This week Theresa is joined by life & business success coach, Ana McRea. Ana shares how reaching “success” in corporate led her to a quarter-life crisis wondering “is this all there is”, allowing her to explore if she is truly living her life in alignment with her values. Ana explains how she often finds that people chase success without it being clear what the definition of success is. To her, success is living life in alignment with your values. How do you live out the value of “family?”. For Ana, that was starting her own business that would allow her to set her own schedule, work from anywhere, and travel through Canada in their converted school bus.
About the Guest
Ana McRae is a life & business success coach that helps ambitious women & Entrepreneurs build THRIVING businesses & live FULFILLING lives.
Ana began her career in consulting and helped business owners across Canada increase revenue and profitability through strategic planning and continuous improvement. After climbing the corporate ladder and feeling less than fulfilled, Ana founded her own company and now coaches ambitious women and Entrepreneurs to think differently so that they can live the lives they truly love.
As a certified life coach, business & entrepreneurship coach, and mindset coach, Ana excels at helping you get clear on what you really want, bulletproof your strategy, master your mindset, and create remarkable results in your life and business so that you can experience more happiness, fulfillment, and success. She lives in Eastern Canada with her husband, pup, and 2 kids, and is getting ready to travel for 6 months in her new tiny house on wheels.
Ever wonder what success actually means? How do you get it? And how do you keep it?Theresa Lambert:
We all want it yet sometimes it feels only some of us get to have it.Blair Kaplan Venables:t's be real for a hot minute.:Theresa Lambert:
Can you put it in a box?Blair Kaplan Venables:
How can you get it?Theresa Lambert:
Can people take it away? Or are you the one with the power?Blair Kaplan Venables:
Does it mean the same to all of us? Or are we the ones that create it?Theresa Lambert:
From PGA golf pros to doctors, CEOs, entrepreneurs and spiritual mentors. We get together to meet with successful people from around the globe to dissect success for vibrant conversations and interviews. Make sure you click the subscribe button on the app store because each week we will drop a new episode to bust through the myths around success and dissect its true meaning. Hello, hello and welcome back to another episode of dissecting success. My name is Teresa Lambert. I'm flying solo today we're missing my co host, but I am not on my own. We have a brilliant guest with us today. It's my pleasure to introduce introduce you Hello tongue twister to Anna McRae. She is a life and business success coach that helps ambitious women and entrepreneurs build thriving businesses and live a fulfilling lives. And I began her career in consulting and helped hundreds of businesses across Canada increase revenue and profitability for strategic planning and continuous improvement after climbing the corporate ladder and feeling less than fulfilled, and I founded her own company and now coaches ambitious women and entrepreneurs to think differently so they can live the lives they truly love. As a certified life, business, entrepreneurship and mindset coach, and I excels at helping you get clear on what you really want bulletproof your strategy, milestone your mindset and create remarkable results in your life and business so that you can experience more happiness, fulfillment and success. She lives in Eastern Canada with her husband, pub and two kids and is getting ready to travel for six months in her new tiny house on wheels. Ana, welcome. I'm so thrilled to have you here on the pod.Ana McRae:
Thanks so much. I'm excited to be here.Theresa Lambert:
Amazing. Ilove it. And I literally I'm so excited to dive into so many things with you, especially this, this tiny house journey that you have coming up and how you got that. But to get us started, I'd love to know from you what success means to you?Ana McRae:
That's a great question. And I think it's one that you know, not a lot of people take to define for themselves, right? We're all chasing success. We're all working toward it. But sometimes it's not crystal clear what that is. And I know through my own personal growth and business growth journey, it took some time to get clear on what that was. So for me, success is really about living life in alignment with your values. If you Google the definition of success, you know, it says the achievement of an aim or a purpose. And that aim, or that purpose needs to be defined for yourself. So many people are chasing society's aim, and they've been told is your life's purpose, but not really getting crystal clear on what that is for that. And I think it's absolutely different for each person. And unless you base success off of your values, and what you want your life to look like, it feels shallow.Theresa Lambert:
I love that Anna so living life in alignment with your values. That's such a powerful statement. And you know, you're a coach, I'm a coach, I have an idea of what that you know, entails. But I'd love for you to take us into your life and tell us how does that actually tangibly look like in your life? Like how are you living life in alignment with with your values? And how did you get to be able to do that?Ana McRae:
Huh? Yeah, it was definitely a journey. So prior to starting my own business, you know, I worked in corporate I got the good grades. I got a good job right out of university like I stayed there, climb the corporate ladder, and I reached quote unquote success or I thought I felt successful I was making Good money, I, you know, had decent relationships with my co workers, we had the house and the kids and the white picket fence. And it just felt like is this all there is, you know, like, at that point, I was 22, I had achieved these things. It's like, there's still 80 years for me on this earth. Is this what the rest of life is going to be like, and it didn't quite fit right with me. Just for some context, I had my son really young, I got pregnant when I was 18. So I had him in, you know, just after my first year of university. And so I feel like that, combined with the fact that, you know, I was born in Ukraine, I moved to Canada when I was two, my parents immigrated here, classic story of like, $1,000 in their backpack, telling me along, traveling, you know, overseas, to start a new life, my whole life has been about proving that I'm good enough, right, like proving that I can do it, that I'm successful, getting the good grades, like doing everything, right, not breaking any rules. And then, you know, hitting this challenge, or this this curveball in life, becoming a teen mom, there comes a lot of like, having to prove yourself with that, or at least feeling that way. And so, after years, and years and years of, you know, doing what I thought I needed to do to look good in front of other people, and getting to that place where on outwardly I didn't feel successful. I started to reflect and I hit what I call my quarter life crisis, because I wasn't quite at midlife, but a quarter life crisis. And just thinking like, is this what I want my life to look like? And it took a lot of intentional time with me in my journal to think through, like, what are my values? And am I living in alignment with them? So for me, what is most important is my family impact learning, traveling and health. And I started to really define like, you know, those are broad categories. What does that look like on a day to day basis? How do you actually live out the value of family, and for me, that was making memories with my kids? Well, I was working nine to five, I was commuting three hours a day, like I barely saw my kids when I was in consulting. And so with that came realization came the decision to take a job with you know, hours that were a little bit more predictable, and you know, not as long in a day, taking the decrease in pay that came with that so that I can be home for supper every night and I could have more time with them than just the weekend. So like, started making these little switches, right. Same with traveling two weeks of vacation a year, it was just not enough for me like there is a whole world of countries to explore. And I couldn't see how I would make that happen if I was still in a job. So a starting my own business like that was a huge motivator for me diving into entrepreneurship as I just wanted to be able to work from anywhere and to set my own schedule. And that's kind of how we got into building our own tiny house on wheels as well as it's really hard to haul two kids, my kids are eight and five, to haul them in an airplane all over the world and a expensive be really stressful. So we bought a school bus, we converted it into a motorhome. It's it's been a three year process. And this a we're gonna finally take it across Canada for six months. But that was a really intentional decision of how do I incorporate more travel into my life? What's possible for me right here right now, rather than in some, you know, undetermined future.Theresa Lambert:
And I love that there's so much that you brought up but there's a couple of questions that I wanted to highlight that you asked and I feel like follow listeners these will be so potent to ask yourself this but one of the things that you shared when you realize that you hit this level of success and you were wondering you know, is this it and am I really living in alignment with my values and for you to not only get clear on your values but you asked yourself this question How do you live out to value a family so if you're listening you know you could you know figure out your values and maybe reach out to Anna and she I'm sure can help you with that as well. But ask yourself right how do you live out your value off? X like you fill in the blank right your value a family your value off? I don't know how fuel value off travel like whatever comes up, you know what, what does that look like for you? So I love that you asked yourself this question because I think often we don't bring this intention into, into our values, right? Like we, you know, like, I've done value exercises over and over and over, but VD to, to take it to a next level to create an awareness of how are you living them now? How could you live them out more? What does that even mean and look like for you, right and then taking action intentionally to help you do that is such a powerful way of living. So I love that you shared this. And the other thing that I love, I mean, I am obsessed like that you're traveling for six months that you did this with a motorhome that you put so much thought into it. But also, you know, picking this up, that you're living out your value of travel, you're living out your value of family, you're living out these values by by creating this opportunity for you to travel with your family, to work from anywhere, and to experience these things in a way that works for you right now. And so I just love how we can really tangibly see. Right, what's possible. And you ask that question to you know, what's possible. So this is what's possible. That is so cool. So what would you say to somebody who's like, brand new to values? They listen to this podcast or like values? What the heck's that? Like? How do I do it? Like, where would you get people to start like value?Ana McRae:words that resonate, there's:Ana McRae:
you know, get takeout, I'm moving away from that value of health, anytime I work too much and don't get my exercise. And for the day, I'm moving away from that value. And so you can really break it down, where it's not a perfectionist thing of like, either you do all of these things always or you're not healthy, it becomes more of like a give and take, like I can, I can make these choices, knowing they're either moving me towards or away from my values. But when it's clear on how you can move towards your values, it's so much easier to do that in a relevant day. And when you move towards your values more often, that's when you look back and think, wow, I had a great week this week. Oh, wow, this year has felt really good. Because I've been consciously moving toward my values.Theresa Lambert:
That is so powerful. You know, that is very powerful. And I'd love to know, and you mentioned this, you know, it's not about checking boxes, right? Like, it's really about getting so in tune with your values, and then creating I love these like statements, that that become like guiding principles that VD help you in your decision making process. But I see what I see happening a lot in entrepreneurs, especially and I know you work with entrepreneurs, and this is also before leaders and almost every one is that we get so obsessed over the results, right? Like we we chase these results. And the big thing that always comes up is like, well, this is all like nice and pretty, you know, I can like do all this and like, you know, but like I have a similar philosophy around how I do think it's it's more emotionally feeling based than value based, but I break everything back into by value. So I love that we have this alignment not knowing each other before this, this podcast. But the big thing that always comes with people is like, well, but then you know, like, how am I going to get the result like, you know, like, I got to eat, I gotta make money, I gotta, I gotta I gotta write like, they, this whole like rabbit hole like Voltex opens up that we go down. And so I would love for you to share how you on your journey of living out your values and making that a priority over ticking the box hitting the, you know, month of like revenue that you want to hit like your sales goal, or, or the getting the title and the promotion that you're like been working towards for years, like when we let go of that and we focus on really living by these principles living in alignment with our values. How have you seen external success come into reality for you? And maybe also how you've seen that with clients?Ana McRae:
Wow, this is such a great question. Um, I think it's really about shifting the narrative from when I achieve these results, then I'll have time to live life according to my values and like, do all of this pretty values work right? To realizing that until I'm living life up in alignment with my values, I'm nowhere near success, right like until I figure out how to master being me operating from my unique abilities living into my purpose, living in alignment with my values. Success is going to be an uphill grind the entire way. And if you manage to get there, it's gonna feel empty. So for me, you know, that was my journey. I had to experience a certain amount of external success and realize that it wasn't worth it when it didn't feel good. Like it's not worth making a ton of money if you're never around your family, assuming you value family All right. And I find it really interesting that you know, the richest people in the world that can post these articles on LinkedIn or like, show up on these podcasts and say, like, guys, it is not about the money, like do what makes you happy. But it's almost like the truth doesn't register until we've gone through the same journey ourselves, and then realized, wow, you know what they were right, it really isn't about the revenue target, or the number of clients or whatever. It's about living out my life in a way that feels good. And what we've been taught is that you have to create success before you're allowed to be happy, right? Or almost like you don't deserve to be happy until you get to a certain point or being happy isn't what's gonna get you to that point. And it's this whole arrival fallacy. You know, when I started my business, I remember this. So concretely, it's like, when I hit 100k, I'm gonna be so happy, all of my problems will be gone, I will feel 100% confident all of the time. And I'm a coach, like, I know that this arrival fallacy is a thing. And because I'm still a human, you fall into those traps, right, and sure enough, comma 100k, the bar was instantly raised to a quarter million, I don't think I even stopped to celebrate until someone called me out on it. And I didn't feel any different. And that was fine. Because I was running my business in alignment with my values, like, I do work that lights me up, I work four hours a day, and I spend the afternoon with my kids. And I'm gonna travel, like, I'm really happy with where I'm at right now. And it feels really good. But until I shifted the narrative inside to what lights me up, what are my values? What are my strengths? How do I step into those instead of chasing another promotion for the sake of another promotion? I didn't hit this level of success. And I plateaued at a certain level, because when you're rubbing against your values, and you're going against who you are as a human, it's really hard to move forward.Theresa Lambert:
Yeah, you know, I think that's where we get tripped. Right. And I agree with you, I have a very similar story. To you, I became a GM at age 29, have a luxury boutique hotel, and I spent six years building up the business substantially to eight figures was celebrated, like I had everything that you would want, I was a young woman at the helm of a beautiful, beautiful, stunning property here in Whistler, I had all the accolades, I got all the, you know, Acknowledgments to be there, like, you know, and, and I was sought after, in what I what I then and I would say I still am even now within that industry. And it's interesting, because people will still reach out to me, but I went through that same phase were three years into, you know, that role. I was really bummed out. I Like You I was really like, is this what success is all about? And I actually shared this story. In a book blog was a coast as well, we co authored a book with 365, successful Canadian women pursuit 365. And I shared about getting to this place, right, and really being like, well, I have all this, I have the title, I have the paycheck, I have the recognition, I have the power, like, you know, like, I've got all of this, and it means nothing. And it's vidi vidi. Hard to let go of that. Right. And what I loved about what you shared as well, is that, you know, people who have been able to get to a certain place, right, like they often didn't stop there, right? Like a lot of people who have incredible wealth have built that wealth, right? And it seems wise to say, Oh, well, it's easy for you to say because you have all this money. So of course life is happy, right? But even listening to you, right? Like, yes, that milestone and I feel like the 100k milestone is still like such a big, it's such a big thing, right? I get it's such a big thing for so many entrepreneurs and and I agree you when you get there, it's not about taking it off. It's really about you know, like actually going along this journey and VD making it and you hit it. And then you continued on to grow your business, but you will already running it in alignment and what I have found throughout my journey and the way, you know, I went into building my business with the attitude that I'm going to build an eight figure business on my own my own eight figure business, but I'm going to do it differently. I'm going to do it from a place of alignment from a place where I'm honoring my values from a place where I'm honoring rest and time and space and doing it the way That feels good to me, no matter what, even if like the majority of people out there say that I've gone completely insane to think that that is even possible, working only a few hours a day saying no declines that I don't want to work with pivoting my business, dropping things if I don't want to do them anymore like this is legitimately what's happening in my world. But what I found, and this is really the essence of what I'm getting from you, and I love this transparency is that when we actually do that, things come in faster. So the results actually come quicker, while you're having a really good time doing what you're doing. So when we let go off the control of needing it to look a certain way, at a certain time, things actually fall into place more organically. And then you can practice this, you know, this peace of appreciation and the journey. And we actually just a few weeks ago, but time this episode, as we spoke about the power of celebration, and why why it's so important to celebrate all of the milestones all of the journey, rather than just that result. So I love that so much.Ana McRae:
Yeah, and when you approach it from that place, right, which isn't what's been taught, or it's not the narrative that's perpetuated of like, do what feels good, and you'll find success, right? Especially in entrepreneurship, I feel like the narrative is you have to sacrifice and you have to hustle, and you have to grind, and it's gonna be exhausting. And, you know, you have to really put in a lot of hard work before you can do what you want. And sure, that can be true if you want it to be true. And also, you can build a thriving business off of a couple hours a day doing things that light you up like either reality as possible. But I think because so few people are having this conversation around, doing what feels good, and seeing where that leads you. It's almost it doesn't even register as an option in our minds, because all we see, and this is what I found when I was in consulting prior to coaching and kind of what inspired the shift was all of these entrepreneurs that quote unquote, had it all right, no ceiling, on their income, control over their schedule, the ability to do whatever work they wanted, like, as someone into a nine to five at that time, like that was the dream. And then in talking to them every day, most of them were overwhelmed. Most of them were stressed, most of them were unhappy. And I couldn't understand why these people that were supposed to be living the dream, were not living the dream. And it's because you can build your business completely out of alignment with your values. And yes, it might be successful, and it will never feel good enough. And I think such a good question is like if you're stuck in that, you know, that cycle? And I know, because I was there myself, right? Well, it's easy for you to say, because you're making all this money. I am not I can't focus on my values, like I've been there. Um, I think just asking yourself, like, what do you think is going to be different, when you hit 100k, or you hit a million, or you hit 10 million, what is actually going to be different in your life. And that can sometimes shine such a big light on what we want, right? Well, then I'll have more time to travel, or then I'll have more time to spend with my family, or then I will be so worried about money, right. And I work with entrepreneurs that are just starting to build their businesses that want to get out of their nine to five that are, you know, really worried about what money and where it's gonna come from and how it's possible. And I work with entrepreneurs that have run multi million dollar businesses for decades, that are still really worried about money and where it's gonna come from. So like just realizing that hitting a certain level doesn't take away your problems, they're still going to be the same. But if you can build your life and your business with the end outcome ingrained into the process, right, not waiting until you hit a certain level to allow yourself certain things, but really ingraining that into how you're building your business. Not only is it easier, but it's more enjoyable. And then the result is just gravy on top of an already fulfilling business that you love to run. So for me like taking this six months trip definitely has an impact on my revenue. I can only keep a certain amount of clients, I'm only going to work a half a day a week, it's going to have a huge impact. And it literally doesn't matter. Why would it matter if the entire thing I want out of life is to be able to explore an adventure with my family and have a business that supports that for me to prioritize revenue over travel right now. would be the complete opposite of what I wanted for so long.Theresa Lambert:
So powerful. And I thank you for sharing that. And yeah, I love that. And I always say, Who says you can't have both? Who says you can't have both. But as we're wrapping up this conversation, and I'm going to ask you one more question, but before we do, I'd love to know where people can connect with you where they can find you, so that we can make it easy for them to get in touch. Yeah, absolutely. SoAna McRae:
you can find me on LinkedIn in Anna McCray, or on Instagram at Anna McCray coaching or on my website at Anna mccray.ca.Theresa Lambert:
Amazing. And I'll make sure as well that we put all those links in the show notes as well. So if you want to follow her journey, if you want to find out more, if you want to work with her, make sure you head over there and check out what Anna has to offer. Now last juicy question for you. What one piece of advice would you give somebody who's just on that beginning journey to create success?Ana McRae:
I would say the most important thing you can do is to define it for yourself before you start to create anything at all right? define success at a high level? What is the definition that you're operating by? What are you working toward? You know, for me success is that I am living authentically every day of my life. I'm living a life that's in alignment with my values. And it can be really easy to get caught up in the external measures like we talked about. But if you can create a definition of success that you got to check against every night, every night when you go to bed, did I you know whether it's living alignment with my values, or whatever your definition is, did I operate from that place today? Then you can start to see what shifts you need to make to get closer and closer to your version of success. But if you take that another level and you break it down into what is success in my business look like not just about the money, what is it? Actually? You know, what does success in my relationships look like? What does success in my health look like? What does success in my hobbies look like? What does success in my mental health look like? Really breaking that down so that you're crystal clear on what you're working toward, and you're intentional about it, then when you get there, it feels so much better than when you achieve somebody else's definition of success, which sends you into a quarter life crisis where you have to reevaluate everything and kind of start from scratch. But if you can be really intentional about it from the start, then you're really setting yourself up for success.Theresa Lambert:
That is brilliant. And I thank you so much to throwing it back to the reason why we started this podcast vDW shining light on really getting to understand what does success mean to all of us to everyone listening and to you know, come from this place. So I really love it. You shared so much incredible wisdom with us today and all listeners. Thank you so much for being here and everyone for tuning in and listening make sure you connect with and to find out more. I certainly can't wait to follow your journey along and maybe we'll catch up for coffee when you make it to BC. So with this being said, have the most fabulous week ahead and we will see you next week on the dissecting success podcast piece. That's a wrap for another episode of dissecting success. enjoyed this episode. Make sure to subscribe to black hair blonde Venables and Theresa Lambert's podcast dissecting success on the App Store.