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

Episode 112 · 9 months 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 PCG digital. It is anywhere from difficult to impossible to manage every aspect of the changing digital landscape. Rather than trying to do it yourself, why not leave it to an award winning team of Digital Marketing Specialists who have mastered at all connect to your message with more potential customers with PCG digital. Go to PCG digitalcom for more information. So for many companies, especially in this time where we still have, or will continue to have remote workforces, how do you build that humanity? How do you keep that connection? How do you create that environment where mindfulness and empathy are not seen as a weakness, but actually creating 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 things so that everyone can be successful. Well, I'm really pleased in this power episode of the podcast to bring back Janet Fouls who shares her journey and why she changed and pivoted her career leading a top level digital agency in Silicon Valley. 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 of her life and she pivoted where now she helps come companies deal with that same situation, where they may not have to change or shut down the company, but they can build a better environment, better culture by being mindful, being present in the current situation that they're in. So can't wait. Let's dive into today's power episode of You'R in charge conversations that spark change. With Janet fouts. I am curious. I want to pivot now and talk a little bit about you, because this mindfulness.

Where where you are today, as you 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 going well and then, you know, the crash aside, which was, you know always can be, a very similar to covid in this timeframe. It it 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, were you heading to that way anyway? So I love to understand how we got to this point, because it's fascinating from running agency work and we have all this to know. Here we're in a completely different direction. Well, the agency did transform quite a few times, you know. We started as an online community for people working in the restaurant industry. That evolved to a Web Development 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 really made a big pivot, because at that point I was working with quite a few individuals who were running their own businesses. They were all contractors, they were all working from home and we were really successful and it was really where we were at the height of our success, because social media was taking off like mad and everybody wanted it and nobody knew how to do it. But over 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 into kind of that old madman's style of pushing stuff down people's throats because they needed it sure, and I got pretty disconnected from that. That's not the way I wanted to do business. And I changed a lot of clients, but I was still finding clients that that was the only way they wanted to work and I just was not fulfilled. And at the same time someone in my family got sick and I became a caregiver and I started to really check in with my priorities and I was really burned out because it was running the agency and I was being a caregiver and all of these other things in crazy silicon valley and I started exploring mindfulness as a way to take care of myself and the more I learned about it, the more excited I got because I found that it could handle my stress. And little by little I started doing what I call, you know, mind focus training, if you don't like the word mindfulness, and really learning how to focus on what was important. And it wasn't social media anymore right it wasn't working with the clients that I was working with anymore. So I shut down the agency and I opened a consulting and coaching business and now I do corporate training and retreats and workshops and all kinds of things that just really transform people help them be better in how they deal with life and with work, and that has changed my entire life in such 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 because what's interesting is sometimes we always we make changes because we have to, meaning that 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 how did you find the mindfulness? Was It, you know, what was the actual thing that got you down the road? Was it a workshop? Was it a video? Was it a book? How did you all of a sudden go from you know, you, even though you sensed it, I liked community, but we went to the advertising and adds, ads, ads, ads till we're, you know, blue in the face here. What was 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 that you turn to everything, and I turned to a lot of things that weren't good for me before I got there right. And then I really kind of on a whim, did a threeday retreat and which was amazing because I realized that, Gosh, I can take three days and take care of myself and focus on what I need, and that is something that I didn't think I would do. I thought it was woo woo and silly and why am I doing this? But I need the time. So I certainly did not have the mindset that I have now. I was very like, Oh, I don't know, this is just going to be crazy, but three days in the mountains, okay, I can do this right. Well, were you looking at it more is a vacation break than it was this is going to transform 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 and it'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 recognize that almost everybody that was at that retreat, and it was not a retreat for people who were in stress, but almost everybody at that retreat was in really extreme stress and they were there for...

...the same reasons. I was right. So we got to talking and I realized that, you know, some of them were Silicon Valley executive, some of them had families that were in in challenge. There were a lot of different things, but what brought people together was I just need something to make me feel better, to make me feel whole. So then I started studying mindfulness in a lot of different ways and compassion and positive neuroplasticity and positive psychology and cognitive behavioral therapy and studied a lot of stuff over the last few years and it really has made everything better for me and it's made things better for my clients as well, and it just feels really good. I feel like I found my let, my next calling, my next career right well, what I like about that, and I'd love your opinion on this, because I think I don't want to say just high achievers, but I think it's most people who are just trying to get through the day. We talked about it earlier. Being busy, taking real 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, which I enjoy, I could be doing x write. You have that battle of constantly why I could be doing this, or I should be doing more for the family, or I could be doing more for the company, or I could 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 that power? Why is it so important that we do take stock and we just 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 different tack. Something that I did and something that I know a lot of people have 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's going to be better in the morning. No one feels better in the morning. No, no, not work. And so they actually make things worse because now they've accelerated the burnout and they made themselves feel bad, and I think we've all done that in some capacity. And when we do something like you know, we take a day and we go for a walk in the woods, we always feel better. Right, even if it's taking us away from work, 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 we need to take them. Not every Saturday I'm going to go for a walk in 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. And then once we start to feel better, we start to want more of that. Right, until we take that small step like I did, go okay, I got to do something about this, and it can be an hour, it can be reading a book, you know, it isn't watching Netflix for eight hours, right. That's really a maladaptive behavior. We need to 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 said this was that was her time something again,...

...like you were saying, we were saying earlier, a repetitive action that occupied a portion of the brains of the other partition of the brain could go off and just think things, and I think that's just listening to that. What I loved about it was it's finding something, doing it for yourself. Sometimes, you know, I don't want to say force yourself, but you know, if the choice is while I could go work or go walk, go walk, but it be careful that it is in becoming such a ritualized task that you lose the joy of actually doing that. Now it's I'm going to walk for an hour, but then your purposes, I can't wait to get on with this walk because then I checked it off the box and now I'm going to go back and I'm going 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. But I think from what you're saying and what it sounds like again, it's just this ongoing building of presence. Listening to yourself, appreciating that silence and time for yourself is as valuable of what, because it charges you up and it allows you to be be more present for all of your other things that you have on your list because you've recharged a battery, your battery, in a real way, not force. Im going to the beach today and everything's done now I can go for you know, it's I think we need more of this 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 of time every day, versus one power pack day of vacation. Because, to your point, then we feel like that solves all of our problems. Yeah, well, and who who? Who hasn't gone on vacation and like the five days leading up to the vacation are packed with work, right, and get to vacation and you chill out, except the last couple of days when you're like, okay, I'm going to get back to work, I'm going to get this done and this done in...

...this tone. And you get back to work and your hammered again and it has not relaxed you because you're still exhausted. 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's write at a hotel room, stay there and just relax. And it's just one day. But it's amazing how powerful that could be if we allow ourselves to 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 grown close over the you know, ten years or so. We're here and he's always worked at home. He and his wife both were at home, but they I see them walking together or by themselves at least two or three times a day and he says that's the way. I do my thinking. That's the way, but that he has those micro moments for himself and he is the most level headed, calm. I'm sure he gets upset, but when you talk to him he's very grounded, very center, because he has this ritual of refueling himself or or be you know, treating hit that time for himself 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'd let's say you're gone for a week, it takes you three days till you finally are relaxing, and now you're on your fourth day and you feel Oh my 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 in and 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 all of this. I hope you got a lot out of that episode. I know I did. Again, mindfulness, empathy, they are not weaknesses, those are strengths of the best leaders, because the focus is on creating an environment for their employees to thrive. So I hope you got a lot out of 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 watch the whole conversation I had with Janet. Again, thank you so much for being here taking time out to listen. I know there's a lot of places that you can consume content. The fact that you spend time with me. Means the world. Please share this out, as they said, a lot of people in your network that could benefit from which anet has to say. Please do so. Thank you again for being here and, as I say at the end of every episode, you're in charge, but now Janet gave you 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 on the next episode.

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