Anna Lundberg is the founder of One Step Outside, where she helps experienced professionals around the world design a career, a business and a lifestyle that brings them more freedom, flexibility and fulfilment – outside of the conventional 9 to 5. Ex-Oxford, ex-P&G, today she combines her experience in global branding and digital marketing roles with her training in coaching and positive psychology techniques to help people reimagine the next phase of their career. She is the host of the Reimagining Success podcast and author of Leaving the Corporate 9 to 5: Stories from people who’ve done it (and how you can too!).
- CEO Hack: Time management and calendar time blocking
- CEO Nugget: Get clear with your whats and whys before you get caught in your hows
- CEO Defined: Being intentional on what you want for your company and focus on the big vision
Book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Leaving-Corporate-Stories-people-whove/dp/1999700708
Podcast on Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/reimagining-success-with-anna-s-e-lundberg/id1444846932
Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you’ve come to the right place, Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you’re in search of. This is the I am CEO podcast.
Gresham Harkless 0:29
Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from me. I am CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today of Anna Lundberg of One Step Outside. Anna, it’s awesome. have you on the show.
Anna Lundberg 0:39
Thank you so much for having me.
Gresham Harkless 0:41
No problem super excited to have you on. And before we jumped in, I want to read a little bit more about NSA to hear about all the awesome things that she’s doing. And Anna is the founder of One Step Outside, where she helps experienced professionals around the world design a career, a business and a lifestyle that brings them more freedom, flexibility and fulfilment – outside of the conventional 9 to 5. Ex-Oxford, ex-P&G, today she combines her experience in global branding and digital marketing roles with her training in coaching and positive psychology techniques to help people reimagine the next phase of their career. She is the host of the Reimagining Success podcast and author of Leaving the Corporate 9 to 5: Stories from people who’ve done it (and how you can too!). Anna are you ready to speak to the IAMCEO community?
Anna Lundberg 1:25
I’m ready, lets go.
Gresham Harkless 1:27
has do it. And to start everything off or kick everything off, I wanted to ask you for what I call your CEO story. hear a little bit more about what led you get started with all the awesome things you’re working on?
Anna Lundberg 1:37
Yeah, so so it’s very organic. And in a way random. They’ve certainly been lots of twists and turns. It wasn’t something that I planned. And I always say that I was sort of the good girl, he followed the conventional path I’ve done as he said, you know, the good school, good university Good job. And that was sort of the typical path. I never thought of myself as entrepreneurial or risk taking or anything like that. So it’s come as a bit of a surprise to me. And but you know, I haven’t looked back. And I’ve loved every moment. So I studied one thing I ended up working in marketing in the private sector. So at Procter and Gamble, big American multinational corporation had an amazing time, I learned so much. And honestly, that opens so many doors for what I do now. But it wasn’t fundamentally what I wanted to do, there was always a disconnect, because I thought I want to do something else. And I just ended up there a little accidentally, as many of us do in our careers, right, we don’t necessarily plan where we’re going to go. So I was there for seven, eight years, I left to do them. 30, not really knowing what I was going to do. Instead, it was a bit of a risk, biggest craziest decision I made, I think just to leave without any plan. And as I said, since then, you know, it’s been, I guess, seven, eight years again. So I’ve almost been out of the so called nine to five as I call it as long as I was inside. And but initially I fell into digital marketing consulting. So I did the same work I’d been doing as a full time employee, but with other companies, and I was really lucky to have in demand skills and a good network. And that was amazing. And it was a step in the right direction. But it was still wasn’t quite the independence and the freedom and all these things I wanted. So ultimately, I kind of discovered coaching, I went a bit as I call hippie, I went sort of nomadic and traveled a lot and wasn’t making a lot of money have to be honest. And then over the last few years, I’ve combined the two. So I now really bring my marketing and business and branding and so on background. But I also have introduced new concepts of, as you said, positive psychology and coaching, and writing and training and speaking and all these things. And I guess that’s how I’ve sort of arrived at this really nice balance of the two. So I’ve reconciled myself with my background, but I will say introduce things that make the whole thing more meaningful to me and more fun.
Gresham Harkless 3:43
Yeah, absolutely. kind of sounds like he got to that holistic piece. And I almost wonder if you find that, when you because you went through those experiences, it allows you to kind of connect maybe even more with some of the people that you help out as well, because they might be going through the same kind of beginning part of the journey and try to figure out how and what and where to go
Anna Lundberg 4:02
on to present and I run it of course, I now try to help people make their journey much more quickly. Because because I didn’t have the help. Because I didn’t think about what I wanted. I just, you know, I was a little bit lost. And I guess to some extent wasted time. I don’t regret it because it was an incredible experience. But it took me a long time to get to where I am now. And yeah, if I had been a bit more intentional and thought about it a bit more, I think I could have got there quicker. But exactly as you said, you know, because I’ve been through that. Now obviously, I’m passionate about helping other people do the same.
Gresham Harkless 4:32
Yeah, that makes so much sense. So I wanted to drill down a little bit deeper to hear a little bit more on how you serve your clients. I know you have your book and your podcast. Can you take us through the services and exactly what you do to support the clients you work with?
Anna Lundberg 4:45
Yeah, absolutely. So I guess happened quite organically that I started as many coaches do with one to one work and I started working closely with people sort of helping them work out what it is they want to do essentially, and then make it happen. So it was quite a comprehensive package. It’s really a And in a way you go from, I know want to leave, but I don’t know what I want to do right through to, Hey, I know what I want to do, I’m making it happen and ultimately actually have clients and I’ve got money coming in. And so I still do some one to one clients. But of course, we only have a limited number of hours in the day in the week. So I very quickly launched a group program, I now have a business incubator, which again, is taking people exactly that process. And I have a really comprehensive membership site now with a year’s worth of, you know, training content and video, audio PDFs, a group community and so on. And then also an ongoing accelerator community, because I found that you know, as much as that one initial decision is a big, important decision, it’s actually the ongoing, keeps showing up, keep being resilient, all those things that’s, that’s almost more important, because it’s so easy to give up after that initial wave of enthusiasm. And things aren’t quite going as we hoped. And and that’s a, you know, really support them sort of longer term to make sure they’re still keeping their eye on the vision they had initially, financially, of course, but also from a more meaningful definition to make sure they’re not like burning out, they’re not, you know, not charging too little. So they’re not actually getting what they wanted in the first place. So once one catering, business incubator and business accelerator, there’s my key programs and services.
Gresham Harkless 6:16
Nice. I absolutely love that. And just because it has, it sounds like so many different opportunities depending on what the person is actually looking for. But I love to that kind of at the heart of it of what you said is also sounds like helping people to understand exactly what the road is, because I think sometimes you get that excitement when you take that leap, so to speak. But as you said, it’s not just the leap, it’s also that consistency day in and day out. And, and being aware of that, I think, before you sometimes even take that leap and help you potentially be more successful because you understand what the process looks like little bit more.
Anna Lundberg 6:49
Gresham Harkless 6:50
Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So I wanted to ask you now for what I call your secret sauce. And this could be for yourself, or your business or combination of both. But what do you feel kind of set show part of machinic?
Anna Lundberg 7:00
Well, I think what we just touched on there is, I think, relatively unique in the sense that I really encourage clients to dream big and be idealistic. And people tell me, I’m a bit of a dreamer. And I’m a bit sort of away with the fairies. But I combine that with as he said, Look, the less sexy stuff showing up time management during the staff stalling or ego, discipline and all that stuff. So I think, you know, I, I combine the marketing with the life coaching, the ambition with self care, that really trendy but important words. And you know, with dreaming big, but also being pragmatic and realistic. So I think it’s those sort of juxtaposed concepts that are really, really important. I also have a concept I’ve just taught it actually, in my group this week in my facebook group, the five pillars of a sustainable business that I’ve developed. And it really is, you know, from defining what success looks like for you, building your confidence and resilience, choosing the right business model that’s going to get you to where you want to be building a personal brand, which is so important. And then my final personal favorite, which is designing work life integration, some doodle works with, you know, your family and your travel or whatever else. So for me, that’s again, taking, you know, quite some years to arrive at those principles. But I find they apply again and again. And it’s just really helped to be a bit more sort of succinct and really take clients through those. Were there, as you said, You’re right at the beginning of the journey, and you’re very new to those concepts. Or To be honest, I talk to people much further along, you still need to work on some of those elements, even you know, if you’ve been a successful CEO for 1020 years, you might need to revisit, hang on, am I still moving in the direction of my vision, and am I you know, compromising. So I don’t have time with my family, or I forgotten why I started this business in the first place. So they really apply, you know, from the beginning of the process right through to much more experienced business owners as well.
Gresham Harkless 8:48
Nice, I absolutely love that. And you know, as you said, being able to kind of marry you know, both of those worlds together into one and give people practical information on how to be successful. But again, not being afraid to kind of shoot for those stars and understanding how exactly, you’re going to do that and think so many times as you said, as you were kind of going through each of those aspects, I kind of saw it as rungs of the chair. And as you said, you can be super successful but at one point, you can lose sight of that work life integration that you talked about. And maybe you aren’t spending time with you know, your loved ones. And that’s really why you wanted to start a business. So being able to kind of check in on a regular basis and know you’re doing what you’re doing in order to kind of reach your vision is so important.
Anna Lundberg 9:27
And there’s a Stephen Covey quotes, if you know the guy who wrote the Seven Habits book, massive management guru, and he said, it doesn’t matter how fast you’re going if you’re heading in the wrong direction. And I think that’s quite good. It’s also you know, if your ladder is leaning against the wrong wall, or whatever the other expression is that, you know, you could be doing really well and getting promotions and salary increases and hustling and making millions or whatever, but if that’s not allowing you to live the life you want, then you know, actually, it’s not really Success to me, and you know, that’s just important to check in before. Before it’s too late. Like I asked before you’re too old to do anything about it.
Gresham Harkless 9:58
Exactly, exactly. Yeah. I always say, you want to make sure that you’re running your race, not somebody else’s race. And so many times, if you have that ladder on the wrong wall, as you said, or you know, doing things that aren’t in alignment with what you consider to be success, then you can definitely you know, have that empty feeling, even if you reach and get all the quote unquote, success in the world. So, absolutely love that. And what I wanted to do was switch gears a little bit, and I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an app or book or a habit that you have, but what’s something that makes you more effective and efficient.
Anna Lundberg 10:28
So I think something that works really well for me, and that I use my clients often is, you know, as I said, we have the big vision, but you have to actually anchor it in your day to day. So concept I came across many years ago was the ideal week. And it’s around, if you know a little bit about time management, there’s a lot around calendar time blocking. And you know, rather than having to do lists, you sort of really block your calendar. And the idea of the ideal week is you know, okay, My vision is this, and I want to be an author, and I want to launch this new program. And whatever it is, then you have to look at your calendar, and you have to make sure that the stuff you’re doing every day is lettering up to those goals. If I want to be a writer, I need to make sure that I’m actually spending some time during my week writing right or, or working with publishers or whatever. And so I always call it an ideal week, because a week is never going to look like that. But at least you can block it and you go Okay, well, first thing on Monday morning, I’m going to be pitching media or you know, every Tuesday afternoon, I’m going to be following up with warm leads or you know, recording podcasts, you can have like a content batching session, or and it should be also again, the work life integration, your personal stuff, say picking kids up from school or going gym, or I don’t know, taking, you know, three days off for whatever, right. So whatever that looks like for you. And but that’s something that’s really worked for me, you can sort of put it into your calendar. And each week, you just check in and go, I didn’t follow that at all. Either it’s too unrealistic, or you just haven’t been focused enough when you can kind of tweak it. And again, you’re never going to get the ideal week. But I think that really helps you sort of connect your big vision with the actual practical day to day, which is so important if you’re ever going to get to that vision.
Gresham Harkless 12:03
And now I want to ask you now for what I call a CEO nugget. So this could be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice, it might be something you would tell a client or if you happen to a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.
Anna Lundberg 12:15
So I think both my younger self and for my clients this week, I’ve said about 15 times I think in this workshop is get clear on your what and your why before you get caught up somehow, because it’s so easy to go. But I have no idea this business idea is never gonna work or how would I promise? If I did. Whereas you don’t even know if that’s what you wanted to do.
Gresham Harkless 12:40
Now, I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. Weâ€™re all gonna have different quote unquote CEOs on the show. So Anna, what does being a CEO mean to you?
Anna Lundberg 12:50
I love that question. And it’s a strange one for someone like me, because I don’t have a big company, I don’t have a big team, right. But for me, I think it means having that holding that vision, it means being intentional about what it is you want for the company, whether the company is one person or 1000, or whatever, and having that big picture helicopter view. And then also, of course, making sure that all the sort of again, practical building blocks, whether it’s the team, the logistics, the action, the strategies feed up into that. But for me, I think that’s sort of the difference between someone who’s just executing and doing a good job and being an employee to know elevating yourself to this is the vision, big picture strategy, focusing on the things that need to be done. And so for me, that’s really being intentional and focusing on that big vision.
Gresham Harkless 13:37
Absolutely very, very powerful. You know, being able to have that vision, as you said, being intentional. from, you know, we talked about all the way going down to a week and understand exactly how your ideal week is and what that looks like. And that helps to kind of build up towards that vision and doors, that execution of what we want to see. So truly appreciate that definition, that perspective, and I appreciate your time even more, what I wanted to do is pass the mic so to speak, just to see if there’s anything additional, you can let our readers and listeners know and of course, how best they can get a hold of you subscribe to the podcast and find out about all the awesome things that you’re doing.
Anna Lundberg 14:09
All of them are getting us okay, that could take a while. I mean, the business is called one step outside and it comes from the quote, everything you’ve ever wanted is one step outside your comfort zone. So for me, part of it is take a step back and look at this big picture. So what is success? For you? It’s such an obvious question. Most of us have never really asked this of ourselves. we’ve inherited a definition from society, from our parents, teachers, even our peers and people around us. And as we keep saying, you know, even if you’ve been clear at one point, you very quickly lose sight of that. So first, you know, take a step back, what’s your definition of success, but then I like the one step because you don’t have to take that massive leap. You don’t have to go, I’m gonna rip apart this business plan and start again, you don’t have to quit your job today. You don’t have to, you know, it’s taking little steps in the right direction, bringing elements of your vision into life today and also taking steps in that direction. And then I Again, as balancing that, yes, pretty much anything is possible, but it’s going to take time and you’re gonna have to work for it. So it’s sort of a one step. And of course, the comfort zone as well, because we’re going to have to, again, swallow you go, there’ll be a very steep learning curve. And of course, because it’s the first time we do something is going to be challenging, but that’s sort of, I always say scary and exciting tend to come together. So that’s the one step outside. And in terms of the Finally, yeah, onestepoutside.com, of course, and happy for you to connect with me on LinkedIn. But as you mentioned, the beginning of course, the reimagining success podcast, and is a great place to if you’re like me, and I imagine like you see rush and avid podcast consumer, then that’s such a great way, you know, like you it’s 1520 minute episodes, and hopefully both, again, inspirational thinking of that big picture success, but also really practical strategies and tactics as well.
Gresham Harkless 15:50
Absolutely. And I love and appreciate that. And we will have the links and information in the show notes just so that everybody can follow up with you. But I love everything you’re doing the concept and kind of reasoning and intentionality behind everything as far as like the name because I think so many times we see where we want to be we think it’s sometimes a million steps, but a lot of times that energy starts to come when we just get a little outside of our comfort zone go a little bit more, a little bit more, we started to create that energy, and it comes a lot sooner than we think. So I appreciate that reminder again and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of day.
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