Episode #113:
Infusing Adventure to Avoid Burnout with Leanne Blaney

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Are you ready to go from burnout to balance? Leanne Blaney, an award-winning author, podcast host, Certified Bucket List Coach, and international speaker joins Caterina this week to discuss her guiding principles for infusing adventure into your business and your life. Leanne also shares how we can find harmony and stability while still pursuing our business goals. From scheduling adventures on your calendar to sticking to your boundaries, Leanne covers the best ways to avoid burnout so you can bliss in your business!



The award-winning author of Balance – Adventure School for Women, Leanne is also an international speaker and host of her own podcast, Ignite Your Life. Through her ongoing workshops, group programs, and private mastermind mentoring, you, too, can optimize your brainpower to create lasting positive change and live the ideal, intentionally balanced life you deserve.

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Expand Your Fempire Podcast #113 Transcript


Infusing Adventure to Avoid Burnout with Leanne Blaney

Welcome to Expand your Fempire with Caterina Rando, the podcast for women in business on a mission. Sharing ideas to support you to grow and thrive. Now here’s your host, Caterina Rando.

[00:00:00] Caterina Rando: Welcome back to another episode of the Expand Your Fempire Podcast. I am blissing to be with you today because we have an amazing guest, Leanne Blaney. She is all the way from down under. We’re talking virtually because she has so much massive value for you. Leanne is the author of Balance Adventure School for Women. Leanne, so happy to have you here today.

[00:00:57] Leanne Blaney: Well, thanks, Caterina. I’m really excited about talking about balance and whatever you’d like to talk about today.

[00:01:01] Caterina Rando: Thank you. Now, I know you work with women. You coach, you speak, you run groups, you consult, you do all kinds of things. Here’s what I always wanna know, how did you get to entrepreneurship?

[00:01:14] Leanne Blaney: Yeah, it’s an interesting one, isn’t it? Like I think a lot of women who, especially in Australia here, we’ve been through that government job. I was in a government job, you know, and it got really toxic and I got really unhappy in that, so I decided I needed to do something for myself. Went on just a personal discovery journey, really, to think “okay, I need to find out how can I be happy? How can I live the life that I really wanna live?” So I thought “Ok, don’t know how to run a business. Let’s learn about that. Let’s learn about some business skills, and then let’s learn about personal development.” And from there I thought “well, you know, there’s gotta be a lot of other women out there hitting 40 going ‘what’s happened here? Is there more life than this? What am I doing? You know, I just wanna be happy.'” So I thought “well, I can help those.” So that’s where I went on that little bit of a journey there and started my business about five years ago.

[00:01:55] Caterina Rando: That’s wonderful. I love that you said “Hey, I wanna be happy. I’ll figure it out.” I love that, Leanne. And so many women, they think they wanna do something, they don’t know how to do it, and rather than saying what you said, “Hey, I’ll figure it out,” they say, “Well, I don’t know how to do it,” so they just stop there. I love that you got in massive action to figure it out. You now have a thriving business helping women all over.

[00:02:22] Let’s talk about this challenge of burnout. Because so many women, at some point in our business or our career, maybe at several points, we are faced with burnout. We wanna avoid burnout as much as possible. What are some of your thoughts?

[00:02:42] Leanne Blaney: Yeah, it’s definitely a big thing at the moment, and I’ve noticed that last couple years that people are doing so much that they think they should do, that they have to do. Money weighs on their mind, there’s a lot of things weighing on their mind. Society I think tends to do that by, you know, being really negative. There’s a lot of negativity around.

[00:02:59] And I think the burnout is that we think “Oh, we have to work all the time. We have to work hard.” And especially as women, we have to prioritize our families, everyone else, and we forget about ourselves, and it seems to be a bit of a badge of honor. And so then all these women are getting to that stage “well oh, I’m run down.” And it’s not just stress and being run down, it gets more than that. It goes on that trajectory of going further and further towards burnout.

[00:03:23] Which is what I did to myself, so I’ve been through that. I went through the deep depths of burnout and, you know, had depression and found it really difficult to get out. So, that’s why I wanna catch women before they get to that. So they’re on the road to burnout, but let’s catch ’em before they get to that very end piece, because it is quite prevalent. And people just can’t achieve their goals or focus on what’s good for them when they’re in this state of burnout.

[00:03:45] Caterina Rando: How do we catch ’em, Leanne?

[00:03:47] Leanne Blaney: I think it’s very important for people to sit down and reflect and go “Okay, what does my life look like?” You know, it’s a bit of a balancing act, and that’s why I love to say “burnout to balance”, because we need to get to that balance of “what does that mean to me? How can I have happiness? How can I be in harmony? How can I have a bit of peace and calm and stability?” Because unless we have those foundations, we are gonna have this chaos around us.

[00:04:09] And not very many people can cope with chaos around them. They need to have that stable foundation first. So what I like, you know, women to do is just take a moment for yourself, think about all the things that’s happening in your life. What’s actually worrying you at the moment? What thoughts are coming up at night?

[00:04:24] So doing a real audit of your life, and when you do that, you can start seeing “Oh look, if I keep on this trajectory, then I’m gonna actually hit that burnout phase, and you know, I need to do something about my health”. Because quite often our health shows up first, because, you know, you have stress and you have emotional worries, and your mindset might be great, but people will notice their health first. So they might be overweight, drink too much, go shopping too much, get addicted to all these things that aren’t good for them. They know they’re not good for them, but they can’t seem to stop themselves. So that’s where, if you do that audit, then we can start working on, where to go from there.

[00:04:58] Caterina Rando: I love it. So important. Now, you have in your subtitle of your book, the word Adventure. I love this word adventure. Can you tell me, because when we think about burnout or balance, I would never have put this word adventure. Can you please tell me how adventure fits into all this?

[00:05:22] Leanne Blaney: I think it’s where that part of us as human beings, we wanna have something different, we want excitement, we want anticipation. It’s like that bit where you might have a holiday booked in 12 months time and you have that anticipation feeling. You love to talk about it with people, “oh, I can’t wait till I go overseas,” or whatever it is.

[00:05:37] That’s where adventure comes in. It’s not just travel in that though, but it’s having that bit of variety and that something to look forward to. And I think if we had that, we can take ourselves off that road to burnout. We can get a bit of balance in our lives and start working on ourselves, and then we can see a whole new future of possibilities and opportunities open up to us.

[00:05:56] And I call that the adventure of life. I mean, why not have an adventurous life? And I don’t mean that you have to go and run marathons or climb the biggest mountain or stuff. Adventure can be different to so many people. So if you think of variety or fun or excitement, whatever does that for you, that’s where I think adventure comes in.

[00:06:13] Caterina Rando: And is it your opinion that the more adventure we have, the less likely we are to have burnout?

[00:06:24] Leanne Blaney: For sure. Yeah. We have something to look forward to. When you’re in burnout, you can’t focus on anything. You’re not motivated to do anything. Always focusing on the past and what’s wrong. But when you’ve got a bit of adventure, you go “Oh, this weekend I’m doing this,” or “tomorrow I’m gonna do this, or even today.” And so you’ve always got something to look forward to if you have that bit of adventure or variety in your life,

[00:06:46] Caterina Rando: You know, I always have a trip to look forward to. That’s standard operating procedure for me. What you said though about like the weekend, I don’t always have something like that to look forward to. And I’d like you to talk a little bit about that, because I think that some people do embrace the idea “Okay, well where’s my next vacation?” But that might be six months or nine months. How do we infuse adventure into our regular life more?

[00:07:18] Leanne Blaney: I think it’s really important that we do look at the little things. It’s whether you’ve got things on your bucket list that you’d like to do. There’s things like indoor skydiving and things that you can do locally. You can go, you know, hot air ballooning. Yes, you can do all those things on a weekend, but you can also do the little things like “let’s go exploring my local area.

[00:07:34] And I know in the COVID times that we’ve had, people have actually done a bit more exploring locally ’cause they can’t travel and they’ve realized there’s so much more in their local area, and they’re thinking “Wow, I didn’t know that was there.” “There’s a museum” or “I’ve got a group of people that are interested in the same thing I’m doing,” and they go and meet face to face now that they can go out and do these things.

[00:07:52] So it’s really important having that if you’re a social butterfly, even just having that coffee with someone, ’cause that can re-energize you. We’ve heard about the extroverts that love getting their energy from people. Go out and use that. If you wanna go and meet your best friend at a coffee shop and have that buzz around you, do it.

[00:08:08] If you’re an introvert and you love to just go out and walk along the jetty near the water or something and that infuses you with energy, do that.

[00:08:14] Don’t just sit around at home and start thinking about all the things that have happened to you in the past and what happened during the week. Have something to look forward to. ‘Cause I love spontaneity, but it’s also more than that, it’s planning. “Okay, I’ve got two hours this weekend where I’m free. What can I do?” Think about that. Or even “ah, my kids have gone off now, what can I do right now that’s a little bit different?” So it’s not just being spontaneous, but having a little bit of planning in that spontaneity to go “Yeah, this is what I’d really wanna do that excites me and re-energizes me.”

[00:08:45] Caterina Rando: Okay Leanne, I’m gonna ask you to give me a little coaching right now, because I would imagine that a lot of our listeners are like me: thriving in business, love my business, and sometimes I have difficulty taking time away from my business.

[00:09:04] And I told you I always have the big trips, but you mentioned spontaneity, you mentioned planning, how do I make sure that I’m not “work, work, work”? Now, I’m in a place in my business where I have a team, I have surplus, I’m not stressing about financial, and I’m not always necessarily even stressing about deadlines. But at the same time, you never get through your to-do list, right? I mean there’s always more to do. And when the list gets long, the brilliant ideas kick in and you get some new brilliant ideas. And I’m also a future planner, so I’m planning, you know, a year in advance. What super tips do you have for me? Because I know it’s gonna be the same for our listeners.

[00:09:52] Leanne Blaney: Yeah, it’s definitely one that comes up quite often. So there’s sort of two bits that I do. I do my yearly planning around December for the next year. And I always make sure the first thing I put in there is a holiday. And I made sure there was one holiday, so you might just have like one two-week holiday say. And then you put in regular weekends, every three months you must have at least three to four days off in a block to do something for you.

[00:10:17] So that’s one thing I do. I do the planning, so I make sure that that’s in my calendar, so it’s blocked out and I’m not tempted to actually book workshops or events or things in for those weekends. I mean, there’s a bit of flexibility. Sometimes an event will come up, but make sure if you’re changing them, change it and put it straight back into your diary at another time, so you’re not just going “Oh, I’ll forget about that one this time.” So there’s the planning aspect.

[00:10:40] The other aspect is really boundaries. I know for me what works is I don’t usually do any appointments Monday morning or Friday afternoon, and then I’ll do everything else in between Monday to Friday.

[00:10:52] And very important for me is to have my Saturdays and Sundays. Cause I do a lot of running, I do running events, I volunteer for running events. So that’s important for me that I don’t think about business. I mean, if I’ve got a downtime and I’ve got maybe half an hour, I might do a double check in my emails, ’cause I do deal with a lot of international people, so they’re behind me. So sometimes I’ll get emails on a Saturday and that’s okay. I’ve got those boundaries in place though.

[00:11:15] So I think it’s having boundaries. It’s been very clear for me “what works is this.” So I’m gonna make sure that every Friday afternoon I have off for me to go and get a massage, or I’m going to do something else. Everyone, you know, if they sit down they’ll work out what actually works for them. Sometimes it’s going for that massage. Sometimes it’s just having a couple of hours of kids. It’s making sure you go to their sporting events.

[00:11:35] I mean, we all know it’s a balancing act, because I really don’t believe in work life balance. I think that’s really a bit of a misnomer. I think it’s what works for you. Because Caterina you might go “I can do a lot of work. I only need like a day off.” But somebody else might go “No, I really need those two days on the weekend.” Or “I might need that Monday morning just to set myself up for the week.”

[00:11:54] So it’s really getting in with the boundaries and sticking to them. Because once we start going “Oh, I won’t do that this week. I’ll just keep working, I’ll keep doing my to-do list ’cause I’ve got so many things to do,” that’s when we go on that road to burnout, because we stop thinking about ourselves and we get into the habit of “keep going, keep going, I’ve got more to do.” But we never really catch up, do we? ‘Cause there’s always something to put on your to-do list. So I think having those strong boundaries is important.

[00:12:18] Caterina Rando: You’re mentioning the strong boundaries. What also you’re mentioning is making decisions about what is the best schedule for you. Now, I work on Mondays. I teach a lot of classes on Mondays, so Mondays is fine for it to be a workday for me. I like this idea though, of taking Friday afternoons off. Friday is usually a more relaxed day. I do feel that Friday afternoon is not as good for sales because even if people schedule time to talk to you, they’re already thinking about the weekend. And so it’s not as good for that.

[00:12:56] And my friend, this is something I’m gonna do based on our time together today. I’m gonna look at the rest of the year and I’m gonna look at as many Friday afternoons as I can to take off. And I think that’s a great idea.

[00:13:12] One of the things that has happened for me in the past is there have been those years that were more the “make it happen, build revenue, get the business going,” years. Now I’m not in that place. I’m more in the place of blissing in business, right, as I call it. That was bliss too, but it was also a little more stressful.

[00:13:34] Now we’re blissing in business, and I think that this is a great upgrade to make because the goal is, to have your business be your bliss, but also make sure you’re blissing everywhere in your life and that your business is facilitating bliss in your whole life. I love that idea. I’m gonna do that based on our time together.

[00:13:54] The other thing you said about every three months to take a four days, like a long weekend. I like that, I’m gonna look at that. And you know, what I like to do is every six weeks I try to get away. Like not a big trip. It could be a big trip, but at least a weekend getaway or something every six weeks. And so of course it depends on somebody’s life, if they could do it once a quarter or more frequently.

[00:14:25] One of the things I’m really big on, which I think you’re big on too Leanne, is retreats. And that’s the idea of getting out of your regular environment, getting with some like-minded people, doing some things you don’t normally do. What are your thoughts on retreats to avoid burnout and stay blissing?

[00:14:47] Leanne Blaney: I think they’re really important, because as you said, it does get you away from your normal environment. Because we can get quite stressed around our normal environment if it’s like you’ve got a lot of clutter around. You’ve got stuff on your mind, you’ve got your family, you’ve got other things always interrupting you.

[00:15:01] To go on or a retreat, you get rid of a lot of the interruptions. You give yourself time to be in the present, to actually think about what’s important for you. And I’ve known people going away for weekend retreats get just as much out of a week retreat. It really depends what you want to get out of it, how much connection you wanna have with people, and how much you really need something. So I think retreats are important and it is important to get out of your normal environment. Just to go and test something else out too.

[00:15:26] That’s the adventure as well, because as I said, you meet different people, you get different connections. So you’re getting outside of your normal social bounds. And I think getting outside that comfort zone is really important too. That’s where adventure comes in. They always say the magic is outside your comfort zone.

[00:15:41] So just even if it’s a little bit, go on a retreat and get to know a couple of different people. Go on a retreat to get to know yourself. Because a lot of women I’ve found, especially that came from that background that I did, didn’t want to know about themselves, a bit like an ostrich putting your head in the ground. “I don’t wanna go deep, I don’t wanna find out what’s wrong,” but then their life never changes. A retreat can actually be quite opening and get you looking at those type of things.

[00:16:05] Caterina Rando: It can be quite transformational. I’ve seen women come on our retreats and when they get off the ship, they’re brighter and more energized and more uplifted, which is fine and wonderful. The best part though, is seeing how they change their life or they change how they’re being once they go back to their life, and that is what makes me bliss significantly. It’s quite wonderful and amazing. Leanne, I know you have so many more super tips for everybody, anything else that we wanna shine the spotlight on with our listeners to make sure that they’re not only not getting burnt out, but let’s go as far as to say that they’re blissing in their business and their life?

[00:16:53] Leanne Blaney: I think the important thing is to make sure you’re doing that audit of your life. Getting some balance and stability. I mean you don’t have to have everything in balance, but I think you need to have some sort of balancing act where you’re looking after yourself, and really then looking towards the future of what your future wants to look like. Is it having lots of bucket list items ticked off? Is it being in your business and reaching a sort of financial goal?

[00:17:16] You know, it’s really knowing what do you want, because so many people know what they don’t want, they can’t say what they do want. So even if you sit down and go “What do you want out of life?” start doing a big list. That’s really important because that’ll get the juices flowing. So instead of saying “Oh, I don’t want my life to look got this, I don’t want that,” start saying “oh I do want to have this. I do wanna be like this.” Get those juices flowing.

[00:17:36] Caterina Rando: Well, you know, I love that you said make a list. Based on the word adventure that you use, I think I am gonna make an adventure list. Because I don’t really like the word bucket list, ’cause I guess well that means you’re gonna kick the bucket. I guess I like to deny the fact that I’m gonna die someday, so I’ll making an adventure list of all the adventures that I’d like to be on.

[00:17:59] You know, one of the things, Leanne, is that I’m a single woman. I was married. I’m not married these days. And as a single person, you get to make decisions and you just have to consider yourself. Right? So I’m going on a, trip to Italy with a group of gals coming up. And it’s a women’s trip and I’m excited to go. My girlfriend is gonna come with me. The thing is though, that I decided to go even before my girlfriend was gonna come.

[00:18:28] I’m sharing this because I think that sometimes when women are married, they’re like “Okay, I’m gonna go on vacation with my husband,” which is of course wonderful. But you also wanna get some time, I think, and you tell me what you think, with other gals without any guys. Because sometimes when I’ve had gals that bring their husbands on the retreats, they are having a great time, but sometimes they wanna be with the ladies, but they have their spouse there, and so they feel like they have to hang out with their spouse. And I would love your thoughts on all this.

[00:19:06] Leanne Blaney: Yeah, I truly agree with that, that we need to do things with ourselves without our partners sometimes, because we can as women have that guilt come up. It comes up no matter what we try to do. “Oh, should I be looking after them? Should I be doing something?’ And then you get all the shoulds and the guilt and the shame and stuff. You get all these emotions that come up that you may not have dealt with.

[00:19:26] Whereas, as you said, if you go on a trip or on a retreat, say just all women, women when they get together, can be so supportive, can be so able to be there for you when things come up. If you then go back to say like your room and you’ve got your spouse there and they’re not being able to understand what you’ve been through, it can be a little bit hard when you’re trying to go through a transformation.

[00:19:48] So I really feel like you don’t have to do multiple trips. You can do one trip a year just for yourself and your friends. I know a lot of women they’ve been school friends right through, and they get away just once a year with their school friends, even if it’s like a weekend and they go to the beach or something, somewhere seaside, cause they love the beach. Which I do too, I’m a bit of a beach person. But, you know, finding out what they like to do to relax because you don’t totally relax when you’re with somebody that you have responsibilities with. So I think it’s really important that you do what you just said.

[00:20:18] Caterina Rando: Yeah. And get away, and then you just have your attention on you. I guess one thing I’d like to do is encourage women that have spouses to go on an all women’s trip, because it is an opportunity for transformation.

[00:20:34] And the other thing is women that are single sometimes think “Oh, well I don’t have anybody to travel with,” so they don’t travel. And I wanna encourage them, wanna encourage any woman, to know that there’s a lifetime supply of women’s retreats and women’s adventures, and you can start your own women’s adventure and get your gaggle of gals together and go somewhere and, you know, make it up.

[00:21:01] Because I think sometimes when we talk about adventure, people think “Well, you know, I’d like to do this, but I don’t know who to go with.” Well now with all these online communities, you can just put a note out there: “hey, does anybody wanna do this?” And you’ll get some people that would love to do this. Leanne, I wanna ask you related to this, because you’re down under, you and I met in a virtual community. We have not had the privilege of meeting live and in person yet. There are so many virtual communities that have popped up during the pandemic. They were existing before, but now we’re all in them much more. What are your thoughts about virtual communities or anything virtual to support women with avoiding burnout?

[00:21:49] Leanne Blaney: I think virtual’s very important now. We have realized that virtual does work. We can still connect. I know with my family, my partner’s one of seven, so we ended up having this big Brady Bunch, huge virtual online Zoom call, but everyone got to talk about different things because we’re all in different states and sometimes different countries. So that was actually quite a good connection that we could do to keep in touch.

[00:22:13] And then, you know, when they do come for that face to face, you do get that wonderful connection of being face to face. But I feel that we’ve gotten used to now virtually, like you and I are talking here as though we are in the same room. You can feel like the same room. And I love it because I’ve been talking to some wonderful Canadians and Americans and some Kiwis from New Zealand, just in the last week.

[00:22:37] And it’s just wonderful that I can make these connections. And then we always say “Oh, how about every three months we, you know, keep connecting” because that’s just something that’s really cool that we can do, that we can have these really deep connections with people that don’t have to be in the same place that you are. And I feel by doing that, you’re getting that support. You can make some really good friends. I know, even though we haven’t met face to face, we have this synergy with each other. We just love talking to each other. So I think you can really do that. And I think it’s important that we embrace it.

[00:23:04] Caterina Rando: Yes, and I think it’s important for women to, like we were talking about earlier, make a decision to find two or three or four online communities that you resonate with, because we can go there for support, we can go there to make friends, to have resources. And this is for us as women, also as business women.

[00:23:30] Because I’m sure for you, Leanne, as has happened for me, during the pandemic my business grew significantly because of all the virtual and being able to speak and connect with women all over. Before I used to have clients, not exclusively, but mostly three area codes north of me and three area codes south of me. That was about 90% of my clients. Now they’re all over the US and Canada. I don’t have any clients in Australia these days, but maybe sometime. And that’s been really good for business. That has come from virtual speaking and virtual networking, and so that is good for business as well, as well as uplifting our hearts and filling our hearts and making us not burnt out with all the wonderful connection.

[00:24:25] Leanne Blaney: Yeah, that’s so true. I know even like in Australia here, we’ve been able to talk to people in different states and make those connections. And yeah as you say, I’ve got clients all over the world, and I think it’s wonderful that we’ve been able to do that. And I can do speaking gigs and networking and that all over the world through this wonderful thing of, you know, being on the internet. It’s just wonderful.

[00:24:45] Caterina Rando: It’s great. Leanne, final words of wisdom for our listeners.

[00:24:50] Leanne Blaney: So if you wanna start getting some adventures in your life, I have got 101 inspirational adventures that I can give you to get your juices flowing. And then if you don’t like them, that’s fine, but it might get you thinking “Oh, there’s something else I wanna do.”

[00:25:01] Caterina Rando: That is so exciting. How do I get that?

[00:25:04] Leanne Blaney: There’ll be a link where you can just go in, you just sign up, and we’ll send you a 101 Inspirational Adventures just for you to go through, and little, big, whatever you wanna do, start implementing something that you wanna do for your life. And I think that’s the way we can start, you know, changing it.

[00:25:18] Caterina Rando: Okay, Leanne. Is there there a link that we can name or do we just wanna let everybody know how to connect with you? How can everybody get their list and get their link and connect with you to explore more adventures and avoiding burnout?

[00:25:35] Leanne Blaney: Yeah, if you go to my website, it’s leanneblaney.com. It’ll be forward slash 101inspirationaladventures. So you’ll be able to get it from there. And just sign up and I do send out newsletters occasionally. I don’t spam anyone. I just like to send the odd newsletter out when saying “you know, this might help you in your business” or “this might help you in your personal life.”

[00:25:53] Caterina Rando: I am gonna go there. I am gonna get my list of a hundred. I’m gonna start my adventure list. Thank you so much for being with us today. Listener, I hope that you are getting some ideas here to infuse more adventure in your life, to stay far away from burnout, to uplift your life and bliss more in your business.

[00:26:16] Leanne, thank you so much for being with us today on the Expand Your Fempire Podcast.

[00:26:22] Leanne Blaney: You are so welcome. I’ve loved it. Thanks Caterina.

[00:26:25] Caterina Rando: Thank you, Leanne. Thank you so much. Bing, bing, bing.

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