reCHARGE® Your Life

Ep58: Rusty Gaillard reCHARGED

May 11, 2022 Dr. Keri Ohlrich & Kelly Guenther
reCHARGE® Your Life
Ep58: Rusty Gaillard reCHARGED
Show Notes Transcript

Leaving a successful job at Apple to pursue his dream of coaching, Rusty Gaillard starts by sharing some sage advice, which is to, rather than constantly pushing ourselves, to instead allow ourselves 10 minutes to do nothing. He explains that this exercise has opened his creativity and afforded him the opportunity to open himself up to his best ideas!  

Former Worldwide Director of Finance at Apple, Rusty Gaillard followed a traditional corporate path to success - from GE under Jack Welch, an MBA at Stanford, to 13 years at Apple.  He left the corporate world in 2019 when his external success no longer felt like personal success. Rusty now works as a coach for small business owners and executives looking for more success without more sacrifice.

Rusty lives in Silicon Valley with his wife and 15-yr old son. He is a best-selling author, speaker, musician, and spends as much time as possible outside.

Connect with Rusty to learn more about him and his background:

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Keri: [00:00:12] Welcome to the reCHARGE® Your Life podcast with me, Dr. Keri Ohlrich and Kelly Guenther. We are thrilled to talk to people who have made a decision that reCHARGE® their lives. Often they push themselves out of their comfort zones and took risks. We want to know about that decision point. Why did they make that decision? And most importantly, how can we learn from them? Kelly and I are passionate HR professionals, and together we co-founded our HR consulting firm Abbracci Group. We have talked to amazing people throughout our careers and listen to them as they made decisions that changed their lives and knew that these inspirational stories would help others. And why did we call it reCHARGE®? It's based on a book I coauthored called The Way of the HR Warrior, and in it we have a leadership model CHARGE which stands for courage, humility, accuracy, resiliency, goal oriented and exemplary. We know that people used one or more of these qualities to help them make their decisions, and we want to learn from them. Now sit back, listen and be inspired by these stories, and then do something to reCHARGE® your life. Let's get to it. 

Kelly: [00:01:18] Hi, everyone, it's Kelly. We're honored to have Rusty Gaillard as our special guest. As a former worldwide director of finance at Apple, Rusty Gaillard followed a traditional corporate path to success from G.E. under Jack Welch, an MBA at Stanford, to 13 years at Apple. He left the corporate world in 2019, when his external success no longer felt like personal success. Rusty now works as a coach for small business owners and executives looking for more success without more sacrifice. Rusty lives in Silicon Valley with his wife and 15 year old son. He's a bestselling author, speaker, musician and spends as much time as possible outside. Rusty, thank you so much for being a guest on our podcast. We always like to start by asking what you do when you want to push yourself and expand your thinking. 

Rusty: [00:02:13] Hi, Kelly. First of all, thank you for having me here. It's a pleasure to be with you. When I think about that question, the first thought that comes to mind for me is pushing myself doesn't actually help get me the right answers if I want to expand my thinking. Pushing myself actually hurts more than helps. As part of this comes from my personality and my upbringing, which is very goal oriented and very action oriented. I'm very much a can do kind of person. But what that results in is being in motion all the time and being in motion and doing. The next thing is in a way, preventing me from expanding my thinking. So one of the things I had to learn was to sit still. And in fact, one of my coaches recently gave me a homework assignment to take 10 minutes a day and sit and do nothing. Don't plan the day, don't meditate or anything like that, but just sit still and do nothing, because that, I believe, is that kind of empty space in life, which is so rare for many of us. That is where ideas come from. And so, you know, it's I just I find it so interesting that the way you ask the question is about pushing yourself. And for me, the answer is the exact opposite that it's about slowing down. 

Keri: [00:03:29] Rusty, welcome. We're so glad to have you on the podcast. I already I'm going to type A. to Kelly Guenther and let's stop saying push. Let's say just expand. I am so in love with that because we meant it. We meant it is what you said. Like, how do you expand your thinking? How do you expand your horizons? But how interesting. That's the language we used, because that's what we're like. Like you, you're always in motion. You're always kind of pushing yourself, what's the next thing? And I adore that she just said, Nope, it's really expand. And how do I sit with nothing? And so when did you start kind of just sitting rusty for 10 minutes? How is that going for you?  

Rusty: [00:04:14] Well, I've been meditating off and on for years, but that's not what this is about. This is about sitting. So it's really just been a couple of weeks, but it's, you know, one of the opportunities in that is to notice what happens when you sit. And you know, for me, I was like, Oh my gosh, I'm not being productive. I got all these things I could do. It's like I'm supposed to just be sitting here. So, it's a very interesting experiment. And you know, I have a big fan of experimentation because so many of us say, Well, I could never do that and that won't work for me. Well, have you tried it? It's like my kid who's who's now 15 is a pretty good eater. But when he was little, I was like, Hey, you can't say you don't like something unless you taste it in your mouth and tell me what you think. We had to do the same thing as adults. 

Keri: [00:04:58] I was just thinking, I'm just, I'm so into the weeds now, resting on sitting there for 10 minutes doing nothing. I'm like, Wait, you can't like, look at the television or listen to music like just sitting. Nothing. So what goes through your brain and how do you kind of turn it off? I got to know more rusty. You can't drop that rusty. And then we got to get into some details.  

Rusty: [00:05:20] I mean, everything goes through my brain all the way from what am I doing to you? Shouldn't I be doing something else to, oh, look, a bird just flew by? So you mentioned in my introduction, I like to spend as much time outside as possible, so oftentimes I'll sit outside and being in nature is a great thing because the pace of nature is just so much slower than the pace of our life. And I can sit there and I can listen to the wind and the trees. I can watch the birds flying around or squirrels chasing each other and just sit and just appreciate life. And so my mind wanders. Of course it does. And I just do my best to say to let go of those thoughts and say, Well, I'll deal with that after these 10 minutes. And the thing that I notice is that I slow down. I think my heart rate goes down, my stress level goes down. My desire to do do do more things goes down. I stop pushing myself so much. So it's I really come out of those 10 minutes feeling less stressed, even though I'm literally doing nothing. And in some respects, doing nothing can be stressful. But, but I do come out feeling cold. 

Keri: [00:06:28] I was going to ask, if have you seen those results in the in? You already answered it. But I think you know that the the nature and sitting in nature and being in nature, I remember our child went to a Waldorf school and they are very into go out in nature. It clears your head and it also, like you said, comes you down but there's something about nature and looking at something like a mountain or things that have been there long before you arrived in long after you leave this Earth, that is, it creates some humility in you because you see things that are bigger than you and nature is bigger than all of us and nature will do what it needs to do, regardless of what we do to it sometimes.  

Rusty: [00:07:14] So I totally agree with that. And you know, one of the things that I talk about is, going back to where we started, which is, pushing yourself and go. A lot of people learn that from the very beginning, right from early ages in school, if you want to be the best, you go for the best grades. It takes a lot of work, it takes discipline and then you carry that into your job and you carry that same kind of diligence and discipline and pushing yourself and all of that. And I talk about this as a student who becomes a player in their job but you end up in the trap because this a trap is pushing yourself no longer is the answer, but it's the tool that you're most familiar with. And so it's the tool that you pull out all the time, and that was definitely my case. Now I may reveal myself to be a bit of a California tree hugger or something here but I love being outside and occasionally I'll walk through a redwood forest and I'll just stop and I'll walk over and I'll just put my hand up against one of these redwood trees and there is absolutely a sense of humility. You know, these trees can live hundreds of years but there's also a great slowing down because I'm rushing through life a lot of the time. Try to get all of these things done and this tree which has been there for hundreds of years and will be there for hundreds of years after I'm gone, is just slowly going about its life and it's alive. And so there's this whole different relationship to life and the pace of life to just again be out in nature and connect with something. And it's so different from the trap, which is go, go, go. Push, push, push but when you're able to slow down, to sit for 10 minutes and do nothing, I come out of that with ideas and creativity and energy that I didn't have before I started. So I'm a better person. I'm a more effective for doing it.  

Keri: [00:08:58] Yeah, I love that. Thank you for sharing that. I really appreciate it was such a good message. So now onto the big question, which is what decision did you make or was made for you that changed the trajectory of your life? And what are some of those charged qualities that you use to help you through it?  

Rusty: [00:09:17] There are a couple of big ones in my life, one decision was made for me which was getting divorced, and I'm happy to talk about that but the one that I was going to talk about was choosing to leave my job at Apple after 13 years to go and become a coach. I grew up in a family where my dad put on a suit and went to the office every day. He worked for the same company for thirty five years. He was very successful. His definition of a good career was to find a good company and stay there and climb the ranks. I did that for a long time at Apple, but at some point I realized that I wanted to go off and do something new. It was searching for something that was more personally meaningful. I just came to this appreciation that I'm spending half of my waking hours at work and to what end? What do I really have to show about? Apple is a great company and I'm contributing in some way, but Apple is also a very big company and how much difference am I really making in this company? and so for me, it was about really reflecting on what is important to me. What kind of life do I want to live? What kind of impact do I want to have on others? And how do I create that? And so it was that decision to ultimately leave Apple. I would say that has really has changed the trajectory of my life and not just my my career, but also many aspects of my personal life. What?  

Keri: [00:10:44] So let's take it a few steps back. So you're on like you said you were a student, a player, go to a great school, get a great job at Apple and this whole time, are you feeling like this? Did you have kind of a nagging suspicion in you, rusty in your brain? Like, Oh, I don't know if I like this or like, I'm all in. And then a shift started like, was it a gradual or was it kind of, Oh my goodness, I don't. This isn't right anymore for me.  

Rusty: [00:11:14] Yeah, I was all in for sure. I was close to the top of my class in high school. I was there. I was always a high-performing individual and I fully expected that to be the case as I entered the working world and I progressed and I did well. I would say the beginning of the unraveling of that is when my son was born, OK, I did something that nobody else in my group had done, which is I took two months of paternity leave off and it was California had just passed. This law that made it companies basically was required. You had to. It was was not paid leave. But nonetheless I was able to take the time off and not lose my job. And I did it and it was I loved it. It was really the best thing that I ever did. It was so magical just to spend that time with my son to build a relationship with him that has lasted to this day. He's 50 now and was just a great, great choice. But it was the beginning of this questioning of, OK, what really is important to me? So not long afterwards, I was I got a promotion, I was director of finance. I was leading global teams. I was responsible for the sales forecast for Apple. Apple's a huge company working with people all over the world. I had a ton of responsibility, but because it was a global role, I was talking. I live in California, so in the mornings Europe is still at work. So in the mornings I would talk to people in Europe and in the evenings. Asia was coming up to work. It was their morning and our evening in California. So I'd be working with them and I wanted to be around with my son and especially at dinner time. At the end of the day, I wanted to be there and I just I did not know how to manage that conflict. I had the expectation that I was at work, the expectation that I was at home, and I tried to be two places at the same time, and we all know how that works out. And so I just felt terrible. I just felt like I was torn in two directions. I was failing at both and I had to do something about it. So that was really the beginning of this questioning for me of am I going to just continue putting everything into work? And I decided, no. And so what I actually did, as did, is I took a step back at my job at Apple and I took a lower level job that gave me more flexibility and more time. Well, now personally, that was great, but professionally and career wise, it's like, OK, well, if I'm not striving to be at the top anymore, if it's not all about progression and ascension, then what is it? What am I doing in my job? And so that really began part of this questioning of why am I spending my time doing this? What really is important to me? What makes a good life? 

Keri: [00:13:51] What risk what was the the timing, so you said your son is 15 now, so you had that decision. So when he was born, when did you how long did it take you to step back?  

Rusty: [00:14:07] It took me about four years, so he was born, I was promoted a couple of years later. I was in that job for a few years and then I took a step back. So it's 10 years ago at this point, so.  

Keri: [00:14:17] So you take this step back and I will say, like as a as a man to do it, females can often do it. And there's there's issues around when females do it and take a step back as a man to do it. You're probably in the minority group at that time for a man to step back. Like, what are some of the gender politics that maybe you felt at play when you made that decision 

Rusty: [00:14:41] to be on? I mean, certainly there may have been gender politics, but I was so wrapped up in my own inner struggle around that decision, to be honest, that I wasn't even tuned into that because I was making a choice for something that mattered to me. But I was giving up something that I had tied my identity to for years. Yeah. And so I, you know, I was just kind of in the midst of, how do I navigate that?  

Keri: [00:15:04] Yeah. Well, then how then how did you get off that track? Because that that couldn't have been an easy, you know, for all your life, if you're a player and you're moving and you're progressing and you're pushing that, we talked about earlier. How was that transition and how did you figure out how to manage it and get through it?  

Rusty: [00:15:24] Honestly, I think that the real answer is I just swallowed hard and went into my boss one day and said, This is what I'm going to do. I didn't do it well. I was not graceful. It was not a good conversation. I don't think my boss was very happy. But you know, and then honestly, for a while afterwards, when people would ask me about my job, I didn't want to talk about it because I no longer felt good about my job, even though on the outside, it looks great on paper, looks like I'm doing really well, but I didn't feel good about it because I wasn't on that path anymore. So it was it was a it was a journey, honestly for me to to come to terms with it. And I would say to some extent I did that, but it would. Also, as I said, it opened up this question of, Well, why am I doing this then? And it became, I'm no longer climbing the ladder. So I'm doing this more because I mean, I like the people and Apple is a great company. The work was interesting. All of that was good. But is it worth spending half of my life investing in this? And that was the question that I kept getting stuck on, but I just had no idea what the alternatives were. And so I was in that position for a long time, for many years.  

Keri: [00:16:30] Yeah. So now you took the step back when when your son was four, you're still like, kind of what am I still like? You're still questioning. So take us through that timeline of when you finally decided to to leave. Then kind of what what what was that timeline like?  

Rusty: [00:16:46] Well, there were several years where I enjoyed the job and I enjoyed the flexibility, and all of that was great. And then I would say the last maybe four years, I was in the role. I knew I wanted to do something else, but I didn't know how to find it. So what I do is I would look at my resume and I would say, What am I qualified to do? Who's going to hire me? What experiences if I had? But all the answers I got to those questions were not very fulfilling. They were not, not something that I wanted to go invest myself in because I actually like Apple and I like the company and I liked what I was doing. So I'm going to do that nature of work. I would rather stay there than go do it somewhere else. So it was that kind of being stuck in that place trying to figure out what is next. That changed in talk that I listen to, which is actually it was about 20 minutes long. It was very short, but it was a person who articulated and enumerated all of these constraints that I had internally, assumptions I had about working at a big company and doing work that would justify the background that I invested in all the time and energy and put in education into my prior career. Michael, I've got to do work that meets that standard or what? And then also, what would my, my dad or other people think about this? Because this is if I were to leave and go do something else, this would be contrary to what they think is a good career. So I had all of these assumptions in my head. Money expectations experience all of that that were limiting me from figuring out what what I actually want to invest myself in. And so in this 20 minute talk, this person helped me see all of those things and then just make a choice that you don't have to ignore those forever. But if you ignore those for just the next three minutes and just start brainstorming, what is it that you would really love to be doing? And if you could create a life for yourself that is beyond your imagination of what would really be fulfilling and engaging, what would that look like? And it was that question and that ability to put down those constraints that got me to this idea of becoming a coach.  

Keri: [00:18:48] Oh my goodness, I we talk a lot in this podcast about people kind of being raised and buying into, just like you said, I have to get the good job. This is what I do. That's my identity. People have to understand that I'm busy, that I do this work. Then I should have one point five kids and all that kind of fun stuff, 2.5 kids and for you two to listen to that talk and shut that and I like that, just shut it for a few minutes. And what would you do? That question is so scary for people is like, what if you could do anything? What would you do? And yeah, go ahead. Sorry.  

Rusty: [00:19:28] Well, and I think the key part there for me was just to be willing to be able to shut that settlers voices down for a few minutes and they always come right back in. Right. Was like, No, just give me these three minutes. You have to be willing to negotiate with yourself to carve out enough space to get creative.  

Keri: [00:19:45] Yes. What? So when did you have a lot of ideas resting when you're like, All right, what do I want to do? Did you totally make a joke? I'm going to be a forest ranger. I'm going to be a business where there are multiple things that came up rusty. Or you're like, No, I want to help others with their businesses. How did you start to narrow in on what exactly would make you happy? 

Rusty: [00:20:07] The first idea that came to me was because I had actually been leading a men's group for a number of years at this point, and so we were meeting every week and I just I got so much value out of that group and others got so much value out of it. It was just it was a really great experience. So the first idea that came to me in that when I shut down all these voices is what if I had more conversations like that? What if I really talked to people about what matters to them and what matters in life and what their challenges are and how to how to overcome those things? What if that was my business and I've been in a lot of therapy in my life, and so my first thought was maybe I'll become a therapist. But I also have two master's degrees, and the idea of going back for a third one was just not at all appealing to me. So I ruled that out. And that's what led me down this path of becoming a coach. 

Keri: [00:20:55] Wow. What when did you start the men's group? Because I liked that you had, you know, in a way your body and mind was already pulling you somewhere else because you were doing this men's group. When did you start that  

Rusty: [00:21:07] that started maybe three or four years beforehand? And that was that. I also mentioned one of the changes that was made for me was getting divorced in that men's group was something that I started in the midst of that.  

Keri: [00:21:19] Got it. It's interesting how the side hustles. The hobbies will start to point you toward. Well, this is what I really love doing, right? Yeah.  

Rusty: [00:21:31] If you're willing to listen to it, you know and listen. Yes. And after willing to listen and if you're willing to investigate it. And I would also say, though, that some people are very happy having those things as a side hustle and they don't want it to make it the main thing of their life. So it can really go both ways. But it's, you know, fundamentally it does require a willingness to have a side hustle. And by the way, I don't like the word hustle because the side hustle again is back to this idea of pushing and all of that and that, you know, I've I have this belief around burnout, which is burnout being burned out is not about doing too much. Being burned out is about not doing enough of the things that actually fill you up that are energizing for you. So when you think about a side hustle, think about something that fills you up. It's not a hustle. It's something to fill your tank, something you enjoy that you can sink into where you lose track of time and you come out of that and you just you feel happier and more energized. 

Keri: [00:22:26] Yeah, you're in flow. And if you've seen the chick sent me, I think that's the way you pronounce it. His book on Flow, it's pretty old now, but yeah, it's just you lose track of time. I'm going to have to redo a lot of my words that I use Rusty now from this podcast, because I kind of like to me, a hustle is kind of enjoyable like it did, but I totally understand where you came from on it. What? What are some of the. Because it sounds like when we talked about you had to listen to that voice. And so to me, that took a lot of courage to listen to that voice. Were there other kind of attributes in charge that you felt I really used during this time? Besides, I think a courage. Maybe you wouldn't say courage, but I was courage to listen and kind of go against what people can tell you as a society puts on you.  

Rusty: [00:23:16] Yeah, courage is definitely the one that stands out for me, you know, and even leaving my job every time there were multiple steps along the way going in to tell my boss I was going to leave, and then we decided I was going to stay on for a while, and then I went to part time and each one of those steps along the way. I was nervous. And I question myself, Am I really going to do this? Is this the right decision? Would it be better for me to stay here longer? I had all of those thoughts and I had to work myself through the process of saying No, wait a minute. What's really important to me here is going off and having this experiment. And it is absolutely required courage. So that, for me, is definitely the one that stands out the most as I've been along the process. And I would say goal oriented has also been a big part of it, which is that anybody who's doing their own thing or whether it's, you know, something you're doing on the side or something you're doing is your business. It requires focus and persistence and resilience. So, you know, all of these, when I look at them, they all resonate to me. Courage in terms of making the decision felt like the biggest one.  

Keri: [00:24:26] Yeah. And I think too, and I appreciate that you said with courage. Sometimes we forget that there is so much fear and courage as well. So just because you're being courageous doesn't mean that you're also not fearful of making that decision. It just means you made it. But it doesn't mean that you didn't have fear before you made the decision. During the decision, after the decision, they're still like, Oh God, did I do the right thing 

Rusty: [00:24:48] kind of thing? That's such a good point, Carrie. You know, I think people totally misunderstand courage. Bridge doesn't exist without fear, right? This whole point of courage is action in the face of fear, right? So, you know, of course, feeling afraid, but not letting the fear dictate your decision. To me is courage.  

Keri: [00:25:07] Exactly that whole stoic kind of John Wayne courage, I'm always like, if I want to hear your vulnerability, I want to hear that you are afraid. I want to hear you be in touch with your emotions on it. You still did it. But just kind of having this stoic face and be like, Yeah, it's fine. I did it. I'm like, Well, no, probably not. You probably.  

Rusty: [00:25:26] As I know, I was just talking to someone who's a public speaker and spoken on stages to thousands of people and does this all the time. And she said she still has butterflies and you know, for her, it's like her feet get sweaty, but whatever still happens, even though she's done it time and time again. And so it's, you know, that's that's what the courage is. It's like, OK, well, there's that feeling, but that's OK. It's not going to stop.  

Keri: [00:25:52] Yeah, I'm still going to do it. What other advice do you have rusty for people who because I think plenty of people, especially during COVID, had some time to think about what they really want and what's important to them. And so what is your advice that you would give to people when they're kind of facing these decisions and when they need to listen to themselves?  

Rusty: [00:26:15] One of the things that I used, which I now call the rocking chair test, is to imagine yourself at the later stages of your life. Let's call it 90 years old, sitting in a rocking chair on your front porch and reflecting on your life. Yeah, from that older, wiser position. Look back at this moment in your life and ask yourself, what would that person say? What would that 90 year old version of you sitting on a rocking chair now that old life is most of life is behind you and it's all worked out? What would that version of you have to say about this decision or the situation that you're facing right now? I used that when I was making this decision to become a coach, and it was so clear to me from that older version of me that I should go take the risk to try something new because it was important to me and I wanted it. And was it risky? It felt risky, of course. But was it worthwhile? Yes, it was. And it helped me to take that future perspective, and that enabled me to make the decision now more with more confidence. Hmm.  

Keri: [00:27:24] That is, I will tell you, I say that is my favorite favorite. I think I have a lot of favorite advice, but I love that one because it really does help you make very clear decisions. I like thinking projecting yourself into your 80s and 90s and looking back and saying, I'm so glad I did it. That's it would be more fulfilling vs. I don't want to be on the deathbed, as in many movies, they're on their deathbed saying, I regret so much. I don't want to be that. I don't want to be in the regret stage at 90.  

Rusty: [00:27:54] Absolutely. That's wonderful. So, so that's definitely one I would say. The other suggestion that I have is to take a step, so I'm going to go back to my journey as well, right? Like, I had this idea in this 20 minute talk and it's like, Oh, what if I could talk to people more about what matters in life? And then that became what if I became a coach? I did not walk into work the next day and quit my job like that was not the first step. The first step was, Oh, what does it mean to become a coach? You know, what do people charge as a coach? How much money could I make? Where do I get trained or can I get certified? There was a bunch of learning and education to do. So one of the things I encourage people to do is don't assume that you have to pick the first, the big step first, take the little steps first and start moving because it's in the movement where you start to figure out how much, how excited I may about this. Are you getting more excited as you go or you getting less excited as you go and you can use that information to guide you? But the key is to start moving. So I would always encourage someone to find one step that you can take that moves you forward in this idea or this thing that's interesting and appealing to you.  

Keri: [00:29:04] Yes, that's also great advice because you could get kind of paralyzed and in what do I do next? If you're like, OK, well, I got to quit my job and start a new company. You're like, Whoa, wait a second. That is a giant leap. So like you said, start those first steps, start figuring it out. And I with Kelly, who is that we joke on this podcast, she's not the most risk-taking person, but today, as we record, is our fifth year anniversary of our business and taking that first step, figuring out we just didn't hurry up and do it. But we talked about it for a while before and then also that be looking back on our lives right now and saying, I'm glad we did this because we say that a lot rusty. Like, Oh, thank goodness we did this. And yeah, there's trade offs and there's, you know, there's pros and cons sometimes. But we at 90 years old, if we sit on the rocking chair, Rusty, we're going to say is pretty good. At least I hope so, Kelly, unless. You're going to tell me I'm done after today and five years of it, I don't know. 

Kelly: [00:30:10] I'm rethinking everything I'm leaving in the house was your mistake. Now I'm in the best five years ever, honestly. And it's to your point, Rusty. And it's such a good one is it's the little steps that help you determine how excited you are in terms of making that decision. And we did take little steps. We were, we didn't, you know, end our you corporate jobs and then go all into the business. We were very, very determined on what the plan would be, and we were very focused on doing incremental changes and making incremental steps so that it wasn't an all or nothing type of situation because that's where it can get very, very dicey, very quickly. So great advice. And I think the quote from you that really resonated with me was being be willing to negotiate with yourself to be creative. I'm not an overly creative person, so for me, that landed very that was very important to me to hear, in part because not only because I'm not overly creative, but because I think sometimes we have to give ourselves permission to just be in that space of listening to ourselves and shutting down for a few minutes. And what I appreciate the most about your story, rusty, is how you really did emphasize the struggle that you faced. I mean, it wasn't all like lollipops and rainbows for you. You really talked about the the challenges that you faced with making the decision and the time that it took and the decisions that you had to make and the wrestling that you did with every step of the journey. So I wonder if for someone who struggles with negotiating with themselves to be creative, is there something that you would maybe advise them to do as a first step?  

Rusty: [00:31:58] Yeah, sit in a chair for 10 minutes and do nothing. Got it. Well, no, I'm joking. But but in all seriousness, the so I wrote a book last year called Breaking the Code, and one of the things that's in there is entering this what I call the zone of possibility. And it's about how do you find that place where you can be creative and let your imagination go? And there's three elements to it. The first element is quiet, and that's external quiet. So like turning off your phone and all the text messages and all the stuff that's coming at you all the time. But it's also internal quiet is finding a place that for you is relaxing and allows you to calm down. So that's that's why I'm sitting in the chair for 10 minutes. The second element is to listen to your heart because you don't think your way to an answer of creativity like creativity is not an intellectual process. It's more of a whole body kind of process. Just like when you go into a restaurant, you don't analyze the nutritional value of every item on the menu in order to choose what you're going to eat. You say, What do I want? So it's listening more to your heart. And then the third element is courage, actually, because it takes courage to listen to what you hear back. Right. So even for me, that idea of becoming a coach that was intimidating. It's just even acknowledging that as a possibility takes some courage. So for someone who's wanting to give themselves some space to quiet, listening to your heart and embracing courage are three important ingredients.  

Kelly: [00:33:28] Absolutely. Well, I mean, it's just it's remarkable your story, the perseverance, the dedication you had to really doing the heavy lifting yourself so that you could write a book that would inspire others to follow in your footsteps or at least take a more, maybe take a different look at themselves and their life and what they want for themselves. So there's they're sitting in the rocking chair at 19 years old. They can look back and think about the decisions that they made and maybe change a part of their life to live more in in line with what they would like for themselves sooner rather than later. So we so appreciate you sharing your story with us, rusty being so candid and vulnerable with us. That's one of our favorite things about this podcast is that people, the stories that people like you share really do make changes and really allow for people to think about themselves and what they if, if anything, they want to do differently. But it gives at least people the opportunity to to think differently about how they maybe want to change their life. So it's stories like yours that make that possible. So we thank you so much for sharing your story with us. We'll make sure, of course, to incorporate your your contact information in our show notes along with the link to your book so people can read it myself included. Thank you so much for joining our podcast and for sharing your story with us. We really appreciate it.  

Rusty: [00:34:51] Well, Kelly and Keri, thank you so much for having me and congratulations on the five year anniversary of your business. Well done.  

Kelly: [00:34:57]  Thank you so much.   

Kelly: [00:35:03]  Thank you for listening to the reCHARGE® Your Life podcast. Please sign up for our newsletter at and follow us on social media. You can find us on LinkedIn @ AbbracciGroup, Instagram @WarriorsofHR and Twitter @Warriors_HR. Remember to subscribe to our podcast, leave a review and please tell a friend and be sure to drop us a note on how you are recharging your life. We can't wait to hear from you.