Student Spotlight: How Cynthia Went From Overworked And Burned Out To Creating Her Dream Life
Ep. 192
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This week on the podcast, I have my former student, Cynthia. Before joining the program, Cynthia had been working at the same company for five years, was over-worked and stressed all the time. She worked nights and weekends and was missing out on time with her family. Right before the program began, Cynthia’s mother suddenly passed away and she was scared to email her boss to ask for time off. That was the breaking point for her and she knew she couldn’t stay stuck in this job anymore. Cynthia is now working a part-time job she loves, she has a four-day weekend every week and enrolled in a course to widen her skill set. But more than that, Cynthia’s mindset has totally changed and it’s so incredible to listen to her story.

Show Transcript
Not saying no, I found myself working at all hours and watching someone that you love pass away in front of your eyes is is not a call to action, it's an exclamation. It's like you only have this one life. This is it.

Hey, welcome to Lessons From a Quitter where we believe that it is never too late to start over. No matter how much time or energy you spent getting to where you are, if ultimately you are unfulfilled, then it is time to get out. Join me each week for both inspiration and actionable tips so that we can get you on the road to your dreams.

Hello, my friends. Welcome to another episode. I am so excited to have you here. I am continuing on with some student spotlights. Last week, we had the amazing, Lisa McFadden. If you didn't listen to that episode, make sure you go back and check that out. And today I'm so excited to have my student, Cynthia, on and I will get to her story in a second. As you're gonna hear, it's so inspiring. And I'm so excited to have her because unlike Lisa and a lot of other people that I feature who tend to quit and then go into starting their own business, Cynthia went to another job and I want to show you how much happiness you can find by managing your own mind and going after a job that you really want and figuring out what it is that you want. But before we jump into that and before I tell you more about Cynthia, I just want you to know that today is March 8th if you're listening to this when it comes out and I've already opened up the doors to Pave Your Path to the wait list yesterday and it will open up to everybody tomorrow on March 9th. So if you listen to this episode and it resonates and you decide like yeah, I also wanna make a decision to change my life. I am done living for the weekends. I'm done hating my career. I'm done feeling stressed and burnt out and resentful all the time. I wanna learn to put some boundaries up. I wanna take back part of my life. I wanna find balance. I wanna figure out what it is I actually wanna do and go after it. I'm ready to put in the work and actually change some things as we go through 2022. I want you to join me. I would love to have you in this group. I truly think the skills that you learn here are gonna help every aspect of your life. Learning to manage your mind is the most important thing I think you can do for your relationships, for your work, for your life, for your health. So if you're ready to stop putting it off, there's no perfect time. There's no time to be ready. You're ready exactly as you are. And I want you in the program so I can help you. So you can go to and get in this group. I keep these groups small cuz, as you'll hear in this episode too, Cynthia talks about like you have a lot of access to me. You can just Vox me anytime you need help. And I can only do that with uh a certain amount of people. So stop putting it off. Let's change some things together. I would love to be able to help you. So go to And if you're listening to this after doors have closed, that's fine. Just get on the wait list for when it opens up next time so you can be ready to go. So you can be one of the people to snag a spot before it fills up. Alright, so now back to the episode. I'm so excited to have Cynthia on. You will hear how inspiring and uplifting she just is to talk, every time I talk to her, it fills me up so much. So I know you guys are gonna get a lot out of it. Cynthia has worked in the financial sector in one way or another, whether it's as an accountant or a financial analyst for over 25 years. You'll hear about her story of how she was in a job that she'd worked at for over five years. Her last job, that she was absolutely miserable at. She had no boundaries. She was working nights and weekends. She was completely stressed out. She didn't feel appreciated and worse than that, she felt helpless because she was telling herself the lie that she was too old to be hired anywhere else. And so she felt that she had to stay, that this was kind of as good as it’s gonna get. And we'll talk a lot about what happened in her life to sort of wake her up from that and have her decide that there was changes she could make and she was ready to make them. And what has happened since then is just so beautiful to watch uh Cynthia quit her job and went on to get a bunch of other job offers. She ended up deciding what she wanted to do, which was work only part-time so she has more, she has a four day weekend every week. She doesn't take work home anymore. She asks them if they want overtime, if they ever want projects that are behind beyond her scope. She asks for what she needs. She advocates for herself. And she's at a position that we've talked about is like her dream company, dream role is having so much fun is um really enjoying her life. And you can just hear it. You can hear how much, not only has it changed her work situation, but it's just changed how she views her life and how she views moving forward. Especially when other people really have adopted the mindset of like, you know, you're gonna retire soon or at 65, you gotta pack it in. You can hear how Cynthia is just getting started. And it's so amazing. So without further ado, I will stop rambling so you can hear from the amazing Cynthia.

Hi Cynthia. Thank you so much for joining me today.

Hi Goli, I'm thrilled and honored and excited to be here with you.

I wanna go back and start at the beginning of the journey that you've had with me and my program. So why don't you just tell us what job you were in before you joined the program.

I was an accountant and I had been working for a small company that basically, I create financials all month long and I worked uh close to home, like 15-minute commute, but about 2019, I wanted to get out because I was really unsatisfied with the job, but then 2020 hit. And then it was a lot of mental chatter about why I couldn't quit.

Mm. How long had you been at that job?

Over five years.

If I remember correctly, you went to that job hoping for more like balance, right? Like I remember you had kind of scaled back and found a job to be able to have a little bit more time to yourself. And that's not what happened.

Yes, exactly. I took the job because I knew it was a slam dunk, easy, below my ability skills. I had a lot of experience but I went in kind of under the radar but they knew I was overqualified. I mean, the owner met, he goes wow, you're overqualified. And I said I wanna be close to home because I wanna be there for my family. And I want a more life work balance. I wanna be able to leave the office and I've done it eight hours and I don't take the job home with me. Oh, this is the job. Perfect. And it was great for about two years. And there was a change in management and a lot of changes. And then they started seeing that I could do more and I don't mind doing more, but I was slammed with more. And I don't know how I got into the mindset of I couldn't say no.

Yeah, that's the problem. I mean, I think it's, you know, it highlights what so many of us do and this is why I will constantly, you know, beat this drum that like if you don't learn how to manage your own mind or you don't learn how to say no and how to deal with the people-pleasing, changing the job doesn't help. I've had so many people who did the same thing as you, like even go, I've had so many lawyers who go from like full-time to part-time thinking that's going to all of a sudden increase their quality of life. But when they can't say no, they still keep taking on assignments. They keep basically working full-time. Right. They keep, and for you, I know it's like you wanted your nights and weekends. And then you ended up, you know, taking work at home with you and constantly doing more and more because yeah, when your boss sees that you're capable and when he gives it to you and you don't say no and you keep doing it, they're just gonna keep piling more and more on.

Yes. The irony is I saw with some of the people that were coming on who were younger and I try to coach them or tell them hey, just say you can't finish all of this if you're given all these assignments. And there I was giving the exact advice that I should have taken myself where I had mentioned it, you know, this is too much. And some things were taken away but not enough. And then when 2020 and the pandemic hit, working from home was drastically different than working from in the office. So I didn't have the wifi bandwidth. I didn't have all the creature comforts of an office. And um that made it more difficult. But for me, because I had this not saying no, I found myself working at all hours, weekends. If there were more projects, there were more things that needed to be done. And this sort of, this mentality of oh my God, I have to keep doing this. And then also I'm not a 25 year old. I'm not a 35 year old. I'm not even a 45 year old. I'm in my fifties. And there is this sort of culture that oh, once you get to a certain age, it's gonna be hard finding a job. No one wants to hire old people. They can hire young people at half price because they're inexperienced and don't know any better or because they just can or they're faster or whatever, that affected my thoughts of oh, I've gotta stick this out.

Absolutely, yeah. That's such a great point that you bring up cuz I think we sort of create these cages for ourselves based on these thoughts. And that's not to say that there's zero truth to like the fact that ageism exists, right? Like there, it's not to say that there aren't biases that people have, whether it's, you are, you know, older or a woman or a person of color or whatever, that absolutely exists. But in our brain we make it so black and white where it's like, you know, we don't even try to look for another job to see like is that true? You know, it's like well, now I'm this age so that means I have to stick it out here. And I always say this like that in and of itself creates so much negative emotion because it creates a a sense of helplessness. Like if there's nowhere else for you to go and you just have to keep enduring, that in and of itself is gonna create so much unhappiness, let alone what what the rest of the job is. And so I love that you bring up because I think that that is something that a lot of people struggle with.

Yes, it's absolutely it's a self-imposed cage. I made the cage, I created it with my mind with all the stress I was having and the extra workload. I had to prove that I was worthy of keeping that job. Whereas, I really was worthy. I was doing a great job. I was over and beyond and I saw some of the new people being hired and they weren't doing, they weren't given as difficult assignments. They were given a lot of coaching. They were given a lot of latitude to ramp up and there I was struggling to to get my work done within the normal week, let alone the weekends. My weekends were taken up. So moving forward, I had this mindset. So here I am feeling that I have to do this. The pandemic is hit. I'm working from home. I live alone. And the thing is, that was, that was tough. But I got used to that. But at the same time, the problem is I was working from home. My, my lack of boundaries was my undoing and it really escalated. I had a lot of mental um trauma around it or just anx-. I guess, anxiety, that's mental trauma. [Yeah.] Anxiety and like what am I gonna do? And then I started thinking what if they fire me? And I thought wow, I wish they would fire me. And it cracks me up because your podcast, you're the only person I have ever heard say that I wanted to be fired. [Yeah.] And you wanted to be fired from a high-paying job where you were well-recognized and you were doing it. And yet you wanted to be fired. And hearing you say that was like unlocking the key.

I love that.

It made me feel like I wasn't alone in this sort of thinking. I thought oh my God, if she's young and has all this stuff going for her and yet she's unsatisfied and wants to be fired, then me thinking that I want to be fired, there's nothing wrong with me thinking that. So thank you.

Of course, oh my God. That makes me so happy. And I I I mean, you know, obviously my whole point with this entire podcast is to let everybody know like that all of our thoughts are normal. Right. And and the problem is is like when we have thoughts and then we feel guilty about having 'em or we put shame on like I shouldn't be, I should be grateful. I should just be happy. Why am I like this? Like we not only add to our own suffering but that's sort of why we stay stuck as opposed to really, you know, and I didn't have these tools then, I really did feel a lot of shame of like wanting to be fired because I also felt it's such a disempowered place to be, right. It was more of like I wish somebody else would make this decision for me because I can't make it for myself.

That is the truth. You feel like you're in a hole [Yeah.] and you need someone to throw a rope for you. [Yes.] Where actually you may be in the hole, but you can take those rungs and climb yourself.


Without someone telling you you can do it, without having permission, without any of that. And I improve. If anyone's listening to this, someone who's kinda been stuck in an industry, who's middle-aged, who doesn't think that they can do something else, you can. And actually, I am living my best life now.

Oh my God, I can't wait. I love it. I love your story. So I'm so tell tell us what happened. So we got to the place where clearly you were unhappy, you were overworking. What made you join the program? Like, you know, when did you know it was the right time or what was happening for you that you decided like I need some help?

You know? Um I listen to your podcast faithfully and I cried when I heard the one, the episode with your mom. [Mmmm.] I just sobbed. And I listened to it multiple times. And the thought that have I lost my passion? That one part of the episode where I thought what is it that, what really sparks my passion? Cause at this point I had lost a lot of joy in life. I didn't see any joy in life, but I did know, because in December of 2020, I broke my pelvic bone, but I had to keep working and I couldn't get

That's insane

Pandemic. I know it's crazy. The pain was insane. And um I couldn't get rehab. I couldn't get therapy. So I had to do it on YouTube. And every day I would tell myself today I'm gonna, I'm going to get a little better. And having that experience was so awful. But at the same time, it taught me that a little bit every day [I love that.] you get progress with a little bit every day, not giant chunks. I'm not gonna run a marathon with a broken pelvic bone. [Right.] But if I get up, I get up and I show up for myself and I started getting up in the morning and just trying to get as much exercise as I possibly could with my limited, you know, abilities. I mean, I was on crutches and I was in a lot of pain but I still did it. And I tried to push myself a little bit and over time I was able to succeed. Well, well that happened. And then I I found your podcast and I started listening to it. And I thought, you know, first of all, I just, you speak to my soul.

Aww thank you.

You speak to my soul. And I really hear what you're saying and the guests that you have on teach me something and I have to learn in bite size pieces or else I get into all or nothing thinking. Oh, I'm gonna run a marathon tomorrow. I can't with a broken leg. So I might as well not get up. [Right.] But the thing is I do get up and I do train. So that whole aspect of breaking my pelvic bone and, you know, starting to walk all over again was was difficult. It was challenging but I decided that I'm gonna do that. And I'm not, it’s that or die.


You know?


Or not walk.

Yeah. I mean, we talk about this a lot in the program too. And and I'm sorry that you went through that but I talk about this all the time with physical injuries um and just physical pain where, and a lot of times, even with a, you know, when I,when I relate it to emotional stuff, it's always like what's the alternative, right. People say it's so hard. It's so hard to change my job. It's so hard to change my like work on my mindset. It's so hard to and I'm like yeah, but what's the alternative? To just be miserable all the time? Right. [Yeah.] Like and I think you, in this situation, it's like yes, it's very painful and doing physical rehab is very painful and that was your responsibility. Right. There's nobody else that can do that for you. Like nobody could come and save you from that. But what's the alternative? Not to walk again? Like you have to just get your mind around the fact that like yeah, a little bit is gonna get me there slowly. It's better to get there slowly than to not get there at all.

Yeah and I saw improvement and that was so encouraging to my soul. And every day I I decided to wake up every day and be grateful for something. Before I'm even really awake, I'm like what happened in the past 24 hours that I'm really grateful for? So I start my day off with a little bit of gratitude.

I love that.

But listening to your podcast, the one with your mom, made me think about a lot of the setbacks that she had had that she didn't give up. She kept finding something that really gave her joy. And then having a little bit of time where you can think about what really sparks joy or happiness or passion. And I had lost that at that point. And so I started cultivating that idea and I felt sorry for my past self. I'm like I'm gonna give my my past self a little break, didn't know any better but now I'm on alert. I'm not gonna do that to myself. So and I would've been listening, you know, and and and Goli is so great about, you know, I would DM her about something and say oh, this is a great and she was always so kind and respond. I don't know if you can do that anymore.

No, I do. I love talking to you guys.

But um I love the Instagram too. I I'm a Instagrammer, I'm always on Instagram, just getting positive feedback for just living a better life. But I found, I was just gravitated to all your little Instagram stories and just getting that positive reinforcement of: life can change, you can do this was so helpful.

I love that. So tell us what has happened since? Like you joined the program and so much has changed.

I decided to join the program. The next launch was coming and it was gonna start in July. And then at the end of June, the company I was working for was going through a system integration. As anyone who's ever, you know, changed from one platform to another and that was kind of crazy. So I took some days off. I actually had three days off, but on the Sunday before those three days were going to start, I get a call from my brother that my mom was in the hospital and was not expected to survive. So within a few days, my mom had passed away.

I'm so sorry.

Thank you. But here's the thing, I think back now, I think this is crazy. I needed more time. I had taken those three days off but I needed more time. So I was terrified of sending my manager an email, telling her my mom is dying and I need a few more days. Here's my mother in hospice and I'm afraid to tell my manager, I mean, why?

It's crazy. It's crazy.

I mean, the fear. I had to have a friend help me craft this email but when I sent it, I'm like okay, whatever. Um and then she responded saying oh, she's so sorry, blah, blah. I did not expect any kind of compassion from her because I had built her to be this monster on the other side, you know, unwilling to hear my pain. But at this point, someone's mother dying. That's, you know, that's not like oh, I'm not feeling well today. [Right.] It's so um I had a few more days, you know, to be with family and that whole experience. And that was pretty traumatizing. I, my mom, watching someone that you love pass away in front of your eyes is is not a call to action, it's an exclamation. It's like you only have this one life. This is it. I I'm not gonna waste it. I'm not going to give it to this company. I'm not gonna feel this sort of fear or or feel caged about this. And, you know, I had already enlisted in the program but that's the mindset I came into when I started the program.

I'm sorry that, you know, it tends to happen in those events. And I I hear that a lot from different people and from, we all have experienced this, you know, or we've had people in our lives that have, that really death and illness and even just certain tragedies, traumatic events, while really unfortunate, are very powerful in putting things in perspective very quickly. Like it really cuts the fat. And it's like all this other stuff that we worry about on a day-to-day basis that we make so big in our minds, when you're facing a life or death situation, when you're watching kind of that transition, I think for a lot of people, it becomes very clear. Like what am I doing? What am I wasting my time with? You know? And so I'm sorry that it had to come on the back of that. But I I do think that it made such a profound shift from even when you entered, I think you were very set on like this has to change. I'm not doing this anymore.

Right. I had decided because someone had passed away in the, in the corporation and I don't know of what, but it had been announced that this person had been passed away and I cried for a week and I cried because she had passed away without having had much of a vacation, you know, or even resting before she had passed away. And I thought that could be me. I refuse to die, you know, in my bed from stress or a heart attack because of the stress. Because people do die of heart attacks [Of course.] and stress. And so I knew that I needed to make the change. And it's a real mind shift just to say this is changing. This job is going and outweighs the fear of what am I gonna do?

Oh my God, I love that so much. Just that proclamation, like that is such a powerful sentence to say I've decided things are changing.


When we're talking about like when we become kind of the victims in our lives or when we become helpless is because we've believed this lie that like there's nothing I can do. And when you proclaim something that powerfully like things are going to change, right. I'm going to change. It so quickly shows you like I really do have a lot more control than I think I do. It's just that I've been scared. And now that fear is like no longer gonna drive this bus.

Right. There was an old song in the seventies, take this job and shove it. And I always kinda laughed at that. And I was just a kid, you know, I was a kid way back then but, you know, doing that abrupt change or getting fired, I don't think that I would've learned the lesson so much. So starting your course and going through the process, I didn't quit right away. I had to do the mind shift because there's a lot of mental chatter around quitting. I knew that I was not going to not quit. I was going to quit but what I was, what was I gonna do going forward? Or how was I going to transition from working to not working? How was gonna handle that? And you know, a lot of it and you going through my finances and getting rid of things I don't really need, I'm already kind of a minimalist, pseudo-minimalist. I'm not really a minimalist. I'm a pseudo-minimalist. I wanna be a minimalist but I'm not really.

Don't we all?

But I went through my finances and I had a real hard look at, you know, how can I live? How can I handle this? What could I do? What could I do in between? You know, this was 2021 for anyone who is wondering. You know, this is 2021. People were getting jobs. There was that great resignation, people were quitting, but I was getting a lot of job offers. I mean, I just cast the net and there was a lot of people wanting my services.

How did you cast the net? Was it like through recruiters or yourself? You just put out on?

I just put my resume out there and I couldn't. And it wasn't just recruiters, it was employers. Direct employers seeing my experience. And I thought yeah, I do have a lot of experience. I I get stuff done and I'm intelligent. And I just started saying what are the things that I've done and what are the things that I can do and what what can I bring to an organization? And it's a lot and it not just in my job skills but my whole person. I'm a real can-do person. I'm a I'm a solution-oriented person. [Yeah.] I solve things. I'm real positive. I'm upbeat most of the time. And I'm human. I'm human. I'm allowed to be human [Right.] and have a bad day. But I found that the response was was very positive.

That's so amazing. And I think even that, just the change in the way that you were thinking about yourself and oftentimes it does help to put it and see, you know, sort of prove to ourself, like find the evidence of where our brain’s a liar. Cause, you know, I always like talk about how all of our brains are liars. And I think when we've convinced ourselves that I don't know what I’m doing or I, you know, I can't get another job. And part of it is just trying. Even if you don't wanna leave, to see like oh, I could, there are a lot of things I could do. Oh, there's people that are interested. Right. I'm more in a place of power of do I actually wanna leave or not? You know, and what do I wanna leave for? So I love that you took that approach. And so what happened?

Well, I definitely was gonna leave.


But I, that was a given, but when I went back and I was going to quit, this integration that happened was such a disaster. I mean, it was like full scale disaster and it was a lot of work. It was put on the financial team to fix it. And we were behind. So I stayed, not for the company but for my fellow employees that were in the same hole as me. I just felt if I left now, I would be hurting them because they would have to take up slack and they were already so buried. Everybody was. So I stayed and it took a little longer, but I already, I already knew I was going to quit. And that felt empowering. And with that, you know, I would only work eight or nine hours. I wasn't working 10 hours and I would take some weekends off but I did have to have some coaching [Yeah.] around labor, labor day weekend when, you know, I had kind of a on a family emergency and I was planning to work, but I just couldn't.

Yeah. It's so funny that you say this because like I think you did it in such the perfect way. Um because you're right. I think the fact that you worked on your mindset before you quit, helped you have such an easier transition but, and even with this stuff, what's so amazing to me as I coach people and I did this too. So I'm not in any way judging cuz once you're kind of a people-pleaser and you're a team player and you wanna do right by people, it doesn't just go away. And so it's always interesting for me, for people that want to quit, for me for instance, in my situation I had even put in my two week notice when I was at the law firm and I still was like working 12 hours a day and people would be like why are you work? Like you're leaving, why do you care? And I'm like I just, it was so hard at the time. I couldn't manage my mind. It was like if something is expected of me, I have to rise up. Right. And so it was so interesting to watch you, like you'd already decided you were gonna leave and watch you kind of grapple with still the putting up the boundaries of like timeline. Right. Like I will stay and I will do the work that I need to do but I'm gonna log off when you're not paying me anymore. I'm not gonna work on weekends. And I'm glad that you did do that work because I think that that again, helped you in the new position and even moving on is just learning like that power again, like as we talk about the control that you have is like yes, they may want you to work 15 hours a day. That doesn't mean you have to. Right. That doesn't mean that that's what's required of you. I always tell people that who are gonna quit, I'm like listen, you're gonna quit anyway or you're gonna leave this job, you might as well try boundaries and see what happens. Right. Cause we all have this fear of if I say no ever, I'm gonna get fired like instantly. And that's never really the case. And so I loved that you really did, I remember exactly that that weekend and wanting to be with family and feeling guilty and we just coached on like why do you feel guilty? Like why would you not be able to like go and be there for your family? Who said you had to work on this weekend? And I think really doing that work and getting yourself to a place of feeling empowered and having your own back and deciding what you wanted was just such a powerful shift to seeing you. I I I was noticing at the time it was just like you were just growing in your own power to be like oh yeah, like I'm not gonna accept less than this. Like this is how I'm gonna treat myself. This is how I'm gonna show up in my life. This is what I'm gonna do. And I think that has clearly become like who you've embodied, which has created, you know, so much for you now.

Yes. But I just wanna also say it was your coaching.

Aww thank you.

And I have had other coaches that I've been in other coaching programs, but having direct access to a coach is game-changer because I needed that push. [Right.] I needed someone to help me, you know, sort out my thoughts and that sort of thing because when you're in the middle of it and it's like an emotional mental uh tsunami, it's hard to move. I mean, it it feels like you're in a pressure cooker and you know, you wanna go one way but you can't. Go another way. You just kind of need someone with a calm head to say hey, wait a minute. You know, what do you want? What's happening? Blah, blah, blah. What do you wanna do?


Do what you wanna do.

Yeah, absolutely.

Just having someone to tell you it's okay to feel this way. It's okay to, you know, it's just having that confirmation and that for me was you. Just what I needed and that's why your coaching has been so helpful.

Oh, I'm so glad. And I I I I obviously agree. Like I get coached myself all the time and I will forever because I do, I agree that I think oftentimes it's just, it's very easy for us to get lost in our own thoughts. And it's hard to like parse out like what's, you know, the true thoughts or the thoughts I wanna keep and what are ones I don't. And, you know, you get kind of in the muck of the negative thoughts and it is helpful to have somebody just be able to kind of pull you out of it a little bit, like hold your hand and kind of guide you out and be like okay, let's, you know, get down to the nitty gritty of this. Like what is it that you want? Why are you feeling guilty? And let's work through that. And then we can come out much more like clearheaded and knowing what we want. And the thing is is the more you do that, like the reason I love coaching is it takes someone to kind of help guide you. And then you start learning how to do it more for yourself. Like you start learning how to self-coach. You start learning to ask yourself the same questions. In each instance, when before you felt like what you've said in a couple times like oh, these thoughts are normal. Like I am it's okay for me to feel this way. The more you start validating yourself like that, the more you do it later too. Like of course, it's okay for me to feel sad or disappointed or whatever, instead of beating myself up for feeling that way. So I'm honored to have helped, but I think that it is really like what the power in like a coaching relationship is just somebody helping us figure out how to do that for ourselves.

In those instances where you've coached me, I've taken that into my new job. So I quit my job. I quit my job. And that felt so great. And there was so much, you know, when I quit, I was in the driver's seat.

Yeah, I love that.

I wasn't working 10-hour days anymore. And, you know, there was only so much. I wasn't working, gonna work the whole month. So there was only so much I was gonna get done. And this is what I told them I was gonna do. You know, they'd want more. I said what's the priority? I would ask them.

Oh, good. I love that. I love that so much.

Because I was not going to do everything. There's no way, you know, do a whole full month's worth in two weeks was not gonna happen. And I wasn't gonna work on the weekends. And so I took back my weekend.

I love it.

Which is insane because I had been working weekends for two years and it felt so great to not even think about or close the laptop. It's done, not even think about work. It was empowering. And I really needed a break because I was still dealing with grief. And, you know, I'm still dealing with grief. It's not something that goes away. And I think the coaching and the mental mind work has been very helpful in that approach. Cuz I give myself compassion and I give myself time to rest. Within two weeks, I had five job offers.

Ah, amazing.

Well really, I thought what do I really want? And so I thought I'm gonna try this one job. It's gotta commute to it which I didn't want. But the company itself was so amazing. I I can't mention them because they keep a low profile but everyone I had met, I mean their whole mindset was having a positive environment to work and people to thrive. And I thought oh gosh, that is so my big agenda is yes, you can get work done but you can do things in a positive way and not burn people out. And they're so great about that. And the people are just very positive and friendly and welcoming. And I like that. So I started working there and I had to really work around, you know, I had, it was earlier, getting up earlier, having to go into an office and all of that. It was so encouraging and it was only three days a week.

Yes. I love that.

And so it was and I had told them straight up, I said I'm available. They called me and they said I said I’m available part-time and they said what days? And I I told them Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. I give, I have Monday and I have every Monday and Friday off. I have a four-day weekend every weekend.

So good. So good.

And I don't open the laptop and I don't work after hours and it's because I'm getting paid by the hour. I have to actually log in and I turn off and it's done.

Ah, so good.

But the actually going into an office gives me that boundary. So I don't dread getting up because when I get up, I'm not at work. I have to get ready and go to work. So and that's been great. And then when uh extra assignments were handed to me and I needed more time to finish, I would ask for my manager for an extra day. I said I have an extra day, if you want me to finish this, I can do this. I could come in. So I would give them the option of do you want my services? You know, that sort of thing.

Yes. Oh my God. I feel like a, you know, like a mama duckling, it's like just so much pride because when I see people starting to put up boundaries and know their worth and take re- like responsibility and also like advocate for themselves, you know? And so many of us it's like well, they want me to do this extra project so I'm just gonna come in on my day off. It's like no you're not. No, you are not gonna do that. Like you are gonna ask them do you want me to work overtime? You know, do you wanna contract for my services? And I can come in and do this extra project. Because as long as we give them free work, they're gonna take free work. Like people are always so surprised or they'll constantly say well, there's all this stuff to get done. Like so and so quit so now I took on their role. I'm like why? Who's who said you have to do the work of two people? Right. And if you're gonna do it, your boss is gonna take it. Trust me. Like if they see I'm gonna keep throwing stuff at this person and they're gonna keep doing it, they're gonna keep throwing stuff until you start saying like oh hey, I have a full plate. What do you want me to take off for me to do this? Or do you wanna pay me overtime to come in on the weekends to do this? When I start seeing people do that, and then not even just the excitement of them doing it, but then seeing like oh yeah, it works. They will say like yeah, we will pay you. Come in on this extra day. It was like why was I ever doing this for free?

And well, the thing is, it helps when the CFO says you're working like make sure that you log off when you're done and not before.


He told me like don't short-change my hours. [Yeah.] This is from the top. And he's amazing. And to be thanked for my work, we appreciate you and, you know, being heard and uh just it's just a great place to be. I really am thriving there. Yeah.

Oh my God. I love it so much. Yeah, I mean, I really wanted you on the podcast cuz, I mean, your story is amazing but I think I've tended to have people on who like either leave to go work for themselves or start a business. And I love just the fact that you left this place where you were deeply unhappy and your work wasn't being appreciated and you have found a place that is so perfect for you. And I remember the excitement of like even the company and finding and really the values that they stand for and then being able to craft a job that you wanted, like you wanted to work part-time. You wanted to work less days. You wanted to be able to really like have more say in when you work and how you work and just watching that. And then now seeing like when we chat or when we coach, it's like you're in such a happy place to see that that's possible in a work environment, right? Like to to be able to go from a place where you thought like I can't ever quit. I have to stay here for the rest of my career cuz no one else is gonna hire me to like I found the place where I perfectly fit in and I have a job that I want and it's on my hours and people respect me and it's just so lovely to see.

It's really amazing. The whole thing is because I'm going into more analytics and I have some tech skills, it's kinda like a superpower. And so I'm able to gain those skills while I'm working there. And as I'm learning them, incorporate them into my job. And the CFO loves that. It's like an added gift. I mean, he's getting, he's paying someone like one quarter of the price of someone he would pay to do these sort of things. And I get to practice at work.

I love that.

Because, you know, I might not work here forever because I'm, it's a project that I'm working on, that I was hired for. And this project will end in about maybe a year and a half. Meanwhile, I'll have a whole new set of skills and experience and project management to be able to show other employers, oh, this is what I've done. And it'll it's gonna be big name cuz people know this name, which I can't say. But at the same time, it's so exciting to be able to actually use the skills I'm learning.

But I just wanna pause because like that is such a beautiful way to think about it. Like I want you to understand that that is your mindset and it's gonna serve you but it's not how everyone would look at it and so that's why I wanna point it out. Like to think of something, cause a lot of people might be upset that like oh they're not paying me as much as someone that does this kind of work, you know. But when you're like I don't know where this job is gonna go. I have no idea what's gonna happen in a year and a half, but I get to practice on their dime. I get to, you know, boost up my own skills. I'm gonna build up my resume and that's only gonna serve me. And then I'm gonna take it from there. Like just listening to you say that sentence is such a transformation in the way that I can see like how your own mind works. But so different from so many people. I think so many people let themselves be racked with like the fear of oh, what if this project ends and I don't have a job, you know? And they make themselves miserable for a year and a half. Like you having gone through this process, prove to yourself I can just get another job. Like it was a lie that I couldn't and in a year and a half, if this project ends and I don't work here, now I have this name of this company on there. I have all this experience. I'm gonna get another job. Like being able to just manage your mind, like the power is in that is just like listening to you say this and see how you're making your experience day-to-day better because you're thinking like what, oh, you know, win-win, I get to work on my skills and I work for this amazing company and I'm gonna build up my resume and I love what I'm doing. And like that's the reason you're happy. Right? It's like somebody else could be in the same role and find a million things that they hate about it and, you know, spend their year and a half feeling anxious about what happens when this project ends. And just the way you're thinking about is exactly why you're having the results that you are.

Thank you for pointing that out. It just, I feel so empowered. I feel empowered and I feel like I'm really living my best life. I mean, I worked for a major university um in California and I um I brought a lot but at the same time I got comfortable and I wasn't learning and growing. And I, personally, one of my values is that I'm I love learning and I love growing and I love developing into a better version of me. One that I feel more comfortable with. Like people say, why do you create goals? And it's not, for me, it's not so much a goal. It's to me it's I wanna feel like the like I'm growing, like I'm progressing. Otherwise, I feel like I'm getting stale. It's one thing to be in a comfort zone for a little bit but then you gotta get out of that comfort zone and go and scale something else. And I feel like that. And now, especially, it's so amazing that you don't have to go to a university to learn these skills. You don't have to go to a JC or pay thousands of dollars to learn certain skills, especially even in finance and tech and sec, the tech sector. There's so many free applications out there. It's just really getting your mindset around. Okay, I'm gonna do this. I'm gonna learn this. And I'm gonna put in the, now it's for me, is working on putting in the time to learn these things so that I can, you know, slowly increase my tech ability. This thing about oh, when you're too old, it's too you you can't teach an old dog a new trick and all. That's just nonsense. [Yes.] That really is nonsense. I think it's all, if you want to learn, [Yes.] it's available. It's available. And some people who go back to college and finish their degree in their sixties and seventies, [Absolutely.] I think there was someone in their nineties who graduated from Berkeley 10 years ago. So it's self-imposed limitation.

It's so funny that you say this because like and I love that you connected with my mom's episode because you remind me so much of my mom because you guys have such a go-getter attitude. And I think when you have this this mindset that like of course I can, why wouldn't I be able to learn this? You know, like it's just gonna serve you. Obviously, it served you in your life but especially in not picking up society's limitations, right? Like putting down all of the BS that like I'm too old or I can't do this. And uh we should mention because one of the things I love is like you you did this part-time, this work. And then what you're talking about now, for everybody, you are doing is like you're taking a course to increase your skills on the tech side, on the I think the data analytics side. And we were talking about how many hours it is in the course and you talk about it with such joy in like learning it and sticking to the schedule and learning this new skill and exactly what you said, there's so many resources out there now to learn new things, to try things that are gonna, you know, help you break into a new industry. And it’s there and a lot of 'em are more accessible. A lot of them are, maybe they're not free, but they're not as much as how much it is to go to college. Um it's all these little courses. There's so much out there if you just get out of your own way like if you stop telling yourself the lie that it's too late to start something new or to learn something new or it doesn't matter whatnot. And if you can find that joy in, and not everybody has to love learning, but I'm just saying like if you are a person that's like hey, what else can I do? What else can I learn? Why not try this thing? Right. It's fun to watch because when I see people like that, it's, you know, you can see how far they're gonna go because they're constantly going to like allow themselves to iterate and change and try new things and be a new person and experiment and fail and do all of the things. And like that's the point of life.

I go back to, like I said, working at this one university and having a difficult time finding someone who was um, because we were behind on some projects and getting someone to work, it was a a temporary position. And I remember talking to a friend of mine whose son was uh an aerospace engineer, someone who designs the rockets or something, you know, and he was unemployed. And I know that he was brilliant. And I said I know he knows Excel but he wasn't an accountant or anything. But I asked his mom, who's a good friend of mine, you think he's interested in maybe a six-month? She goes I'll ask him. So she did. And then I heard back from him and we had a few chats and brought him in for an interview. And he had the things that I was looking for, because I was a hiring manager. He had, number one, he was intelligent. Okay. And then he had, but more than that, he had the desire. He had the desire and he was a great communicator. And then my director says okay, he is great. He's intelligent, he's done a lot of things, but he is not an accountant. I said look, he can make things fly. I don't need him to do that. I just need him to learn debits and credits and I’ll teach him that. He was one of my best hires. And just like the interview where I where I landed this position, I said look, I'm not familiar with this sector but I'll tell you what I do have to bring to the table. I don't give up. I'm tenacious. I I love solving puzzles. I love doing this. And just my personal skills. So people think oh, I don't have a degree. Oh I'm not a CPA. Or I don't have a law degree or I don't have an engineering degree. Or if you have those desires and you have the desire to learn and to bring those skills, a lot of employers are are looking for that.

Yes, absolutely. I couldn't agree more. I think most employers have realized that like they can teach you certain skills that you need to learn if, but you can't teach the desire to want to, you know, learn or the desire to problem solve or have a good attitude or show up in a certain way. And so I think a lot of hiring managers when they realize like this is somebody who's willing to put in the effort, who has a good attitude, who wants to learn, like the basic skills we can teach. I I I couldn't agree more. And I think a lot of times, again, even in hiring, we just count ourselves out. One of the best pieces of advice I've heard and I will repeat, I don't even know where I heard it. I think it's truly the best advice I've ever heard is don't say no to yourself like let people say no to you, right? Like so many of us take ourselves out before we've ever done anything. Because we just think like oh, I wouldn't be able to do it or they wouldn't hire me. You know? It's like you're already saying no before anybody else has a chance to say no to you. And it's amazing how far you can go, if you just stop saying no to yourself and let other people say it and be able to process that negative emotion. But when you do that, when you say like alright, like let me go for it, the worst that's gonna happen is they're gonna say no to me but maybe I can show them that like I can learn this thing. Right. It's like there's so much more available to us than we wanna believe is there.

Yeah. And with this employer that I have now, I said to the, it was to the HR. I said, you know what, why don't we just try it out?

Yes. I love it.

Try me on like a shoe. See if I fit and I'll try you on like a shoe and see if you fit into my world.

I love that so much.

She cracked up and she says that's one thing we loved about your interviews is that you're so flexible.

I love that so much.

And I am flexible. I really, I can, but, you know, but I'm getting, I'm being flexible and I'm getting paid. Big difference. But the one thing that you said, one of your episodes is really dreaming big. You know, what do you want to do? Here I am in my late fifties and I'm not thinking of retirement. I'm thinking of what after the data analytics? What after that? Because just because I've gone in that direction, doesn't mean I have to stay there and I can try that on for a few years. And one of my goals is to work overseas. I'm asking myself what do I want? What makes me happy? What do I wanna try? What experiences do I want to experience? And, you know, just like you know, travel is great but it's not all roses all the time but just being able to go out and experience it. I love that. You know, who knows? I don't know what retirement's like.

You're such an inspiration, Cynthia. I'm so grateful to you. I really, because for me now, cause I've done been doing this work, it's so absurd to me to hear people basically wanting, you know, or being like well, I'm in my late fift- I'm in my sixties. It's sort of like done, right? And I'm like what? There's 25 more years at least, you know, like what are we talking about? Like you have a whole ‘nother life ahead of you. What do you want to make with that? And I think there's a power in that age, right? Because you're done with maybe the child rearing, you can get too easier. I think a lot of times it's easier to accept yourself. It's easier to put down the people-pleasing cuz you've done it for so long, then I I find a lot of freedom with the people that I work with who tend to be in their, you know, fifties and older. And there's so much more that like excitement right on the horizon. Like if you can stop to ask like what is it that I actually want? And so I love that you said that. I love that you are putting these goals out there and thinking about like what is the biggest life I can dream of for myself? And like why would I stop?

You know, that whole 40-hour work week is nonsense because who says I can't have a part-time job overseas.

Yes, yes.

And thrive and be happy. [Exactly.] Or even if I don't make it overseas, just having a part-time job that satisfies um that mental part of me. And then also just being able to relax and enjoy, you know, my backyard pool or whatever.

Even the fact that you've got a part-time job, I was so proud of you for doing that. Like we talked about, you know, in the program, we do some getting your finances in order. And I think even that, like I think oftentimes we just are socialized to believe like I should have a full-time job or I should try to make as much money as possible. And that's okay. That's what you want. Right. Like and it depends your age. It depends on where you are in your life. You may not be able to not have a full-time job but have you ever thought about it? Like it was so wonderful for you, to watch you really be like, you know, maybe I'll just get a part-time job while I figure out what it is I wanna be doing. Or I wa- while I do this data analytics course and then seeing that thrive and seeing there's just so much more, I think, possibility, there's so many ways to do this. If we can get out of the box of like should, like I should be doing this, I should be working for this. I should be, there's just so much more we can do.

Yeah, I really, it it really is. And and I think I mentioned it in our in our group that the commute cuz I'm I'm driving into San Francisco, it got worse. So I decided that I don't like getting up super early and getting to work. That's just not me. I don't like being at work at 6:30 in the morning. I'm just not gonna function. My brain's not gonna kick in. I'm just not one of those people. My best self doesn't kick in til a little bit later, brain wise. Brain wise, you know, doing all the the thinking and so they have a gym on the premises, one of the buildings. So I joined the gym. I couldn't wait to get up. You know, when it's dark, put on my gym clothes. I have my all my stuff already ready. And that helps me because I'm prepped the night before. I don't have to think about anything in the morning because the brain's not working except, you know, getting in my car and getting to work. And then I get to the gym and I work out and then I get ready there in the gym. And then I get into the office and I feel I have put myself first.

Ah, I love it so much. I mean, if everyone listening, this is what taking personal responsibility for your life means. I mean, you model it so beautifully because seriously you just jump to the next thing that you're miserable about. It's like oh, now I have to commute. So now I'm gonna complain about the commute for an, you know, and it's like I went from this job. And so then I'm just gonna focus on what's wrong. And I think what you do so beautifully is like okay, well here's the next obstacle, how do I, you know, get a way around it? How do I make this something joyful? How do I make this something that I love? And the fact that you, when you had posted that in the group, it was so such a beautiful example of like okay, this is the situation. This is my circumstance. I want to think about this in a way that doesn't make me like miserable. Right. I I don't want to sit in commute uh in this traffic so what…

Two hours.


Two hours.

Two hours. So like now I'm gonna get my workout in. I'm gonna put my health first. I'm gonna get there early. I'm gonna solve all these problems and I'm gonna look at it, and you know, you look at it as like this wonderful kind of blessing. And it's just the way you're thinking about it. Right? Like we could think about it in so many other ways. And it's just so beautiful to see how you've really like taken responsibility for all aspects of your life.

It's not just the gym. It's what do I need this month? And then, you know, getting to how you help us with our goals and where what do I wanna accomplish or where basically, I I said, you know, I'm the author of my life, [Ah, I love that so much.] what do I want? What is the story I want to tell?

Ah, that is so good.

Yeah, but I don't know all the story lines, I just know what the end, what is the end goal? Who who do I wanna be? Where do I wanna be in a month from now? Where do I wanna be in six months from now? This is where your program really helps. In six months from now, I want to be at this point. And then I already know, taking that information, I can go another six months. I could even do a year. I don't know all the details of what I’m gonna do. [Yes.] I don’t know. Right?

Yeah. How could you, right? How could any of us? We're all just figuring it out one step at a time.

Exactly. And I'm still dealing with grief. And so having that time off, having those having those weekends off, I give myself one day to absolutely do nothing.

I love that.

Some people say well, that's unproductive. No, it is productive for me.

It is for everybody. We don't need to keep doing all the time. I love that.

Then I don't feel guilty. And then and then I'm not like well, I'm, you know, that whole thing of when you're at the office, you're thinking about vacation. And when you're on vacation, you’re thinking about the office. Giving myself a whole day every week to do absolutely whatever I want to do or do nothing. A whole day, no guilt. I've already planned it. I feel like it helps me stay in the present.

Totally. Cynthia, this was a Masterclass on mindset and how to approach your life. Thank you so so much. I know that uh it's really gonna inspire so many people. And I guess, parting words, if there's somebody that's sort of where you were at that last job and, you know, maybe considering doing the program, what are some words of advice maybe you would give to yourself when you were in that position?

Take a hard look and ask yourself where do you wanna be? And the kind of life you want to have. And then if you want to make it happen, joining Goli’s course will will help facilitate that.

Aw, thank you. That is beautiful advice. Thank you again, Cynthia, this has been so, so wonderful. I'm so proud of you. And I'm so honored to have been able to witness your journey and to be a part of it in a small way, but I'm honestly like just honored to be able to know you because I think really how you show up is such a beautiful example for all of us. So thank you.

Thank you, Goli. It has been a pleasure to get to know you, to work with you, to have you be my coach. You are the best.

How amazing is Cynthia's story? I love speaking with her. I always just feel so uplifted. I love seeing the power of mindset work because it's amazing to watch someone, not only change the, you know, circumstances of their current life, but really the trajectory of their life and how they view their life and open up so much possibility and go after exactly what it is they want and deserve. It's so fun. If you resonated with Cynthia, if you see yourself sort of where she was before we started doing this work, I really urge you to get into Pave Your Path so that we can start creating the mindset foundation. So you can start doing the same things, putting up boundaries, saying no, not feeling guilty for taking time off, really unprogramming what society has programmed in us to believe is required at work. And then from there using that as a springboard to figure out what you want and go out and get it. Doors are gonna only open for about a week. They're gonna open up to everybody tomorrow. So make sure you go to and get in that program. I hope to see you there.

Thank you so much for listening. If you liked this episode, share it with someone else. I promise you know somebody who also hates their job and wants to quit, so why not share the love? And if you want to come follow along for more, come join me on Instagram at LessonsFromAQuitter and make sure you say hi. I'll see you next week for another episode.