Slow Down – Reimagining Hustle with Roxanne Merket

My big takeaway:


In this episode of Reimagining Hustle, I talk about hustle culture and its negative impact, especially for mothers. You know that “work hard, sleep less, and hustle till you make it” mentality that’s all over social media? Yeah, it’s not great for our health, relationships, or personal satisfaction.

Instead, I suggest slowing down and prioritizing self-care. To kick-start that process, I challenge you to leave your phone at home and take part in some offline activities. After all, it’s important to take a break from work and strive for a better work-life balance.

Links from the show:

Show Notes:

Roxanne: Podcasting from my closet in Northern Japan. This is Reimagining Hustle, a podcast for entrepreneurial parents, creating a life where business and parenthood live peacefully in the same space. I’m your host Roxanne Merket, a mom of two micro-business coach and serial entrepreneur on a journey to prove that it is possible to do what you love without sacrificing all your precious time.

Let’s do this. Welcome back to Reimagining Hustle. This podcast has been around for a bit and I will be honest. It has been, uh, I mean, it’s been incredible. I’ve loved every second of this journey. And I’ve also learned a lot about myself, about my work, about my process and about hustle culture in the process.

As I’ve slowed down the last few years, one thing has become absolutely crystal clear to me. This work of reimagining hustle is absolutely critical.

If you’ll indulge me today. I want to shift things a bit and get a little personal.

Seven years ago in a moment of meditation, I got a simple message slow down and I fought the message for someone who prided herself in busy-ness. This was not a great message to receive. As you’ve heard on the show, I really prided myself in the hustle, hustle, hustle, go, go, go.

And when my first child was born. I knew I had to shift things around, but I didn’t really know what it looked like. I’ve been on this quest to re-imagine hustle. And so when I got this message seven years ago, To just slow down. I thought, um, No. No, thank you. Hard pass. Is there anything else I can do?

But I angrily swallowed my pride and said, What the hell. We’ll try it anyway.

So along the way, this message of slowing down has changed everything for me. And that’s not an exaggeration. This has changed everything. Slowing down, led me to leave the religion I was raised in. If you listen to earlier episodes of the podcast, you’ll hear me allude to some of my religious beliefs. Those have completely changed.

If you’ve listened to earlier episodes of the podcast and you’re like, oh, I wonder when she was doing that. No, no, no, no, no. I mean, It’s. I’ve changed completely. In fact, part of me didn’t want to continue publishing episodes of the show because I didn’t know how to communicate that change.

I recently shared that I have left the religion I was raised in, on my personal social media. It’s been an interesting experience. I’ve had a few folks reach out to me sharing their own stories, which has been amazing. Uh, I was raised in a really high demand religion. And, um, and so it’s kind of scary to leave. It’s a little bit, it’s almost like you have to have this coming out when you leave.

And so I’ve had a couple of folks reach out to me and be like, oh my word, me too. And it’s opened up some really incredible conversations with people who I really love and respect. And now to know this part of their story has been just. Just absolutely incredible. I had, um, actually only one person who is still active in that religion asked me why I left. Most people who are still active in the faith are like, oh, I hope you’re happy. And I appreciate that. Right. That.

It sounds a little sarcastic. I didn’t, I didn’t mean for it to come out that sarcastic, but, but, um, but people don’t ask me why I left. They don’t want to know. Uh, but I did have one person reach out. Who is still, like I said, active in the religion and ask me why I left. And, um, And I was pretty honest in my response. I, I told her, I realized my values didn’t align with the teachings of the religion. And I knew I had to either ignore what my gut was telling me. Which I had done my whole life. Right. I ignored my gut or leave the religion completely. So when I started slowing down, It gave me the space and the courage to step away. So when I say slowing down changed everything, I’m not even joking, slowing down, led me to start therapy.

Slowing down meant I actually had to listen to my emotions. Um, that’s, that’s an experience. If you don’t actually listen to yourself and your emotions. Woo. Uh, I did find an amazing therapist who has guided me through processing and healing so much and continues to do so. And I learned to not be defined by my circumstances.

Slowing down, forced me to change my relationship with my body. Now. This is an audio podcast. You have no idea what I look like unless you look at the show notes and you know, you see my face all over there, but. I’m a tall person. I’m six foot one. And certainly not. Um, Um, you know, fairly average build for my size for my height.

But whoa, maybe like.

I did not have, I mean, I’m a, I’m a millennial, right? I’m a woman raised in the nineties in the early two thousands. And I got real crappy messages about what my body was supposed to look like. So slowing down has forced me to recognize my body for what it is. Which is an incredible tool for getting me through my life. Right. I’ve had to unlearn purity culture teachings that my body was only for pleasing men and making babies.

And I’ve started caring for my body because I want to, because it’s for me, not for anybody else. Slowing down has improved my marriage. I am married to an awesome, awesome human being, who I love so much. And he is also slowing down and unlearning a lot of things he’s, he has been taught as well, but slowing down has been really good for our marriage. So it’s meant less technology consumption and more

just connection, more walks together. We found time for each other. Again, when we both started to slow down. It has meant. More games together, more like actual board games. We, when we were dating, we played a lot of banana grams and we, we play Bananagrams again. It’s super fun. Um, more meaningful conversations with each other and more time together, we cook together every single night. It’s amazing.

Slowing down changed that. And then. On not a personal side of things. My entire business model shifted when I started slowing down. I’ve redefined what success looks like for me, this podcast began as part of that slowing down message. And I’ve recognized that my idea of success has changed and it will continue to change.

I’ve stopped, accepting every single client that reaches out to me. I only say yes to projects I love. I have fired a lot of clients. Um, even this last week. I. Oh, I’ve been offloading dozens of clients because I don’t want to be doing the type of work that I’ve been doing. Um, but last week I got to hand off my biggest client and one of my favorite clients to their new web person. And it felt so good. So seven years ago before this message of slowing down that would have stressed me out more than there are words to say, But slowing down made me realize that I wasn’t aligned with their work anymore. And it was time to change for me. And for them.

So that’s been really fun. And I keep feeling this call to teach more and more about slowing down and to incorporate that into my coaching. So my coaching has shifted, my work has shifted.

It’s it’s. Exciting. It’s terrifying. I feel like I’m starting completely fresh, which is. I mean that’s stressful. Right? Anybody listening to this podcast who has gone through any sort of change knows that. Slowing down has changed. The way I parent, too. Parenting has become more intentional. Uh, I mean, it means more quality time with my kids.

It’s just us when we’re together. So there’s less interference with our time. I have been less afraid to encourage my kids to play independently as well, to become who they are. And lastly slowing down has meant that I have better boundaries around everything in my life. So we talk about boundaries a lot on the show. It comes up again and again and again, in every possible context boundaries with people, boundaries with clients, boundaries with your time, boundaries with your money, boundaries with yourself, boundaries with your family.

I mean. Uh, it’s. If you listen to any episode of the show, you’ll hear that message come up. So slowing down has forced me to consider what I let into my life, what isn’t worth the effort, what is worth the effort? I say no all the time now. And it’s so fun. It’s so fun. I’m less worried about what people will think about me.

I realized that what they think about me actually has nothing to do with me and everything to do about them. And I also know that I’m still a work in progress. Slowing down has meant growth in every aspect of life, but it has not meant achievement. It has meant growth. It’s recognizing this journey rather than the destination.

So over the last seven years, busy-ness has turned into beauty. Slowing down, has improved my life more than hustle culture ever could. Could ever dream. So I’d encourage you to think about what aspect of your life could use some slowing down.

You know, we talk a lot about hustle culture. So hustle culture is this phenomenon, this cultural phenomenon that emphasizes the importance of working so hard and usually at the expense of other areas of your life for success for this unachievable definition of success. So hustle culture is this mindset that says success is only achievable if you constantly work hard, work all the time, crazy long hours, and you’re completely committed to your goals at, you know, at the expense of everything else.

And hustle culture shows up a lot in entrepreneurship, especially small business and startup culture and the tech industry. We see it all the time. So it’s, it is this relentless focus on productivity and efficiency and self improvement. And, you know, again, you’ll hear me say this over and over it’s hustle, hustle, hustle, go, go, go. And you’re going to work harder than anybody else. And you’re going to be better than everybody else. And it can be really motivating for some people.

But it is wildly toxic for most people and they don’t even realize it, but moms feel this deeply because we get this message of hustling in parenting as well as entrepreneurship. So if you’re an entrepreneur mom, you’re getting it from all sides. It leads to burnout. It leads to stress. It leads to physical and mental negative consequences.

And it also leads to this little complete lack of a work-life balance. And if you’ve listened to the show, you know, that I hate the word balance that I much prefer the word harmony, because I think things are working simultaneously, not against or opposed to each other. So we, we have this narrow focus on our business success. It thinking that it has to be the expense of everything else. So we have to sacrifice our own life, our relationships, our hobbies, our personal wellbeing. And I mean, it’s just, it’s so dangerous, right? Hustle culture often takes over everything too. So it takes over this. Again, this work-life balance, right? It places an emphasis on working long hours. Like we, we become busy-ness becomes this badge of honor. And there’s no semblance of a personal life. You feel like you can’t ever shut work off. Hustle culture impacts our health, our wellbeing. It leads to us sacrificing exercise and sleep and healthy habits and meditation. And. You know, it, we feel like we don’t have any time for these things because we have to be hustle, hustle, hustle, hustle, hustle. And it forces us to sacrifice our relationships. It means we can’t give our partner the attention we need. We can’t give ourself the time we need. We don’t have time for friends. We don’t have time for.

Anything, any of those relationships that are important to us? We can’t call anybody because we’re just so busy. We can’t. You know, And when both my kids were finally in school. I had a friend who was like, we really should go to lunch sometime, but I know you’re so, so busy with everything you’re doing. And I looked at her and I was like, I’m not, um, I’m not so busy that I can’t go to lunch with you. And it was like she couldn’t compute this because she’s also, she’s not a business owner, but she’s been so indoctrinated with this hustle culture that she felt like I didn’t have time for her. Which means the hustle culture is going to take our joy. It’s going to take our relaxation. It’s going to take time that we used to participate in hobbies or different things that brought us joy. It just. Also culture, man. It’s the worst. It takes away our creativity, our personal expression. Because we’re so concerned about doing things the right way that we don’t think about doing things the way that feels good for us. So we feel unfulfilled and disconnected from our passions and from our talents and from all the things that we love so much.

And just overall this hustle culture. Can overtake various aspects of our life and lead to this complete lack of harmony, complete lack of fulfillment. And we’re burnt out and we don’t understand why we feel overwhelmed and, and we just feel like we’re doing everything. Why don’t we feel good? So this week, I want to give you a challenge to slow down and I’m going to tell you exactly how, uh, in fact, as a side note, I’m actually working on a freebie and a course about slowing down that I’m so, so excited about. So if you want to get on my mailing list now, so you get notified when that comes out, head over to Roxanne R O X a N N E M E R K E forward slash get dash on dash the dash list.

Or just go to Roxanne and there’s a little link in the top right corner that says get on the list. So you’ll get notified as soon as that course comes out. And as soon as that freebie comes out too, I’m so excited about it. Okay. So here’s what you’re going to do this week. You are going to leave your phone at home.

For just a little bit. If you can do it for a few hours. Great. If you can only do it for 10 minutes, that’s fine. But if you’re anything like me, your phone is like an extension of your arm. I might forget to grab like a water bottle or food, but I will never forget to grab my phone as I’m walking out the door.

And that’s fine, right? Like the, the connectivity is really good, especially as a parent, right? Like I need to be reachable if something happens or whatever. It becomes a problem when we give our phone our attention first. And give ourselves attention second. I mean, let’s be honest. It is way more fun to scroll TikTok than to sit alone with your thoughts.

And that’s terrifying, especially if you’re not used to it. So the challenge is to spend time without your phone, leave it at home. Enjoy the freedom from constant notifications and distractions. And if it stresses you out to try it for a few hours, just try like a 10 minute walk around the neighborhood.

You’re going to set your phone down and you’re going to go outside, walk around without your phone. No headphones. No distractions. If you’re going to get distracted by your watch, turn your watch into, you know, some sort of mode that allows you to not get distracted. Just it’s you and outside. Just be on a walk.

If you want to get your kids involved, you’re going to try it this way. You’re going to set a timer for 30 minutes at home. However you want to, you know, tell. Alexa set a 30 minute timer. So that you don’t have to keep looking at your phone to see how much time is left and you’re going to make a game of it. You’re going to tell your kids that they get a prize of your choosing if you touch your phone during that 30 minutes. And then decide what you’re going to do. Maybe you’re going to play a game. You’re maybe you’re going to color something. Maybe you’ll draw pictures. Maybe you’ll go outside and play. Maybe you’ll go. If your kids are little, go play with sidewalk chalk or go blow bubbles outside. If your kids are older.

Maybe you go for a walk and talk about what happened in school that day. 30 minutes, no phone. And they, they get to keep you accountable.

Just try it. Just once. Slowing down doesn’t happen overnight. So hustle culture is that voice in your head that tells you if you just change everything today? You’ll feel better tomorrow, right? So we’re going to just all of a sudden make complete change and we’re going to be a different person tomorrow. It doesn’t work like that. So we’re going to make a really small shift today.

To slow down life just enough that you start to listen to yourself. We’re not going to try to fully get to know yourself in one night. We’re just going to have a little introduction to yourself. So go. Put your phone down, go outside 10 minutes and just be. I’ll see you next week with another episode. Thanks for listening to Reimagining hustle with Roxanne Merket. If you like the show and want more, check out reimagining and please leave a review wherever you get your podcasts. We’ll be back next week with another episode. See you soon.