Your Brilliant Career Podcast

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This podcast provides an injection of energy and practical insights to women who are committed to their career. I share tactics, tools and stories that inspire capable women to think bigger and unapologetically achieve the success they deserve.

One of my early realisations was that there are many unwritten rules about career success that no one tells you. Smart women are tired of generic career tips. They want accessible, relevant and practical tips. Each episode includes content that inspires women to step up in their career and experience the energy and reward of being more.

Your Brilliant Career is a podcast that aims to help more women rise and reach new heights in their career.



As 2023 draws to an end, now is the time to reflect on the year that has passed. Transformative growth occurs when you pause, when you look in the rearview mirror and draw wisdom from the lessons learned. In this episode I’ll be sharing my five lessons from the year. I hope they offer you some inspiration for the year ahead.

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Your transcript

[00:00:00] Gillian: This episode is all about embracing the power of reflection as a high-achieving woman with ambitious goals, you often find yourself caught in the pursuit of what's next and chasing that next thing. I know that can be the case for me. However, the real magic, the transformative growth in both your personal life and your career unfolds when you do pause, when you look in the rearview mirror and draw wisdom from the lessons learned.
[00:00:30] And personally, I relish this reflective process, especially as the year draws to a close. So in today's episode, it's a bit of a special one because I'll be sharing my five lessons from the year. I've never done this before, so I hope you enjoy it and I hope it inspires you to think about what's possible for you in the year ahead.
[00:00:55] Let's dive in.
[00:01:45] Gillian: Hello, and welcome back to the podcast. This episode is being released on Boxing Day, which is, by the way, the recovery day for our family. I'm recording a few weeks early so I can have a break, but let me tell you, Christmas looks like this for us. On Christmas Eve, I will be hosting a little dinner party.
[00:02:08] So it is one of my dearest friend's birthday on Christmas Day. Not an ideal time to have your birthday, right? It always goes under the radar, kind of gets integrated into the whole Christmas celebration. So this year I said to Sally, let's have a dinner party on Christmas Eve to celebrate your birthday.
[00:02:26] And she loves this idea. So I'm really excited to do this. And this morning, this morning, I've been planning out the menu, nothing Christmasy, you know, it's all about the birthday party. So I have the Ottolenghi books sprawled out beside me right now with pages tagged. I'm sure it will be a lot of fun.
[00:02:45] And then Christmas day for us is spent with family. And this year. We're off to my sister in law's place. It will be lovely. I know it will be lovely. And then boxing day. Well, that's the chill day.
[00:02:56] That is the recovery day. We'll probably go to Balmoral Beach and try not to think about food until about 2 pm. My sister-in-law is a wonderful host, so it's really easy to overindulge. But that's what it's all about, right? So I hope you have had the most wonderful Christmas, be it with your family or friends or both. They say, you know, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year.
[00:03:24] But I know it can also be stressful in trying to accommodate everyone and keep everyone happy, but I do hope it was an absolutely super one for you. So let's dive into this. We're going to talk about five lessons today. I had a bit of fun thinking about these five lessons, and I hope you get something out of it too.
[00:03:43] The whole idea of reflecting and planning for progress is something close to my heart. And if you've worked with me, you'll know that it's probably no surprise, right? And I'm going to flag that right now because I'm also going to be hosting for the very first time, a planning session that you can attend for free in January.
[00:04:08] And I'm a bit excited about this actually, because I love the planning process and because I think it's going to be a phenomenal experience for those that attend at setting themselves up for success for the year ahead. The session's going to be two hours. I have prepared an incredible workbook for you.
[00:04:27] You don't get the workbook or anything unless you turn up. So it's not a video recording. It's being front and centre, and I really encourage you to do that if you want to attend because you get to hang out with people in the work groups and you get insights and things that you just don't experience if it was just the recording.
[00:04:46] We will be promoting the dates and details of that very shortly. So look out on our social media. So Instagram and Facebook, Your Brilliant Career, or our newsletter. And if you're not signed up to the newsletter, you can do that via our website, Your Brilliant Career. I'm going to do two sessions. So you have a choice to see which one is most convenient for you. But I think whether the past year for you has been a whirlwind, or if it's been a challenge, or maybe it's been a bit of both, I truly believe that the experiences we create for ourselves during the course of the year, have something valuable to teach us.
[00:05:26] And this free planning session is a chance to reflect, to ask yourself those important questions that will help you prepare for the year ahead, and we're going to look at the highs and the lows. We're going to look at the lessons learned and we are going to plan out. for the year. It's super exciting. I absolutely love it.
[00:05:44] So stay tuned for all of that. I hope to see you there. Alrighty, five lessons. Well, let me dive straight in here with lesson number one, manage my energy, not my time. Now it's an interesting one, right? Because I know we hear a lot about time management and prioritisation.
[00:06:05] I feel I'm pretty good at that, to be honest. And what I've discovered is that for me, it's not refining those processes anymore. It's about managing me, in particular, my energy levels. So my biggest discovery is that I need to protect my energy. I honestly don't feel that I've nailed this completely. But I'm definitely getting better.
[00:06:31] I feel like sometimes these things can be a bit of a work in progress and, and that's okay, right? One of my challenges is as my profile grows, more and more people really reach out and they want to talk to me, ask advice, request for things. Sometimes it's just absolutely beautiful. Most of the time it is. But other times it can be a little random and people can surprise you how bold they can be in what they ask, and I've had to learn not to go into that immediate space of wanting to help, which is my natural default. So being very clear about where I want to put my energy in the business is incredibly important to me. And I know any participant will tell you that I give them buckets of energy in the group sessions, the one one-on-one conversations.
[00:07:22] And that's the way it should be because I feel it is my responsibility to bring great energy to the work but to pull that off, I need to be selective and not respond to every single request that floats my way. And I instinctively do want to do that. Let me give you another example of how I'm protecting my energy.
[00:07:46] I'm really conscious of my sleep and not getting enough of it. So I have been going to bed earlier. Taking magnesium to help me sleep. I've tried to bring more discipline to the whole night routine, so I wake up fresh. I don't do well with tiredness. I don't know about you, but I find myself losing my personality at a rapid rate.
[00:08:09] So this is very important for me. It's been a big focus this year, probably in the second half of the year, more than anything. And I feel like I've made great progress, which makes me very happy. So protecting my energy and I would say the lesson back to you too, manage your energy, not your time. A really valuable lesson.
[00:08:32] The second lesson is about exercise. Now, you may have heard me talk about exercise in the past because it's actually really important to me. And I'm very lucky in this way. I genuinely love exercise. And probably if I had more time, I would exercise even more and I'm no athlete, that's for sure, but I just like the idea of movement of being outside, catching up with friends who I exercise with.
[00:09:33] Like I love that whole package, but this year exercise has really been so important to me. It's actually been my secret to my emotional wellbeing and my success because this year was actually a very sad year for me. And I haven't shared this before, but there's been a lot of loss this year. It's probably been one of the saddest years ever.
[00:09:56] In the past four months, there have been four funerals. Crazy, right? But one of them was a very dear friend we met, I think when we were seven years old. So a very long friendship, best friends through school, always a magical friend and one of those humans who naturally just shined so brightly, you know, super smart, went to a selective school.
[00:10:20] She was funny. She was genetically blessed. Quite gorgeous. So much so I look back at my wedding pictures, because she was my bridesmaid, and in so many of them, I look at those pictures, I'm like, oh my goodness, you were just incredibly gorgeous. She really was a beautiful woman. So she had so much going for her and she was a very special friend for me and she went on to have three boys. And she was a terrific mum, and there's something about terrific mums, because they have terrific kids. So she has three fabulous boys, but sadly Katie left us in August, and it was a very sad final chapter, which I won't share, but it was a shock and it still feels very emotional for me.
[00:11:05] I miss her so much and I guess I always will. And the thing that kept me steady and focused during those initial months was exercise. I mean, I felt like I'd been hit by a truck, but every morning I would get up and do my exercise. I didn't talk about it with people, but I loved the rigour of turning up, doing my class, or going for a run.
[00:11:30] It just got my head in the right place, and I think it made a world of difference to me. It’s just been such a support system and a great lesson to me, I suppose, around the importance of consistency of exercise in my life, and this year I've done a few different things with my exercise.
[00:11:50] I've amped up my running. I did my first fun run the other weekend, which was. Great. And I'm also doing yoga to enable the running. That means I need to stretch more, but really all of that made a huge difference to my wellbeing at the time. Because I did feel very sad.
[00:12:08] Alrighty. My third lesson is about evolving my style. I'm more conscious of this as I get older and I'll tell you something funny as a side note in my business, one of the things that terrifies me the most, is that I become the trainer who keeps pumping out the same information year after year. And I know there are lots of people that do this, but it's not something I admire.
[00:12:32] I love the idea of learning from the women that I work with, learning from the business conversations that I have about how the business landscape is changing. What's the new pain point? How do we navigate that? And aligning my content by updating it all the time. My worst nightmare would be to be perceived as that old-school trainer with old-school lessons.
[00:12:58] So there you go, sharing of the fears. But my goal you see is for women to stay contemporary and relevant, which means I have to too. It's a great motivator. So I'm always curious. And this year, I've written so much new content, you know, I've written six new guides that all relate to what's new and different in the market.
[00:13:18] I have another four new programs that will be launched early in the new year that I've written. I'm always trying to learn and understand what is happening in the business environment so we can create content that aligns to that, and the business environment is very different. today and will be in the year ahead compared to even 2022, which wasn't that long ago.
[00:13:42] So I think style and this idea of evolving is super important. It really does extend to other areas of your life. Like I love style itself. And if you think about evolving and staying contemporary in that way, making decisions around the way that I dress and present myself. I'm quite conscious of wanting to present myself as modern hopefully elegant, because that's important to me.
[00:14:11] But to do that, I want to be thoughtful about the wardrobe and the clothes I choose. So my third lesson is about compounding. Now, you've likely heard that, that people make money off compound interest. However, I have learned that compounding isn't just a concept for money. It can apply to almost everything. So think about healthy eating. You do more of that. You get fitter, stronger, healthier.
[00:14:40] You treat people with kindness in every interaction and the good that comes from that will compound. So I really like this concept and I've learned to focus on compounding this year and it's really helped me to stay on the case and to get things done, consistently, and consistency counts for a lot, right?
[00:15:01] So if I look back at the last 12 months, we have consistently delivered a fortnightly blog. we have made our newsletter weekly.
[00:15:11] We've continued to produce the podcast every fortnight. We have our socials. We produce new reels and videos every month. The compounding effect of all those activities plus more, is significant when it comes to growing a business because it might feel like a little bit of a grind at the front end, but then you get this momentum, the audience grows, you know, your community gets to interact with things they value. The messaging is more consistent, and it gets stronger. You know, that saying the universe rewards the brave. Well, I feel like we have been very brave starting the, Your Brilliant Career because we already had a business, the Gillian Fox group, and it was very successful.
[00:15:57] And setting up a new business takes a lot of hard work, but the compounding effect has helped us in an enormous way this year. So that would be my third lesson.
[00:16:10] Lesson number four is about choosing the people around you. Now, I have a lot of people in my world, as I'm sure you do, but only a handful of very close friends.
[00:16:20] So Sally, who I mentioned earlier, the birthday girl, she's a very close friend as well as three or four others who I consider really good friends. The next group out, if you like, well, that's a lot bigger, but it's still selective. And they're a mixture of school mums, exercise friends, professional colleagues, so on.
[00:16:38] But I want to talk for a moment from a career perspective, because I've always been very conscious about the network I want to develop to support my career, but I had this unexpected realisation this year. And, and it was this… I have met some incredible women that are so important in my world through attending paid programs.
[00:17:01] So yes, you might be surprised. I attend programs to. Always have. I really value attending group programs because you know, you're going to be with like-minded people. And my experience has been that you just don't find those clever, focused, successful people at the pub or at the gym. You find them at a paid program.
[00:17:22] They're investing just like you. They are there because they want to achieve, they want to create change, they want to be better.
[00:17:30] And I love this, you know, it attracts a particular kind of person. And it's been a wonderful realisation for me. And I’m definitely going to be thinking about what programs are going to be doing next year, possibly even retreats. Because I know the value that it gives back to me, and I know the incredible impact of your life and particularly your career when you have the right people around you to support you.
[00:17:56] So that is lesson number four. Bringing us to the final lesson. And that is. To plan. Now, in October this year, we invested heavily in a planning day with my incredible business coach, Tina Tower, to plan out 2024. I think it was a powerful day, mapping out the business initiatives, and the priorities for the year ahead.
[00:18:19] Very, very detailed. It's, it's so easy to be pulled into work that doesn't deliver a clear ROI at the end of the year. You can flounder and waste time without a plan. And as I always say, if you want to make your value more visible in the workplace, you need to pull off a couple of things.
[00:18:36] Number one, you need to be motivated. Good careers take real motivation. And number two, you need a plan. How on earth can any person be purposeful or driven if they have no idea what their focus is? When you have a plan, you see what you're working for. You know, the vision inspires you. You're more efficient at the end of the year, you can hang your hat on some extraordinary achievements.
[00:19:02] It's very hard to do the latter when you are bouncing from one business priority to the next. So planning is a superpower but more than that, I think it makes you feel great. And who doesn't want that right? I can't recommend it enough and I feel like that has been my biggest epiphany this year.
[00:19:22] Not just to plan at a top level, but really go deep and map out the year. And I feel like what we achieved in October in that planning session, all the wheels are in motion already, it's going to be phenomenal for us. It's going to set us up for so much success in the year ahead. And I actually do think it was that experience and that epiphany that inspired me to design and want to deliver this free planning session for you. So I'm very passionate about this idea of planning because of that lesson. And if it sounds good to you, you make sure that you look out for it and come and join us. I know it'll be great. So there you have my five lessons from the year.
[00:20:05] I know these reflections will support me in the year ahead, and hopefully they have inspired some new thinking for you too. Wishing you a very, very happy and successful 2024. I am sure you have great ambitions for the year ahead, and I'm excited for you to get out there and back yourself to fulfill those ambitions and have an extraordinary year. As always, I love hearing about your success. So when you get those wins, let me know. In the meantime, I will be back in a few weeks to chat again on the podcast until then enjoy the Christmas period. Take care and happy new year.