As children, without a frame of reference to really compare, however you’re raised or whatever you experience seems to be normal.
But what if “normal” is not actually what’s natural for you?
Wendy Cocke was raised in a family that owned a textile business specializing in cut and sew. From an early age, she was involved in business and financial decisions, basically as an equal member of the family. She was taught to think and problem-solve more than she was to memorize and regurgitate.
Very different from what many of her classmates experienced.
Wendy grew up and became a chemical engineer. She got married and started a family. She was living her best life, in a job doing work she loved. Everything seemed “fine”.
But fine is a 4-letter word.
Her company was restructured, making her job redundant, and then the pandemic hit and she was let go with severance.
After taking 30 days off, Wendy discovered that while she had, indeed, been “fine,” she had not been energized in her work. In fact, she had been very tired most of the time. But it seemed normal because that’s how everyone else was living. And it wasn’t until she spent 30 days doing nothing that she realized how not fine that was.
In a moment, when you meet Wendy, you’ll discover the lessons she’s learned since then. Starting with a daylong interview for a job she thought she really wanted, even though her husband told her ahead of it that she would not be accepting that job. And the realization that working for someone else was not her destiny.
This kicked off her journey to starting her own consulting firm. Having discovered her love of mentoring in her previous job, she merged her past profession and this love by joining the faculty of her alma mater, teaching biomedical engineering.
Then she decided to write a book – and EVERYTHING changed.
Overall, Wendy had to break free from the clusterfuck of perfectionism that held her chained down. Once she did this, she experienced success she’d never even imagined was possible.
Wendy’s hype song is “9 to 5”, by Dolly Parton.
She also visits the Guns N’ Roses channel on Pandora for inspiration.
- Wendy Cocke’s website: https://www.engineeringleadershipsolutions.com/
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/wendy-anderson-cocke/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wendycocke
Invitation from Lori:
Like Wendy, you may be living how you’re living now because of the beliefs that have been programmed into you since birth. Because of the stories you’ve told yourself forever. Because it’s what other people who seem to be successful are doing.
But the part that gets overlooked by most people is that true success doesn’t come from always DOING. It requires time for recharging and allowing yourself to simply BE.
I’m talking resting, reflecting, and rejuvenating every DAY, not only on the one week of vacation you might allow yourself every year, or two, or five.
In my special guide, 5 Easy Ways to Start Living the Sabbatical Life, you’ll discover, step-by-step, how to do that on the regular without taking a month or year-long sabbatical.
You know how you normally hear the disclaimer “Don’t try this at home!” In this case, you CAN try this at home. And not just “try,” DO.
Visit https://ZenRabbit.com and download it from the home page.
Change begins today.
Lori: Here we go. Hello and welcome to Fine is a 4-Letter Word. In this episode, I'm talking with Wendy Cocke, and I'm so excited to have you here. Quick shout out to Kat Polsinelli, she introduced us. thanks for being here.
Wendy: It is great to be with you today, Lori. Yeah, we had our first conversation several weeks ago, and I took a whole bunch of notes and I'm really eager to jump into this and have you share your experiences with people who are listening. So let's start out with what were the beliefs and values that you were raised with that contributed to making you the person you've become?
Wendy: I was raised where I was literally told you could be anything. I had those parents that just loved being able to pour into the people around them, whether that was me as their child, my friends, their friends, they just really wanted everybody to live up to their potential all the time. I was in a family business, and I realized later in life that I had such a really interesting perspective on the world that my peers didn't have being in that family business. I was a part of business and financial discussions from the time I was really little, and the idea of like what is success and how does that work and what do you do when things don't go the way you thought they were going to go and how do you pivot to make sure that you're adjusting to what is happening around you and with your life. So they expected that I would just be an equal member of the family.
Lori: That's so awesome. That is such a fantastic background to have, and so many people don't get that.
Wendy: One of my favorite stories was—it was a textile business where they did cut and sew, and one of their major customers wanted us to bid out a new type of product manufacturing for them and my dad was out of town. So my mom and I went, and my job was to try to bid it out, to scope it, ask all the questions, come back and figure out how long it was going to take for us to make, how much material it was going to take and how much we were going to charge them. To this day, Lori, I have no idea if we made any money on that at all. It never seemed to matter to my parents if we did or didn't. It was about me having that experience, being able to go through it. I ended up having to build rigging on the equipment because the way I thought it was going to work, we couldn't actually make it work. My friends that worked in the family business actually had to do the manufacturing in this atrocious way that I put together as a high school student. But it was such a learning experience on how you put trust in somebody and then make sure that no matter what, they feel like they succeeded.
Lori: And I'm also thinking like it's a such a great exercise in problem solving, but most importantly, kids need to learn how to think, not just what to think or like memorizing stuff. And that was such a great lesson in how to.
Wendy: Absolutely, for sure.
Lori: Very cool. So you didn't go into the family business, though.
Wendy: No. I actually ran from it as fast as I could. When I was in high school, a ton of my friends worked for my mom and her business as their after school job. And I instead went and worked elsewhere for my after school job.
Lori: Well, that makes sense, because working for family members, that's hard. To me, it didn't feel the same as working somewhere else. So to me, just being a part of the family business, that's just what I did. I started making dinner for the family most nights when I was in middle school because I could come home from school, and my mom would leave out the ingredients and the recipe on the counter. And while she was still working and trying to get things finished, I could get the chicken in the oven, or I could start the rice. And we didn't eat a lot of great meals for a while. We just sort of ate whatever. And then I experimented with things. So my kids to this day, one of their favorite dinners is potato chip chicken, which is the crumbs in the bottom of the potato chip bag being breaded onto the chicken before you bake it. I created that when I was, I don't know, 13, 14 years old, and it's still a fan favorite. Cheetos, Doritos, whatever's left. That's what happens when you leave the 13-year-old in charge of the kitchen.
Lori: But that's cool. Also being able to experiment and see what works and what doesn't. And I'm sure there were things that didn't work. I did the same thing. Like I loved being in the kitchen and experimenting. My mom hated being in the kitchen. That wasn't her thing. And I loved it. And I would do the same thing. I remember making graham crackers when I was in high school, like from scratch. Do not recommend. They were like cardboard. But it was the experiment thing. You know, some things came out well and some things didn't.
Wendy: That's right. I've tried several times in my life to make a homemade corn dog. I cannot do it.
Lori: No, some things are better left to the ...
Wendy: Just buy them packaged.
Lori: Yeah. So, did anyone in your family go into, take over the family business?
Wendy: No, my parents worked on it until my dad passed away in 2015. And I helped my mom shut down the business and live her best retirement life. But throughout that time, the number of family and friends that worked in it, it filled a gap for a lot of people. It was where all the teenagers in my life learned about business and about money. And you learned how to have fun and work at the same time. My aunt worked for my mom for a while. We had a family that was a contract sewer for my mom. I grew up with her children and we would take fabric to her house and she would sew. And one of my mom's most proud days was the day that Fam Fam got her a U.S. citizenship. And you know, being able to watch that family evolve, going to their weddings and them coming to our weddings. It was very much just part of the family. We actually considered selling the business to that family when my mom wanted to retire. And Ms. Fam Fam said, "You know what, I'm going to use it to retire too." So she decided not to.
Lori: And then what led you to go to school and get the degree you got? Because you have a degree in engineering.
Wendy: Yeah. My training is chemical engineering, and I don't do much of that anymore, but I knew I wanted to be an engineer. I am just old enough that take your daughters to work day was a thing. In the eighties and nineties and my dad had a corporate job that he worked while my mom ran her business at home. And I would go with him to the corporate job. And the experiences that I got there, understanding the dynamics of work and how to be a part of that, I really enjoyed. But I wanted to be in a helping group, a helping-type organization or a career. And what I really thought I wanted to do was be a biomedical engineer. But I am also just old enough that that wasn't really a thing yet. You were a chemical, a mechanical or an electrical engineer. And then you just sort of specialized in medical technology, instrumentation, medical devices, those sorts of things.
So I became a chemical engineer because I didn't want to have to draw. And you had to do that to be a mechanical engineer. And I was just scared of electricity from my high school physics class. And so electrical engineering didn't sound that great to me. So I went into chemical engineering. And when I graduated, I did that for 20 plus years, most of it in Fortune 500 companies doing R&D, supply chain, manufacturing, things like that.
Lori: Did you love it? Was it what you expected it to be? Or was it just something that you just did because you were there?
Wendy: No, I loved being able to take what a doctor or a patient needed and turn it into something that somebody can hold and it can help them to do the task that they were trying to do or to help them be better at their job. I loved when I moved into management and into strategy, being able to help the business do that same thing, to say this is a particular widget that we sell, and how do we make it so that it can help more people or so it can be more profitable so that we can drive the cost down for the user? All of those pieces, where are you going to make it? I love puzzles, and to me, engineering is all puzzles all the time. So the bigger the puzzle, the more fun it was. So as I progressed through my career, I just got to work on more and more interesting puzzles.
Lori: Very cool. Now, did you realize at the time that not everybody thinks like you?
Wendy: No, I did not. I was surrounded with people who did think like me, so it reinforced that I was normal, although I was just with a very small group of people who were incredibly abnormal.
Lori: I don't know that I would call you abnormal. I'm just sitting here thinking like I hate puzzles because I'm not good at them. And it's so interesting to me how people think that what they're good at and what's easy for them is the same for everyone. And that's why I asked that question, because what you're talking about is so foreign to me, but what I'm great at in terms of marketing and is probably foreign to you.
Wendy: Yeah, I've had to learn a lot. I think when I pivoted and ended up writing a book, there's not a lot of chemical engineers that write business nonfiction. I think that's where I realized I was fine, Lori. I was living my best life. I was in a job that I loved working with people that I loved getting to do the types of work that I loved. And we had a major restructure in the organization. And anytime you're in these big companies and a major restructure comes around, the easiest ones to get rid of are the leaders because we're often redundant. We had been purchased by a larger company several years earlier and they didn't need what we had in terms of leadership. They could have just absorbed all of our team into their team. But because of the pandemic, they weren't able to do that quite as effectively as they had probably wanted. I don't know what their business plan was, but that's probably what I would have done if I had been on their side. And I found myself suddenly without a job, no notice, effective immediately. Yeah, where you thought like you're safe, you're through the pandemic.
Lori: What did you discover? Because I remember you saying something like you loved everything you were doing, but once you weren't doing it anymore, you realized that it really was just fine and not really what your heart was.
Wendy: I had no idea how exhausted I was, Lori. I have always been a person that liked to sleep. I think that napping is one of my favorite hobbies. So this idea that I would put the kids to bed and go to bed was just my life. With all of my mom friends, we talked about how tired we were all the time. It's like a badge of honor. Like it's normal to be exhausted. And within 30 days of losing my job, I wasn't tired. I was able to stay up extra at night, I had energy to do things that I had not had energy to do. I ended up cranking out an entire book, because I just had all of this renewed energy. And then when I look back, that's probably because I was fine, but I wasn't energized.
Lori: Interesting. Okay. I love that you just said you were fine, but you weren't energized, but you didn't even realize it. Because everybody around you—I love this. People don't realize that what they're living is not—I don't know if normal is the right word. I always think of normal as like a setting on a washing machine. But it's not healthy. And it's not how it's supposed to be. But when everybody around you is that way, you look around and go, well, everybody else is doing it this way. So this must be how it is. Like this is just how life is.
Wendy: It's just adulting. There's a thousand memes about what it means to adult. And so you think that that is the way you're supposed to do it. And what I found is that there were so many other ways to do it. And in ways that energized me, not just fulfilled me, because I was very fulfilled in my work. I enjoyed what I was doing, but I wasn't energized by it. It was draining me and I didn't even know it.
Lori: What you just said, that's going to be a key takeaway, because you can feel fulfilled and not be energized. I don't know if I've ever made that distinction before or had somebody bring it out. Thank you for that. It brings up the point, too, that when you allow yourself to rest and recharge, which are two different things, your creativity and your productivity soar. That seems like what you discovered.
Wendy: It absolutely does. I was lucky enough to be wrapped up in a severance, so a corporate reorg, which gave me a little bit of cushion that not everybody has when they lose their jobs. But I had a financial cushion, and I had a husband with a very stable job bringing in additional income. So I was advised to not do anything for 90 days. For someone who likes to go like I do, that's just not possible. 90 days is not a thing. But 30 seemed very doable to me. And for 30 days, my husband really leaned in. That first morning, the alarm went off to get the kids up for school. "And he said, you go back to bed. There's no reason for you to get up. I will take care of this." For 30 days, it was, "What am I going to do?" And I could dream and I could imagine all these other types of jobs.
Now, at the end of 30 days, I did what most people would do, which was I started looking for another job. Because I had left a job, I didn't have a job. So I needed to find a job. I found an incredible company with an awesome opportunity. And my husband knows me better than I do. And he said, "Why are you preparing for this big full day on-site interview?" And I said, "Because I need a job. I need to go do that." And he said, "You're not taking that job." "So what do you mean I'm not taking that job?" And he said, "I know you're not going to take that job." I said, "No, no. This is it. This is the thing. It's what I'm going to do next." And so all day, I'm interviewing. And they were great. It was a great opportunity. It was a fantastic company. I wish them the best. I hung up and walked away and talked to my husband. And he said, "So how was it?" And I said, "Yeah, I'm not taking that job." And the next morning, I sent an email and said, "Hey, it was great. I slept on it. I hope you find an incredible candidate." But what I realized is that 30 days of reflection said to me, I don't want to do that again. That's not the next path for me. Maybe it is later, but it's not right now.
Lori: Giving yourself that freedom to do nothing, to, like you said, dream and figure out what is it. It doesn't have to be what it always has been. I think a lot of people go to that safety. Let me just keep doing what I've always been doing because it feels familiar. I don’t want to want to put words in your mouth. How did you feel after 30 days when you kind of went, "Well, I don't have to do that?"
Wendy: It was so liberating, Lori, to realize that there were other ways that I could provide for my family that weren't the way I had already always done it. So if I fast forward 18 months—and this is probably why you thought it was longer, because you and I hadn't talked about the time period. In less than 18 months, I now run my own consulting business, Engineering Leadership Solutions, where I do fractional leadership. I have a team that works with me that will come in and do program and project management and continuous improvement and help with management systems from an engineering standpoint. All the parts of my job that I loved, all those technical things that I loved, I now have a business that does that. I wanted to coach and mentor. I love that part of my job.
So I wrote and published a book called Making Flex Work. And I get to go to organizations and people and companies who want to think differently about work and help them do that. Well, that's the puzzle part. How do I get exactly what they want from their organization in a way that customizes for them or customizes their time as an individual? But the piece that was missing was working with students. I had been running our organization's undergraduate co-op program, like interns and co-ops, for seven years as a side job at work, because it filled a particular part of my tank. And about nine months after I got laid off, I joined the faculty at my alma mater teaching biomedical engineering. So there you go, full circle. Girl wanted to be biomedical engineer, didn't exist. Girl teaches biomedical engineering.
Lori: That's so cool. Yeah, it's so interesting how you can put together the pieces. You can see how one thing leads to another in hindsight. But moving forward, when you haven't lived it yet, you have to just walk in faith and trust that the right things are going to show up. So at the end of those 30 days after you said, "I'm not taking this job," you were liberated. Was there any fear?
Wendy: Certainly. The imposter syndrome is real. This idea that people are going to find out that we don't know what we're doing is real. And I had never really struggled with it. Having grown up in that family that we talked about at the beginning, where it didn't matter, just do the best you can do, and that is success. I made it through engineering school without a lot of imposter syndrome. I made it through working in engineering as a female without a lot of imposter syndrome. And it wasn't until I was on my own that I felt it. And I think it was because, as an author and as a solopreneur, it's just you. It's very exposing. There's nobody else to hide behind. It's not somebody else didn't deliver on time, so you're late. It's not somebody else's work was not amazing but it also has your name on it. It's not that the idea was eh, but it was the team's idea. It is all you all the time. And it really took a lot to get out there.
When I first started posting on social media, I would spend hours working on a social media post because I needed it to be perfect, because it was permanent, and it was my name, and it was super exposing. Now I'll admit there are typos in my social media posts, and if you find one, shoot me a note, and I will go edit it and fix it. It's fine. It's not permanent. But it took getting over that to realize that it didn't have to be perfect.
Lori: What did you do to get over that?
Lori: Like just keep posting.
Wendy: Yeah, I set myself a goal that I would post one piece of content a month, and then it was, oh, I can do that. Okay, so now I'll do two pieces of content a month, and then it was like, well, that wasn't that bad. I think I can do one a week. And you just sort of get less and less scared as you do it.
Lori: Setting yourself goals that you could do, not like, "All right, I'll do one a day."
Wendy: Well, and telling people. I told people, so they would hold me accountable.
Lori: Right, but the interesting thing about accountability is we really can only hold ourselves accountable, because what are they going to do? If you say, "I'm going to post once a week," and then you don't do it, they're going to come over and what?
Wendy: They're going to say, "Where was your post?"
Lori: "Well, now I'm going to punish you." What are they going to do?
Lori: That's the interesting thing about accountability, is we look to other people to hold us accountable, but we can really only hold ourselves accountable.
Wendy: Yeah, I think it's more about throwing it out there to the universe out loud and declaring it than it is who you declare it to and what the implications are.
Lori: Yes, I agree. Okay, so you started doing that, and what happened? After those first few posts, were you getting people responding to them, interacting with them? What encouraged you to keep going?
Wendy: Well, first of all, when there was a typo, the world did not end. So that was amazing. It reinforced that it would be okay when I did find one that I thought, "+oh, that is not exactly what I meant to say, and that didn't come out exactly right." It was also okay if nobody liked what I did and nobody commented, because I gave myself permission to experiment and to play with it a bit.
But yeah, people really started gravitating towards it. When I met with my publisher—I didn't come from the world of writing. I didn't come from the world of publishing. I came from the world of medical device engineering. So when I had a manuscript, I was ready to hand it over to a publisher, and my publisher said to me, "So how many people are on your email list?" Which is a totally normal thing to ask someone who runs a business that is customer-facing. But I didn't yet have a business that was customer-facing. I had a book, and I said, "What email list?" And he said, "Great, we're going to put this into layout, this book into layout, so you're going to get a proof in a few weeks. Until then, please get us an email list, because you can't launch a book that you don't have anybody that knows about it."
And I threw that out on social media, and that was the most exposing thing I think I had done. This was months into the journey, but I hadn't told many people I was writing a book, because that is super exposing and permanent. There's no go back and edit it. It's done. So I threw out on social media that I was writing a book, and people just started pouring in. I want to know more, tell me more. Here's my email address. Put me on your list. And it felt like this is what I'm supposed to be doing.
Lori: Yeah. because when you are doing what you're supposed to be doing—and we'll put "supposed to" in quotes—things happen easily. It's not like pushing a rock up a hill, because this is just the natural flow of things.
Wendy: That's right.
Lori: Yeah. What kind of response did your book have?
Wendy: I had a goal to sell a few hundred copies. To me, that would have been sufficient. That would have been a success, I would have won, I would have been on top of the world. So that was my goal, a few hundred. And we overshot a few hundred. I was hoping to get one of those bestseller tags on Amazon. At that point, you could be in eight different categories, and I hit number one in all of them by 5:00 on the first day that the book launched. Which was very exciting, because I created a little launch party at our local Mexican restaurant. So pretty much everything in our life that's important happens at El Jinete. So we thought, well, we'll just go there for dinner, and I'll throw out on social media that if you want, I'll be there, I'll have some books. If you want to buy the book, it'll be great. Talk to the manager and the wait staff there, and he said, great, please don't do it on Taco Tuesday. And I said, okay, great, we will not launch on Taco Tuesday.
Publishers really like to launch books on Tuesday, so mine didn't know what to say when I said we cannot launch the book on Tuesday because I cannot have a launch party on Taco Tuesday. So we launched on a Wednesday. And they didn't even give us extra wait staff, because I literally thought it was going to be me and a couple of friends. We had over 150 people show up at the Mexican restaurant.
Lori: So we need to back up, because how did you get that many people? You didn't have an email list even. Did you have connections? Have you been networking through your entire career? How did this many people show up for you both virtually online and in person?
Wendy: Some of it is just proximity. I am from Atlanta. I still live in Atlanta. I've grown up here. I went to college here. Some of it is just my people are here. Not everybody's lucky enough to have their tribe where they live. One of the things I love is connecting people and that personal connection. When people ask me like, where is your happy place? And some people say the mountains, and my husband will not bat an eye, and he's like, the beach, sand and salt water.
That is my happy place. My happy place is where my people are. So as a person who loves that connection, people were willing to come out for me. They wanted to celebrate my success. So I had built an email list with about 300 people on it in 60 days, which my publisher thought was insane. He's like, "How did you do that?" "I don't know. I asked who wanted to be on it, and here we go." And I put to that email list that this is the Mexican restaurant I'm going to be at if you want to come. And I threw it out on social media. I had former bosses drive in from the coast of Georgia to be able to celebrate with me. The head of HR that had to lay me off came and bought four copies of the book. My childhood friends were there. My work colleagues were there. I had friends from college that drove hours to come and be a part of it. It was just so much fun. I think the biggest surprise was one of my college roommates appeared in my house. She had worked it out with my husband. They live in Savannah. She drove up, she was like, "I'm not missing it."
Lori: That's so cool. And again, that's the power of connecting with people, maintaining relationships. If you've been listening to this podcast for a while, you may have heard that I used to teach networking strategies. And this is the thing. It's not about selling stuff. It's about building relationships that last as long as they last. And that's what you've been able to do really well. So that's really cool. Where did you learn how to do that? Was that something that you also learned from your parents or is it just something that came to you naturally?
Wendy: Oh, that's an excellent question. I don't know that I've actually thought about it. It's definitely something my mom does naturally. My mom is a connector of people naturally and she pours into those people in her life. So I don't know that it was ever taught necessarily. It was just modeled in a way that felt very natural. But I like my pack near me. That's the way we describe it. I like my pack. I'm a pack animal. Even today, my mom and my grandmother live in the house next door to us. So when we go out to family dinner on Friday nights, my husband goes out with his wife, his two children, his mother-in-law and his grandmother-in-law all in one big car for dinner. We tell him he is responsible for a lot of women and children. So for me, just having those people close and being a part of it just was what I did.
Lori: I hear that from people, that it's innately part of who you are, and you can learn how to be better at building relationships. And still, for a lot of people, it's just part of who you are.
Wendy: Well, as an engineer, I can tell you, there's a system. I worked for a boss who has an incredible system. It sounds kind of cold, but he keeps a spreadsheet of his contacts. And on that spreadsheet, he has the last time that he interacted with that person and what they talked about or what he emailed. And he has a frequency. I want to talk to this person at least once a year. I want to talk to this person at least once a quarter. And at the start of each month, he filters that spreadsheet to figure out who is he supposed to make contact with in the next 30 days.
Lori: In that Confident Connections course that I had created, there was a follow-up piece to it called the Goldmine Prospecting System that was similar, uses a spreadsheet. Because no matter what your intentions are in terms of whether it's networking or building relationships or anything, you can have the best of intentions and then things happen in life and you get off track. When you're writing a book, you have the best of intentions to maybe write a thousand words a day, but if you don't have some kind of system for keeping track and keeping yourself on track, it can easily go off the rails.
Wendy: You could easily go days and not write anything.
Lori: Yeah. And then the longer you don't, the longer you don't. And it's the same with your former boss having—that's a great way to keep track. What's that saying? If you want to improve something, you need to keep track of it. Whether you're tracking macros for your food or your workouts or your reach outs for building relationships, all of it, if you're not tracking it, it doesn't just improve because you want it to.
Wendy: They say, what's important, you measure.
Lori: Yes. That's the thing. What you measure improves.
Wendy: It's the same reason that a financial planner will tell you to track where you're spending your money. It's the same reason Weight Watchers has been a company for as long as it has been, because you're tracking your calories.
Lori: Right. and it works.
Wendy: It does. That's part of when I wrote Making Flex Work, there were a lot of people that asked me for a journal, so I have, in the past year, created a workbook that goes with it, but it's really about just tracking your time. If what you really want is to be in control of your time, you have to know where you are spending your time. So I have three downloadables and different places where you can track your time and start to figure out, when am I working and when am I not, and how do I feel about it and am I being productive or am I just doing something to stay busy?
Lori: Right, and we could go down this whole other rabbit hole and I don't want to, because I get a lot of pushback on this kind of thing, too, and I'm betting you do as well because people feel like there's no freedom in tracking. I just like to be a free spirit and do whatever I feel like doing whenever I feel like doing it. But the truth is there's more freedom in having the tracking and using the tracking system because it gives you some guardrails, if you will.
Wendy: It does. I tell them, this is not a contract with anybody and I don't even suggest you write it down ahead of time. Just write it down after you did it. If you spent three hours binging on Netflix, just write it down. No judgment, just write it down. Because later at the end of the week when you're like, "Wow, I didn't get anything done," you can be like, "But I did, I watched three whole series on Netflix. I accomplished something. Not towards my goal, but it was done."
Lori: Yeah. And you get to see how you might want to improve moving forward.
Wendy: How do you feel about what you did this week? And then you can determine, do I want to do the same thing? Do I want to do more of it or do I want to do less of it?
Lori: Yeah, exactly. And if you don't keep track of it, you have no idea. You just know that you didn't accomplish what you thought you wanted to, and you feel bad. Where did all the time go? Speaking of where did all the time go, this has been such a cool conversation. I just took a whole bunch of notes. I'm going to recap them in the key takeaways. Two last questions. One, what's your hype song? And I know you were struggling with what you're going to say because you have so much music in your head that you like. But what are you going to pick?
Wendy: I do. I have three for you. It's the best I could do.
Lori: All right. We're getting bonuses.
Wendy: Yeah, so when I am going to go talk to like my students or I'm going to go up in front of a bunch of people, I really like to listen to super calm music. So my hype music there is like Christian worship songs. Like I need to calm down because I naturally have so much energy that if I go out there with that amount of energy in front of a bunch of college students, my energy and theirs don't match and it's too far. So I actually have to calm myself down if I'm going to do that.
If I am writing and there's something really important that I need to say, I crank up '80s metal bands, like hair bands, as loud as I possibly can in my headphones. And to me, it shuts out all the other noise.
Lori: What's the first band that's on that playlist?
Wendy: I will usually just go to the Guns N' Roses Pandora station. So whatever comes on, bring it on. But when I'm going to talk to people about customizing their time, I literally cannot talk to somebody about it. And I did it this morning. I turn on Dolly Parton's 9 to 5 because it reminds me of what work used to look like and how nobody liked it then and nobody likes it now.
Lori: That's such a classic song too.
Wendy: Yeah. I love it.
Lori: Okay. Thank you. And if someone wants to get your book or talk to you more about how to continue this conversation, where's the best place for them to reach you and find your book?
Wendy: I'm on LinkedIn at Wendy Anderson Cocke, and then you can also find me at makingflexwork.com
Lori: Okay. Perfect. I will put links to all of that in the show notes. Maybe a link to the Pandora Guns N' Roses channel since there was not a specific song.
Thank you so much for joining me today, Wendy on Fine is a 4-Letter Word.