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82. (S3E8) Finding a Path to Work-Life Integration with Dawn Mullarney
Episode 822nd March 2023 • FINE is a 4-Letter Word • Lori Saitz
00:00:00 00:41:28

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Dawn Mullarney is a business owner, entrepreneur, and an all-around amazing human being. Dawn worked hard in wealth management for 8 years and became a mother. She wanted to set a good example for her son but was sacrificing time with him to build her career. She became a "yes" girl, taking on a lot of work and building her network — even at the expense of her health. After a health scare, she decided to make a change and prioritize her health and family. She started her own business and asked herself "What's the worst that could happen?" — realizing the answer wasn't as scary as she thought. After a lifetime of being a people-pleaser, Dawn finally discovered how to put herself first and stop living a “fine” life.

Guest’s hype song is Slow Down by Skip Marley, H.E.R.

Connect with Dawn on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/dawnmullarney

Follow Dawn on Facebook: facebook.com/dawn.c.alba

Follow Dawn on Instagram: @uniqueconnector

Today’s episode is sponsored by Zen Rabbit. If you’d like to find peace of mind amidst the chaos and no matter what’s going on around you, you’ll find a whole bunch of free resources, like meditations and articles at ZenRabbit.com. And while you’re there, if you’re curious about how you might stop working so hard and achieve more success at the same time - get a copy of The Five Easy Ways to Start Living a Sabbatical Life. It’s a short guide to working less and living better. Find it all at ZenRabbit.com.

Transcripts

Lori Saitz:

:

Hey, my friend. Welcome to FINE is a 4-Letter Word. My name is Lori Saitz. I'm an entrepreneur, mentor, founder of Zen Rabbit. And your instigator in saying fuck being fine. This show is for those of you who are done living with the dumpster fire and are ready to find the tools and courage to transform, to step into more success and fulfillment in both your personal and business life. You're in the right place for stories of self-discovery, gratitude and connection, and to help you strengthen that connection to your own inner guidance. You'll find each episode has an accompanying meditation. Now let's get into it. Hey there podcast fam. I am thrilled to welcome you to another episode of Fine is a four letter word, the podcast that empowers you to embrace imperfection and redefine success on your own terms. Today's guest is an incredible woman who is passionate about helping others and building meaningful connections. She is a leader who thinks outside the box and is constantly pushing herself to grow, both professionally and personally. I'm so excited to introduce you to Dawn Milani. Dawn is a business owner, entrepreneur and all around amazing human.

Lori Saitz:

:

We'll be chatting with her about her journey of pursuing more at the cost of everything else in her life and how even a near-death experience wasn't enough to show her that her life was far from fine. Today, she's trying new experiences that are way out of her comfort zone, working on getting rid of her head trash and taking risks on things she's always wanted to do. So proud of you, Dawn. Let's get ready to redefine success with Dawn Milani. Today's episode is sponsored by Zen Rabbit. If you'd like to find peace of mind amidst the chaos and no matter what's going on around you, you'll find a whole bunch of free resources like meditations and articles at Zen Rabbit Out.com. And while you're there, if you're curious about how you might stop working so hard and achieve more success at the same time, get a copy of the Five Easy Ways to Start Living a Sabbatical Life. It's a short guide to working less and living better. Find it all at Zen Rabbit Sitcom. Welcome to Pine is a four letter word. My guest today is Don Milani. Welcome to the show, Dawn.

Dawn Mullarney:

:

Thank you for having me. So good to see you today.

Lori Saitz:

:

Yeah, we had such a great conversation in our pre-show chat, so I'm really looking forward to what comes out today. Me too. And yeah, let's just let's just have some fun and jump right into it and start off with. Examining the the beliefs and the values around how you were raised that contributed to making you who you are today.

Dawn Mullarney:

:

Ooh. Okay. Ooh. This is kind of a deep question. I would say, you know, my family, it was really all about our family. We every Sunday we're at my grandma's house. All my cousins were together. We had a very hard working ethic. I would feel, too, that, you know, my dad was always working and he would try and spend as much time as possible with the family and my mother also. But she stayed home with us a lot because family came first. But also just that work ethic My dad never took a sick day would always be, you know, driving really early in the morning and being there on time and just all those different experiences really kind of drove me. But also even to my sister, she was top of the class. She was so smart, she was driven and I was always kind of that shy. One of the childhood, you know, I was I was shy. I was had some health issues and didn't really like going to school where honestly, I had to sit in the principal's office for a while in order to continue with school because that's how I had to go in order to be present. And so I just kind of think of weird situations where I got my drive, where I got the family ethic that I have. Um, but also to this restlessness to I don't have like we're always busy doing things. We're always doing stuff. Um, so yeah, hope that answers your question.

Lori Saitz:

:

Yeah. Are you the oldest or is she the oldest?

Dawn Mullarney:

:

She's the oldest. I'm the youngest.

Lori Saitz:

:

Okay. All right. And were you sitting in the principal's office because of your health issues or because of some behavioral issues?

Dawn Mullarney:

:

My health issues. I actually had ulcers all growing up. So third grade, I was getting horrible ulcers. I was nervous to go to school. Um, not really sure, but that's how they kind of helped the situation because I was never feeling well. But also too, I think I didn't want to go and be in the classroom with all the other kids. For some reason. It's just kind of weird as I reflect. And now I'm a person that loves connecting with people. But yeah, I don't even know why I even brought that up. But yeah, that was kind of me weird.

Lori Saitz:

:

When did that when did that happen? Like, when did that transition happen that you. Because I was the same way. Like I was super shy as a kid and I was did not like talking to people I didn't know around people like family. You couldn't shut me up. But around people I didn't know. I was so shy. And then the minute my parents dropped me off at college and drove away. I went straight to the TV station because that's what I was majoring in at the time. When I started was broadcast, I went straight to the TV station and then I went to the radio station and I got I got myself a show, you know, on the on the college radio station.

Dawn Mullarney:

:

Awesome.

Lori Saitz:

:

But that to me was kind of a transitional moment. I was still a shy person, but I was left and then I had to speak for myself at that point and kind of became more, I don't want to say outgoing. Maybe that's the right word. Yeah, but what was it for you?

Dawn Mullarney:

:

Well, it kind of similar. My sister talked a lot, so she would even order food for me. She would, you know, complete the sentences for me sometimes, whatnot. I was just quiet. But yeah, when I went to college, so I actually got a job on campus. And so I actually moved in before everybody else moved into their dorm. I was working on campus and meeting some of the older students and it was kind of that moment of like, Oh my gosh, I'm on my own. I have to show up as me. No one knows. Me too, right? That was you can make yourself.

Lori Saitz:

:

Into whoever you wanted to be.

Dawn Mullarney:

:

Yeah. And I think that was also the part of maybe why I love meeting people because they don't know all of my past. Not saying it's a horrible past or anything, but it's just like you can start fresh with people and you can build that trust and connect with people. And but it was that pivotal moment when I went to college and realized I had a voice realized, too, that I could make new friends. I the world was my oyster, kind of in a way. Like I could stay up late, I could do what I wanted, and there was a lot of exploring, I feel like, during that time.

Lori Saitz:

:

Yeah, Yeah. And you're in an exploring time now as well in your life. What what led to this now? Like what happened in between then and now? What was that journey like to bring you to where you are today?

Dawn Mullarney:

:

Well I won't keep you all day. No, but I'll do a shortened version. Um, you know, right out of college. I mean that too. When I was getting my senior year, gosh, I wanted to get out. I was ready for the next stage. You know, I feel like that, too, is always the thing of the next stage, the new thing. So right out of college, I started working and I was in construction and was in an office and knew the ins and outs and was learning so many new things. And I had two desks and I was being sent to corporate to cover for people because I was so well trained on all the different things. And then I didn't see really much opportunity to learn and grow. I wanted to do sales. I wanted to go out to the job sites. I wanted to do the different things on the job sites because I didn't know anything about it. Well, they didn't really want that. They wanted me in the office where I was doing a ton of things, and so I took a drastic leap and took a teller bank job to get my foot in the door to learn new things, see a different world, and quickly moved up into the executive wing, got really efficient in that area where I was going down part time. And so then wealth management had this new position they were creating where no one had ever done it before and met with the leader of the department and he's like, You're hired, come join us. And I just kind of as I'm like reflecting on a lot of things. It's just like I love new things or being curious and seeing how I could learn what opportunities is there for me to bring my strengths or my skill set and keep improving.

Dawn Mullarney:

:

And so I was in wealth management for eight years. I was that yes girl, let's say, where if you give me opportunity, I'm going to do it even if I'm challenged, maybe I don't know it. Maybe it was going to the events or meeting our top clients, meeting our referral partners asking for that sale. I would just do it. I wanted to keep trying and I wanted to be challenged. And, um, I became a mother. And during that two was a pivotal time too for me of like, okay, I got to still keep growing in my career, but now I have this child and I realized I didn't want to stay at home, You know, I wanted to be a working mom and to show him the things and working hard and the drive. And I think that's where it just goes back to my family of my dad, who worked all the time. And unfortunately, I missed a lot of my son's childhood. As I reflect a lot about it, I was the person that would take on a lot of work, so I would go into the office really early to cover for other people. When we lost some staff, I would work all day. I would go to events all night because I was building my network. I wanted to be present. I wanted to show that I was a leader. And yeah, I had a pivotal moment. I think COVID, I think really opened a lot of people's eyes. But I also had my own health hiccup that really kind of opened my eyes of like, life is short. What are you doing? So yeah.

Lori Saitz:

:

I want to get back to that in a second. But from what I'm hearing you say, as you just described, that journey, you have taken on the role of being a trailblazer in a lot of what you've done. And I heard you say a couple of times, you covered for people. You did. You were the one like, all right, if they're not going to do it, I'm going to take it. I'll do it. You know, I got it. I got it. Yeah. A lot of people listening, I think, have done the same thing. Like, no worries. I got it, I got it. I got it. Like. I can take on everybody's stuff and make sure all the plates are spinning. Until they're not. Which brings us to now. What happened?

Dawn Mullarney:

:

Yeah. What was.

Lori Saitz:

:

What was your body telling your mind? Your mind wasn't you. You probably knew. Wait, wait. Well, I have two questions, but go on. Go for it. Because your body was speaking to you. Probably through, I'm guessing, like something that you needed to hear that you were not paying attention to.

Dawn Mullarney:

:

Oh, yeah. And I was having like. Like I was getting to the point where I had daily headaches every day that I didn't even know what a normal day was without a headache. Um, and I was kind of that girl where people even knew it like I got shit done. Like, you give it to Dawn, she'll get it done. Don't worry about it. You know, she'll figure out how to get it done. She'll add it to her plate. She'll just keep moving ahead. And, you know, I just think sometimes. Yeah, my body, all of a sudden, I would need a sick day and I would be laying in bed all day because I was exhausted or my body couldn't keep up with my brain at times.

Lori Saitz:

:

Well, right. You were asking more of it than it was capable of giving. Like we forget sometimes that we these are machines and they need, like any other machine, they need oil and fuel and all, which doesn't include just the the food as fuel. It's all of the care.

Dawn Mullarney:

:

Yeah. Time and energy or just even disconnecting, you know, and taking a vacation and not thinking about work. But, you know, I'm the type where I'm even in the shower and I'm thinking of all the things that I got to do and and you know, how I'm going to get it done. And yeah, there's never a moment to breathe. But yeah, that's just me, though, too.

Lori Saitz:

:

So then what happened? Your body said, How did it communicate with you?

Dawn Mullarney:

:

Yeah. So not to get too deep in the weeds, but so I it took us a long time to realize, like, we wanted to grow our family and wanted to have another child. It took a while for us to make that decision, like, okay, we're going to try and have another child. Well. I did get pregnant, but unfortunately I had an ectopic pregnancy. And so that's where it's in your fallopian tube. And so, so I had to rush to the hospital during COVID and go get chemo. So chemo is kind of their way of how to handle an ectopic pregnancy to dissolve the baby instead of it growing and getting bigger in your fallopian tube. It's like that or surgery. And so rushed to the hospital, had the chemo kind of normally chemo really helps and dissolves the baby quickly, but for some times it doesn't. And so me, what did I do? I kind of, you know, had the chemo treatment and just went back to normal life. I didn't talk to people about it. I didn't really want anybody to know what I just went through. And because of that and just I went back and did my normal self of work, work, work. I couldn't dissolve the baby. And so I was getting, you know, tests every week and they're like, your numbers aren't going down, like, whatnot.

Dawn Mullarney:

:

And then all of a sudden, I ended up in the E.R. And so in the E.R., they're like, you know, you need to relax, you know, forget all the details. But anyways, I had to go back again to the E.R. and then they finally admitted me to the hospital. But in this meantime, this was kind of a pivotal moment, I feel like, for me. But here I am getting an ultrasound because they needed to check on it, check my body. But during that, I was on my phone working because I had an event that day that I was hosting and oh my gosh, now I got to hurry up and try and cancel this. I don't have anybody else that can cancel it for me. And here I am, like in an ultrasound, losing a baby, got chemo. You could be dying or, you know, like it could burst at any moment. You could die or, you know, maybe I wouldn't have. But also to then I was sent to I was admitted to the hospital and they had me relax. Can you just, like, sleep? We're giving you medicine. You need to relax. We need to try and see if your body can dissolve this pregnancy or else you're going in for surgery. Okay. So I was there for two days, I think. And we're finally to that pivotal moment of dawn.

Dawn Mullarney:

:

You're finally dissolving the baby because what did I do? I just slept the whole time I was there and my husband was able to come and check on me one time during that. And so they're like, Call your husband. He's going to come get you. Like he can come get you in a couple of hours. Wonderful. Great. So I call him, tell him, hey, I get to go home. But shortly after that, they gave me some more medicine and all of a sudden my whole left side of my body went numb. And so I told the woman that and all of a sudden now I have the stroke unit around me. I could hear the people rushing down the hallway and like, I just have blinders on because I can just even hear it now and see it. And all these people are surrounding me. They thought I had a stroke. So then now I'm getting sent to get all these other scans. Now I'm in the stroke unit. So that was a really pivotal moment where in the end they realized I have a migraine syndrome. So if I'm under a lot of stress, I will have a stroke like symptom. So anyways, from that I took a leave, didn't relax during that leave, and the doctors too were like, you know, it was hard.

Lori Saitz:

:

You were near death essentially, like and you were still working. Like that would have been your last moment is I'm still working, though. I got this event. The event is going to come off great, and then I'm going to. Yeah, it'll be over. But the event went off great. Yeah. No, it's. I'm making light of it now. I know it's not. And it was a serious situation, but it's. It seems in hindsight, like, so ridiculous that you were willing to sacrifice your life to make sure business went on as as it was. And it wasn't even your business.

Dawn Mullarney:

:

Right? It wasn't. And I was just, you know, even during that time, I'm like, oh, maybe I'll see some friends that I haven't seen in forever or, Oh, I'll make these connections. And I just I couldn't even sit still. And then two of the the doctors and everybody and, you know, I just feel like they're so used to things like this that they even two didn't even help me. Like, maybe you should probably relax or, you know, do this and you know, for a bit. And when I finally hit like the end of my medical leave, it kind of finally clicked. Like, what? Just I went through. I didn't have any time to grieve or to understand what just happened. And then I kind of had my breaking moment. So that week after, I remember kind of just being in bed and not doing anything and kind of taking in this whole moment of like what just happened. But after that was kind of a pivotal moment for me of like, life is short and I keep running so fast. And I also just kind of realized the situation that I was in and then just kind of a lot of light bulbs finally went off for myself, where normally I'm one that loves to help other people, but I don't do well at helping myself. Um, so yeah, that's kind of the gist of it. But I also kind of made a drastic move shortly after all of those kind of things.

Lori Saitz:

:

Yeah. So it sounds like, like you reached this point where most people would have been like, All right, this is it. This is the pivotal moment, but it wasn't for you because you were like, Nope, I'm going to still keep going. Yeah. Until until what? Finally had to happen to get you to stop and go, Wait a minute, this is my life. I get to run it how I want to run it. And I don't have to be this way. Yeah. And I'm going to stop and finally listen to that inner voice that's talking to me before it puts me to the edge of death.

Dawn Mullarney:

:

Yeah, I know things. Why do we not listen to those cues? Um. Well, I would say shortly after, because we.

Lori Saitz:

:

All want to run on our own view. Like I got this, I got this we want because we've been trained since birth practically to believe that we can power through everything and that our worth and our value is tied to our productivity.

Dawn Mullarney:

:

Yes, it is. And that's right, too. I just don't even know how to sit still or how to even be bored, you know? Um, yeah, yeah. So I would say after that I hit the ten year mark at my at the bank and I was offered to lead a women's organization. And I thought, heck yeah, let me, let me learn, grow, see what other opportunities that I can add to my toolbox. Of knowledge. So I took over a woman's organization. And then shortly after, one of my clients had always been asking me to come join them. And finally I was like, You know what? I'm going to do this. I want to see what other cultures like I want to be challenged. I want to use my brain differently. I'm not ready to start my own business yet, so I'm going to try this. And so I left my ten year career. I left a podcast behind. I you know, there's things that I'm like, Oh my gosh, I can't believe I did that. But I did. And I felt really proud of myself to take that big leap after something, too, I was so comfortable with.

Dawn Mullarney:

:

And I knew the ins and outs of everything. And now I'm going, Oh gosh, back to Ground zero, because it was a total new industry. So I did that for a year and I kept having this itch of like, You need to do your own thing. Life is short. This last year, three women that were acquaintances, Liz passed away in their 40 seconds. And that was kind of another pivotal moment for me. Like, Wow, that could be me. I'm not at 40 yet, but I almost am. And my role was really evolving. I would say at my job, you know, when you switch careers like that, you kind of sometimes. Find out strengths and skills that you didn't really think were strengths and skills and realize like, Oh, not everybody knows how to do this, you know? And it was moments where they're like, You're great at sales. I think you should do sales. And something in my heart was like, I can't do this. I don't want to and I don't want to help the big get bigger. You know, I just wanted to just live life, right?

Lori Saitz:

:

Yeah. And I think just for a quick second to point out, I don't know that you would that you couldn't do it. It was what you said. Secondly was, I don't it's not in my heart to do this. I'm sure you could have done it if you.

Dawn Mullarney:

:

Put my mind to it.

Lori Saitz:

:

And because you've done all these other things that you didn't that you didn't know how to do before you started doing them. Yeah, but now you are listening to your heart and said, yes, I could and I choose not to.

Dawn Mullarney:

:

Yeah. And say I kind of had those conversations too. And my husband was like, This is just not fueling me, you know? Like, I know I can do it, but I just I just know in my heart I can't lead on this path where not that I was lying, but just I knew I had more for myself, that I needed to go and try something different.

Lori Saitz:

:

Yeah. That you were finally putting yourself first. Yeah.

Dawn Mullarney:

:

And my family, too, because I just. Yeah, you know, my. When I switched to my client, I took a vacation, and it was. They actually let me take a vacation. And, you know, I hadn't really ever had that moment. And I remember coming to my coach and telling her it was so weird for me. I didn't know what to do with myself. Like I they told me to disconnect, to take vacation, which is what I always tell everybody else to do. But I could never do it in the past. And I said that was the first time for me. And she's like, Yeah, that is a first time for you. And that was a learning opportunity. And I think for me it was just things that made me realize of just my own work ethic and how I've held myself back from getting to enjoy life or to be present with my family and to not always think about work. Um, so yeah, I left that job, didn't have a full out plan, but knew in my heart there was more and I needed time to figure it out. And I took, you know, the mindset of what's the worst that could happen? What's the worst that could happen? Deep down, if I leave this corporate job? You know, life isn't all about money. Yes, it does help. But what's the worst? I lose my house. I don't think that would ever happen. I would ask my family for help or we would figure it out and I'd get another job. So yeah. So I made a very drastic move in November.

Lori Saitz:

:

Once you start looking at all of those questions and really facing them, like what's the worst and going down that path and going, okay, yeah, that could happen, but it's not very likely. And if it did, I could do this other thing or this other thing would happen. Like, you know, people are afraid that they're going to end up living on the street and going to like the absolute worst case. But when you play it all out, you're like, Yeah, but that wouldn't happen because and that wouldn't happen because and then you can start looking at it as Huh, okay, let's switch this around. What if, what if, what's the best thing that could happen, You know, because we tend to do that is go down the worst case scenario and not even consider the equal, if not more likely situation that it will be better. What's the best thing that could happen? Yeah, start asking those questions of ourself.

Dawn Mullarney:

:

You know, and I think that's even to something like, you know, just as I reflect through all the things of like growing up, it's always like focusing on the things you're not good at. And that's where even to like when I switched that job, I was like focusing on like, oh my gosh, I am really good at certain things, you know, and how can I even excel at the things that I'm really good at? Where before it was always like, Oh, I'm not good at that, you know? And it was always kind of that thing that I felt like, you know, really makes people not as motivated or not as inspired because they're always focusing on the negative instead of the positive. And that's kind of one of my top strengths, too, is just the positivity of things. But I never did that for myself, always, you know, and focus on like, Yeah, you're really good at this. What's yeah, what could happen, you know, I think that's the world's our oyster. You never know. So. Yeah, yeah.

Lori Saitz:

:

Are you good at things that you love doing? Because those are two different things. Because, again, you could be really good at something and not enjoy it.

Dawn Mullarney:

:

Yeah. So that's been kind of I feel the this time that I've been in is this learning time because I being that past. Yes girl to everything is I did have a lot of things that I know how to do or I know how to excel at and I would get done where for me, I sometimes have never even had the opportunity to say, like, what does Dawn really want to do? What really lights Dawn up? Because I've never really had that moment to think like, what is really my zone of genius? What is something that like, I love doing, I know I'm good at and I could do every day. I've never really had that time to reflect that well.

Lori Saitz:

:

And that's what you have the time now. Yeah. So first of all, congratulations for being courageous to take that time now because we we have talked in this season of fine is a four letter word. I'm primarily talking to people who have taken a sabbatical or are in the midst of it, which is where you are right now in the midst of this sabbatical and figuring out what is the next thing. Yeah, what's the next step. And that's and that's scary too. We talked about that in our first conversation too in and you are struggling with the allowing yourself to just be because your habit is to jump in and do do do like set up appointments with people to all day and constantly be going and not allowing yourself. You have this time you've taken this time for sabbatical and then having struggled to allow yourself to enjoy it.

Dawn Mullarney:

:

Yeah, that's been one of the biggest challenges for me. I think. I knew I was always a high achiever, always a people pleaser. Restlessness always kind of was higher up in my peak. And I always thought, well, that's not, you know, that's not really me. But deep down is one thing that I realize is like, I really am restless. Like I don't know how to just be and be okay and not take on 20 million things and like, this time of just even being present with my family and actually just putting my feelers out there and seeing where it would come back, I feel like now we're finally getting to that boomerang point where it's like, See, Dawn, this is why you needed to just be or you wouldn't of had these opportunities or you wouldn't have had this client that you're getting to work with, where before I would just always run, run, run, run, run so fast that I would miss on different opportunities. And so I'm very grateful for my family and for my husband to be so understanding of this, too, that I just I needed this time. And it's unfortunate that it took me this long to realize how I needed this time to just be.

Lori Saitz:

:

Yeah. Okay. However, you mentioned a few minutes ago that you are just approaching 40, so. It took you a lot less time than it's taken a lot of other people. Not that this is a comparison kind of thing. I'm just saying. Yeah, better you realize it now than some people don't realize it until they're in their 50s, 60s, 70s. And no, none of us know how much time we have. Yeah. And so, again, just coming back to the whole idea of it took you however long it took you. Let's not beat yourself up for. It took you this amount of time because this is your path that took you whatever it took. And now you have this awesome opportunity. Yeah. To change change here, because this is all we have is right now.

Dawn Mullarney:

:

Right now. And I think that's where even too, for me, it's been this time where I'm realizing more of my habits or my things that I've always just done in the past. Like how you're saying filling my calendar up. I have done those things, you know, And I'm like, Why do I do this to myself? You know? And it's some of the stuff that we've just been trained for so long and the expectations are just I feel like to now that I, you know, it's been hard for me to relax during this time, too, of just all the things that I've done over time. It's like I feel like I was put on this pedestal that I'm putting on myself, but also maybe some other people do too, of me of like, Well, what do you mean? You don't have it all figured out yet? You know, I just like to kind of have that expectation of myself that I should kind of have everything figured out and know. But like someone told me one day, once you have everything figured out or you know everything, then, wow, you must be dead because there's always room for opportunity to continuously learn and experience new things. And so that's where I just have to tell myself that that I like. It's okay. You're fine. You're doing great. And, um. Yeah, take it day by day.

Lori Saitz:

:

Yeah, you're better than fine. It's fine. Is four letter word. Yeah. Yeah, that's true. It's. You know, I was having a conversation with somebody earlier today that I met. Met up with for coffee. Actually, she and I were in a networking group together ten years ago, and she happened to come across my business card a few weeks ago. And she reached out to me and said, Hey, I'm curious what you're doing now. Let's get together. And so we were talking about life being an experiment.

Dawn Mullarney:

:

Tell me more.

Lori Saitz:

:

Yeah, and looking at it this way. And she was like, Oh, that's so good. That's a great way to look at it, you know that there is all just an experiment and some things will work out the way you plan them to or expected them to, and some things won't. And typically we look at those things that didn't turn out the way you were expecting. You call it a failure. However, if it's an experiment, it's just like, Oh, well, that didn't get the result. I was thinking. But. Okay. And then you can move on to the next thing or take a different direction or whatever it is. But if we look at it all as just a big experiment.

Dawn Mullarney:

:

Yeah. And I think that's been the thing too, for me is like, everybody wants you to do it a certain way, you know, like life isn't a cookie cutter. There is no set way. And I think that's been true for me of. You don't have to follow what everybody else thinks you need to do or you know, and that's where it's just been eye opening for me to of like, do what you feel is right in your heart and your gut. Do you know that you'll make the biggest impact or you know that it's going to fuel you? Great. Who cares what everybody else thinks?

Lori Saitz:

:

100%. Who cares what everybody else thinks? Because you're the only one living your life and you're the only one that knows when. This is why you need to get quiet enough. You, I say you. I mean everybody listening to quiet enough to hear that inner voice to know which direction to take. Yeah. And when we keep ourselves so busy doing all the time, that prevents us from hearing that inner voice. And I think some people do that as a way to prevent themselves from hearing their inner voice because they're afraid what the inner voice is going to tell them. What if the inner voice tells me something that everybody else around me isn't going to agree with? Yeah. Or isn't going to approve of? Well, then what do I do? Because you know that that's your truth and you're going to have to do it anyway. And, you know, I don't want to disappoint people at the same time. You're going to be disappointing yourself if you don't. And that's an even bigger deal.

Dawn Mullarney:

:

Yeah, because that too. I knew I would have regretted myself. Yeah. If I didn't have taken that leap or switched things because I knew I would regret myself. Yeah.

Lori Saitz:

:

Yeah. So I am eager to hear, you know, in a follow up where you what you end up doing. And oh, the other thing I just heard you say too, was having a big impact, like doing something that would have a big impact. And what if, what if what you started and started out doing wasn't that big? Like, would that be okay if it was following your and being true to yourself and it wasn't a big thing, would that be okay?

Dawn Mullarney:

:

Yeah. Well, I think that's where even just recently I had quite the big aha moment of my self. Or just what? What am I supposed to be doing, you know? And my coach had me draw out this picture of like, what is the future state that you would love to see yourself? You know, what are you doing? How are you feeling? And then it was like, what's your current state? You know? And then in the middle I was like, okay, so what's the bridge in between those two things? And the one thing that I realized through this as I was drawing and laying it all out is I like being the sunshine for others. Like I love spreading my race unto other people. Everybody is going to have those peaks where they're going up the mountain, going down to the valleys. They're going to go on a road that they think is going to go the right way, but really, in the end, they might take a curve and go a different way. But deep down, what do they need? Sun to always keep coming back to them, to light them up and to keep them going. And so that's where deep down for me, I don't know what my exact path is supposed to be, but I'm okay with that. But deep down, just keep lighting other people and showing up as my best self. Then what else do you need? So I think that's where I just keep thinking of that random visual. I drew out the one day and then I finally had the aha moment of like, I'm the ray. I don't know, something about that. So that's where I think, yeah, you can't ever define success because you don't really know what it could be, but just keep showing up as your best self.

Lori Saitz:

:

I love that. That's that's incredible. Thank you so much for sharing all this. This has been such a good conversation. Now, when you need an extra ray of sunshine and a boost of energy, what is the song that you listen to? What's your hype song?

Dawn Mullarney:

:

Oh, so this was a hard question for me when you asked me this. And so I did slow down because I think normally my brain is go, go, go, go, go, keep running. Don't give up. But I think sometimes slowing down, being present, being in the moment, seeing what opportunities are out there is going to help you get there faster. And so that's where I picked slow down. It was a hard um, that was a hard project for me. I'm not gonna lie, Laurie, but I finally figured out, like when I was going through some of my favorite songs, it was slow down. So yeah.

Lori Saitz:

:

Very cool. I will put a link to that in the show notes so people can listen to it. And what I will also put in the show notes is how people can get in touch with you if they want to continue the conversation. So how can they get in touch with you?

Dawn Mullarney:

:

Yeah, so they can feel free to email me, look me up on LinkedIn. I'm pretty active on LinkedIn and I'm also in the process of launching my own podcast. I have always done one for my past life. I'm corporate, but I'm actually going to do my own because I really want to help shine light on other people. And so that will be launching soon. So Determined to Succeed will be coming out soon.

Lori Saitz:

:

Sweet We'll look forward to that. Thank you so much for joining me today on Fine is a four letter word.

Dawn Mullarney:

:

Well, thank you so much for having me. This is lovely. Thank you.

Dawn Mullarney:

:

Lori Saitz: Are you as inspired by Dawn's energy and enthusiasm as I am? Big shout out of thanks to Jen Kokin for making this conversation possible. Here are your key takeaways. Number one, it's important to keep all your values in mind. There are times in life when you can hyper focus on one value and in the pursuit of it, take actions that move you further away from the others. Number two, listen to your body. You can hustle all you want, but at the end of the day, your health is all you have, and your accomplishments won't mean much if you're not around to enjoy them. Number three It's easy to take for granted all the skills and strengths you develop at work. It isn't until you leave the context of your job that you realize how valuable those skills are. Number four Life is finite. If there's something you want to do, you have to start conspiring to make it happen now. Stop waiting. The number five. When you're on the cusp of starting something new, most people will ask themselves, Ah, what's the worst that could happen? But it's even more powerful to ask yourself, what's the best that could happen? Thanks for being here and subscribing to find is the four letter word. Please share this show with a friend or a colleague. If you're feeling especially generous, leave a review so other people like you can discover the show too. It's on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, and all the major podcast directories. You can join me on Social two on Instagram. It's Zen underscore rabbit. You can find links to the other platforms at Zen Rabbit Out.com. Before you go, remember to take a moment to think about what you're grateful for today. Lastly, you can find this week's meditation cued up right after this episode. And if no one's told you this week, I'm proud of you. Take good care.

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