Dina Cataldo: Are you driven to succeed? If you're listening to this, you likely are the dark side of having drive, maybe having an addiction to success and that you might get tunnel vision. You create success in one area of your life to the detriment of everything else in your life. Today I'm introducing you to a guest who's gone through the ups and downs of this drive to succeed. She shares a personal story that I know moms and hopeful moms will relate to and she lets us in on a few of her tactics to help curb her drive to succeed in her business so that her family thrives as well. Now, before we talk to her, I want to let you in on a little secret. I used to have an addiction to my work, to the exclusion of all else.

Dina Cataldo: But it wasn't until I learned to create time for myself that I understood what was and was not serving me in my life and what I needed to prioritize in my day to day life to become a more efficient. And let's face it, a whole lot better, lawyer. So if you want to tap into this for yourself, I want to invite you to grab my free guide to get back five hours a week. And this is going to give you the time you need to begin prioritizing and being a better all around lawyer. You can download it [email protected] forward slash busy lawyer. That's Dina cataldo.com forward slash busy lawyer I'm sharing with you tried and true tactics to implement what will make an impact on your career, your health, and your personal life. And it is really going to upgrade your life as a whole. Go to Dina cataldo.com forward slash busy lawyer to get it.

Dina Cataldo: All right, so let's talk about our guest. Maria Grace is a Virginia tech grad who graduated Magna Cum Laude in her international studies degree with a business concentration. So you already know she means business here. She fell in love with marketing and was actually promoted at 21 years old to the director of communications for a company and simultaneously she began her own business. Now Maria is an entrepreneur who wants to help other entrepreneurs cultivate their social media, become find-able on search engines, and generally market themselves to a larger audience. And she's marketed everything from franchises to feature films to, she has a range of areas she works in. Oh yeah. And she has a daughter, a husband, runs marathons and does photography on the side. So she's a bit of an overachiever. I'm sure you can relate. She's going to share some things she learned over the years about taming her addiction to success on particularly how she learned some of this from a painful experience she and her husband had. All right, let's listen in to our interview.

Dina Cataldo: Hi Maria. How are you doing today?

Dina Cataldo: I am doing great. How are you?

Dina Cataldo: I am fantastic. Thank you. Will you just start us off by introducing yourself, telling us a little bit about you?

Maria Grace: Absolutely. My name is Maria and my business is Maria grace LLC. And on the business side of things, I am an online marketing expert for small businesses. My specialty is social media and SEO, search engine optimization, marketing, and on the personal side, I've been married for nine years next month. So that's exciting. Thank you. And we have an adopted daughter who is two and a half years old and she is crazy, but we love her and I am a marathon runner. So those are just a few quick facts about me.

Dina Cataldo: So I am most definitely not a marathon runner.

Maria Grace: I don't blame you

Dina Cataldo: I'm in awe of people who do it, but I do think marathon runners are just a little bit crazy. So

Maria Grace: That's accurate. That's accurate. Yeah.

Dina Cataldo: Crazy here on the podcast. But it is something that I know a lot of lawyers do and so I think that that's kind of interesting that you are such a big marathon runner. We were talking before we got started here and we're recording this right after Thanksgiving weekend. And Maria was telling me how she just did like a five K you know, has been, and she couldn't talk her family members into doing it anymore.

Maria Grace: They are out once and that was one too many times for all of them. So that's okay.

Dina Cataldo: Well, okay, so I really wanted to talk to you because you are an ultra high achiever. You're somebody who has really worked very hard in your life. And one of the things that I am constantly coming across with the lawyers that I work with as well as myself is that we are doers like constantly doing. So I kind of want to get into the vibe of how you have come to where you are right now and really get into that background of you know, schooling and all of that and kind of getting you to where we are right now. Which cause we're going to be talking about how to handle things better, more with more ease, but let's start off where there wasn't that ease. Can you tell us a little bit about that part of your life?

Maria Grace: Yeah, absolutely. I went to school at Virginia tech, which is a great school and I, I would say even in, even in high school, in college, I was a pretty high achiever as far as grades. And so I just found a lot of my success in getting really good grades. I went to a governor's school for math and science, even though I hated math and science, you know, I just kind of ticked off all the academic boxes that I possibly could because I wasn't athletic and I didn't have a bunch of other accolades. So I just, you know, hit my nose to the grindstone at I could do. And that was school. So I achieved pretty well in high school, in college. I would say though, the strongest part of my achievement personality came out after I'd been working for a few years. And at that point I was in a job as director of communications for a nonprofit organization.

Maria Grace: And at the same time I started a business on the side and that's really when I had to achieve or that's when I felt like I had to achieve because I would work. I had my 40 hour week job, sometimes more and then I would come home and I had as much work as I could handle. You know, some nights I could handle three or four hours and some nights I had other commitments and couldn't do that. But it just made me really efficient, which I think in some ways was good in some ways was negative in the long run. And I just grew that business until one day I was able to quit my full time job, which was a dream of mine. But that really it set the wheels in motion for a life that I love and a passion for my job. But it also set the wheels in motion for being so singularly focused and so focused on achieving and growing and making my business work and making everything happen and using every minute that I just got really tunnel vision. I guess I got tunnel vision really badly and even my husband could see it at the time, but I was just focus on achievement, so that's kind of where everything started and how it kind of snowballed to where it got.

Dina Cataldo: I'm curious when you were simultaneously building your business on top of your full time job, your full time career, really did you feel as if you were grinding? You know like they've got these, you know, these really popular people out there in the entrepreneur world where they're saying grind, they're saying hustle, you know, I'm working until your eyeballs bleed, and then right here there's this burnout that can come with even just having a singular focus on your career. Do you feel like what you're describing, this transition and this tunnel vision was kind of like a burnout point for you? Can you explain that a little?

Maria Grace: I think it would be burnout for a lot of people. And I don't say that in a prideful way because I don't think that I handle success in a healthy way all the time, which is just something I've worked on for a lifetime and will continue to do. But my main issue is that I didn't get burnt out. And the more success I saw, the harder I worked in. So there were definitely times that I was tired. I don't want to say I was just peppy every single morning, but I got up early and I stayed up late and I loved it. I really did for several years. I really loved my full time job and I honestly, when I started my side business, had no intention of quitting and that did change over time. But I loved what I was doing on the side and I love my full time job and I think a lot of it stemmed from my husband when we were in newlyweds.

Maria Grace: He started his master's degree and he, he has kind of a similar tunnel vision in some ways. And so he would spend eight hours on Saturdays working at his master's degree. And I just felt like I had to fill the time. I felt lazy if I wasn't doing something while he was working, you know, I felt a little bored. In all fairness. I got a dog at the time too, that they're not exactly filled the need. So I wanted, I wanted to have something to do and not just do it, but I wanted to work into achieve and grow. And so that, that growth fueled me really well even when I was tired. And so I don't actually think I ever got burnt out, which I think is a bad thing. I will say that I'm like, can you explain that to us? I think if I had truly gotten burnout or had allowed other people to speak into my life when they saw the unhealthy side of my success, I think I would have handled the success and achievement better. And I think I would have had my priorities better in place. But because I just get so fueled off achievement, I just go harder and more. And then when I achieved this level, then I need this one and I just had to keep growing and it was just, it was never good enough and I was never good enough for myself. And I think that's an unhealthy place to be.

Dina Cataldo: Describe for us some of the ways that this showed up in your life. You said your husband noticed some of these things. What was going on?

Maria Grace: Well, he is a very gracious person. He's often much more gracious than me, but he is also in a lot of ways he can be more loving and affectionate than me, especially when I'm, I've got that tunnel vision on a goal and so it would come down to, you know, I'd be working on whatever I was working on and he would want to come in for five or 10 minutes and just quick chat about the day. He wasn't trying to interrupt me or bother me, you know, he's not the kind to like interrupt me every two seconds. He's actually an introvert. And so he liked his alone time, but he would come in for, you know, just five minute quick chat and I would snap at him like, don't interrupt my work, don't interrupt me. It's really embarrassing to admit. But I was prioritizing not just my work, but my own ambitions over him and over our marriage. And so that led to not as much conflict as you'd imagine because my husband is just super gracious, but he would constantly say, get your head out of the hole, get your head out of a hole. This is not all there is. And while I knew that in my head, that's not how I felt because I just wanted to keep achieving, you know?

Dina Cataldo: And I think that, I mean, I know personally I've been there, I have to be mindful of when I'm working because I know that if you know, I'm interrupted, that I will have that tendency to snap too. So I really have to make sure I'm on my meditation because that's what gives me that space between working really hard. And then when I'm interrupted, I can have a moment to be like, okay, this is fine. Everything's going to be fine and have a moment before I snap. But that's like, I think that's common for a lot of us and I know that the lawyers that I've coached, they have that same thing going on because we do get so focused. And so, you know, just recognize if you're hearing this right now and you do these things, it's the same things. Know that it's completely normal. There's nothing wrong with you. It's just something to notice. What did you do, Maria, when you started noticing this? Like, well, how did you take action to kind of like, you know, shift yourself a little bit? What did you do?

Maria Grace: I honestly did nothing. I, I knew it was a problem and I knew that's not how I wanted to be as a wife. And I envision myself as a mom one day and I thought that's not how I wanted to be. But it's really hard, I think because I get so addicted to success and I was seeing success. It was really hard to take that action. Even though I knew there was a problem, there was just a disconnect between saying, Hey, this is a big issue and I'm actually going to do something to change it rather than do something for a couple of days and like, you know, I'm just going to resolve in my head to not be annoyed and that just doesn't work. It doesn't. And so just to talk about more my personal story, what ended up happening that just changed the trajectory of my business and my life and my outlook is that we entered into the adoption process because we wanted to grow our family.

Maria Grace: And about, I guess a year and a half in, we were matched with a birth mom and she was pregnant at the time. We didn't know the gender later found out it was a boy was due December 30th I believe, or 31st. I can't remember her due date because that's not when she ended up going into labor. But right at the end of December in 2015 and so we met with her, we had a great conversation, everything was good to go and she even asked if I could be in the delivery room to see our child delivered. And of course I said yes. I mean what a huge honor. And so we just waited and waited and I couldn't focus on anything else in between her due date and when she actually gave birth. Cause I just kept thinking he's coming. Any time I thought it was a boy I did. I was very convinced.

Maria Grace: I thought he's coming anytime it's coming anytime. And so I was just kind of a nervous wreck. And so on January 3rd, in the very, very early morning hours, we were called to the hospital. Her water had broken, she was going into labor. And so we drove over there and we had the whole nursery set up. We had the car seat, you know, had everything ready to go. We'd told a lot of people. We had said we wouldn't tell a lot of people, but we were just so excited. We told everyone, you know, we're giving this baby. And so friends and family were giving us gifts and congratulating us and we're so excited. I actually had a baby shower plan for the afternoon of January 3rd, so January 3rd in the morning we rushed to the hospital and we'd get there and I kind of run in and the nurses gave me a weird look and just say go in the waiting room.

Maria Grace: And so we waited there and to cut some of the story a little bit shorter what ended up happening is that I never got to meet our baby. He, during birth, the cord was wrapped around his neck and so he died before he was ever born. So I didn't get to meet him. I never saw his mom again, his birth mom, and we left from the hospital with an empty car seat. And it, it still feels like it was a nightmare. I still, I still can't quite believe that happened. It was a complete [inaudible], I want to say punch to the gut, but that doesn't even, I would take that a million times over before I would go through that again. And so we got home and we pull up our sleeping bag. Sorry, I'm getting, it's, it's hard to walk through it again.

Maria Grace: We pulled out our sleeping bags and we slept on the floor of his room and at that point we still didn't even know it was a boy because the doctor came and talked to us and just kind of set us home. So we found out later it was a boy and we named him Joel and we, over the next few weeks and months and honestly years, we just walk through the grief process of loving a child. We never knew of losing not just a child, but we felt at the time we were losing our hope for being a family. We had all this baby stuff. We didn't know what to do with. We had everyone who knew. And so for weeks and months afterwards, we would have to tell people who are excited to be in our baby. And then people, nobody knew what to say to us.

Maria Grace: So every time we had to walk through that process again of breathing. And so it just, it rocked our world. It's still, I still think about Joel a lot. And I just, I stopped doing everything for a few weeks because I had [inaudible] excuse me. Sorry. I was just curious. How did you feel like just stopping, like, I know it was for grieving, but to just stop all of the working towards success. How did that feel for you? I think it was a grace of God that it felt like the right thing to do at the time I had actually, I'd been I'm a person of faith and so I was praying a few months before we even Joel existed and I was just praying that my business would succeed and I would do well, just kind of my typical achievement prayers. And I just heard God talk back to me and say, if your business fails and if you never become a mother, is that enough?

Maria Grace: Am I enough? And the morning that we slept in Joel's room, that we lost Joel, the minute I woke up before I had a single thought before I could even process, was this really real? The first question in my head was, is this enough? Am I enough? And I said yes. And I didn't fully believe that at the time, but I knew that I had to get there. I knew I had to get to the place where I didn't need a child to fulfill me as, as hard as that was to think about at the time. I needed to get to a place where my business is not what fulfilled me because that might not be forever and it has its ups and downs and I can't arrest my identity on my business. And so that moment allowed me to just breathe for three weeks.

Maria Grace: And my husband and I had actually planned to go on a trip with our church to Africa. And so I initially pulled out of it because I thought we'd have a baby and I think a day or two later I called back the church and I said, Hey, can I still go? And they graciously let me go. And so that was a very sweet time of literally stepping away from the continent and everything we knew and it just, I had about three or four weeks of actual grieving and it felt like the right thing to do even though it was the hardest thing I could imagine doing.

Dina Cataldo: Wow. Now I can't, I can't even imagine going through that [inaudible] I don't have a child and I've never gone through that process. [inaudible] Two have that person really kind of, it's formulated in your mind like you have this expectation of how things are going to be and to not have that and to actually be able to connect with yourself enough to say, this is the, I am enough. Like it's okay that I don't have a child. It's okay if my business isn't what I want it to be. Your how. I think it's quote unquote supposed to be how my family is supposed to be. I'm OK. I'm enough. [inaudible] Is that something that you worked towards over time? Like it sounds like you'd kind of been sitting with this for a little bit, like with your business. How did that come about, that conversation in your mind?

Maria Grace: I think the biggest thing was that when I woke up without Joel, I had to believe that was true. I'm a very hardheaded person. I'm a soft heart, but a hard head. And so the first place that hit me was my heart. And it was a easier to go from belief to action than what I've been trying to do was go from knowledge and trying to make things work down to the core belief. Because I don't know if a lot of your audience will probably relate to this. I would imagine. So. It's, it's really hard when you don't believe something deepen your heart. Even if you know you should, even if you know it's the right thing, it's hard to convince yourself to do the right thing or to do the hard thing. If you don't have that in your heart. And so with losing Joel and how momentous that was, I started with the belief that what I have and who I am and who God made me to be has to be enough. And then action summed out of that. So I don't want to say it was easy. It was the hardest thing I've ever gone through. But the process was in the right order and that made it simple even though it was hard.

Dina Cataldo: Yeah. How did going through all of this impact your day to day life? Like when you came back and you had had an opportunity for a short time to grieve and kind of get away from everything and how did that impact you when you came back or did it impact you at all?

Maria Grace: Oh my gosh, so much. Yeah, I, I sat back into work slowly and it's, it's a little bit of a blur. I don't remember everything that I did. And there was a lot of extra things, you know, people visiting and things that we had to do. But work-wise, I, I knew when I finally fully stepped back into work, I was starting from that place of belief. And so I said this, this has to be different. This can't be the same. And so I, in in my schedule, I allowed time for my family to call me without being frustrated that they were interrupting my day. And I allowed time for my husband to ask me questions. And I don't want to sit here and tell you that one day I wasn't there and the next day I was perfect. I'm still a work in progress. But the biggest takeaway that I have is that people are, are a priority.

Maria Grace: They're not a problem. He's, I kept thinking if I, if everything had gone well and my heart's desire came true and I had Joel with me, I wouldn't be able to work, you know, seven to five every day with no lunch break. And then again start back in the evenings. I just couldn't. And that would be okay. And so I knew that if I took a little breath or took a little bit longer lunch or allowed for interruptions, I would be okay and my business would be okay. And that proved to be true. And so it wasn't an overnight change. It was just a gradual recognition that I needed people in my life day to day. And that really did include my husband even in the middle of work. And so it made me more patient, more loving, and made me respond better, not perfectly, but better.

Maria Grace: And it continues to transform my perspective. When my daughter now interrupts me, I have a very different, when I'm, when I'm in a patient place, which is not all the time, but I, I'm a very different reaction to what I would call an interruption because it's not because she's my priority. And so if she needs me or if my husband needs me and they're interrupting something that I'm perceiving as important, then I'm in the wrong because nothing is more important than them. And that doesn't mean I neglect my work or I never do anything. Obviously, I still, I still get a lot of stuff done. But I, I, I cannot view my own priorities as the most important because they're just not, and that will just lead me to a really unhealthy place.

Dina Cataldo: So one of the things, like as you were talking, I was thinking about some of the things that I have had to do for myself in order to create those opportunities. Two, not only have that focused concentrated time for yourself, but for me, my mornings are sacrosanct. Like I need that time. Nobody should talk to me for like an hour. I'm like, let's just sit. Don't talk to me.

Maria Grace: I really have a rule in our marriage where I technically have 15 minutes, but I get up so early, it's more like an hour and a half and it's just, it, it just helps our marriage. It's just good. Yup.

Dina Cataldo: Yeah. The, the end, being able to communicate these things to people. Like you probably have communicated that to your husband. Like, Hey, just FYI. Yeah, that's what I needed to do. And I also noticed that I needed to be proactive with my friends. Like when I knew something was coming up, I'd say, Hey, what day is that baby shower? And let me know. So that way I could calendar it way in advance and make sure I've got that whole day blocked. That's a friend day, you know, whatever it is. I had to be proactive about it and say, okay, I'm going to block this off or make choices. Say okay look, I am going to spend, you know, cause it's all about saying no. It's saying no to those things that you [inaudible] I think you're going to lead to that achievement, right? The and saying, you know what, I want to prioritize my husband. I want to prioritize my friends and family. Let's talk about your morning habits. Can you tell us like in your ideal world what your morning habit is? I know that so often we don't stick to it and that's totally normal. But yeah, for most days. What do you do in the mornings that keeps [inaudible] this going for you?

Maria Grace: So most days, my morning starts at five, which I know is early, but I get up, kind of get everything ready and I usually go on a run right away. Sometimes I go to the gym and said, but at home, a lot of times my husband's fell asleep. My daughter is almost always still asleep, fingers are always crossed that she's still asleep. So we can have a little time and then I just kind of get ready for the day. I eat a really good breakfast, pretty much the same thing every day and I love it and it's boring and that's great. And then I get everything ready. She wakes up, I make sure I spend some time with her. I try to sit down and eat breakfast with her at least for a little bit. And then I'll go drop her off at daycare. [inaudible] [inaudible] I'm with work at eight and so sometimes that shifts a little. If she sleeps in, then I'll go ahead and get started with work and kind of get moving on that. But I always take a pause when she's awake because I just want to focus on her and pay attention to her. And so what my morning looks like.

Dina Cataldo: I like that intention that you're setting is like, okay, I'm going to spend some time with myself and then I'm going to spend some time with more formally. I like that a lot. So I know you've got some really juicy things you want to share with us about becoming more efficient in your business and your day to day life so that you can get more done with less stress. But I'm hoping you can share with us a little bit about what you do to give some context to what you're going to share in a little bit. Can you tell us a little bit more about what you do day to day and how you help people?

Dina Cataldo: Yeah, absolutely. So what really sets me on fire is helping small business owners market their business online. So I do that through creating a marketing strategy and working with them to execute that. I do that through search engine optimization to make sure their websites are getting found on Google and other search. Okay. So I working alongside them with their social media channels, whether that's creating a new medium where there's whole audiences there and they might not even know it or just kind of coming alongside and helping them really optimize what they already have going on.

Dina Cataldo: How do you get all of this done? Like I imagine, and correct me if I'm wrong, you are somebody who has not just given up all ambition your life and just decided to sit on a mountain top meditating.

Maria Grace: Nope, that doesn't even sound appeal. I was going to say I wish, but that doesn't even sound appealing to me. I'm not going to lie. I couldn't do it and be really pretty for a little while. Yep. Yeah. So

Dina Cataldo: Like how do you kind of blend in some more ease in your day or create things that are more efficient so that way you can do things like spend a little more time with your family.

Maria Grace: Yeah. So I really make sure, and it's always a work in progress, but I make sure that my days are blocked off. And so I know that every Tuesday is really when I focus on client Mark and I get my client work done. That doesn't mean I don't work on it on the other days, but I have that day for other people. And then on Wednesdays, that day is mostly for me. And so I try not to schedule a lot of meetings. I try to do work on my own business. And so I know that I have two days a week where I can have that really focus, intense work. And then I have the other time as a bonus for the things that I'm missing or for other small tasks or for just additional things that I need to do. And that's been really helpful to create a rhythm.

Dina Cataldo: I'm going to stop you there because I know that there are a lot of lawyers who have their own firm, maybe they're a solo practitioner or they've got maybe a couple employees and they feel kind of scatterbrained, right? Like because they're doing no five, 10 different things during the day that maybe have nothing to do with being a lawyer because they're managing employees or they're paying bills or they're doing some accounting work and they're all over the place and then they don't feel focused. Feel like your energy is all over the place in 10 different directions. This what you're suggesting here is something that is so important and I really hope that you know, if you're listening to this, I want you to listen to what Maria has to say here because this is how you get things done. This is how you stay focused and there are all kinds of billable hours.

Dina Cataldo: I know you're worried about right now, but if you have other responsibilities like running your business focus at least [inaudible] chunk of time and you'll know what time that's best for you and say, okay, this day of the week, Tuesday is the best day of the week for me to contact my employees, make sure we're having the meeting, make sure that I'm doing all my accounting work, making sure that I am planning the rest of the month or the 90 day, the quarter goals that I have, like that's focused for your business. It's not your billable hours. So I think that's really important. So thanks for, for sharing that one. What's another one that you have for us?

Maria Grace: Another thing that I love to do is batch tasks. So for instance, I release a newsletter every one to two weeks and so I don't sit down every one to two weeks and write the newsletter and then send it out. I will sit down about once a month and I will write four to five newsletters worth or a week's worth of content efficient at what you're doing. So it's just a complete load off my mind. I know I'm scheduled for the next month and a half on newsletter until the day that I already have planned to think about it again. And so it just really helps me be efficient in that moment. And then any other moments but I don't have to work on that.

Dina Cataldo: So batching tasks is something that, for instance with the newsletter you could do five in advance. Like you could actually just sit down, you can write five and then you don't have to think about it for the next month plus. And that's something that I've been working on and that's something that I aspire to. I can't say that I am doing that consistently at all, but that is my next thing. That is the thing I know is

Dina Cataldo: It is, it is so helpful. You will love it and then you'll do it and can be like, Oh my gosh, this makes my life so much easier. What an idea is always,

Dina Cataldo: Cause I know that it is going to be that much better, that much more efficient, that much more of a load off my mind. But I have this mental block, it's like I'm thinking, I'm having thoughts like Mmm, Oh I'll get to that. Or Oh it's no big deal. I'll do it later. You know? And so that's what's leading me to take the action or the inaction, not batching. So I really just have to get focused and like do my self coaching and make sure that I am getting my batching done. So that's going to be my, my task this upcoming weekend. Actually

Maria Grace: I believe in you. You've scheduled it; that's the first step

Dina Cataldo: Schedule. Yes. That's the first step. All right. What's something else you got for is Maria?

Maria Grace: So one big thing that I see a lot of people doing is that they get so focused on the work that they forget that you can have the best product or service in the world, but if you don't market it, then nobody's going to care about it and you can't help people. So I just really emphasize, and of course I have a personal bias because it's what I do. Market what you have and if you can't market it yourself

Dina Cataldo: [Inaudible]

Maria Grace: Look up YouTube videos, read blogs, listen to podcasts like this one, and get somebody else to kind of step in and help with your business and help you market what you're actually producing.

Dina Cataldo: Yes, yes. So that is so important in that something that I'm always doing is I'm working towards that. I'm getting on other people's podcasts. I'm, you know, writing an article or having someone interview me for an article, doing something to kind of get that name out there. And I think that even if you're doing it in small increments, like even if you're just doing a couple little things at a time that builds up over time and that's something that you're going to get some name recognition over the longterm cause. So hopefully if you have a business, you're in it for the longterm, you're not doing it just for right now. Right? Yeah.

Dina Cataldo: And it's hard because it does take time away from what your work actually is. But again, if you're not getting your workout in front of people, it doesn't matter how much you do on the backend, you still need to make people realize, this is what I'm selling, this is what I'm offering and this is why I am the person that you want to choose to provide that product or service for you.

Maria Grace: And that's something you can batch. You can totally just take an hour and say, okay, I'm going to research places. I think my ideal client is, and I'm going to apply to be on their podcast. I'm going to bring some value to those people in this area. By writing an article, you can take an hour every week and do that, set it aside or three hours every week and do that. And then to schedule it, like, make sure you're scheduling, put it in your calendar, make it as important. It's any other meaning you have. And don't reschedule it. I do this. Do not reschedule it.

Dina Cataldo: Yeah. The rescheduling is like the kiss of death because it will never get done. And just say, okay, I'm going to do it. I'm looking at my calendar and I'm going to follow it. I'm just going to do it. And same thing with the gym. I may not feel like going, but it's in my calendar. I'm going

Maria Grace: Absolutely that's where marathon training helps. I have, I have a set plan that I have to do. So it's going to happen whether or not I feel like it looks great.

Dina Cataldo: Interesting. And you're like, Hey, I'm just going to do it. [inaudible] Well Maria, do you have anything else you want to share with us before we start wrapping up?

Maria Grace: Yeah, I just would say as as busy people and as achievement focused people, I just want to encourage you to give yourself time. And what I mean by that is give yourself time to process. You might be going through the best time of your life. Take a step back and process that. Be grateful. Give thanks, journal about it, talk to someone about it. Or you might be going through a tough time. Give yourself time to process and grieve. And also you might be going through changes, whether that's in your business or your personal life. Just give yourself the gift of time, even though it feels unproductive, it feels like you aren't achieving. But the real issue is that everybody processes things differently, but nobody processes things quickly. So just because I'm a high achiever doesn't mean I can process through my emotions quickly. Quite the opposite. It means that I often stuff those emotions down. So I would just encourage you, whether it's good, bad changes or you don't even know what's going on, just give yourself time to process and be able to move forward rather than in six months from now, realize that you still stuck where you were.

Dina Cataldo: I think that's really important to hear. So I'm going to say it in a different way. Yeah. Because I don't, I think that we hear it enough from people that you've got to make time for yourself [inaudible] and it seems like an impossible task, right? Like it's kind of a paradox and you're like, wait a minute, I don't have time for anything and you're asking me to make time for myself to sit and do nothing. Are you [inaudible]

Maria Grace: Yeah. Just to think it feels so unproductive. Yeah.

Dina Cataldo: I mean, that's why I tell people I thought chemo was a vacation is because I actually had time to thank you and I suddenly recognized, Oh, I was living my life and what I was doing and I, I actually felt things like, like you were saying, like stuffing things down with the activity, stuffing down emotions. I actually felt things and, and I didn't realize I had feelings.

Maria Grace: Yeah. Yeah. You kind of don't realize I, yeah. You don't realize how much you're feeling until you just have a chance to sit there and you need to, to be a human being and to be, if you want to look at it as a success, be a successful human being and will allow yourself time to process. And if that gives you the permission to achieve at processing, then go achieve at processing. Because sometimes that's how I have to think about it early.

Dina Cataldo: That's a, that's a cool way of thinking about that. I like that. All right, well thank you so much for your time. Maria, can you share with us, this has been wonderful. I really appreciate it. Can you share with everyone listening where they can learn more about you, where they can work with you if they want?

Maria Grace: Yeah, yeah. So my website is Maria grace, llc.com and you can find me on Instagram at Maria grace LLC. So it's pretty simple and I've created a free download resource that's called five marketing mistakes that you're making and you might not even know. And so you can get that really easily. Just go to five, that's the number five mistakes dot Maria grace, llc.com it's a free download. It's a quick read, but when you can take action on an implement right away. So I'd love it if you had the opportunity to read that and hopefully it'll help you. And if you have any questions, you know where to contact me now.

Dina Cataldo: Excellent. I'll be sure to link to all of those in the show notes too. Thank you. All right, well you have a wonderful evening and I hope to talk to you.

Maria Grace: Yeah, same to you. Thank you.

Dina Cataldo: A big thank you Maria for coming onto the show. All the links she mentioned are at dinacataldo.com forward slash 80 so be sure to go there and check out the download she's offered for you. That's Dina cataldo.com forward slash 80 I'm also going to have a link there to the busy lawyers quick start guide to get back five hours a week to help you get back your time, even if you just implement one of the tactics I mentioned, you're going to see a measurable increase on your work output. All right, my friend, I will talk to you next week. Bye.