"You're In Charge" with Glenn Pasch
"You're In Charge" with Glenn Pasch

Episode 112 · 1 month ago

Janet Fouts: Keeping Remote Employees Thriving


More and more companies are keeping a remote workforce. Whether everyone or some key employees, being away from the office culture can present a problem for leaders.

How do you keep remote employees thriving, connected and feeling part of the business? It is not easy because you cannot see success or more importantly any hint of burnout or frustration. 

In this power episode, Janet Fouts, author and consultant shares how she helps companies overcome the distance to create a thriving environment of inclusiveness and productivity. 

Fascinating conversation. I know you will enjoy it.  

don't forget to subscribe, share and rate the show!!  

About Janet Fouts 

After running a successful digital marketing agency for over 2 decades in Silicon Valley, she pivoted from digital marketing to mindfulness-based emotional intelligence training, offering solutions to mental fatigue and burnout. Through mindfulness, Janet developed a resilient and pro-active approach to work and life with a renewed sense of purpose. 

Her upcoming book ‘Microdosed Mindfulness’ is a relateable, science-based answer to those who think mindfulness is “woo-woo nonsense” that takes too much time and saps productivity.  

Janet learned from leading organizations including Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism Research, the National Wellness Institute, UCLA's MARC program, and the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute, (created at Google).  

She’s the author of 7 books including ‘When Life Hits the Fan - A Guide to Self-care While Caring for Others’, and “Mindful Social Marketing, host of the 'Mindful Social’ podcast where she nterviews thought leaders. She’s spoken on corporate and conference stages for 20+ years including a Tedx talk and is the founder of ‘Nearly Mindful'. Janet’s mission is to create stronger leaders, compassionate communicators, and better humans who will define the future of our work and ultimately our world. 

Connect with Janet: website: https://janetfouts.com/   

About Glenn Pasch:  

"Everyone finds themselves in charge at some point in their lives. Yet many of us lack the skills to generate consistent results. My goal is to help you learn the skills to adapt and grow in your personal and business life.” 

 Glenn Pasch is CEO of PCG Digital, a full service digital marketing agency that specializes in helping businesses create and deliver customers raving, recommending & returning for more. 

He is author of 2 books including "The Power of Connected Marketing" and has spoken and educated audiences throughout the US and internationally. 

Let’s Connect:  

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/glennpasch/​

Personal Website http://glennpasch.com/​

Company website: https://pcgdigital.com/

Support for this episode comes from PCGdigital. It is anywhere from difficult to impossible to manage every aspect of thechanging digital landscape. Rather than trying to do it yourself, why not leaveit to an award winning team of Digital Marketing Specialists who have mastered at allconnect to your message with more potential customers with PCG digital. Go to PCGdigitalcom for more information. So for many companies, especially in this time wherewe still have, or will continue to have remote workforces, how do youbuild that humanity? How do you keep that connection? How do you createthat environment where mindfulness and empathy are not seen as a weakness, but actuallycreating a culture where your team can thrive or feel comfortable to talk about stress, to talk about burnout and allowing you, as a leader, to reposition thingsso that everyone can be successful. Well, I'm really pleased in thispower episode of the podcast to bring back Janet Fouls who shares her journey andwhy she changed and pivoted her career leading a top level digital agency in SiliconValley. But it became a point where it was stressful, burnt out.She realized that this is not what she wanted to do for the rest ofher life and she pivoted where now she helps come companies deal with that samesituation, where they may not have to change or shut down the company,but they can build a better environment, better culture by being mindful, beingpresent in the current situation that they're in. So can't wait. Let's dive intotoday's power episode of You'R in charge conversations that spark change. With Janetfouts. I am curious. I want to pivot now and talk a littlebit about you, because this mindfulness.

Where where you are today, asyou said, not where you were, you know, twenty years ago,twenty five years ago, you were Silicon Valley running an agency, digital agency, as you said, got funding, we have people, things are goingwell and then, you know, the crash aside, which was, youknow always can be, a very similar to covid in this timeframe. Itit pushes things, are accelerates things. So my question to you is,where did where did this come from? You right where we are today,and do you think that, if the crash didn't push you remote, wereyou heading to that way anyway? So I love to understand how we gotto this point, because it's fascinating from running agency work and we have allthis to know. Here we're in a completely different direction. Well, theagency did transform quite a few times, you know. We started as anonline community for people working in the restaurant industry. That evolved to a WebDevelopment Company and then eventually that the evolved into social media management and strategy.And it was really in the social media management and strategy part that we reallymade a big pivot, because at that point I was working with quite afew individuals who were running their own businesses. They were all contractors, they wereall working from home and we were really successful and it was really wherewe were at the height of our success, because social media was taking off likemad and everybody wanted it and nobody knew how to do it. Butover time I started to realize that my my real core love is community,it's dealing with the people and it was...

...always about humanity and people working together. And over time social media got more into a marketing tool, more intokind of that old madman's style of pushing stuff down people's throats because they neededit sure, and I got pretty disconnected from that. That's not the wayI wanted to do business. And I changed a lot of clients, butI was still finding clients that that was the only way they wanted to workand I just was not fulfilled. And at the same time someone in myfamily got sick and I became a caregiver and I started to really check inwith my priorities and I was really burned out because it was running the agencyand I was being a caregiver and all of these other things in crazy siliconvalley and I started exploring mindfulness as a way to take care of myself andthe more I learned about it, the more excited I got because I foundthat it could handle my stress. And little by little I started doing whatI call, you know, mind focus training, if you don't like theword mindfulness, and really learning how to focus on what was important. Andit wasn't social media anymore right it wasn't working with the clients that I wasworking with anymore. So I shut down the agency and I opened a consultingand coaching business and now I do corporate training and retreats and workshops and allkinds of things that just really transform people help them be better in how theydeal with life and with work, and that has changed my entire life insuch a good way. I'm so much calmer these days than I was then. Well, I think, and I want to keep diving into this becausewhat's interesting is sometimes we always we make changes because we have to, meaningthat life is pushing us to that.

So you have a successful business,but the care taking and the burnout and all of a sudden, so howdid you find the mindfulness? Was It, you know, what was the actualthing that got you down the road? Was it a workshop? Was ita video? Was it a book? How did you all of a suddengo from you know, you, even though you sensed it, Iliked community, but we went to the advertising and adds, ads, ads, ads till we're, you know, blue in the face here. Whatwas the what was the trigger point to get to the mindfulness aspiration? Now, quite honestly, you get to a point when you're so burned out thatyou turn to everything, and I turned to a lot of things that weren'tgood for me before I got there right. And then I really kind of ona whim, did a threeday retreat and which was amazing because I realizedthat, Gosh, I can take three days and take care of myself andfocus on what I need, and that is something that I didn't think Iwould do. I thought it was woo woo and silly and why am Idoing this? But I need the time. So I certainly did not have themindset that I have now. I was very like, Oh, Idon't know, this is just going to be crazy, but three days inthe mountains, okay, I can do this right. Well, were youlooking at it more is a vacation break than it was this is going totransform me, or was that a surprise? When you came out of it?It was a total surprise. I really didn't expect it. I thought, you know, I'm just going to go and I'm going to chill andit's going to be good and I just really need a break right now.I have to have a break. And then, once I kind of recognizethat almost everybody that was at that retreat, and it was not a retreat forpeople who were in stress, but almost everybody at that retreat was inreally extreme stress and they were there for...

...the same reasons. I was right. So we got to talking and I realized that, you know, someof them were Silicon Valley executive, some of them had families that were inin challenge. There were a lot of different things, but what brought peopletogether was I just need something to make me feel better, to make mefeel whole. So then I started studying mindfulness in a lot of different waysand compassion and positive neuroplasticity and positive psychology and cognitive behavioral therapy and studied alot of stuff over the last few years and it really has made everything betterfor me and it's made things better for my clients as well, and itjust feels really good. I feel like I found my let, my nextcalling, my next career right well, what I like about that, andI'd love your opinion on this, because I think I don't want to sayjust high achievers, but I think it's most people who are just trying toget through the day. We talked about it earlier. Being busy, takingreal time for yourself is seen as selfish or weeks not the right word,but I think we we feel that if I take till speak for myself,you know, taking time for myself, my wife is always on me.Just go. You need your time and I have my time where I go. But for a long time I didn't because I kept saying, well,me sitting down for an hour and just reading a book for myself, whichI enjoy, I could be doing x write. You have that battle ofconstantly why I could be doing this, or I should be doing more forthe family, or I could be doing more for the company, or Icould and you go to will, I could go work. How do you? What would yourr I can't say advice because again someone's going to say,oh, it sounds all good and easy,...

...but what is that? What's thatpower? Why is it so important that we do take stock and wejust sort of find what we like to do and do it. Like,what's that real benefit? Well, let me take that from a little differenttack. Something that I did and something that I know a lot of peoplehave done is when they get burned out and they get stressed, they're like, okay, I'm going to go dancing, I'm going to go to a bar, I'm going to get drunk, I'm going to come home and everything'sgoing to be better in the morning. No one feels better in the morning. No, no, not work. And so they actually make things worsebecause now they've accelerated the burnout and they made themselves feel bad, and Ithink we've all done that in some capacity. And when we do something like youknow, we take a day and we go for a walk in thewoods, we always feel better. Right, even if it's taking us away fromwork, taking that break just for ourselves feels better. It's right practice. We need to develop a habit of taking those breaks whenever we decide weneed to take them. Not every Saturday I'm going to go for a walkin the woods, because there's going to be all kinds of stress around that. There's going to be all kinds of reasons that you can't do it.But if you do make yourself do it, you're going to feel better. Andthen once we start to feel better, we start to want more of that. Right, until we take that small step like I did, gookay, I got to do something about this, and it can be anhour, it can be reading a book, you know, it isn't watching Netflixfor eight hours, right. That's really a maladaptive behavior. We needto find a way to be with ourselves and create a habit. Yeah,my wife was doing during covid she was doing paint by numbers and she saidthis was that was her time something again,...

...like you were saying, we weresaying earlier, a repetitive action that occupied a portion of the brains ofthe other partition of the brain could go off and just think things, andI think that's just listening to that. What I loved about it was it'sfinding something, doing it for yourself. Sometimes, you know, I don'twant to say force yourself, but you know, if the choice is whileI could go work or go walk, go walk, but it be carefulthat it is in becoming such a ritualized task that you lose the joy ofactually doing that. Now it's I'm going to walk for an hour, butthen your purposes, I can't wait to get on with this walk because thenI checked it off the box and now I'm going to go back and I'mgoing to go work. You've lost that ability because you're no longer present.You're counting down the minutes to be done. So you're not doing it. ButI think from what you're saying and what it sounds like again, it'sjust this ongoing building of presence. Listening to yourself, appreciating that silence andtime for yourself is as valuable of what, because it charges you up and itallows you to be be more present for all of your other things thatyou have on your list because you've recharged a battery, your battery, ina real way, not force. Im going to the beach today and everything'sdone now I can go for you know, it's I think we need more ofthis in as you said. That's why I love that word micro dooses. I think we need we need a hundred micro doses over the course oftime every day, versus one power pack day of vacation. Because, toyour point, then we feel like that solves all of our problems. Yeah, well, and who who? Who hasn't gone on vacation and like thefive days leading up to the vacation are packed with work, right, andget to vacation and you chill out, except the last couple of days whenyou're like, okay, I'm going to get back to work, I'm goingto get this done and this done in...

...this tone. And you get backto work and your hammered again and it has not relaxed you because you're stillexhausted. So when we take little breaks they're actually more impactful. You know, in our house we take over nights or we'll take a couple of days, just whenever right, when a little fry, let's go somewhere, let'swrite at a hotel room, stay there and just relax. And it's justone day. But it's amazing how powerful that could be if we allow ourselvesto do it. And he just ten minutes a walk around the block.I there. I have a neighbor and I've, you know, we've grownclose over the you know, ten years or so. We're here and he'salways worked at home. He and his wife both were at home, butthey I see them walking together or by themselves at least two or three timesa day and he says that's the way. I do my thinking. That's theway, but that he has those micro moments for himself and he isthe most level headed, calm. I'm sure he gets upset, but whenyou talk to him he's very grounded, very center, because he has thisritual of refueling himself or or be you know, treating hit that time forhimself so that he can be present for everything else, and I like that. I think we all do wait for the big vacation and usually if you'dlet's say you're gone for a week, it takes you three days till youfinally are relaxing, and now you're on your fourth day and you feel Ohmy God, I finally feel really good, and then you're going, oh,I have two days left and now I try to jam it all inand I'm more exhausted when I come back, and that I'm sure you've heard of. People go, I need a vacation for my vacation because of allof this. I hope you got a lot out of that episode. Iknow I did. Again, mindfulness, empathy, they are not weaknesses,those are strengths of the best leaders, because the focus is on creating anenvironment for their employees to thrive. So I hope you got a lot outof that. Please don't forget to subscribe to the podcast on Apple Or,if you're an android user, over on...

...spotify or wherever you're listening the podcast. Again, if you'd like to go watch the episode over on Youtube,do that as well. It's episode one hundred and five. You can watchthe whole conversation I had with Janet. Again, thank you so much forbeing here taking time out to listen. I know there's a lot of placesthat you can consume content. The fact that you spend time with me.Means the world. Please share this out, as they said, a lot ofpeople in your network that could benefit from which anet has to say.Please do so. Thank you again for being here and, as I sayat the end of every episode, you're in charge, but now Janet gaveyou a few more tools and tips and strategies to help you become better,both professionally and personally. Thanks again and I look forward to seeing you onthe next episode.

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