Ep #170: Higher Consciousness Leadership with Mory Fontanez

The Design You Podcast with Tobi Fairley | Higher Consciousness Leadership with Mory Fontanez

Do you feel disconnected as the leader of a business? Are you working in a toxic environment even though you aren’t entirely sure why? Today’s guest may have just the answers to what’s really going on, and I know you’re going to find this episode valuable.

Mory Fontanez is an Executive Purpose Coach and the Founder and CEO of 822 Group. After a successful career in corporate America, she observed that many companies were operating without a true sense of purpose because their leaders didn’t understand their higher purpose. She now helps leaders reconnect with their higher calling and get into alignment so that they can create purpose-driven brands and businesses that connect with their employees and customers and do better.

Tune in this week as we discuss the importance of being vulnerable in your business and how the fear of cancel culture could be making you show up less authentically. We have a responsibility to show up in an honest way, and doing the deeper work is crucial. Mory shows us how to be truly vulnerable in a way that a leader should, and how to have the courage to listen to your inner calling.

If you want help creating a business with thriving revenue streams so that you can design the life you really want this year, now is your chance! We’re going to be opening the doors to the Design You Coaching Program really soon, get on our waitlist now!

What You'll Learn From This Episode

  • The importance of standing up for what you believe and showing up as your full self.
  • How to lean into your true self.
  • Where the real change happens in Mory’s work.
  • Why relying on validation in the workplace can hold you back from being a confident leader.
  • What shadow work is and why it is key for discovering your purpose.
  • Why you must be willing to be vulnerable to grow and learn in your business.

Featured On The Show

Full Episode Transcript

You are listening to the Design You podcast with Tobi Fairley, episode number 170.

Welcome to the Design You podcast. A show where interior designers and creatives learn to say no to busy and say yes to more health, wealth and joy, here’s your host, Tobi Fairley.

Hello friends. How are you? We are smack dab in the middle of summer. How did that happen? And smack dab in the middle of this year which is also crazy. I say it every time. I say it on numerous episodes of the podcast in June, and in July, and in August because it just always sneaks up on me. You’d think after 20 years of being in business and almost 50 on the planet I wouldn’t be surprised when we hit midyear so quickly every year. Okay well enough of that.

I want to talk to you about today’s episode. I am super energized by this episode. And to be honest, my guest and I both, we were dragging a little bit when we got to the recording end of day, we’d both done a lot of stuff. But it only took a couple of seconds and we were right back into this conversation and on our A game with our energy because we both believe in what we’re talking about here so much. So let me introduce you to my guest. Her name is Mory Fontanez. She is a purpose coach and the founder and CEO of 822 Group.

And so she will tell you a little bit more about this in the episode but she had a career in corporate America, really helping people and businesses in some major crisis moments. And what she figured out was that there was a real disconnect a lot of times for the leaders themselves. And they were falling into scarcity and not really connecting with their true self and their true purpose. And was causing all kinds of issues with their business, with their culture and ultimately potentially creating toxic products, toxic marketing, toxic environments, the whole thing.

And so even if you don’t consider your environment and your business right now super toxic we all know we’ve had those moments where we were out of alignment. And where there was just something not right and our gut knew it, our intuition knew it, and so that’s what Mory talks about today. So I love this episode. She tells us really I think some truth bombs, some gold, some nuggets about things like how to be truly vulnerable in a way that a leader should and how we’re addicted to validation.

This one really was so interesting to me, how we get addicted to having other people validate our ideas before we can move forward. I mean there is just so much in here. We talk about cancel culture and what to do if you have that kind of crisis. And I think this episode is such a valuable one so I hope you love it too. Get ready to enjoy this episode with Mory.

Tobi: Hey Mory, welcome to the Design You podcast. I’m really glad you’re here.

Mory: Thank you for having me. I’m excited to be with you.

Tobi: So I have just been learning so much about you in the last five minutes that is so interesting. And I cannot wait to have this conversation. So why don’t you set that same tone for my audience? Tell them who you are, why you’re here, what you do. And I think this is going to be a pretty juicy conversation. There’s a lot to unpack here.

Mory: Yeah, great. Well, usually when I enter the scene it is a juicy conversation so I’m excited to dig in. I’m Mory Fontanez. I’m the founder and CEO of 822 Group which is a transformation consultancy. And really our purpose is to help leaders and businesses reconnect to their purpose and to their higher selves. And the reason that I started this consultancy is because I worked for 20 years as a reputation strategist, a crisis counselor, a brand strategist for Fortune 100s across entertainment, and technology, and retail.

And really found that every time there was a moment of crisis, or chaos, or toxicity, it was because there was a disconnect from a leader to their highest self, from a brand to its highest self. And by highest self I just mean your purpose, that voice that’s channeling to you, that’s truly authentically who you are.

And I really felt like I was tired of treating the symptoms and I wanted to get to the core issue which was to reconnect these really powerful people to their power source, to themselves so that they could lead in a better way. So the business could do better for us than what it’s doing.

Tobi: It’s so interesting. It’s really relevant to me right now too because I’ve spent the last, probably close to 18 months really intentionally working on our company culture. And it’s so exciting to see the fruits of that. It’s kind of mind blowing to me what’s even possible when you’re intentional.

But I love what you’re saying because I do think you’re right that so many people are going through life and business not even knowing there’s a disconnect yet they keep seeing as you were telling me kind of before, they keep seeing these signs of toxic things happening with their team. Or toxic things they’re creating. The fruits of their company are toxic, and they’re not understanding that they’re the source of that. So can you dig into that a little bit more? Can you start to really get us clear on this concept and how might we even start to look at ourselves a little bit in this process?

Mory: Yeah. I always say that they are concentric circles. So you have your brand on the outside of it. You have your customers as the circle inside of that. You have your workforce and your team as a circle inside of that. At the very center is the leader. And so if at the very nucleus there is a disconnect, there are limiting belief systems, there is toxicity within that leader it naturally spreads. These walls between these circles are thin.

And so when we see cultures that are toxic, when we see products that are not doing what they said they would do, and we see marketing campaigns that are not representative or that are oppressive in some way. When we start to see these things that people are rightfully calling out, my belief is that it comes right back to that nucleus. And that that work always starts with self. And so when I do work with teams we do spend time venting and talking about what’s going on in the culture.

But the majority of our work is let’s look at ourselves now. What part of the equation am I? How am I a part of this either toxic culture or this crisis we find ourselves in? And that is where the real change happens. And that’s why I say, “Getting sick of treating the symptoms.” You could hire some really creative people to write you some really beautiful words. And you could get up there and say some really cool stuff and then go off and still be disconnected from yourself.

And people are starting to see through it, customers are not stupid and employees are not stupid. And so people are tired of it.

Tobi: And what’s coming up for me, I think you’re so right. We can have the best company manual, the best statements on our websites and all the stuff. But I think what’s coming to my mind when you’re saying that is if the person, the leader is not doing their own work on any and all of it, whether it’s like you said, the limiting beliefs, if it’s diversity, equity, inclusion, antiracism, any other form of oppression, anything. If you’re not doing your own work which I have been deeply doing for a while and it’s not easy.

Mory: Not easy.

Tobi: And it takes a lot of time and it’s so rewarding but wow, there is a lot to it. And I can think back to my – not pointing other fingers at other people but just thinking back to myself just two years ago or three years ago, how I might have been inadvertently doing a lot of the things you’re saying just because I hadn’t done the work or didn’t know I even needed to do the work. So what might we notice, if we’re the leader, what are those kind of areas that we start to look into? And how are these things showing up, so that we can start to notice a little more specifically?

Mory: Yeah, awareness is absolutely the first step. And there’s a lot of different ways you can tell. But I always say, “There is a voice inside of you that is already telling you. You have a gut feeling. You either are not feeling good about how things are going or you have a voice just saying, “This is not us. We can do better or I don’t feel good about the way we just communicated with that person over and over again.””

When you’re done at the end of a day if you feel unsettled, if you feel drained, if you feel like you are not really able to be yourself and you’re putting on a mask. And you come home and you’re a different person, now, those are all signs that there’s not alignment there for you. Then there is the external signals. I mean if you – I always tell people, “If you have a problem with one person that’s an interpersonal thing, that’s a one-on-one. When you start hearing from three, four, five, six, eight, ten people the same thing it is BS to say it definitely is not you.”

That’s just burying your head in the sand so there’s something systemic going on. And if you’re the leader you are part of the system. There is no other way around it. And then I was just going to say, then if it gets really big then your customers start speaking up. Then you start to see issues that go on, either they’re bubbling up in social media, or they’re happening within your retail locations, whatever it is. You start to hear feedback from the customers that are negative. You still need to trace that back to the nucleus.

Tobi: Yeah, so good. Okay so when we start tracing back we’re like, “I think I’m onto something. And I think it might be me.” Are there certain limiting beliefs or issues that you see? Are there the handful of things that you’re like no matter who the leader is, no matter how big their company is, no matter if they’re featured in Forbes there’s this kind of list that we start with because everybody has these similar things, what are some of those things?

Mory: Absolutely. I’ll tell you, there are a few trends that I find repeatedly, perfectionism is the first one which is that we are so hard on ourselves that we do not allow growth for ourselves or for others because we’re holding on so tightly to perfect. Now, perfect for us is actually a mask on other things that we didn’t used to feel like we were good or valuable, for one. So we create perfect as a, well, if I’m only perfect then I’m valuable. So that’s a limiting belief system.

The second one, and I talk about this a lot is our addiction to validation. That addiction is a human condition but it becomes more pronounced in certain individuals when, and the way you notice that is if every single thing you’re doing is for feedback. Or when you do something that you feel really good about and then all of a sudden after presenting it to whoever, that feedback makes you feel so badly about yourself. Or you don’t speak up or you don’t make a decision without, you know, I have a lot of leaders who I could coach on you don’t need consensus all the time.

We don’t need 25 people to like your decision. We just need to make sure your higher self is saying this is the right decision for you and for them. So validation addiction shows up in a lot of different ways. And we’re combating it as individuals and as leaders across the board right now. But that the second one right after perfectionism that I see it come up a lot.

And then the third one which no one really likes to talk about is fear. Fear of repeating past mistakes, fear of failing, fear, fear, fear. All of the stories we tell ourselves about how it’s not going to work out, how we are imposters, how this thing everyone thinks that we are, is not true to who we are. And all of this fear is constantly chattering in the back of our head and not allowing clarity for the real kind of decision-making, the real truth, the real authenticity to come through.

And then lastly, not wanting to be vulnerable, really having again, fear around showing up around who you are and what you feel actually makes you more relatable. And when you’re not able to do that there is a massive trust deficit that occurs with your teams, with your colleagues, with your board, people just start to feel like I’m not getting the full story and that’s, I think, a fear of vulnerability.

Tobi: There’s so much good there. And I think you’re spot on, every single one I’m like yes, yes, I see it, I see it in me, I see it in other people. I’ve overcome some of these things. Some of these are a lifelong journey. And I want to circle back to a couple of them starting with the addiction to validation because I think perfectionism and fear are both super important things. But I think we hear people talk about that a lot. I don’t hear a lot of people talk about addiction to validation. And then after that I want to talk about this not wanting to be vulnerable.

But let’s talk about this validation thing. So I think you’re right. I see it in us personally. If I put something on social media will it be liked? It’s kind of a people pleaser personality, will my clients like I do? Will my parents like what I do? Will my spouse, my friends, my whatever. But I think you’re also taking it to another level saying, “How is it showing up in your leadership.” So can you show us, can you give us a few examples of what that might look like specifically if we’re doing this? Because I think a lot of people are doing this.

Mory: Yeah. I will tell you that with leaders the first thing I ask you to look at is your decision-making. How does decision-making happen for you? How do you go about gathering data, gathering opinions? How much do those opinions weigh on you when you are making decisions? I am all for leaders being co-creators. I believe that we need to kind of get rid of some of the hierarchical things for people to feel like they can be, you know, bring their full selves to their jobs.

That said there are moments when hard decisions need to be made and you have to accept as a leader that there are a group of people that will not like it. There are moments that you have to stand up as a leader and make a statement, especially right now. There are things happening in the world that people need to talk about. And our leaders are afraid to make a stand because they don’t want to alienate x percent of people, or x percent of constituents.

Well, that validation that you require is stopping you from honestly taking a stand around things that require your influence, that require your intellect, that require the power that you have. So I think on a global field we see it when it comes to issues that are happening in the world that leaders are afraid to speak up about because we have this addiction of validation. We need people to like us. And we cannot accept that sometimes they won’t and that’s okay. That also passes.

What I always tell my CEOs particularly is, again, “You have that voice in your head, if you’re being a bad actor, if you’re doing something that is hurtful, harmful, disrespectful, oppressive, you know it, you can feel it hopefully.” That’s a whole different story. That’s not about validation addiction. That’s about looking at yourself and saying, “What is this darkness? And why am I bringing it forward?”

But if you’re not on that side of the scale and you genuinely hold a belief or you genuinely need to make a decision that you know is right because you’re intuitive, because you’re the leader, because your gut’s telling you. Then you must accept that not everyone’s going to like it and that’s part of a leadership. That’s part of understanding that if I’m going to walk this path people are going to have to follow me. And sometimes they’re not going to understand what I see and that’s okay.

And sometimes I think as leaders we’re so afraid that they won’t understand it, they won’t like it, that we get paralyzed and we can’t make the hard decisions or say the things that need to be said.

Tobi: Yeah. And I’m thinking this of like I definitely see that inside a company, inside the team you’re leading. But I see how it also has to do with all the way to the customer journey or the sales process. And so I coach a lot of people that have small businesses, they’re not these humongous companies and some bigger than others. But it’s been really interesting to me to see how quiet a lot of people have been over the last 18 months with everything that’s gone on in the world.

And my suspicion is that they’re afraid, too afraid to lose business. And so they’re continuing kind of with the mask on. And my industry in particular is not super evolved, it’s not super diverse. There’s a lot of work to do there in the design and creative industries. And I think people are continuing to get away with that.

So what’s happening when we’re doing that, when we’re like I kind of want to speak up, I’m a little afraid to speak up, what if all my clients disagree with me and quit? What if I go out of business? All of that I think comes up too. And it plays into this, so any thoughts on that, of how we show up there?

Mory: Absolutely. Yeah, there is that validation, so the first step is I’m worried about not being liked. But then there is a business implication, absolutely. And what I say is that that’s a scarcity mindset because what’s going to happen is you are going to lose a certain percentage of your clients. And you’re going to attract an even bigger percentage because when people can feel your realness, and they can feel that you’re taking a stand for what you believe, I’m not saying it has to be for what they believe, let’s make that really clear, because they can see through that as well.

But when you’re showing up and taking a stand for what you believe there are always going to be customers that align with you. And what’s happening is that because you’re wishy washy, the ones that truly stand for whatever, aren’t even looking at you because you’re not showing up in your full self. And therefore they don’t want to align. And so when we feel like we’re going to lose because we take a stand, I mean I did this around Black Lives Matter for example.

Tobi: Yeah, me too.

Mory: I had a really clear perspective that Black lives matter, I’m going to say it. And if my clients didn’t like it they needed to go. That’s the frequency I was vibrating at.

Tobi: Yeah, I did the same thing. But I would say, and again I’m not judging other people, I’m just observing how I didn’t see a lot of that in my industry. And again my suspicion is that it was a money thing. It was a bottom line thing that people were afraid of. And I love that, I love how you’re looking at that because it’s very similar to what I believe too. And I think you’re so right. And I think that feeds into this or a lot connects with this whole idea of not wanting to be vulnerable too. So can we talk about that?

Because vulnerability has been a buzzword for the last several years, we all have heard all amazing things from Brené Brown and we get it and I hear people say it all the time. But I don’t know that we’re really being it. And I think that we’re still kind of – we’re maybe dipping a toe in. But at the end of the day we’re mostly putting out that highlight reel to the world and probably to our team too.

So how do we really – what does it look like to get really vulnerable? Because it’s not over-sharing and it’s not bringing all the messiness that the team or other people need to hear. It’s different than that so how would you describe that?

Mory: I think that’s surface self-awareness too because if you don’t learn how to tap in and figure out how you’re really feeling you can’t show up and be vulnerable. And I think a lot of us have been trained to make ourselves so busy that we don’t actually know how we feel. So I will say this vulnerability is not something you can fake. And because it’s become a highlight reel, I like the way you say it, it’s like this shallow vulnerability.

Tobi: Fake vulnerability, yeah.

Mory: Yeah. We feel like okay, I’m just going to say I feel a certain way. But you can tell when the person hasn’t checked-in. you can tell when there’s not a deep connection to it. So I think the first step is to make sure you’re not busying yourself so much that you can’t have your emotions. That’s the first thing we do.

But the second one is that it is okay as a leader to say that you don’t know, to say that you are afraid, to say, I say it all the time that I manage anxiety all the time. I’m a coach. I’m a coach in high stress environments for executives. I know that that might feel like, what, she has anxiety? But it doesn’t show up when I’m in this situation. If I am coaching and I can relate I will say, “Yeah, you know what? I struggle with anxiety and these are the ways that it comes up for me and this is how I talk about it.”

So it’s about just being honest about your own process rather than feeling, a story I could tell myself is you’ve got to go in there. You’ve got to look confident. You have to be totally buttoned up. You have to be this wonder woman that they’re totally magnetized to. And therefore you cannot show any cracks. And that doesn’t work. What works, what moves my clients to transformation is when I’m real. And I say, “Yeah, I struggle with this too.”

So I think it’s just being able to be honest in a way that you’re not afraid of the perception, but that you understand that the honesty holds even more value than the mask or the costume you’re trying to put on.

Tobi: Yeah, I love that so much. And what it’s making me think about is I think along the lines of what you were saying, even if we have dealt with something before we almost think we should have already fixed it by now if we’re going to lead somebody else through it. And so we hide that we’re currently going through something, or struggling, or like you said, we’re tired, or scared, or whatever and I love that you’re giving us the advice to just be transparent about it. Yeah, it’s so good, I love that so much.

So let’s talk, we’ve kind of been around the edges of something with both of these topics, validation, and vulnerability, and fear which is cancel culture. And it’s another buzzword, another thing that I think people don’t really understand. And I want to talk about it because I do find that for a lot of people who maybe aren’t afraid or don’t even really care about losing business. But they’re just afraid of doing something wrong in their business, publicly, inside, outside, on social media, all the things. Can we talk about that a little bit?

Help us understand what it really is to be canceled and how we might want to think about this if we’re going to be, I guess, courageous and even just consistent about showing up as our real selves, yeah.

Mory: Yeah. It’s creating real paralysis. And I have a really wonderful friend who’s a poet who calls it disposability culture, which I love because it is about making people think that they’re disposable. And I think that there is, you know, what’s been happening recently in our business is that when a leader or a brand is being canceled, we will get the phone call. And we will be the ones trying to help them navigate. And one of the first things I do in assessing that situation is, again, were you’re a bad actor here? Is there accountability that you need to own?

That line of we’re you being hurtful, oppressive, disrespectful or misogynistic, we can go through the list, where you do need to own up. And what is the healing you have to do on your own so that when you come back and you speak about it it’s true? That you really did go through this process of enlightenment, and empathy, and that you’re healed. But most of the time when I get that call, they [inaudible] on the other part of the line which is that they weren’t a bad actor, they just spoke up, whatever. There was a misunderstanding, there was a miscommunication.

Usually it is something that is out there that has not been fact checked, that’s usually what’s going on. And so a lot of that work right now is about making sure we understand that – I ask people to, “Stop and really think about what are the brands that have truly been cancelled, can you name five?”

Tobi: Yeah, it’s hard.

Mory: You can’t because it doesn’t really happen that often. If there is systemic darkness within that brand, or that business, or that leader, yes, Harvey Weinstein a great example, needed to go for example, hallelujah. But if you make a mistake here or there I really encourage people to go look at other leaders, other notable people who have misspoken, who have made a mistake, where you know what? There was a blip but they’re okay. They came right back up, they are still doing what they do with probably and hopefully more awareness.

So I think that that’s the first step, is the paralysis it’s created needs to break away because it’s really making people feel like they don’t know how to show up and then they can’t be vulnerable, and authentic, and all these great things we’re talking about. So that’s the first thing. The second one is I would argue what is the value of truly canceling a thing? Is that what we want or do we want rehabilitation?

Tobi: Exactly. Are we trying to just be punitive and just be kind of aggressive, and mean, and even violent? Or do we want somebody to change their behavior? Do we want to get a different result?

Mory: We want the person to say, “I see you. And I see the pain I caused you.” And that’s about developing empathy. And what I really want people to understand is that those people have to develop empathy for themselves first. There is so much self-hatred that it’s really difficult for them to connect in that empathetic way. And so when I say it’s about rehabilitation, it’s like that’s what I mean when I talk about shadow work, when I talk about growing in purpose. There is these darker parts of us that require our attention.

And cancel culture is saying, “Because you have those darker parts you are not valuable.” The problem with that is we all have them, everybody has a shadow side. So then the rest of the world is getting triggered because they’re like, “Oh my God, I can’t show this, or this, or this about me because I might get canceled”, which is making us less real, which is making us more produced and more costumified because we are so afraid of offending.

And I think again it’s about really making sure you are acting in the best of your ability and that you’re open to learning. And that from there you can grow but being paralyzed by it is I think really dangerous. And again, I think it’s sending the wrong message that people are disposable. And I don’t think anyone is disposable.

Tobi: Yeah, I agree. And something that was just coming up and I think earlier you may have mentioned or if it was, may have been when we were chatting before about leaders being able to trust themselves. And as you were just talking about cancel culture and being willing to grow and to learn. What I was thinking is that if we trust that no matter what happens we’ll do the right thing and clean it up or show up. Then you’re probably not as scared to be vulnerable, or to be honest, or to take a stand.

But I think it’s maybe when we don’t trust that we will come back and show up for ourselves, we won’t have our own backs or anybody else’s. And even those of us who sometimes we can’t, we haven’t learned how to admit we’re wrong. There’s so many of us that want to be right all the time. And so cancel culture feels like a problem because you may have to admit, “Hey, I screwed up.” Or, “Yes, I didn’t know, but I misspoke”, or whatever.

Don’t you think there’s a whole piece of personal agency kind of in this? And trusting yourself that is required if you’re not going to be afraid of cancel culture.

Mory: Absolutely. And this is where the perfectionism kicks in. This is where those trends that I was telling you, kick in because we have to be perfect. And we don’t necessarily deep down trust ourselves, which is why we have to be perfect. We don’t necessarily deep down understand that we are allowed to hold space in this situation. And so because of that we don’t know how we would respond. And therefore we’re afraid. And I think you’re absolutely right, it comes back to knowing and having faith in yourself that you will navigate it.

But I think all of that said, there are systems in place in our world, particularly in this country that need some real examining and some real accountability. And that would not have happened without people caring enough to put the pressure and to put the magnifying glass on that. And I am not taking away from that whatsoever. I am just saying don’t let that paralyze you as a leader. Ask yourself, am I a bad actor? Am I part of that oppressive system? And if the answer is yes, what do I need to do to rehabilitate myself? And that is where you start.

Tobi: Yeah. And to not label something cancel culture that is truly just accountability because I think that happens every single day, they’re like, “They’re just trying to cancel me.” No, we’re actually just trying to highlight where harm is being done that you might need to take a closer look. And those are two totally different things.

Mory: Absolutely, yeah.

Tobi: Yeah, it’s so interesting. Okay so listening to this podcast so far some people may be thinking oh my gosh, I feel worse than ever. There’s so much work to do, so much self-discovery. I find that sometimes when I’m coaching people, they’re like, “But I feel like you’re almost blaming me.” Which what they really mean is it feels heavy to show up and take responsibility for yourself in this way if we’re going to be leaders.

And so I know that you also talk about things like having more joy at work and self-care for leaders and the things that we have to do for ourselves so that we can show up and be resilient, and be rested, and be our best self. So can you tell us if we’re feeling a little overwhelmed right now with the responsibility of showing up in this honest way, which can feel very scary, what can we do to support ourselves as we start to do that deeper work?

Mory: I will tell you, every single one of us is deeply connected to our intuition. And that intuition is a deep power source that’s guiding us towards what’s best for us and for other people. And so honestly, the answers are so within our reach. They’re so around us and it is not as burdensome as it sounds if we actually just stop and listen to the voice. So I think that the first step is just if there is something you’re avoiding that keeps wanting to talk to you, just take a minute and see what it’s trying to tell you. Just have the courage to listen.

And I always tell people, “You don’t have to do anything with it. You don’t have to make a decision, there is no deadline. Just because you are intuiting something or you have a gut feeling about something and you let that something kind of speak to you, you can just let that be and see what unfolds there.” So it’s really just as simple as tuning into the things we’ve been trying to either avoid or not listen to.

The other thing is that success is not about driving ourselves towards producing things all the time. It’s not about the quantity of things we are making, or putting out there, or saying. So we think about success as fulfillment, what are the other things that are missing that fulfill you? And give yourself a little bit of that. I have started to turn my Zooms into calls again and go and walk and talk to people because I like to be outside. And I don’t want to apologize for that. That is actually filling me up in a way that makes me feel really fulfilled with what I’m doing.

So just be really honest about what are those other parts of, you know, what are those other containers that need a little bit of love that make you genuinely feel fulfilled? And as you start to fill those containers it’s not as daunting to look at the things you have to look at because you have all these other things to go to, to connect with that feel really good. It’s not all about this one thing that feels like hard work.

Tobi: Yeah. I think that’s such great advice and I think that it’s a great reminder to tap back into what worked for us maybe pre pandemic because I think you’re right. We all just kind of got with the program of how we had to operate for a while. And I think we’ve forgotten that we have a lot of other options than that, that things that do fill us up and that create more connection or more, yeah, all of those things, that real human connection. And I think you’re very right, that’s a really good reminder.

And the other thing I’ve noticed as I’ve been doing this work on my own company culture and I see it thriving and blooming, and I see our teams saying things about the way it feels to work here now, that in and of itself is so fulfilling. That is the biggest reward to me of the work we’ve done and making these hard decisions of what we value and getting clear on stuff. But when you see the fruits of that, I think that gives me so much energy and fulfillment, and joy. I would say I’m a lot more joyful in my company than I’ve been in a long time, especially internally.

I think before I was so focused on the customer and the end product like you were saying. And now it’s like how do we pay people more money? How do we give people more opportunity on our team? How do we forget the whole what a going rate is and try to pay people two and three times what maybe other companies pay. Or give them some other support, or ask them what they care about and dream about.

I did this with one of my team members today and she told me some goals she has that are expensive kind of, some other personal development. And my first thought now was I wonder if we can help pay for that? I wonder if we can support that? And that’s the kind of thing that’s coming up for me as we create this different kind of culture that I never would have thought of two years ago, three years ago, before I went through some of these shifts.

So do you find that the same is true for all of your leaders when they start doing this deeper level of work it shows up in ways they can’t imagine, joyful ways?

Mory: It’s expansive. It’s like all of a sudden it starts creating these other things, and opportunities, and conversations, and connections they didn’t expect. And that is genuinely the reward of the hard work. It is hard work, yes. But it is not undoable and it is not going to crush anyone. And I always say too, “You wouldn’t as a business leader or as a leader show up and not pay your invoices and not do these administrative things that have to happen.” This is that same kind of thing.

It’s just this kind of care around the details of how you are showing up that requires the same consistency and focus as the other things you do as a leader to just be successful. And the way that people connect to you when you do this is so rewarding, truly rewarding.

Tobi: I agree. So good. Okay, well, if people want to know more about you, hear more from you, where can they find you? What resources do you have for them to dig into? Tell us all the things.

Mory: So I will say we are coming up with a plethora of lots of exciting kind of courses, content, different ways to engage with the material that I’m talking about. So if you go to our site at 822group.com and drop your email, we start to share with you what those opportunities are. I’m on Instagram @Mory Fontanez. And I share a lot of these thoughts on Instagram as well.

Tobi: So good, thank you. I love this conversation. It’s so aligned with the work I’m currently doing. But it added so much to it, so I thank you so much for being here and for being vulnerable and being open and honest, and all the things that you talk about and you stand for it too. So, thank you so much for that.

Mory: Thank you for having me. I loved talking with you.

Alright, do you feel better? Are you ready to lean into your true self? I mean you know you’ve been hearing me talk about this work in my own life and my own business now for more than a year. And it has been the absolute most rewarding work I’ve ever done. The fruits of it and just my team and how we work together now and how we feel at work every day and our joy, and connection. It’s just really something that I didn’t even know was possible. And I want that for you too. So I hope that you’ll take some great things away from this episode.

I hope you’ll check Mory out. She has some great resources and as she said, she has a lot more coming in these areas that we’ve talked about today. So find her on Instagram or check out her website and I will see you again really, really soon. And I’m sure whatever I’m talking about on the next episode will be equally authentic, truthful and vulnerable as we always do, just like this episode. So I’ll see you here again next week. Bye for now.

Thank you so much for listening to the Design You podcast, and if you are ready to dig deep and do the important work we talk about here on the podcast of transforming your mindset and creating a scalable online business model, there has never been a more important time than right now. So join me and the incredible creative entrepreneurs in my Design You coaching program today. You can get all the details at TobiFairley.com.

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Hi! I'm Tobi

I help creative women (and a few really progressive dudes) design profit-generating, soul-fulfilling businesses that let them own their schedule, upgrade their life and feel more alive than ever!

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