Real Work, Real Life

Career and Leadership Coach

August 30, 2023 Emily Sampson Episode 27
Real Work, Real Life
Career and Leadership Coach
Show Notes Transcript

On this week's episode of Real Work, Real Life, I'm Lena Athena, a career and leadership coach.

This is a great episode both for people interested in becoming coaches themselves, but also people curious about what a coach could help them with! This career path could work well for people that are looking to make an immediate impact in the lives of their clients, are devoted to personal improvement, and are seeking, over the long term, high degrees of freedom and flexibility (although that piece might not come until your business is well established). 

It’s not yet well regulated, which means you can get into it fairly easily, but that also can mean plenty of competition and challenges establishing your value when there isn’t a widely accepted license or certification. We talk about the challenges of working alone, especially if you’re someone that has previously thrived leading or as part of a team and also managing every aspect of your own small business. 

If you’re interested in finding out more about Lena’s work, you can find here at the links below:

Website: https://lenaathena.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lenasathena/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lenaathena/

If you like the show, please rate and review on iTunes and Spotify  (linked below) and please share with a friend! You can also follow the podcast on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Tiktok. And if you’d like to be interviewed here, or there is a particular job you’d like to learn about, please reach out at realworkreallife@gmail.com.

iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/real-work-real-life/id1673653251
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/1Cp0w2BjOtS8NWfj0NhmIg?si=ece5b6ad45274b73

Transcripts are now available here: www.realworkreallife.com

Lena Career Coach

[00:00:00] Welcome to real work real life, where I talked to real people about what they do for work and what that means for their lives. Today, I'm talking with Lena Athena, a career and leadership coach. This is a great episode for people interested in becoming coaches themselves, but also people curious about what a coach could help them with. This career path could work well for people that are looking to make an immediate impact in the lives of their clients. Are devoted to personal improvement and are seeking over the longterm high degrees of freedom and flexibility. Although that piece might not come until your business is well established. It's not yet a well-regulated industry, which means you can get into it fairly easily, but also it can mean plenty of competition and challenges establishing your value. When there isn't a widely accepted license or certification. We also talk about the challenges of working alone, especially if you're someone that has previously thrived leading, or as part of a team, and also managing every aspect of your own small business. If you're interested in finding [00:01:00] out more about Lena work, you can find it on Instagram at LenaSAthena her website, Lena, athena.com or LinkedIn, which I have linked in the show notes. I can't wait to share this thought provoking and inspiring conversation with you all. So let's get into it.

Emily: Thank you so much for being here, Lena.

Lena: I am happy to be here. Thanks for having me.

Emily: So what do you do for work?

Lena: I'm a career and leadership coach.

Emily: That's amazing. So can you give me a quick elevator pitch of what you're really doing day to day?

Lena: Yeah. So I think for each coach there's a different why as to why they start doing what they're doing. It's not, I. It's not the typical career path yet, although it looks like it kind of is becoming one. For me it's really about personal power. I feel a lot of people are really disconnected from their sense of authority, of knowing what is really best for them, and the difference between, you know, a mentor or going to a teacher and going to a coach is that a coach helps you figure out what is absolutely true for you and your unique.

[00:02:00] Experience of yourself and just helps you draw that out and then helps you, you know, create strategies that again, will work for you and the way that you learn and you grow to get the results that you want.

Emily: Oh, great. So. What interested you about it? how did you get into it originally? I.

Lena: honestly I was always very enamored by coaching and, and A lot of careers of service. So my background is before becoming a coach, I was a director at a nonprofit doing like director of operations doing HR and marketing. And then I was also in a public service role as the chair of Santa Clara County's commission on status of women.

And so my career was very much about like, how can I be in service to people? How do I help? You know, whether it's supporting the creation of legislation, whether it is getting them access to education. What can I do to make my community better? And I think at some point I realized that for me, what is personally really fun and fulfilling is to be able to do the one-on-one deep work with people and really understand like, okay, there is a system and structure around you, but then how do we find the [00:03:00] path that feels most genuine and fun and and purposeful for you as an individual.

Emily: Oh, interesting. So what sort of education or certification was required to become a coach, if anything?

Lena: So interestingly, nothing at first it's like not regulated at all. It's relatively new. And I actually started out because I had people who saw me in the public eye and friends and colleagues and networks and you know, just people that'd be like, Hey, I. You're really, really young. How did you get to these like very high up positions And it just started as me kind of trying to convince the people that I care about.

Like, you don't have to work really hard. You don't have to burn out in the process. There's a fun, genuine way for you to succeed and see yourself as a leader and then get other people to do the same. And I think just bit by bit it kind of built on itself. It wasn't until I decided, okay, I like the idea of doing this full-time and being really in service to people in this particular way. That was when I decided to go and I got certified. I [00:04:00] chose, a company specifically because it aligned with my values, but I would say that there's literally endless certification.

So somebody who's looking. Into this particular field, you know, you can get a certification in how to help people's confidence. That's a type of coaching. You can get a certification in healing, emotional trauma. That's, you know, there's endless possibilities. So one thing I would wanna say to your audience is just really do your research.

Don't just go with the first certification. You see, I think it is important to be certified, but I think more than that a lot of the times people can do it because it makes them sound credible and I think For me, you know, the, the journey and the learning, the growth that you go through is way more important and you wanna get that r o i for the time, energy and money you invest in that.

So that'd be one of my biggest pieces of advice is don't just go with a first certification, but really do your research and find something where you go, yeah, this is the way I'd like to help people. it's giving me tools and techniques and perspectives that I think will make me even better at helping people [00:05:00] achieve whatever it is that I wanna help 'em achieve.

Emily: Oh, that's so interesting and that's a great piece of advice. Can you share which certification you ended up going with 

Lena: I went with this company in Australia called Authentic Education. I did it because I went to just one of their free events that a friend recommended, and it really spoke to me in terms of like the depth of the personal growth aspect that they were looking at.

And for me, like I said, your career and your leadership experience, it is intimately tied with your ability to lead yourself and your ability to be authentic and earnest and have a sense of internal authority. And so I felt that the model that they were looking at really aligned with that perspective.

Emily: can you share a general range of cost for certification programs like that? 

Lena: So I will say like in this fun unregulated world we live in, I've definitely seen people that offer it for like $7 online. I don't know what you get for those [00:06:00] $7. Yeah, but I, I definitely recommend going with something a lot more legitimate than that. I've heard of programs that cost you $10,000 and it's a year long program.

I've heard $2,000 and it's a week long program with year long support. So there really is a wide range, which is why I said I think looking into the particular values of the company you're gonna work with is absolutely gonna be the most helpful in making your decision.

Emily: Yeah. that makes a lot of sense. You get what you pay for as in so many things. Do you find yourself working with a particular type of person or facing a particular challenge now, or is it really you're kind of taking all kinds of people and developing specific plans and ideas for them?

Lena: My business has been mostly word of mouth. Even though I'm very active on Instagram and things like that, but I, I wanna let people know, I think those are skills you build over time, and if you want it to be organic and you're not, I mean, I don't pay for ads, so if you're not paying for ads and things like that, it[00:07:00] it will have to be word of mouth to begin with.

I think because of that, right? People tend to know people who are similar to them and then who look for similar things because that's what they're talking about. They're like, oh, I work with Lena and she helped me with X, Y, Z, and oh, I want X, Y, Z, right? 

Emily: Of course. 

Lena: So for me it's mostly been women who are kind of mid-career, they have bigger dreams for themselves, a lot of them it's like just negotiating a higher salary to be honest.

But a lot of them, it's also they want a particular promotion or a new job. You know, some of them it's even like they want to get the same job but in another country and that's a whole different ballgame for them. And so they're looking for the kind of support in terms of like, Okay, so how do I rebrand myself to qualify for a Visa or you know, how do I negotiate if I'm not sure I'm worth exactly what it is that I wanna ask for?

And so a lot of it is a combination of strategic personal branding and then also genuinely the emotional work that comes with going, okay, well, you have to believe you're worth it. If you wanna ask for it, you have to believe you're gonna kick butt at this and you're gonna have to [00:08:00] showcase.

That's what you're worth. And so the work starts way before you actually negotiate, ask for the promotion you know, apply for the job.

Emily: That's really helpful. I think it's just helpful to kind of envision both if someone were to be a coach one day, what sorts of things they might be working on. And also if someone were to engage a coach, what sorts of questions they could maybe get help with 

 what kind of personality do you find does well as a coach? And I'm sure it's all over the board, but if you've found any common traits that would be interesting.

Lena: I would say more than anything, you have to be resilient. It is a lot of trial and error, I think a lot more than in other roles. In my more formal career, I had done everything from like, you know, just retail employee, retail manager you know, like launching a store, working in nonprofits, there's a lot of variety and I don't think there's ever been a time where it felt so like, by the edge of my seatbelt, you figure it out day by day.

You try different things. You have to be willing [00:09:00] to understand that failure is. Just a part of growth and redefine that for yourself and go, okay, well that, that offer didn't work. Nobody wants that. That's not the coaching they want. Got it. Or I didn't talk about it the right way, or you know, maybe I didn't talk about it in the right places.

And you have to kind of really play detective and I. Because of that. If you get stuck in, you know, shaming yourself or judging yourself for not being, whatever the term is, natural born entrepreneur, which I, think is, a really made up and um, almost destructive term.

Then yeah, then you have to have a lot of the ability and, and, sorry, I wanna clarify like. I don't think you have to have thick skin. And I think it's really important that people realize that. 'cause a lot of people think that confidence and thick skin are the same thing, and I don't think that's true.

I think thick skin makes you less sensitive. And I think the interesting thing here is you have to be very sensitive because what you're doing [00:10:00] is you're attuning to the reality that somebody else wants, that they might be afraid to share. that. They want more money, that they want more praise, that they want to feel more appreciated, that they want a more meaningful life.

And you have to be very vulnerable in order to meet people in that space. And so the combination of being vulnerable and then trying new things and failing like basically daily and realizing, oh, this is what I have to do different. This, I need this skill. I don't have this skill yet. And Unless you're starting with a lot of funding, you're wearing a million hats and most people are not the best marketer and the best salesperson, you know, and like the best, every single role in a company on day one is just it's an unbelievably emotionally challenging expectation that is not gonna set someone up for success.

So the two things that I mentioned so far is you want to be willing to be in touch with failure being a natural part of growth, and you also wanna be very emotionally vulnerable and [00:11:00] like ready to be sensitive towards your client's needs. And in addition to that, I think you just have to be exceptionally passionate.

Like you will feel you like I've yet to meet a single coach or anybody on this journey that ever feels like. Or that hasn't felt that at some point they just wanted to not do it and find something more stable. Find something where they could feel like a rockstar right away. With a new job role, maybe within 90 days, you tend to feel like you kind of know what you're doing.

And I think something like this could take a lot longer. So, What's gonna help you the most is honestly, passion. It's your why, right? Which is why I say for me, like I'm a career and leadership coach, but if you ask me my why, it's reconnecting people with a sense of personal power that they may have allowed the world to strip them of in their childhood, in their experiences.

And now we get to go, okay, let's just assume you're incredibly, wonderfully perfect the way that you are in your genuine self. What kind of career, what kind of life would we build for you? Assuming that and having that why is what [00:12:00] keeps me going. So I think each person has to have a why as to like, why would you want to go into such an incredibly challenging and rewarding field if you don't, you know, you have to find the rewarding part for yourself.

Emily: Right. Yeah. Finding the why. I mean, I think that's great advice in almost any part of your life.

Lena: Yeah.

Emily: So thinking about pay, you know, as an entrepreneur, could you give a sense of like the range of fees or the, way that fee structures might work for coaches so that people could get a sense of what they could make as a coach?

Lena: So there's a lot of different models that people go to when it comes to coaching. There's the hourly model, I think that ranges anywhere from , let's say 50 to. Three 50, depending on your coach. More frequently it's gonna be between the one 50 to 200 range is kind of the ballpark.

There's monthly, I've seen people charge anywhere from like 300 all the way to I [00:13:00] 5,000 for a month. I know it's a wide range, but it's, you know, people charge what they think they're worth and what people are willing to pay them. and then there are a lot of coaches that will do you know, three months, six month, year long programs.

And again, that can range the per month. I think honestly, once you're really established, most people are able to charge around, let's say like two to $3,000 per month if they have a structure that people will buy. So that's the other thing, it's When you're selling hourly, it's a lot harder.

'cause somebody doesn't know. Nobody thinks you're gonna change their life in one hour, or most people don't think that, and I, and I don't think it's accurate for most people that an hour is gonna absolutely change their life. So the more structure you have, the more you can talk about what are the techniques you use, what is your focus, what is the emphasis, what are the results?

If you can guarantee results, a lot of coaches do guarantee results. Then you can definitely charge more because the people that you interact with will go, okay,[00:14:00] you don't think you will fail to do this for me. So it's really about the way you structure it and then being honest with yourself about what you're comfortable charging too.

Because one thing I'll say is I've seen a lot of coaches where they price themselves so low that they don't even wanna sell it. They're like, oh, well I don't feel comfortable asking for more, but then they're like, but this isn't worth my time. And then I've seen coaches where they price it so high and, and then they're like, I don't even know if I'm worth it.

Like, you know, So yeah, so you gotta know what's right for you and you gotta figure it out. And then you just, you go out and test it and you see whether people will actually buy from you.

Emily: Yeah. Yeah, so for things like benefits like retirement and healthcare, I'm assuming that's kind of all. On you. Are there any sorts of situations where a coach might be employed by a company that would provide benefits or is it really, this is an entrepreneurial game at the moment?

Lena: I love that you asked that. I do know that you can coach for other people. I think you have to be, have to be as a strong term. There is the option I. To be hired [00:15:00] by coaches who are so established that they need multiple coaches to keep up with their clients. I've yet to see an opportunity like that where benefits were involved.

Emily: Right, Yeah, that makes perfect sense. Do you find that you could be based anywhere, or is there a real benefit to being in a particular location? Because people really like to meet coaches in person.

Lena: The fun of the industry is that you can be a hundred percent remote. You totally rock it and you can get to enjoy it. And you get to work with people from different cultures and different places. Which can be hard in terms of scheduling times that work for everybody's time zone, but is, I think, is its own type of rewarding because you kind of get to learn about the world and about people's perspectives.

There is some benefit to being in person in a more populated area, if you like to speak publicly. that's really a huge opportunity in terms of more organic marketing for yourself and making sure that people understand what the why is that is keeping your business going, what made you [00:16:00] get into it, and that you can be of service to them.

So if you have. To, you know, not travel all year long and have some time in person and speaking. That's definitely something I would recommend.

Emily: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. So I'm guessing you probably don't have a totally average day, but could you kind of walk me through a typical working day, what that looks like for you, how much you're seeing clients, how much you're working on the business aspect of your work?

Lena: I try to structure my week as a week as opposed to individual days. So I try to get all my client calls to be on two days of the week and then I can use the rest for more of the backend of things. That said, Especially if you're trying to build an online presence in social media, there's something to be said for letting yourself do that part when you're genuinely inspired to do it.

So what I have to fit in a week is, you know, you have like blogging, new lettering, podcasting any sort of writing [00:17:00] copy, like let's say you have a, page on your website that you're developing, that takes some time as well. Thinking, brainstorming new offers in different ways you can help people.

I'm like looking at my calendar that's right in front of me. And then, so those are the things that I have to fit into every single week. And I try to play around and I try to just really be present with my, you know, with my clients on client days because I think that. Is easier for me, but I know people who just jump around between things.

So the fun thing about this is you get to create your own schedule. The interesting thing about the role is I think a lot of people don't realize how much time they're gonna spend on backend administrative things or on marketing in terms of like thinking of content and creating it and editing it.

So I think it's just really good. You know, for everybody to keep in mind that you get to coach a certain percentage of the time, but to start with, that's gonna be a much smaller percentage, and then it gets to grow. The more you succeed. You can hire teams, you can outsource things.

Emily: Yeah. [00:18:00] So do you find that you're able to balance your personal life and your work life? Well, like are you allowed. Allowed to turn off the entrepreneurial side and, really, checkout of work or is that a challenge when you're building your business?

Lena: On the days when I'm super excited about what I'm working on, it's very hard, but it's just for emotional reasons

Emily: That's a good thing. I mean, if you're enjoying it, 

Lena: Yeah. Yeah. So those days where I'm like more excited about something I think it's very hard to like switch that off. But honestly, this is a field where like if you want time freedom, this is probably the best long-term plan for that, but not the best short-term plan for that.

Emily: Yeah.

Lena: yeah, so I think to start with, emotionally, there's the feeling that you are now basically five people on a team and nothing ever moves forward without you. ever. It's not going to. Right. So that's the emotional space. A lot of people are stuck in to begin with, and then you have to decide. Where you wanna invest your time so that you stop feeling that way.

You know, that's [00:19:00] why a lot of people will pay for ads because they're like, oh, at least the ads are doing marketing for me. And I get to, you know, while I'm sleeping or while I'm hanging out with friends. You know, there's people that like to go on podcasts and you're like, Hey, the podcast is telling people about what I do and I get to spend that time with my partner.

 Over time, you figure out how to better balance and restructure your life. And honestly, eventually, the people that I know that are kicking butt or even people that just really value their downtime like me you could probably spend way more time doing nothing than people realize.

Emily: Yes, that's the lesson for the day. We could stop recording right now. So usually the focus of these interviews is on kind of giving people a sense of what it's like working in this career, but since your career is helping people have, you know, better and more fulfilling careers, do you have any sort of general career advice for people?

Or it can be very specific, just something that you think as you've been meeting with more and more clients, you've realized, boy, people could really use help with this, or, I often find that [00:20:00] people are struggling with this and here's how you might approach it.

Lena: Yeah. I have a lot now I have to, I have to pick the best

ones. 

Emily:

Lena: Okay. I'll try to limit it. So to start with, I know it's a cliche, but following your genuine passion I think is absolutely better than anything else. I've seen so many people change roles because they hit. Not even a ceiling on their capacity, but a ceiling on their emotional capacity to continue in a role where they knew they would never feel excellent because they would never have the passion required to reach that level of excellence.

And so, even though it sounds like a cliche, it's not, it's, really freaking sound advice. Beyond that, I think there is something to be said for each role industry. Opportunity. There is a pathway and it has a lot of ceilings along the way, and you, have to kind of figure out your way around the maze.

So the other thing I would say is planning ahead. As much as it can be daunting for people, it's really good to know [00:21:00] where you want to see your career. Five, 10 years from now. I've seen a lot of people where their boss will tell them, you know, you are the very best. Insert role here that we have on the team, but I don't see any leadership skills, so I can't, promote you at this point.

 You know, when I hear a client tell me that's the feedback they got, I'm like, this is the best and worst thing they could ever say to you, isn't it? Because you're the best at what you're doing. And that's such validation. And also now you have to decide, do I just love what I'm doing enough to stay here?

Or do I want to become a leader? So the final thing I'll say, I know it's three and you probably wanted one, the final thing I'll say is that whether you see yourself as a leader is absolutely life changing. And too many times I have clients that come to me where the way for them to grow in their career is by first seeing themselves as a leader, and they're so focused on the title or the money that they don't realize that.

Seeing yourself as a leader is something that helps you in every single area of your life. It is an [00:22:00] investment way beyond what you will get out of your career. It is an investment in how you parent. If you ever plan to parent, it's an investment in the kind of friend you are and whether you help your friends when they're down.

So, Understanding that this is not about the title and the money, this is about the person that you are, and that is what people actually pick up on in your line of work is, are you the person when things go sideways, who's gonna have the internal stability and the sense of authority over themselves and trust and what you know and, and how you see the world so that you can lead the team in a different direction when necessary.

So giving yourself, Enough grace to say, if you don't feel that way today, that's totally fine. But then understanding that, you know, this is a life-changing relationship with yourself that is gonna be fruitful in basically every area of your life. And so just because you don't wanna be a manager, I wouldn't box yourself out of being a leader.

Emily: Oh yeah, that is great [00:23:00] advice for sure. The, the actual leader component of working you have to really want to do that type of work, not just the The pay and the title. Yeah. You've mentioned a bunch of things that you love about your job already, but is there anything that you want to add that you really enjoy about your job that you think people might not know?

Lena: I think the personal development aspect, like you are the product and I've, heard tons of people say this and so I'm, I'm not taking any credit for this perspective, but it's understanding that you are the product when you're the coach, it's your ability to. To, be confident and optimistic and find strategies because you're, in this executive mindset of finding solutions through everything.

And so understanding that, like, if you have ever wanted a career where being the very best version of you that you can be. Which is vulnerable and authentic and messy and human and full of failure, like I mentioned, but also [00:24:00] requires, deep emotional work on yourself, like finding emotional stability and resilience and being able to be grateful for what you have through the trials and tribulations.

And then getting to share those skills with other people and improve their lives. I think this is a really cool path to do that. I think I touched on this briefly earlier, but there is a really big difference between a mentor or a teacher and a coach or, and a therapist, right?

Which I think a lot of people tend to confuse. So understanding that your job is now going to be to bring out the best in other people, and that requires you to bring out the best in yourself, and then that requires you to be really deeply, emotionally in tune with what the best is in the person that you're sitting in front of, and then only ever work with clients.

Where you look at them and you're like, this person's a fricking rock star. And there's more to them than the world is seeing right now. And then having the integrity to do that, I think is also incredibly important.

Emily: I interviewed a therapist who said one thing people get wrong about. Out going into therapy is they think, oh, people [00:25:00] always ask me for advice. I'm great at giving advice. I wanna be a therapist. And what, what she said was, that's probably better suited for something like a leadership coach or some sort of life coach.

Curious if you, do you have thoughts about that? Do you find that kind of, that like, I am a go-to person for advice that might make a good coach?

Lena: It's interesting. So I actually always thought that I was gonna be a middle school counselor girl I, yeah, I thought my middle school counselor was the coolest person ever. And then I saw, I thought the same thing about my high school counselor and. the interesting thing is actually my, nickname in middle school was the counselor.

'cause I would just give advice all the time. So that was even in like my email signature, which is super lame, but it is what it is. But the interesting thing that I learned when I became a coach is that you're not really supposed to give advice.

Emily: Mm.

Lena: So I, I'm really glad you asked that because Giving advice is actually the job of a mentor.

And so like, if you're gonna become a coach and you give people advice, which I[00:26:00] totally do as well, and I'm all for, then you know, in your legal agreements, you're gonna wanna say it's coaching and mentoring. Coaching is the act of helping someone remember how to guide themselves essentially.

Emily: Okay. Yeah. Interesting. I am glad I ask that. That's a, that's an interesting distinction, but I can absolutely see how there's room and need for both. That's

Lena: yeah, yeah, 

Emily: so on the other hand, we just talked about things you love. Are there things that are tough about it, especially if it's something that you just didn't expect to be as hard as it is.

Lena: yeah. Being alone.

Emily: Yeah. Do you have any peers that you talk to?

Lena: I do, I do have peers that I talk to. I didn't realize how much time I'd spend alone, and I didn't realize how much more fun I have brainstorming with people than alone. So even having peers and like talking to people and hearing about their business and getting to just appreciate their perspective on life as wonderful as that is I'm a team player [00:27:00] and I didn't realize how much that was.

A part of the way that I like to move and groove through life is as a team. yeah, that was definitely the absolutely the most surprising thing. there's many ways to rectify that. You can join a mastermind, you can make efforts to make peers who have the same genuine desire to build businesses together.

There's ways around it. But it's definitely something that requires a lot of effort and commitment for you to create for yourself as an entrepreneur. The other thing that I'll say is just understanding that there are very few people who. Thrive off of failing and learning from it. And because of that, even if you are that person, there will be people in your life who might not want that for you because they see it as a negative.

And so the other thing is to make sure that you, you are okay and at peace with people not understanding, right? Like I walked away. From a very nice salary and cool [00:28:00] titles and so much impact. I mean, in fact, I was one of the hardest things for me was how many people I felt I got to connect with and help improve their lives.

And I thought I'd get more as a coach immediately, and it took time.

 And so understanding that, the model of fulfillment that you have is you're walking into something that's gonna be incredibly difficult to begin with, and a lot of people will not understand why you're making that choice. But then over time, it'll become incredibly simple and easy as you become better at it.

And so just being at peace with this is a conscious decision that you're making, I think is really important.

Emily: Yeah, spending. Less time worrying about what other people think is probably a worthwhile pursuit for most of us, and it yet is very hard to do.

Lena: Yeah, and that's I don't wanna like start us over from scratch here, but that's a lot of what I do as a coach too, is just help people get over like, well, my parents think I should get a promotion now. My mom doesn't understand why I'm staying in this job when I have so much potential. And there is a lot of [00:29:00] internalized judgment that I think just stops us from following exactly what it is that we wanna do with our lives.

That's where I love personal power, because when you understand that the power to change your life really does begin and end with you, and that you're giving power away by thinking somebody else has a better model of what your life should look like stored in their brain, and that it's your job to extract that rather than understanding there is a better model of your reality in your mind, and you get to extract that through inner peace and silence and listening and attuning to yourself.

it's a really big opportunity that will help a lot of people feel a lot better about being who they are.

Emily: That's beautiful. That's a really nice thing to think about. So what do you hope to be doing more of or less of in the next five to 10 years?

Lena: At some point I'd really like to, Do more writing. I, I actually really love writing and I think that because of the nature of this industry, writing is not necessarily the thing that [00:30:00] has caught my time and attention. But I would really love to be, writing books and and getting to enjoy sharing thoughts through that methodology.

What I'd like to do less of.

That's a really hard question, actually. 

Emily: Maybe the administrative side, or maybe that's not really achievable. Wish to do less of.

Lena: actually. Okay. Yes. What I'd like to do less of, I think, is research. I don't think a, like, I don't know if everybody realizes, but as an entrepreneur you're doing tons of research all the time, right? Like I had to research to find this awesome podcast, to be honest. So yeah, I think it'd be really incredible.

As much as I love researching, I think I get way more fulfillment out of speaking and writing and working with clients than I do from the research.

Emily: I love it. So this is the last question I have for you. And you've already covered a lot of ways to answer this, so if you have something additional that'd be great, and if not no need. But what's one piece of advice generally about work that you would give your younger self?

Lena: No, luckily I'm an [00:31:00] ideas person, so one thing I'd say is patience is really important and I think earlier in my career I. I felt very small in comparison to the person I knew I could become, and so there was a lot of desire to push myself and grow as fast as possible in like a measurable, tangible way.

And I think that was a lot of unnecessary emotional stress and. And the other bit is I do think that's how a lot of people convinced themselves to work longer hours than necessary. I know that was the thinking that made me do that. The belief that, okay, well if I work harder, people will see my value and then, then I'll feel like I'm growing.

And so I think the biggest piece of advice is people don't value you because you do a lot of tasks. People value you because. You are valuable to them, and the, the tasking is something that everybody in the job does, whereas the being authentic and forthcoming and creative and [00:32:00] communicative and friendly and fun to be around and inspirational, those are the aspects of you that make people see you as a valuable.

Person in their life. And so understanding that if you can just be more of yourself which requires putting less pressure on yourself so that you can be emotionally calm and therefore authentic that's gonna help your career a lot more than working long hours or trying to push your weight into some imagined destination.

Emily: I love that that is, Fantastic advice, I think, for anyone. So where can people find you? Where can they hear what you're up to?

Lena: Yeah, so the best way is to follow me on Instagram. My Instagram handle is Lena s Athena. So I don't know if you can have that in writing somewhere for

Emily: Yeah, I'll put it in the show notes and I'll put it on the post as well. Great. So Instagram, do you have a website or anything as well?

Lena: I have a website. It's lena athena.com. And you can also connect with me on LinkedIn. I'd love [00:33:00] to have you in my network.

Emily: Awesome. All right, well thank you so much for your time, Lynn. I just really, really enjoyed this discussion.

Lena: I did too. Thank you much for having me. 

 Thanks for joining me. If you liked the show, please rate and review on iTunes and Spotify. And please share with a friend. You can also follow the podcast on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, or ticktock. And if you'd like to be interviewed here or there's a particular job you'd like to learn about, please reach out@realworkreallifeatgmail.com.