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The Clueless at The Work Podcast

Anthony Garone talks with several experts in his network about how to navigate the complexities of professional work.

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Episode 7: Gender Dynamics in the Workplace with Clare Kirlin

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Clare Kirlin returns to the podcast with stories about gender dynamics, imposter syndrome, and numbers. She is the Director of Marketing at meltmedia in Tempe, AZ.

Clare Kirlin on LinkedIn

Automated Episode Transcript

Published on: Sun, Jan 05, 2020

[00:00:03] Anthony: Welcome to the Clueless at the work podcast, where we talk through a framework for being successful in your job. My name is Anthony Garone, and I’ll be hosting this show with some friends who are experts in helping people grow. Content is based on my book Clueless at the Work Advice from a Corporate Tyrant, which is published by Stairway Press. You can find out more at Clueless at the work dot com. Welcome back to the Clueless at the work podcast. We’re back with our special guest, Clare Kirlin. We recorded the last episode before dinner, and here we are after dinner. Uh, we were I feel like we were just getting started in the last episode. And Clare I think we had some good conversation some moments where we really uncovered some hot topics. So

[00:00:52] Clare: yes, definitely hot and perhaps heated. But it’ll be a good discussion, and I’m particularly interested in and discussing some of the gender dynamics with you because I know that we represent two different perspectives on it and yet can always have a fulfilling an interesting conversation. So I’m hoping we’ll be able to do the same today.

[00:01:13] Anthony: Absolutely. So where do you want to start imposter syndrome failure, gender dynamics, whatever else?

[00:01:21] Clare: Sure. So we can start with the gender dynamics, something else. That, by way of context you and I discussed in the book was my reaction to it as a female reader and wondering both about the sources or perspectives that inform a lot of the wisdom that we re Dorthy serve authorities that we might read on on business topics. Um, and how representative that is or who it’s representative of I think is a worthy discussion for certain. And then the second angle that we discussed was how ah female might, um, sort of interpret or act on some of the advice in the book and how that might be perceived versus ah, Male. So all warn anyone now who’s listening that I’m reading this all through a very feminist lens, and it might not be ah palatable or interesting to everyone, but I think it’s something that deserves a lot more attention than it gets. And just Anthony, I really appreciate you, Ah, being willing to discuss it with me here today.

[00:02:35] Anthony: Absolutely. Um, I’m a huge believer in the fact that women are just as mentally capable in all of these, you know, areas of knowledge work as as men are. And at melt media, I was a pretty strong advocate of bringing more women into technical jobs. And, um, I brought in a girl Develop it. We had training courses specifically for women on a regular basis on technical topics. I worked with women who code worked with a lot of women in the area who were doing really great technical things. So I am passionate about it. But if you read the book, you’re like, Where’s the women? There’s no women. it starts out with the quote from Carol Dweck. Yes, and there’s mention of Jen Sincero, and there’s a quote from Michelle Obama. But pretty much everything else is dudes. So, uh, I think that happens when you write a book in two weeks without any mindfulness around sensitivity. But ah, so I I feel like I’m I’m glad the book exists. I’m proud the book exists, but looking at it through the lens of a female reader, I’m like, Oh, jeez, I missed the mark on this one, so I was very happy, You know, you gave me the welcome slap in the face, um, that you discussed in the last episode. So thank you for that.

[00:04:11] Clare: Well, thank you for being open to it and for being, um, both in an advocate through all the work that you’ve done, that my employer melts media and also just being willing to hear someone else’s perspective. Um, whether you agree with it or not, which we do more than than not And, um, that the core of most of these issues. But, um, it is it is interesting to be in sort of ah, role reversal of Okay, how do you give feedback to someone we’ve talked so much about receiving feet back, right. How do you manage being in a situation where maybe you want to give someone else some insight and in a learning opportunity? And in this case, it was easy because you were open to it. That’s not universal and sort of the other side of cluelessness. I suppose a sequel could be like clue giving clueing people in a TTE the same time. I think that something really important to note here is that cluelessness isn’t always malicious. Right? Um and when we think about our own privilege, or perspective until people raised certain things to my attention. I did not think about them. So something that came up recently was my sister recommended following a thought leader, um, who speaks for people with disabilities. As I’ve been reading his content, I’ve been thinking about walking through my building through my office and how easy it is for me to do that as an able bodied person without ever giving a second thought toe. How somebody who moves in a wheelchair might experience that space. So it’s some always, ah, something that at least I find hard toe unseat once you’re made aware of it.

[00:06:14] Anthony: So tell me about, um, tell me some of the challenges you faced and that women generally face in moving up the career ladder. No leveling up, going through the work as characterized in the book, Um, but not in the like, Clearly evil. Sure know Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer. And those guys like those air clear evil names by men with terrible agendas. What is it like when it’s just ignorant, insensitive? Whatever the context, normal, everyday context were think people mean well,

[00:06:57] Clare: yeah, so it’s difficult, As I said, sometimes Once you see something, it’s hard to un see it. And once I got on a track of reading a lot of feminist business thought leaders or even just female business thought leaders that touch on gender issues, you sort of start to see it everywhere so it can feel a bit overwhelming to be constantly observing these things, experiencing these things and suddenly identifying hope. Yes, that’s a barrier. Good example is when um, women speak up in meetings versus how often men speak up in meetings or how often women might be interrupted and meetings. That’s something I almost subconsciously you’re automatically keep track of now. And nobody is going into that meeting thinking. I sure want to hold that woman back her career. But through a 1,000,000 factors and just sort of social constructs, that’s what happens accidentally. So I’ve been trying to find ways to actually, um, approach those conversations in a way that eyes constructive and greats progress and doesn’t feel accusatory or lycan attack because nobody likes to be told. Hey, guess what I think What you just did was sexist or fill in the blank, Um, so if I had to think through and practice a lot about how to bring those issues up.

[00:08:22] Anthony: Tell us about constructive ways of going about doing that.

[00:08:28] Clare: Sure. So one way that I have been pursuing is to educate my self just by reading as much as I can. And, um, sort of when I think through who do I want to talk to about this stuff? And what sort of information might they respond to? I know some of the in particular male advocates that I’ve been trying to recruit respond really well to data. So how can I present this in a way that’s data driven or a database a research base that might resonate versus I feel sad when this happens, which in a sense is also a little bit unfortunate. Um, you and I both read an article recently called enough something like enough of telling women toe lean and maybe time retail mentally nowt. And I think that feeling of having to sort of adapt to the norm, which in the business world in the U. S. Today happens to be very male normative, um can be really exhausting and draining. And to feel like that work of advocating is work that has to be done by the person that feels like they’re not being treated equally. Converium Tiring,

[00:09:47] Anthony: huh? So tell me. I mean, one of the challenges that I think I see. Um, and I don’t equate this to being, ah, male versus female dynamic. But getting to what you said the American economy is particularly, um, aggressive and mail. And I feel as a not particularly aggressive man, like, if I don’t speak up, this other person’s going to and it extends. I think in a greater way. Like if we don’t deliver this product as quickly and aggressively as possible, then then what the competitors going to And Bill Gates just tweeted like yesterday. I think I wish I had had this book about meaningful sleep when I was younger, and I would stay up for two full days working at Microsoft. But would Microsoft become what it is if Bill Gates slept eight hours a night? You know, like, how do you balance that? I have just as a as a non not so competitive man. I’m like, man, I don’t know how I would do that. And then what you’re talking about. Men should lean out like, How do you do that when the whole system is so aggressive and leaning in, like uncomfortably and where there’s a lot of competition?

[00:11:11] Clare: Yeah, so I don’t know how to solve the inherent masculinity and aggressiveness of capitalism. I’ll say that for the next. But as faras just tactical actions that I would ask any male ally to take, um would be to realize that so often there is not, ah, voice in the room to represent women. And by the way, I’m talking a lot about gender dynamics here. I know there are a lot of other forms of advantage and privilege we’re not covering in this particular episode, but I don’t want Thio give the the impression that that’s all that matters is what we’re focused on now. So when you’re in a room and in a meeting room, or even a social situation where, um, there is that sort of what I would call toxic masculinity? It’s speaking up. Um, fortunately, most people I know personally would not make um, overtly offensive comments about a particular race of people or about people with disabilities. I hope, um, in the presence or the absence of those people. I do feel like there are still many, many comments made about women in the absence of women that wouldn’t be made in front of them. So it’s observing that and speaking up when there’s not somebody in the room, too. Speak up from that perspective, which Anthony I know you do and have done, and I just think that’s very impactful.

[00:12:45] Anthony: That’s great. I love that the president of informer is a female, that my CTO is female, um, and that they have kids. But it’s clear the struggle that they they have like nannies, sure, or custody arrangements or whatever it is, and that it’s almost like you can’t really talk about that stuff right? And I don’t know if they are just inherently tough, aggressive people or if they’re playing that part in the workplace. It’s hard to tell, and I try not to treat anyone differently. But it can be really challenging, that’s for sure. Yeah, and I don’t know what I’m like. I’m not really going for a question here, just more like commentating on. It’s just challenging. It’s all challenging and to treat people fairly as a human being is a lot harder than anyone gives you credit. You know,

[00:13:51] Clare: it is very, very hard. And I think that some companies do such a good job of role modeling and truly encouraging actual vulnerability, actual empathy, actual job flexibility. Mommy’s a great example of company that does all three very, very well. But gender aside, I think you’re absolutely right that we glorify a certain sort of hustle and in almost inhuman capacity for productivity, which, despite however much research, comes out saying sleep is good for creativity or working over X hours per week. Whatever that number is from that months, research paper actually really makes your productivity take a nose dive. Um, but it’s almost realizing that, oh, productivity isn’t the goal in those instances, I think sometimes the goal is to give a certain, um, persona or appearance that you don’t take breaks. And unfortunately, I think that our society in many ways values that as being, um superior or successful. In the last episode, we talked about success criteria, Um, and I’m starting to see that change. Have you seen that change in many ways recently? Your own experience?

[00:15:20] Anthony: I mean, it’s hard to know because I’m going to seek out a job that it’s what I believe is the right kind of workplace. So the right kind of workplace is likely to hire people like me. You know, Um and I’m not saying I’m writer than someone else just for me. What is right looks more like me in my perspective, and I think everyone feels that way. That’s just part of being human and being biased. Um, but I’m glad that at informer there’s not really like we. I think remote work is changing things, and then people get a lot of flexibility, which is great at informer. We’re not pressured to work weekends and nights unless it’s truly required. And it’s we make it clear, like guys this weekend, right? We have to work this weekend, right? Or we’ve got to get this done. There’s a big deadline, but otherwise the pressure is just How am I going to get all this done in a 40 45 hour work week? Right. And no one’s saying you have to do this at 9 a.m. So I think that the the flexibility of the remote work culture, particularly in technology and software, make life a lot easier, and I think a lot more fair in an egalitarian way for any any type of person.

[00:16:46] Clare: Yes, just having the option. I think knowing it’s an option, whether you exercise it or not, and we both have the luxury of working in jobs that can, of course, be done remotely and recognize that so many people don’t have that luxury or that opportunity. But thankfully, I think at least in some sectors, it is becoming more and more normalized to at least have it built into in on site sort of culture to have the option to work from home.

[00:17:18] Anthony: Yeah, absolutely.

[00:17:20] Clare: It’s important, Um, and taking a step back at it. I think it’s also important to look at division of responsibilities. So what might, um, be the driver that someone needs that flexibility or is working from home? And I think, um, back to the gender conversation. The statistics still overwhelmingly show an imbalance between the amount of sort of domestic duties and unpaid labor that women and men take on in the U. S. Today. And it’s not just child care, it’s elder care and I have friends, all Karen, all sorts of things that require that flexibility, that it’s even interesting. Thio note that I personally admire so many female executives and leaders because they’re the exception to the Norman. Like you said, that work has to get outsourced somehow, right? That domestic labor, that sort of unpaid labor. Um, but it’s striking to me that that’s the problem female executives have to figure out. And on average, male executives don’t

[00:18:32] Anthony: Yeah, I And again, it’s hard for me to speak to the average because I don’t think I work for an average company, nor when I seek out an average place. Um, but in the last episode, you were talking about kind of the unsung heroes behind the historical figures. And, um, I definitely need to credit my wife for my ability to do the many things that I do. And I’m lucky to be married to someone who is also ambitious and understands accomplishment. Um, so you know, it’s it’s definitely true in my life, and I think if you’re in a relationship, you need to give credit to to the other person, no matter what they’re doing. Like that’s a sign of a healthy relationship, because it’s two people working together. Um, but when there is like one person saddled with a lot of domestic responsibilities like it’s very unfair to say, Well, look how look how productive I am, you know? Well, yeah, it’s easy to be productive when you’re not when you can just have Children and they’re like being taken care of elsewhere. And you didn’t out of sight out of mind, you

[00:19:47] Clare: know, And I think that’s so important to acknowledge whether it’s a spouse and or a parent or whoever is supporting our success in whatever way recognizing their contributions to it and recognizing wth e advantage is that we gain and that those air so often invisible, too people who might look to you as a role model and think, How does he do it all? So I just think it’s, um, very important and also very thoughtful of you to acknowledge that it is a blended contribution and, um, hopefully not trying to articulate our advocate for one arrangement or another where certain gender sex works. The other dozen. It’s arranged different ways very successfully among many different families, but that active acknowledgement is so powerful and so important.

[00:20:46] Anthony: It really is, and kind of like back to that social media image where your marketing yourself as someone who’s, ah, World traveler and someone who has, You know, all of these different things going on in their life and they have kids mean Sarah sees this. My wife, Sarah, seizes all the time in the field of nutrition and wellness.

[00:21:11] Clare: Oh, yeah,

[00:21:12] Anthony: it’s like here’s a nutrition writer and she has this blogger that kits zillions of hits a month. And she’s got like, a YouTube channel. She’s writing two or three articles a day. You know, all it’s like, No. And then, like on the front of the website, there’s a picture of her with her kids, right? Okay, one is reality, and one is not. Yeah, but And I do believe that contributes to this imposter syndrome discussion that we were having earlier, um, in the previous episode where it’s so easy to believe. Well, I’m just not as smart as like a successful nutrition lady with three kids and a professional kitchen and a YouTube channel, and his team of writers will you never hear about the team of writers, those people there in the background, you know, But it’s totally Wizard of Oz, you know, like a no attention to the people behind the curtain. And I think imposter syndrome is, um I mean, I have no idea how long it’s been a phenomenon, but it seems to be more and more prevalent, and I believe it has a lot to do with that. Like we create this image of being independently successful when we are completely interdependent as human beings.

[00:22:33] Clare: Absolutely. And, um, it’s probably something that we do unintentionally as well. I think I’m sitting here going, Okay, in what ways May I be doing that? And might that be affecting people I don’t have a team of? I wish I could tell you. There is a team of of invisible people behind the scenes there, in a sense, literally now. But at the same time, there is a team of people that enabled me to get to where I’m at currently, and that team is the family that had the means to educate me and the so many invisible contributions. Really, that’s right, and and it doesn’t mean I think this is something that’s frightening for people. Is this fear? If I acknowledge that someone else contributed to my success. Do I look less successful? Make me less successful? No, it’s not to me anyways, but I can see why somebody might. I think that, right? Absolutely. There’s a reason that was those off camera. Um, support crew don’t appear in the shot because we wanna give this impression.

[00:23:45] Anthony: And it’s funny, um, my wife being on the Dr Oz show. Um, just recently being in the studio, watching Dr Oz like in person. Here’s a guy who shows up, reads his TelePrompTer, looks at the camera Reid’s questions off the card like we never interacted with Dr Oz until the show was happening. But all these people played a part in getting my wife onto the Dr Oz show and then to see this whole kind of universe of people, this little town enabling the this one person to be the name for the show, and it’s like, Well, he does everything. He’s a doctor. He’s a heart surgeon. He’s a television host. He’s of this and that, like, yeah, but he’s got, like, literally 100 people supporting him,

[00:24:46] Clare: right? There’s a staff,

[00:24:48] Anthony: and then I’m not trying to discredit the guy. I mean, I don’t agree with his science lack of scientific stuff on homie apathy and those kinds of things. But like the rest of it, well, you turn on the TV and it’s like, Oh, yeah, that Dr Oz, he does so much, you know, because it’s not the Dr Oz and the associate producer and the best boy in the dolly grip. And it’s not that is just the Dr Oz show. Yeah, so I feel like our whole system is set up to buildup thes personas in a marketable way, and it makes us feel like I’m not that successful.

[00:25:31] Clare: That’s right. And I think that in many people’s minds, they aren’t. I mean, they If I walked into a board meeting and someone asked, How how are you this morning? And I’m like, I don’t know. I think I’m going into early menopause and my daughter eat a frozen pop tart for breakfast. Then I custom urn made her tuck and raw that Karzai was peeling down the highway to get here so I could rubber. It’s like that actually would diminish my credibility. That’s right, because our definitions of success is we keep sort of hitting on here, Um, don’t necessarily include that type of vulnerability, but I do think there are some great writers ever knows. Bernie. Most people know burn a Brown is written so much about the power of being vulnerable, being authentic, being willing to let yourself be seen in that way. And I think that, um, it’s important to acknowledge that cost in the impact of that that, yes, if you are vulnerable, you may in fact to be seen as less credible, as less competent as less successful. That is the cost of vulnerability. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not worth it. Sometimes to be a little bit more authentic and real with people.

[00:26:46] Anthony: Just listen to a great episode of the E contact podcast, and there was a guest on there who was saying, As a business owner, I have been vulnerable with my employees and they’ll say, How are things looking for the next year? And when he says, You know what? I’m not really sure revenue is not going up. We’ll either be flat or will be down. Um, I’m uncertain about the market for the products we make all these things. Those people quit because they feel like they have no job. Um, security? Sure. But when this owner says he tells his employees, things are looking great, people stay sure. And it it just makes me think like, how and when do you do you be vulnerable? And to whom, right? Like on the for in the first week? Do you want the new marketing, an associate marketing whatever person to come in and they hear the CEO going well, you know, things were a little iffy right now. What do you want to hear? Things were great. We’re gonna you know, we’re gonna have a killer year.

[00:28:08] Clare: Yeah, well, and I think that it’s contextual for sure, and it’s easy to talk. Sit here in this comfortable living room. After eating Sarah’s delicious burritos and and talk about vulnerability, Evers is go out there in the world and actually be vulnerable. Um, and I even I have my guard up as we’re discussing what are some really sensitive topics, because I I don’t want to appear a certain way or offend a certain group of people, so I get it. But I think that there’s a difference between completely uncensored, unfettered openness and vulnerability right vulnerability is is about, um, letting for me Anyway, my my feelings in my truth be seen and known in the situations were I deem that it is best for me and for other people to see you know, those things, Um, and it doesn’t mean 100% full disclosure in every single context, and I don’t even know if that’s possible. But it certainly does create some sort of pickles. For instance, you’re talking about

[00:29:14] Anthony: Yeah, and I’ve just learned that you don’t know what you’re going through when you’re going through it. So I often don’t share something until after I’ve gone through it, because it’s only then that I could process and understand it. But when I was dealing with imposter syndrome a few years ago, I felt like this is gonna be the end. Someone is going to realize that I don’t do anything. I just walk around talking to people you know, like that’s not a job. Why am why am I making this kind of money when all I do is attend meetings and this and that. But on the on the other hand, it’s I’m only saying that cause I don’t yet understand what I’m going through. Yeah, And I think another factor that plays into this imposter syndrome thing is this, um, need for immediacy and expression that we see on things like Twitter. I need to say what I’m feeling. I need to be raw. I need to be riel, and I don’t disagree with that, but I don’t know. And part of this, you know, the theme of cluelessness in the book is that we really don’t understand ourselves until we do. And when you think you understand yourself two years later, you look back and go. I knew nothing. Yeah, so it’s It’s really a fine line for me. And I’ve learned I will only share my riel problems and feelings with a specific group of people who know me who care about me and who know where I’m coming from. But otherwise, if I feel like the whole world is my audience and I need to event or something to them, then I’m gonna feel like an impostor. So that’s something that I’ve had to manage for myself. I don’t know if that’s the right way to go about it, but I it’s worked for me

[00:31:23] Clare: Well, yeah, and I think that is a really valid observation. Is that hindsight perspective and not knowing even that you are going through something at the time you’re going through it, let alone how to talk about it. Right. Um and I think that there are some individual. It’s trust, right? Like vulnerability sometimes requires a level of trust that the person’s going to react in a way you’ve decided is acceptable and not run out on you or judge you. Right? Um And and there are some reasons good reasons. We’re not always showing every feeling and emotion in every context until you’ve decided that’s best for you. And then the timing is right. But it’s interesting because I’m thinking through like you talk about how years later you look back on the imposter syndrome, and I’m always surprised to learn someone I look up to like you has imposter syndrome, right? Cause I’m like, you’re not an impostor. The real thing. What are you talking about? Imposter syndrome, right? I think

[00:32:37] Anthony: I can re. But that right, if I was the real deal, wouldn’t I like, wouldn’t this thing have these more? This many more numbers, more subscribers. Wouldn’t I be making more money? Wouldn’t I be speaking Atmore conferences wouldn’t like. That’s what it comes down to in my head. Well, if I didn’t spend time playing Borderlands three, I would be doing, I will be making videos. I’d be reading books. I’d be doing this and that. But yeah, I’ve just had to learn. You don’t know what you’re talking about. Like I say that to myself. And as soon as I think I know what I’m talking about, that’s that’s when I know I have imposter syndrome. You know what? Hey, and I think that’s the root of the issue, which is why the third of the theme of cluelessness is so prevalent in the book. Because the any time I think I know what I’m doing, I find I’ll meet with someone or you no see something observed something that makes me realize it’s that welcome slap in the face. And if there’s always opportunity for the welcome slap in the face, and for me to feel like I actually knew anything that I had a clue was the imposter speaking then the

[00:33:58] Clare: best interesting. It’s I’ve never heard it described that way But I would argue that, um, it’s not stupidity.

[00:34:12] Anthony: No, no, like

[00:34:13] Clare: right. It’s not ignorance. It’s it’s not into anyone, especially anyone listening. Who’s thinking?

[00:34:18] Anthony: No, I think it’s a presumptuousness. Yeah, like I should know what I’m doing

[00:34:24] Clare: here

[00:34:24] Anthony: as we It’s like I’ve been doing this job for four years. I could be an expert by now, but, like no expertise comes after a decade.

[00:34:32] Clare: Yeah, and also what’s the line like? You might be right at the level of knowledge or supposed to be at that point in your career, and no one would expect more of you, right? You might. In some instances, we might all have less knowledge there. Skill. Then we need go and get it right. But it’s just like to meet. Cluelessness is just a constant state, and that’s not a bad thing because there’s always more information toe in taken to process and to add to your sort of, you know, head library and

[00:35:05] Anthony: well, that’s what I love about you. You are, ah, endlessly curious, super smart, very well read. You’ve always got at your house like a stack of interesting books and that

[00:35:16] Clare: I borrowed from you.

[00:35:19] Anthony: They’re so interesting that you borrowed from

[00:35:21] Clare: especially this clueless at the work window. Looks fascinating.

[00:35:24] Anthony: Yeah, if you want a virtue signal to your friends by that book. Yeah, Let’s buy this really esoteric crater You’ve probably never heard of E got a signed copy, right? But no, I think like I I see people like you are super smart. Well read, articulate. You’ve been doing something for a long time. You’ve worked on the practice, the discipline of it. You manage all these other aspects of your life and for me to know that you might feel like an impostor A times I just think it’s probably around that issue of, like, expectation and the gap. You know, I know my tastes are above my own ability to perform at that level and given global exposure at all times to the most talented people in the universe that we know of. You know, like Bill Gates is on Lincoln Ray Dalio novel Ravi cons. You know, like all these amazing, like, really uber successful people. I have the same account as they do. You know, I log in the south, think I type my user name one key at a time, just like they do. But, um, you know, there’s this new level of expectation in what Naseem Taleb calls extremist. Stan, you know, we live in extremist and you’re not successful until you’ve taken over the whole market, right? You’re not successful until you have five million subscribers. And even then the guy at five million’s like, Well, how do I get to 10 you know? Yeah, exactly. And it’s obviously about hot button topic for May. I could keep going.

[00:37:02] Clare: Well, yeah, and that’s flooded by material indicators of success. But I just keep coming back to challenging that word. But you know what’s ironic again? I’m sitting here preaching and sort of talking the talk, if you will. But, um, two things I still feel like a failure. I still feel like because I haven’t reached this point. Then I and I remember being younger and in my early twenties and, um, having zero cash flow. My husband at the time was in grad school, and I think we’re living off $1000 a month, and that’s a lot to a lot of people. But I hadn’t learned to live on that amount of money with a newborn at home putting. I just, you know, and I hadn’t grown up, that I had grown up very comfortably. And suddenly I’m in the situation and, uh, don’t know. Anyway, I’ve got this baby at home and this husband grads glowing were just what I feel like it’s scraping. And I remember thinking, If I can just if If only I could make think at that time I was thinking, like $50,000 a year, things would be so much easier. And that number has never stopped increasing. Now it’s a different number. When I get there, it’ll be a different number. And I know I mean, I read the studies that tell me I’m not gonna be happy at above. Exper year will not increase my happiness. Don’t care. Still dry for still feel this, like insane dry for that. What’s that about? There’s something to that, Um, and also I realizes I’m sitting here like blowing about, you know, vulnerability and everything. I’ve had a talk track in my head this entire time telling me I’m failing. This podcast is going horribly. I I’m not doing well. I’m not representing myself.

[00:38:56] Anthony: It is

[00:38:56] Clare: too truthful. It’s history. I mean, the whole time. Yeah, right there. So

[00:39:01] Anthony: I am so grateful. I have the opportunity to do kensho education for a few years because it helped me to accept myself for who I am and to live in the moment and without judgment, and to look at myself and say this is who you are right now. This is the person you have to manage. And, um, you know, a couple of things come to mind. First, there’s a great book by Aaron Hillegass. He’s ah, he runs this Dev bootcamp thing. But well before that was a term. He’s run this OS 10 programming thing and first edition of his OS 10 programming book says he had a friend in rock and rock was a astrophysicist or rocket scientists like a literal rocket scientist. And he got heat. He felt like such a failure all the way to getting his PhD. And he got a PhD in like astrophysics. And then when he started programming with Aaron, he said, I must be so stupid. I just don’t understand this. And then he said to himself, You know what? I have a PhD in astrophysics I’m not stupid. This is just hard. Yeah, And that story, like, really reframed. How I how I feel about things that are very difficult. Instead of feeling like I’m a failure, I now just think this is just hard and that’s okay. Secondly, the word just any time if I’m gonna use it on being defensive. And I’ve learned that just hearing my kids,

[00:40:44] Clare: I just wantto way

[00:40:50] Anthony: do that, too. Has grown ups, like I said just several times in the last minute, but I have a sensitivity to that. So there are words that I’ve tried removing from my vocabulary. Even when I type, you know, screen read one of what I’m saying, and then I go back and edit it. But yeah, like it’s not. I’m not dumb. It’s hard. Using the word just is a tell. It’s a signal that I’m being defensive and I had another thing, but it’s not coming to me.

[00:41:21] Clare: Well, I think that, um, I’m glad we all feel equally inadequate there. That’s right. Good to be in good company is. And another thing I think that you do well that I take inspiration from and help other people listening to is, even though you fully and freely admit in the book that you you I feel like an impostor at times, or you are clueless or towards the end, you’re like, by the way anyone writes a self help book should not be trusted. Like what? I just spend 200 pages with this guy. I didn’t see it because you’re my friend. I know you. I respect you from Countess Lee. But one thing that I think you inspire me. And as I said, hopefully others to do is just do it like, Okay, so you feel like a fraud. You feel like an idiot or a failure. You feel fearful or whatever it is. But I think the difference between you and most other people I know is like you’re still going to write that book and you’re just gonna do it knowing it’s not going to be 1000% perfecter hit a certain sales number like you don’t let that cluelessness um stop you.

[00:42:36] Anthony: You know why I turned that imposter syndrome thing around? And I realized most people fail the odds of anything succeeding or so low. No one’s gonna listen to this. No, one will read this book you don’t like. That’s that’s the approach I take and instead of having anxiety about someone actually reading out reading it, because that, to me, is a presumptuous expectation. I just think I want to do it. No one is going to read it. Anyone who does it’s their own fault because I’m not gonna promoting and getting the word out so they’re not gonna hear it from me.

[00:43:10] Clare: And yet it’s It’s doing so well because

[00:43:13] Anthony: it actually is doing

[00:43:14] Clare: valuable message.

[00:43:15] Anthony: Lime Surprised at how well the sales have gone. So, um, it’s not that I have low expectations for myself, like these air the transformations in my mind, I don’t. I no longer think I’m dumb. I think things are hard. I no longer think I’m unsuccessful. I think the probability of being successful in a you know, a significant monetary or volume way are very low, and it’s very hard. Um, I no longer think like that I have this. This represents who I am. I now think this is a product of who I am, and I am a person who makes these things, and if someone has a problem with that. That’s okay, because they’re doing their thing. And so I no longer like it’s like the truth will set you free. The truth to me was the statistics and the reality that you can’t be dumb after getting a master’s degree and leading departments with dozens of people and being responsible for budgets of tens of millions of dollars. Dumb people don’t get that, even though I feel dumb at times, I really do. I have to tell myself You’re not done. This is hard and it’s transformed the way that I I work. This video doesn’t suck. It just probably won’t perform as well as all the others that you make. Or if no one watches this, it’s not a failure because you’re having fun making it right. So the really had. And I mean this is serious work. This is This is not like a mantra. I wrote on a post it note that I look at once every three months. This is like every day telling myself for hours. You’re not dumb. This is hard. Yeah, so it’s It’s significant mental work, and it’s Cece a fish in a big time. Yeah, if you have a Twitter account that Boulder weighs more and more every single day.

[00:45:24] Clare: I’m sure heavy is the head that wears the crown. Waited all this success that’s brought by this this book, could, you know in in some situations, turn into more stress, for example, society. I think it’s It’s

[00:45:39] Anthony: I’ll tell you the truth. This make weird music patri on I have. I have tremendous guilt when I don’t deliver because there are people who are paying money. I think every day about canceling that patri on ending it. I’ve turned off payments for the last two or three months, but really, I just it’s too much. It’s like I’m not in it for the money

[00:45:58] Clare: power of reciprocation.

[00:46:00] Anthony: I read

[00:46:00] Clare: once that Ah, good way to build relationships is to do someone a favor, cause they’ll feel so compelled to reciprocate that they’ll shut down their patron account after two months if they don’t. So I think that’s ah must be listening to some very wise thinkers. Oh,

[00:46:17] Anthony: man, I’m getting very uncomfortable. I’m sweating,

[00:46:20] Clare: you know, and people start quoting you to yourself. That’s when that’s when you know you’re successful.

[00:46:25] Anthony: I want you to know

[00:46:27] Clare: if If if

[00:46:28] Anthony: the very first quote in my new book is my own,

[00:46:32] Clare: I quote

[00:46:34] Anthony: my old my introduction from this book. The new introduction starts with I usually hate introductions.

[00:46:40] Clare: Wait to read this turning into Russian nesting dollars. Anthony references.

[00:46:49] Anthony: This new book is going to be good, but ah, I believe in it. Um, but that’s a topic for another day. So clear. Thank you so much. I feel like this is a really productive and helpful discussion. Honestly, I am sweating like I think some truth was shed. Some vulnerability was that was expressed here.

[00:47:06] Clare: That’s good. Likewise, And I appreciate the chance toe. Come here and join your family and join you for a couple of these episodes and just thank you for carrying enough to do all of this work you do for yourself in for your friends. And now through, um, make weird music and your writing and and other projects so many projects you’ve got going the broader community I really, really admire and value that about you and your desire to make us all better. So think

[00:47:36] Anthony: thank you. Now let’s go tell the truth and thank my wife, who’s been inside with the kids who made dinner tonight. Let’s thank her for making this happen.

[00:47:46] Clare: We love you, Sarah. Thank you. Go do it in person.

[00:47:50] Anthony: Yes.

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About the Author

Anthony Garone headshot

Anthony Garone is a creative technology leader with a heart for helping people understand who they are, where they excel, and what they can offer the world. He has co-founded and advised several startups, runs Make Weird Music, and leads software and technology teams at an identity theft protection firm, InfoArmor, which was acquired by Allstate in October 2018.

Anthony lives in Mesa, Arizona with his wife and three children.