symptoms.
0:26:51.2 MR: And so, yeah, burnout doesn’t discriminate and it comes in, it can hit you really unexpectedly. And even some of the people I work with who are like, let’s say coaches or consultants in that wellbeing space, they also burn themselves out because we’re passionate about helping other people.
0:27:09.0 WB: Yes.
0:27:09.7 MR: We’re passionate about what we do, and sometimes we don’t take care of ourselves. And so I try to practice what I preach. Am I perfect about it? No, but I have a husband who reminds me and a dog that barks at me at 5 o’clock, so.
0:27:21.6 WB: You’ve led me into the next question. So how do you manage yourself? Like, how do you, not just on a one day singularity perspective, but across the year, how do you manage your workload and your lifestyle to ensure you don’t fall back into that trap?
0:27:41.2 MR: Yeah. That’s the question, isn’t it? So I have a set of rituals and practices and tools that I tap into on a day-to-day basis, and I’m pretty vigilant about watching where I’m at and what I need at that time. I have these Unhustle morning rituals that I’d like to… I call it the Sunrise Method. So it’s sun, unplugged sun in the morning on your face, so you generate melatonin and then starting your day, unplugged time in nature, even if you’re walking the dog, reading and writing from a reflection perspective or in like a motivation perspective. Intentions for your day so that you know what you’re working on. You don’t go down the rabbit hole of 27 different projects. Energy and stillness and meditation. So it’s the sunrise thing for me, but I pick and choose, you know, I do a lot of different modalities. Anything from meditation to exercise to going out in nature and beating myself up in the ocean, connecting with people.
0:28:43.4 MR: Do I have my moments that I’m crying? Yeah. Absolutely. And then it’s a question of, again, going back to the basics. You know, what are my values? Why am I doing this? Who can I lean to? Where are my mentors?
0:29:03.4 WB: Yeah.
0:29:04.0 MR: Where’s my tribe? And I just like I was telling you, I just took a week off for myself and to go to a different somebody else’s retreat and just, it was so good, Wayne. First my eyesight started to come back. I’ve started to wear glasses, so a week without staring at a computer. Like my eyes are perfect right now. So it just shows you how we’re trained, we’re training our brains, but just connecting with people and taking that time for a little bit of learning, a lot of learning, actually. A lot of learning and experiences, and not necessarily being in your business gives you so much insights and opportunities and ideas to say, “Oh, this is what I really want to do that’s gonna move the needle”. Instead of trying to do 27 different projects and not really making an impact.
0:29:54.0 MR: So it’s the pauses. It’s the pauses. Between our action and inaction, there is that pause, right? And I try to find these moments of pause throughout the day, whether it’s 10 minutes hammock time, or my morning rituals, or at the end of the day, play with the dog or whatever it is. I’ve kind of built flow in my days so that it doesn’t feel like I am under so much stress and anxiety, but rather I don’t have to-do lists anymore. Sometimes I write a little to-do list on like a little post-it note. But a lot of the overwhelming anxiety sometimes is self-induced. I told you I went from 2,900 emails to inbox zero this morning.
0:30:40.6 WB: Yes.
0:30:41.8 MR: It took me about 45 minutes. I’m very proud of it. Do you want me to share the secret?
0:30:45.6 WB: So what’s the secret? Yeah, please. Please.
0:30:48.8 MR: Okay. Okay. So here’s the secret. So I use a Gmail. It can easily be done with a Gmail. So again, I had 2,900 emails. Some go back ways, some are things that I want to read, consume, but I don’t ever have time. Chances are I will never have time. So what I did is, here’s the process. You take all of the emails, all of them, and you create a new folder and you call it old mail. And you move all of the emails into that folder. A 100%. Now you have inbox zero right away, right? Then you go to the old mail and you choose… You go through your emails and you choose the ones that need some kind of action from you and only them, and you put them back in your inbox. And after that, starting with them, you go through these… The following kind of actions. One is reply, one is snooze. Gmail just came up with a snooze function.
0:31:57.4 WB: Okay.
0:31:58.5 MR: And so you can snooze the email, you can snooze it till tomorrow. You can snooze it till two weeks from now. If you haven’t taken action on it for quite a while, you could probably snooze it for a little bit longer, right?
0:32:11.6 WB: Yes.
0:32:13.1 MR: Or do something with it, right? You can probably, if you take like just a little bit of time to act on it. And within 45 minutes, because I had to go through these 2,900 emails and I had to see which ones were really the most critical.
0:32:28.8 WB: Yes.
0:32:29.2 MR: I picked about 20 emails and took care of them. And then I have inbox zero and I snoozed a bunch. So then tomorrow there’s gonna be more. But the ability to go to bed with inbox zero, I think is brilliant. And I never preached inbox zero ’cause I don’t think it’s possible ’cause I get a lot of emails just like, who doesn’t, right? But now I’m starting to think that with this new snooze button, this could save us. Now imagine if you take the same approach to your thoughts, to your thoughts. ‘Cause we worry about thoughts, right? And we, especially in meditation, when you worry about… You have all these thoughts and things that worry you. So you can do the same thing. You can say, delete, unsubscribe, or snooze and stop worrying about all the things that are on our heads. I’m gonna try the meditation technique. I’ll let you know how that goes.
0:33:30.4 WB: I was gonna say, are you already practicing this? Or this is a thought that’s just come to you.
0:33:34.0 MR: This is just as of as of this morning, Wayne. I’m gonna give it a try. I hope it works as well as the emails.
0:33:38.7 WB: I look forward to hearing how that goes. Let me know how that goes.
0:33:45.8 MR: Oh, I will. Unsubscribe, delete, snooze. Easy reply, easy four things. Yeah, yeah.
0:33:50.3 WB: Very nice. Very nice. Now, I know you are working on a book. Is that progressing? Are we allowed to talk about it even.
0:34:02.1 MR: We’re allowed to talk about it, one of these days. No. I need to disciplined-ly start going… I’ve written the book. It’s a question of going back and re-editing, rewriting and crystallizing the thinking. And I’d like to keep it short and simple and succinct. And that’s a challenge. And English is not my first language and that’s why I said I so much appreciate you saying that you like my writing, it gives me hope, because we can get in our head and I read some amazing books and I, of course I compare as we do. And so it’s hard to work on that craft. It’s hard for me. But I believe in the message of Unhustle so much and I do believe that people need that so much that I need to get myself out of that whole process and let the work out. So I would like to get the book out before September. That’s my goal, ’cause I’m gonna take the month of September off completely to go to Europe. So I’d like to get the book out before September. That doesn’t give me much time left, so I need to get working on it.
0:35:15.2 WB: Have you finalized the title?
0:35:16.8 MR: Unhustle is the title. The subtitle is probably going to be Redefining Success, Creating an Authentic Life, and Finding Harmony Along these lines. Something in an age of anxiety.
0:35:29.0 WB: Very nice.
0:35:30.5 MR: Yes.
0:35:31.5 WB: I look forward to getting hold of a copy and reading. So…
0:35:34.7 MR: Yes.
0:35:35.2 WB: What are you working on at the moment? I know you have a number of programs that you offer from time to time. Anything happening at the moment?
0:35:45.1 MR: Yeah, super, super fun. I’m designing a retreat, a workshop experience here where I am because I wanna share the magical place with people that can come to me with only 10 people. I have an amazing retreat center and I want to create an experience of five to six days for people to really shift their mindset, do some transformational work, rewire some old patterns, and reconnect with the liveness and with awe and flow and harmony. So that’s coming up in May. I don’t know when you’re gonna air this podcast, but that will be May 18th through the 24th, 23rd, something like that. There’s information on my website. I do some work with companies from a perspective of coaching, consulting, leading them into this new transformative work of emotional intelligence and wellbeing and increased productivity from a place of simplification and business strategy combination with people-centric work culture.
0:36:56.5 MR: So I’m doing some work in that space and I do… I would love to do my eight week program and community for individuals, for leaders, for business owners, for entrepreneurs, because there’s so much power in the community. I’d like to take people on an eight week online journey from A to Z of Unhustle… The Unhustle roadmap, but then also offer… I have a mighty network that I’d like to get this community more engaged with each other because we do learn from each other. And I’m basically the conduit for these amazing individuals to connect, to go to the program and then connect with each other because there’s just so much power. Inner power and inner wisdom in ourselves, but also in connecting with like-minded people. I wanna offer that as a kind of a networking and support experience.
0:37:48.8 WB: So where do people look for you and find you?
0:37:53.4 MR: Unhustle.com very simple. Just Unhustle.com is my website. They’ll find everything there. And yeah, if anyone would like to reach out and test how Unhustle can fit with their life or work or company, I’d be more than happy to.
0:38:01.4 WB: Yeah. Milena, it’s been a wonderful conversation. I would like to keep going for a long time, but I’m going to control myself with the length of, or the duration of the podcast. The feedback I’m getting is it needs to be shorter, so I’m trying to control… But thank you very much for the conversation. Look, there’s so much that you’re doing that the world needs to hear about and I really wish you well with the message and getting it out there. I’m looking forward to December, if for no other reason than to have a day off and reflect on unhustling. Thank you for bringing that to the world. Yeah, all the best with the book and with everything else you’re doing, I’m looking forward to the read, so please don’t delay it.
0:38:57.7 MR: Thank you so much, Wayne. I really, really appreciate. Thanks for having me on and keep doing the work that you’re doing. It’s very needed.
0:39:04.4 WB: Thank you.
0:39:06.3 Speaker 3: Thank you for joining us on the ET project, a show for executive talent development. Until next time, check out our site for free videos, eBooks, webinars and blogs at coaching4companies.com.