We’ve all heard, follow your passion, the money will follow. But do you believe it? Do you REALLY believe it? Even if you run your own business are you doing what it takes to flourish and get paid? Or do you hold back your true talents because deep down you think there’s NO WAY you could make money doing what you love? Craig Tennant will help you get out of the rat race, follow your passion, and make more than enough money doing what you really love.If you have a 'case of the Mondays' every week, there's another way. Follow your passion, flourish, and get paid. #life #money #podcast Click To Tweet
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About Craig Tennant
Craig Tennant is passionate about training and supporting successful professionals to get out of the rat race and to make more than enough money doing what they REALLY love. He worked in the corporate world consulting for Finance and Technology executives for over 3 decades and has trained and supported thousands of individuals and over 75 groups to connect with their purpose. Today Craig brings his passion and experience to help people connect with and bring their biggest vision to reality.
Engaging Breakthroughs: https://www.engagingbreakthroughs.com/
People and Things We Mention
“I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.” – Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces (The Collected Works of Joseph Campbell)
“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” – Henry David Thoreau, Walden
Hosted by Jen McFarland
Jen McFarland is a business systems expert, podcaster, and blogger. She’s helped hundreds of businesses and thousands of podcast listeners make better business decisions. Jen’s passion is helping women-owned businesses get the growth tools they need to meet their 3-5 year business goals.
Are you starting a business? Confused about how to grow? Check out my favorite business growth tools.
Jen also loves appearing on podcasts. Here is a link to her Podcast Guests profile.
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Craig Tennant Transcript
Hello and welcome to the podcast. I’m your host, Jen McFarland. If you’ve ever heard the phrase, do what you love and the money will follow and thought, “Yeah, that’s not a thing.” I think you should listen to this show because you’ll learn that it actually is the thing. All that and more here on the Third Paddle.
Welcome to the podcast, recorded at the Vandal Lounge in beautiful Southeast Portland, Oregon. Why the Third Paddle? Because even the most badass entrepreneurs get stuck up in business shit creek. Management consultant, Jennifer McFarland is your third paddle helping you get unstuck.
I created a journal so I could reflect on whether things like Facebook, Twitter, email, CNN and even Amazon were distracting me from treasured family relationships and business goals. I decided that it was distracting a little bit too much. So I armed myself with tools like Boomerang to pause my inbox and freedom to eliminate social media news and other distractions. On days when I create the most space, my productivity is up and I feel deeply connected to things much more significant than anything I could find on a smartphone. So the question is, are you ready to emerge from the digital fog? Go to jenmcfarland.com/ebooks and get Digital Trade-offs, which is the journal I created for myself to see if my time was aligned with my biggest goals. I think you’re going to want to check it out. Craig Tenant is passionate about training and supporting successful professionals to get out of the rat race and to make more than enough money doing what they really love. He worked in the corporate world consulting for finance and technology executives for over three decades and has trained and supported thousands of individuals and over 75 groups to connect with their purpose. Today, Craig brings his passion and experience to help people connect with and bring their biggest vision to reality. So please, welcome to the show, Craig Tenant.
Yeah, it was very interesting. So I would travel regularly to a different city and head into a client office. And often times they were in tall buildings in a different city, and I would get on the elevator and I just began to get curious about how people were experiencing life. And so I would often ask, “How are you doing today? Hey, how’s it going?” Because people don’t look at each other on the elevator. So when someone says, “How are you doing?” It takes people– they stop for a minute. And I would hear consistently responses such as, “It’s Monday. It’s Tuesday. I’ll be better when it’s Friday.” And so I just got a picture over quite a period of time that there are many people doing work that they don’t love, that’s not feeding their soul in any way, but they’re doing it because they believe they have to and they’re stuck.
Yeah, I’m trying to remember which movie it was where they said, “Oh, I have a case of the Mondays.” Like it’s a condition [laughter].
And I think that’s the theme in this country and even throughout the world. I work with people all over the world and there are people all over the world that are doing work that is not satisfying to them, that’s not feeding their soul, and most importantly, they’re not living in the purpose that they have a sense is here for them to live. And I got that picture on the elevators on a regular basis.
Well, I think that anymore, we just expect that what we do to make money is not our passion or it’s just you get what you get, you take the paycheck and then you live the rest of your life.
Yep. And doing the work that I do, I look around it, research and articles that are available and I’ve read articles like why are you thinking about what you love in your job, just get over that. It’s just about making money. And so what happens, I think for people and what happened for me was, it got to a point where the money was no longer as important to me. I was successful in what I did. I made a high six figure income doing the work that I did, I was very good at it, and something was missing. I mean, there were days where I thought if I have to sit in another conference room, and talk about blah, blah, blah, blah, again, I might just jump out that window.
Oh, yeah, I had many conversations at my last job about where I would just look out the window and I’d be like, “God, I wish these windows weren’t reinforced.” And the person next to me would chuckle and then you’d be like, “Yeah [laughter].” Because you’re just like– and on your website, you call that quiet desperation, which is a thorough quote. And It’s always been one of my favorites ever since I studied throw. Just that whole idea.And I think we all when you say quiet desperation I think it brings up different things for people. How do you define that? What does that bring up for you?
Well, for me, it’s the desperation, first of all.There’s something about what I’m doing because it’s not satisfying that I’m desperate to have that, I’m desperate to have the sense of fulfillment that I’m looking for in my work. And I don’t have it so I’m desperate. And as a result, I spend my energy acquiring things, buying, shopping, going out and doing activities that keep me otherwise focused. And I do it in a way that is acceptable in our society. So in a way, it’s acquired desperation. With the people in the elevator, they were perfectly happy not to say a word to me, but I could tell by looking at their faces that they were not happy in whatever was going on for them at that time. And when I asked them about how they were doing, and their response was, “It’s Monday,” with a frown, or it’s Friday with a big smile because they’ve got two days to go and have some kind of experience that they don’t dread completely before they come back to something that is a soul-sucking experience for them. And I believe our culture is it’s quiet, it’s a quiet desperation. It makes me think about the Matrix and it’s I’m plugged into this thing, and I bought into it. But the desperation is there’s still a voice inside of me that’s telling me, “You’re here for something bigger than this.” You are, you’re put on this earth to do something and it’s not what you’re doing to make money.”
I see that. I agree with everything that you said. I would also say that some of these activities, part of what makes it for me, quiet desperation is so many of these activities are numbing. And and in that numbing I think there’s just a natural quiet that comes from that.
I think about people on their cell phones.
Absolutely. And that’s what I was thinking. I was thinking about because I was also that person in the elevator [laughter] who had to say hi right [laughter].
Just because I was curious and so whether it was the person, like mindlessly texting and not really thinking about what was ahead as the elevator went up, or the person with the music turned up all the way or the person is staring at their shoes, those are all very similar responses to having to go up to your place of work. Whether you’re literally being quiet or you’re listening to a lot of things to make your mind quiet. Because sometimes I think in that desperation, I think your brain is feeling that and your body, you’re feeling that dissonance and you’re trying to numb that because you’re trying to ignore it because you feel like this is what you have to do.
Yes, and in making that choice, because I believe there’s a choice in there, ultimately, I make choices and there’s risks. And so, I don’t make some choices because there’s risks, like maybe doing what I really love. In a way, I’m also numbing out what’s in the desperation and what I’m numbing out to is the sense of betrayal because there’s a part of me that really knows that I’m here for something bigger. I believe that’s built into all of us, some sense of giving back or making a difference or doing something that exhilarates me. And if I’m doing work that is boring or it doesn’t have a purpose for me, even if I’m successful in doing it, but I stay in it, like I did for a long time because I could not see a way out, in a sense I’m– because I know there’s something more for me and I’m not doing it, I’m betraying myself. And so, that feeds into the desperation. There’s a part of me that’s saying, “You know you really should be doing more. You know you’re capable of more.” And the other part of me is saying, “Yeah, forget about that. You can’t make money doing that. You’ve got to just do this job, just suck it up.” Maybe it’s another 20 years, whatever it is. That’s what you have to do. And there’s a desperation in that dialogue that happens, I think.
Oh, I think so. I’ve always felt like I have big things destined for myself and yet, when I was making enough money, and I remember there were times where I really didn’t want to go into the office and I’d be like, “Yeah, do what you love. The money will come later.” What a bunch of bullshit that is, just like all the way up to the elevator to get off where I was making more money than I had ever made before. And yet, every single day, I was less and less myself, I was just– all the pieces of myself were eroding away. And honestly, it’s taken years to really come all the way back because when you spend 10 years just burying yourself under all of these rules and expectations and it’s not aligned with who your true self is. And I think what I’m saying is, when that be trail is bigger and bigger and bigger, you become more and more bitter. Or you can if you feel like you’re having to do this thing, so that you can pay a mortgage.
Yeah, exactly right.
And so, the question I have is, so before you get to where you’re super bitter, what are the little things that we can do to identify areas where we might be just not aligned or not– or betraying ourselves or not necessarily doing that one great thing that we were meant to be.
I think it’s about paying attention. The people that I work with are people who have tended to start paying attention to those feelings– those sentations that show up in their body when they do something. And it’s about paying attention to the tightness that’s in my body because I’m doing something that is not working for me. It’s about paying attention to when there’s something that I’m doing that is exhilarating, that I recognize that that’s happening in my body. I think it’s– from those sentations come the emotions. Like, “Am I angry when I’m at work? And do I find myself–” It’s paying attention to the conversations that happen internally. Maybe not so much with my colleagues or my clients because I can’t really– in many places it’s not okay for me to show that, but it’s about paying attention to what’s happening inside. And that’s the first step. That’s an important step in really connecting in with what it is I really love to do. There are a lot of people who know they don’t love what they’re doing, but they don’t necessarily have a sense for what it is they love to do. And yet, there’s other people that have been doing something else, maybe in their own time, part-time– they’ve been learning other skills that are outside of their work, and they start to realize there’s some things they do that they really enjoy. And that’s about paying attention to what feels light.
Joseph Campbell, who wrote The Hero with a Thousand Faces, said something like, “Follow your bliss, and doors will open up for you that otherwise wouldn’t open for others.” And it’s easy not to believe that. Like you said, “I was going up the elevator and thought, ‘That’s bullshit.'” And yet that’s really what this experience and this journey is about. So the first step is beginning to pay attention and recognize that there’s things happening physically– sensations that I’m feeling that are not what I want when I’m doing the work that I’m doing.
Just to share a little bit of my own journey.
When the betrayal became so great and I started to have to ask for help– and I started getting what you like to call high-quality support around some of the issues that I was experiencing. And for me that meant seeing a councelor, who was really good at her work, who can say, “You have some work to do, girl.” And I went in and I did my work. And it’s made it so that now I am very much in tune with what’s going on. Doesn’t mean the work is over, it just means that I can feel the sensations in my body, and I’m like, “Something is not right.” And I’m listening to my brain and what it’s saying. But that took a lot of time for me, because I had kind of walled that off a little bit. It takes something big to push people to see where they’re betraying themselves or what is not going right or to be jarred out of that quiet desperation. And for you, your brother’s death elevated your sense of mortality and pushed you to pursue your passions. You’d been doing the work that you’re doing for a long time, but it really pushed you out the door in some ways. So does there always have to be a pain point that serves as the impetus for change change or are there other ways that you’ve seen change occur?It’s my belief that the impetus for change is some kind of a calling, some kind of a clear message that it’s time to do something different. Often times, it can be a tragic life event like my brother dying of a heart attack. You used the word push, and I actually would like to offer that that is a gift that lifts me up into doing what I do. As opposed to sort of pushing me, it’s more of a lifting.
I love that.
Yeah. And I think that if there is a calling, that is some kind of an event or some kind of an experience that shifts someone’s perspective to where they start questioning. It’s about questioning that status quo of what I’ve been doing. And so I’m imagining that you had that experience where at some point, it became clear that the train had left the station if you will. I mean this happens in relationships when people are married and they get to a certain point and recognize that there’s something not authentic about what’s happening in that experience, and they make a decision. And the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the perceived pain of changing. So I do think that whether it’s a loss like I experienced or some other significant event, often times, that is a factor in someone being called to do something different.
Yeah. I think that it’s really about that opening. That opening is really big. I think, for me, I’ve had several [laughter]. There was the first opening where I turned 40 and I was like, “It’s got to be better than this. This cannot be as good as it gets for me. I’m not long for this world if I keep going like this.” And my dad had his first heart attack at 50 and I was like, “Okay. So you’re cruising towards that and you’re not very happy.” I felt like I was at a real fork in the road. And then it happened again. So after I did all my work [laughter] where I was like, “Well, I tell you what’s got to go now, this job. We’re not doing this anymore.” [laughter]. And then now, I’m at a point where I’m open enough to where you and I have had conversations where you’ll say something and I’m just like, “Oh, I got to explore that.” Like the comment that you made a few weeks ago where you said, “Sometimes we hold people in our hearts and it keeps us from doing something.” And that was what you said to me and I was like, “Wow. I’m doing that.”
Yeah. Yeah. I want to acknowledge. We’ve known each other for– we met about a year ago. And over the last few months, we’ve had an opportunity to spend more time co-creating some things together. And I didn’t have an opportunity to know you when you were in that job, in that corporate world. And I want to say that I really do appreciate. Like I love the awareness that you have about yourself. And what you just described is so true, and what I see in you is that you pay attention to the messages and the urgings that you receive, whether it comes through your brain as a thought or it comes through as a sensation in your body. And you’ve learned and practiced how to act on that in a way where you’re following what’s true for you. That’s what I call trusting your instinct, trusting my instinct. And I just love that about you. I think that is a quality that you are really good at.
Oh, thank you. And still working on it. I mean I think we always have room.
I think I’ll be working on it until I drop.
What does high-quality support really mean?
It’s interesting that you ask that question because when I talk about high-quality support, that’s when I hear a lot from people, “Oh, I know that.” And yet, I think there’s a big difference between knowledge and skill. And skillfully enrolling, engaging, or contracting with high-quality support is a skill that is developed over time, I think. So there is different types of support that I would need. And I think there is also kind of a core quality of what constitutes high-quality support. So I’ll just start with the quality. And that is that I believe that a high-quality support is balanced for it to be sustainable. So that means that there’s got to be some kind of exchange happening between the parties that are giving support and receiving support. So for example, you and I are part of a group of four people that connect and support each other on a weekly basis. And each of us brings something that’s unique that the others don’t necessarily have or see. And so what we’ve seen in that is that that brings a certain energy that allows all of us to grow. And at the same time, we’ve built in the idea of checking in to be sure that it’s balanced. We’re actually asking the question, “Is this balanced?” So that’s sort of a co-creation type of support where there are other people on a similar journey, and I’m setting up some regular way of checking in for blessing and accountability and being able to share where my challenges are with others who know because they’re experiencing that same thing. And so that’s one way of getting support. Another way is to work with someone who has been where you want to go and knows how to get there. So in that case, generally that’s where you’re investing in that support. That may mean investing in a program where someone has both knowledge about how to do what it is that you want to do and they also have, or separately, the support that is able to help you process through the barriers that you’re running up against as you’re on this journey. Like I want to do this, I want to reach out to a lot of people and talk to them about the ideas that I have about solving a particular problem, like there’s a niche that I want to work in. Right? For example–
And yet, I find myself like, “Oh, I’m hesitating. I have resistance to picking up the phone and having those conversations.” That probably would benefit from some high-quality support from a skilled facilitator or coach who can hold space to kind of unwind where some of that stuff showed up. What I call breakthrough coaching if you will. And then, of course, there’s the one that a lot of people don’t pay attention to, self-support. How do I build in places for me to get quiet so I can pay attention to what the sensations are in my body or what the emotions are that I’m feeling meditation, yoga, diet. Those are just examples, but there’s what can I do for myself. And then meditation also can cross over into what I would call spiritual support. And that’s so unique for every person, whether it’s God or Buddha or nature or the universe. It’s the belief that there’s something bigger than me, whatever it is, and I can connect into that as a source of support. So for example, I volunteer with the ManKind Project a couple of times a year, and that gets me out of my day-to-day. It gets me out into nature, because we do our trainings out there. I’m under the stars, where they can be seen without the false lights of our cities, and that’s a source of support for me. And I’ve been very deliberate and purposeful about how I build that into my journey, because that lifts me up. So I said a lot, but those are a few ways that I look at high-quality support.
A couple of episodes ago, I talked about looking at the digital trade-offs of being on your phone all the time– of being in email, and how that blocks people from deep work. I think that it blocks you not only from deep work of running your business or running your life but also the deep work of letting your brain and your body guide you where it wants to go.
And I think the more time you can spend in meditation or journaling or outside, the closer you are to not only finding that passion and finding that bravery, but it might be what will help you make the leap even if you don’t know exactly how you’ll make money doing it. So what do you say to someone who’s like, “Well, I have this passion but I’ve no idea how I could make money doing it”?
I say, “Great. Let’s talk.”
“Let’s talk [laughter].”
So what I love about the work that I’ve actually– what I love about the experiences that I had in the world of software services is that I was a solution architect. And I was able to pick and choose pieces from different models to pull them together to create a result. And I’ve actually done that here with what we call, “Flourish and get paid”– is kind of the name of the way that we work. And it’s about creating the experience where I’m going to be succesful in doing what I’m doing. That’s the Flourish model. And then the Get paid model is about, “How do I bring my purpose to the world in a way that creates abundance for me– that is financially secure, so that I can have the experience that I want and make more than enough money?” And there’s actually some really good technologies if you will available. And I say that they’re like methodologies, right?
So what is the idea of interconnected marketing? And that is this notion that there are people that share some things with me. There are a lot of people in the world that share things that I have. For example, there’s people that want what I want. There’s people who– if I idealize something like, “I want to go and build this business”, and I hold it as an ideal, there are other people that have that. And these same people, there are people who share the same wounding that I have had in my growing up experience, and they share the same shaming messages and inner critic. And so when I can take what I love to do and learn how to apply it to solving a specific problem for a specific group of people who by the way are a lot like me, then there’s really just a market that’s created there, and that’s what this journey is about. The making money part is really about getting clear about what I love and seeing how I would most love to help people with that. So there’s an underlying assumption that for people who really want to do what they really love to do, somehow, there’s connection in there because I think that’s what people are really looking for. So in the work that I do, I work with people all over the world, and I actually leverage technology. I use zoom video to be able to coach people and facilitate change for them. And in most cases, I’m not meeting them face to face in the same room, right? So that journey is about getting really clear about what I love, and so we work with clients to help them determine what is the most authentic way to solve a problem, and we guide them through that process.
Wow. As you were talking, my brain was just popping like it was exploding in about 16 different places, which is not good for audio by the way [laughter].
It just means long pauses on audio. It’s a lot more funny on video [laughter].
Right. When your brain is popping.
So what are some of the biggest successes that you’ve seen among clients and in your experience?
Well, I’d like to talk about a young lady named Maggie in Ohio who is really interesting. I actually just spoke with her this morning. And her story is that she was in the corporate world and made a decision some five years ago to leave that to start her own destination wedding planning business. So she got herself out of the rat race and went to make more than enough money doing what she really loves. And she found a couple of things in that experience. One was that she was such a perfectionist that it required her to put in about 80 hours a week to do the work in the way that made sense to her, and at the same time, she wasn’t charging enough money, so the result was she ended up closing down that business and going back into the corporate world working as a regional manager for a tire manufacturer [laughter]. But she believed that that actually would be a better experience than the one she was having in the thing that she thought she loved. So we connected last year, and she went through one of our pilot programs, and after about four weeks of working with her, she left that job. And so what she’s been doing since that time is she recognized that what she really loves to do
is to work with people to help create stories. So she’s actually building her practice of helping people and working with them to create their presence through blogging, and she’s a very gifted writer and it gives her an opportunity to connect and bless people. And she told me this morning that one of the things that she got from working with us and some of that’s with my partner, Montene, and quite a bit of it with me, was that she has this hopefulness right now because she’s recognized that for her, giving above and beyond of herself is her way of connecting. And what she’s realized recently is that she can pick and choose where and when she gives above and beyond herself for the people that she wants to do that with, and she doesn’t have to do that when she’s working with someone who may not appreciate that or that she doesn’t necessarily love in that same way. So the big result here for her, because it was more about flourishing– she’s been successful in knowing how to make money before, but what she’s got now is this approach that has her taking care of herself first and being really balanced in how she spends her time, and she’s allowing this business that’s developing, to come through her and she’s not burning herself out and she’s valuing her time. And so that’s the kind of result that I think is most important here. There’s the how-to [laughter], but then there’s really the transformation that is required to occur for me to be able to do what I really love.
I think that’s beautiful on so many different levels.
She was in tears this morning as she was sharing that with me.
Yeah. I can imagine. So many of us are trying to break those habits that we’ve had that maybe were gifted to us [laughter] [by?] life experience and we’re trying to find out what the return policy is on these things that aren’t serving us anymore, and I think that that’s something really big from your work is helping people let go of the past or the patterns of their lives, which I think helps us all serve other people better.
Yeah. I think when I’m able to look at the patterns, and particularly the patterns that are not serving me, like a certain behavior, you referenced this earlier that there’s behaviors that I exhibit that I wish I didn’t do that. I do this. I overeat or whatever it is that I do that I’m thinking, “I wish I didn’t do that,” in many cases that behavior is a painful dynamic that I took on as a way of staying connected to someone who I loved and lost or some aspect of someone who I loved and lost. And so knowing what to do and having a way to shift some of those patterns that kind of run on their own, I believe is the critical component to being able to do what I really love to do, and in shifting those patterns, I’m able to show up more authentically. It was a quote from a TED talk that I really enjoyed, and I can’t remember the speaker’s name, but they talked about the courage of vulnerability and vulnerability is when I’m willing to say what I want, feel, and think without any concern for how you’re going to respond to it. And it takes a tremendous amount of courage to do that, and that’s the work that– that’s the journey that I’ve been on. And I’m finding myself doing it more and more and more, like what am I really thinking right now, what am I feeling right now, and what is it that I really, really want? At the deepest level, what do I want? And when I share that, oftentimes it’s scary at first. And then I notice that people respond very well to it because, in some ways, it gives them permission to access a deeper part of their truth and share that. And that’s really what this whole journey is about. It’s just about showing up in my shoes and being comfortable doing that and bringing that to the world.
There are a lot of people out there who understand that there’s this other world of possibility out there for them. The risk is scary, but maybe they’re ready to make that next step. And with that in mind, and I think some of the people listening to this show are positioned and ready to consider what their life would be like if they followed their passion and flourished and made money doing it. So do you have anything to offer our listeners?
I do. I do. I’m so passionate about this work. It’s my purpose. And I don’t like people pushing anything on me, and so I don’t push anything on anybody. But I do offer a complementary, engaging, breakthrough consultation. And it’s a way, in an hour session over Zoom, for me to get to know someone who’s getting a nudge, who’s getting a call about doing something different. To be able to share a little bit about myself so they can get to know me, and to connect around what it is that– where they are right now to paint a picture of what they’re work experience is like. To talk about what they’d like it to be, what they can see right now from where they are in terms of their vision. And then I give my best recommendations for what to focus on first.
And it’s interesting. In these complementary consultations, I hear a lot of, “I’d like clarity about my next step.” And it’s been really great. Because it seems like no matter whether I work with someone ongoing or if that engaging, breakthrough consultation is the only time that we’ve spoken, that they come away with some clarity that helps them to go and take the step that they want to take.
So if any of your listeners are getting that call, that nudge that there’s something more for them and they’d like to have an easy conversation about it, someone who’ll listen deeply and feed back to them some thoughts about what they can do. They can go to my website, www.engagingbreakthroughs.com. And there’s some information about how I work on that website, and there’s a link to schedule their complementary, engaging, breakthrough consultation. We ask them to fill out a small questionnaire just so we have some better information in which to serve them on that call.
That sounds great. Thank you so much for being on the show.
It’s been my great pleasure, and I really appreciate you inviting me.
Thank you for coming.
Thank you for listening to the podcast. Be sure to catch every episode by subscribing on iTunes. To learn more, check out our website at www.jenmcfarland.com/podcast. The podcast is sponsored by Foster Growth LLC online at www.jenmcfarland.com