Overwhelm. Overthinking. Overdoing. Entrepreneur and transition expert Rikke Hansen shares how women in business in their 30s and 40s can stop the self-sabotage and make the leap to build their ideal businesses and lives.
Melinda Wittstock: Rikke, welcome to WINGS.
Rikke Hansen: Thank you.
Melinda Wittstock: I am so excited to talk to you because these themes of transition and stepping into our authentic purpose as women retiring all that self sabotage that gets in our way is a big theme and an interest that we both have in common and you work with so many women in their 30’s and 40’s, what are some of the things that you see that persist in holding us back?
Rikke Hansen: Oh wow, where do we start? I mean first of all … I mean to be honest, if we could just pull all of that stuff away, life would be easy and also I know that the listeners that you have are super smart people and one of the things I did very early on in my consultancy was specifically to work with super smart people because they actually have the hardest time when it comes to transitions. It’s almost like they can’t see the wood through the trees, so one of the really big thing that I find when it comes to transitions is that first of all people think there’s something wrong if they need a transition, right? It’s like why can’t they just be happy and oh my god, it’s so scary and people always thing like everything they’ve done up until the moment when they get their transition, they are so afraid that it counts for nothing going forward so a lot of people are trying to create their transitions from the past as opposed to think about what they want that’s different in the future and especially women, like I deal a lot with the whole [inaudible 00:01:35 imposter syndrome. Like who am I to do this? I might not have done it before or I haven’t got a lot of experience.
The fact is if you’re smart, you know, a high achiever, whether you are already an entrepreneur or whether you are somebody in the corporate world, I work with both; you know, if you’ve gotten to your 30’s and your 40’s and you’ve been successful, you have so many assets that you can build on. The biggest issue for you and this is what I would say to anybody in transition, this is what I start with my clients as well, is to re-nail down. What is the problem you’re actually trying to solve by transitioning into something different and also don’t take for grated that you need a 180.
You might only need to change certain things in order to be happy … So, those are the couple of things that are really big issues for people is they tend to go into a transition without even trying to think what the heck they’re actually trying to do.
Melinda Wittstock: You know, this is so true. I mean … So in a way, you know, I think with women, in our 20’s, we can often fall into the trap of like ticking off a task list. You know, all the things that we think we should do, right? So we do all those things, we get to a certain point and then think wait a minute, you know, either I’m burning out or I achieved the thing I was going to achieve but I’m not happy and so the transition begins, but then in your 30’s, you know, many of us, you know, have kids, right, in our 30’s and what’s fascinating about the entrepreneurial profile of women is that we really step into that power zone much more into our 30’s, because it’s suddenly like wait a minute, I want to do things on my own terms. I want more flexibility in my life or what a minute, how did I get lost, I guess, right, in all of that. Do you find that?
Rikke Hansen: Yeah, I mean what I find is, and this is interesting both for men and women, something definitely happens in your 30’s. For some people, funny enough for men, it’s actually often having a child just as much it is for women. For women, it’s more a matter of like you say, they’ve ticked off a lot of boxes and now it’s their turn. Because women tend to put everybody else first and then when you get to your mid to late 30’s, you suddenly realize oh, what about me? What do I really want? and also what I tend to find is that when you start solving certain problems in your life and you start noticing things that are not working, you suddenly realize it’s because you don’t define your version of success in the area where it’s not working.
So women often take jobs and have career or have businesses in their 20’s and 30’s because that’s what their, you know, guru, your business guru told them on their mini-course and then that [inaudible 00:04:15 back and thought about what is it they really want personally and what is that’s their definition of success, of happiness, of expertise, and then decided what that was going to be and then create it. What’s so crazy is, we’ve never had more opportunities to create a business or a life or a career to suit who we are but we’ve also never had more things that tell us that you should do this, about a [inaudible 00:04:44 so what’s interesting is, even though we have more opportunities than ever, we also have more FOMO or more things as in you should do this and not that, even as entrepreneurs. I call it entrepreneurial bullying. I’m sure you know what I mean. There’s certain, you know, people who like help others, like Elon Musk or Anna Huffington and they’re fantastic but we need a lot more relatable role models throughout that shows us that there are so many businesses that you can run. There are so many careers that you can do and it’s up to you define how you want to play the game. Does that make sense?
Melinda Wittstock: Absolutely. No, this is so true. There’s no one path. I think we can easily look at other people’s journeys on the entrepreneurial path and think ‘Oh, I have to do that way’ or ‘That’s how it’s done’ or ‘That’s how you succeed’ and for women that’s tricky because all of our entrepreneurial role models for the most part are dudes, you know, like dudes in their 20’s, like wearing a hoodie, like you know, building that thing in their garage, you know, eating Ramen Noodles and I joke that there are too many carbs for me, you know, in Ramen Noodles, so I like I don’t eat that.
Rikke Hansen: But you know I love that you’re saying that because I would flip that on and say several of my clients that I work with, we actually realized that the reason why they weren’t happy in their business is because they were trying to appeal and market to an audience they themselves didn’t actually relate to, just because they thought they were the cool kids. So, there’s a real business opportunity especially for women who want to market to women of a certain age because you know when a company truly gets you, when you’re relatable. That’s what I love. You know, when you get your marketing [inaudible 00:06:17 when somebody calls and says I just [inaudible 00:06:19 you get me, you know?
I think that’s why … You know women in their 30’s and 40’s, you know, and 50’s, it’s like they’re really a great group to market to as well, so don’t be intimated by the dudes in their 20’s. Leave that business to them. Focus on what you do best and I find often when people come to me and they have a [inaudible 00:06:43 around their business or their career, it’s often because they haven’t actually nailed down why their ideal client group is and one of the most important things to get right is the who, who do you want to market to, who do you want to hang out with all day, because they can really make and break whether you love what you do in your business on your career.
Melinda Wittstock: You know, this is such a profound point, because I think of women in this age group, really between 35 and 55, but then there’s also a really big one to, just between 45 and 65. Tremendous spending power, a willingness to not take any crap from anyone anymore, finally recovering from all those limiting beliefs or all the things that the glossy magazines told us we had to do or should be, or like, all that perfectionism that got drilled into us, you know, all that stuff. So finally, there’s the sense of stepping into like an authentic feminine power, I call it at the same time as like serious spending power.
Rikke Hansen: Yeah. Oh yeah. I mean and the thing is, I often find and if anybody is listening to this right now and they’re having imposter syndrome, they’re having confidence issues, I always say entrepreneurship means getting over yourself so often if I’m feeling intimidated, if my clients are feeling intimidated, I always say you never know how many people are waiting for living, breathing relatable imperfect role model like you. And I really think it’s so important to remember that, if you’re in that age group, you need to be visible, you need to be out there because you have no idea how many people are waiting for you. We talked about that before. You know we started this interview like we need to see a lot more female role models out there doing all kinds of things that have never been done before. So please, don’t let confidence and [inaudible 00:08:32 issues get in your way because as soon as you’re visible, you will just see how many people come out of the woodwork supporting you, [inaudible 00:08:38 from you, wanting to collaborate with you. You just need to be the first one to actually be seen.
I think for a lot of us, that if you actually look back over your life and I bet this is the same for you, Melinda, it’s like, so much like I’ll go first, right? Like, that’s really what entrepreneurship should be about nowadays because we have that privilege. It’s like I’ll go first and then people will recognize ‘Oh, there’s someone like me. Let’s do business together. Let’s collaborate. Can I buy your stuff?’ It’s so important to go first and be the brave one because it’s just incredible the amount of connection you can create and then it’s not about you and you don’t have to worry about imposter syndrome or confidence. It’s just like collaboration and fun.
Melinda Wittstock: I think that’s so profound. I mean really, really true because when you start just being … Like another way of saying it, I guess, is be the change you want to see. So, when you’re very … You figure out what actually makes you happy. Like what you like to do. What brings you joy and happiness, do more of that, and in an entrepreneurial context, you know, hire the rest. You know, try and you know delegate or not do the things that you don’t want to do.
But I love what you say about just showing up and being first. I mean that requires a bit of vulnerability though, right? What stops people from doing that?
Rikke Hansen: To be honest, it’s often this kind of who am I?, right? Like I say, I work with very smart people. I have never had anybody who didn’t at some stage go yeah, but Rikke, who am I really to do this?. And I think a little bit going back to that thing I said about entrepreneurship really means getting over yourself.
The biggest confidence issues come from when you forget that your business is not just about you. #WingsPodcast #WomeninBusinessClick to tweet
Rikke Hansen: Often what I find is the biggest confidence issues come from when you forget that your business is not just about you, right? It’s like the business is also about the people you really want to help, the people you want to connect with so what that means is that often when people go wrong in their business or in their career, it’s because they make it all about them and their journey and their self development and they forget to bring that back to the market in terms of how that’s beneficial for the clientele or what’s in it for them, and what kind of problems you solve because once you realize that it’s not just about you, it’s really about the people you serve, then a lot of the confidence issues actually are not issues any more because you’re all in it together or you just happen to be a couple of steps ahead, right?
Melinda Wittstock: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Rikke Hansen: And also what I would say is I often find that there’s a real issue around having a right to be here. A little bit like I said before, if you are 35 plus, no matter whether what you want to do now is different to what you’ve done before, you can cast your [inaudible 00:11:35 future and all of your achievements, all of the amazing stuff you’ve done both inside and outside of work, you can turn them into assets. If you’ve been able to get people results, lead businesses, make things happen, then even if you change your subject or your product or your expertise, you still have a right to be here because they’re [inaudible 00:11:56 get results for people, give them clarity, solve problems, you know, that is not going to go away just because you did it in a different industry and I think that’s so important for people to hear because often people think that the moment they change into something different, then everything they’ve done up until the moment is like doesn’t matter or it doesn’t count. That is not true. Life leads clues and you have assets but it’s just up to you to show how they’re relevant.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, this is so true. So, I want to chat with you about something that comes up on this podcast a lot. It’s the perfectionism gene we all have. You know, we were joking actually on a recent episode about their needs to be sort of like an AA for perfectionists and like women do tend to have this so much more so than men. In fact, it’s hard for me to find, I don’t know, maybe they exist, but it seems to be almost universally a female issue and it really interrupts or gets in the way of our ability to create businesses that scale.
Rikke Hansen: Oh yeah, it’s [inaudible 00:13:07 in my background so before I started my transition consultancy back in 2005, I used to work in human resources management for Morgan Stanley and Citigroup and I did a lot of research into the whole imposter syndrome, perfectionism thing because I never, ever had a women come and ask me for [inaudible 00:13:23. I never had a women come in to ask anything where’s the guys who have been in my office, day after day, wanting more money, wanting this and that and what’s really interesting imposter syndrome, the very fact that you actually self identify and find out they have imposter syndrome always shows that you have a higher intelligence than average. So you should actually pat yourself on the back if you have imposter syndrome or if you have perfectionism because it already shows you’re way ahead of the curve so I always catch people out when they say they have perfectionism, like, good for you, you know, it’s a good thing because it shows you are smart, you have high [inaudible 00:13:56 but at some stage in your life and in your business, you’ve got to choose between perfectionism and happiness.
Melinda Wittstock: Right. Yeah. Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Rikke Hansen: And also perfectionism is almost … I mean don’t get me wrong, I’m holding my hand high here, I’m a recovering perfectionist myself but what I find is that, I mean, you [inaudible 00:14:14 as well be all are, but at some stage, you don’t realize that if you let perfectionism take over your business and your life, you will never be a happy person and you will end up being very resentful of everything that never actually happened, that could’ve happened and that’s not … So you always want to think about okay, do I want to be or do I want this to be perfect or do I want to be happy because the price of perfection is not worth paying. It never, ever is. Show me a perfectionist who is actually happy. You will never find such a person.
Melinda Wittstock: Right, because your work is never done. Like, you’re never … Like if you think of like that kind of little mouse, you know, on the treadmill, you’re like …
Rikke Hansen: But isn’t it … One of things I come up against and this is not just the case of [inaudible 00:21:42 entrepreneurial, it’s often the case also when I help people transition their career or becoming entrepreneurial, one of the biggest issues that perfectionists they have is that they will not take action before all of the ducks are all lined up in a row. Before, it’s the right moment. Before, you know, things aren’t just so, and what that means is that your life is going to be over before you know it and nothing is ever going to happen. So, the thing is that with perfectionism, like what I personally do and what I help my clients do is whenever you get up against that kind of perfectionism thing, then it’s really a matter of okay, what kind of life do you really want? Do you want to be the really perfect perfectionist who happens to maybe get one or two things right in your life or do you want to be someone with a lot of really interesting stories to tell, who’s really good at getting over yourself and because you did, you had a very, very different connection with the people you are here to serve.
Like if you look at real type A perfectionists, everything is just lined up, who wants to collaborate with them? They’re bloody intimidating.
Melinda Wittstock: Well intimidating but also the other thing is it’s very difficult to connect with anybody when no one is willing to be vulnerable and, you know, so on a very personable level, right? Like you just can’t get those connections and insofar as business, really. Succeeding in business is about relationship and so a lot of women tend to want to … We have this competency gene. It’s kind of tied to the perfectionism where we’re doers. Like we go and we get it done and we think okay and when I’m done and I’m going to do it really well and I’m going to get a pat on the back or in a corporate context, I’m going to get that promotion or in an entrepreneurial thing, my client is going to be so happy, like however you look at. The problem is without really investing in the relationships, a business can be stillborn and, you know, when we think about in the context say of even corporate and the glass ceiling. Well, men are spending so much more of their time on the relationship, and women are doing.
Rikke Hansen: Yeah, which is crazy because we’re the natural connectors.
Melinda Wittstock: I know. This is the irony of it, right? That’s unheard to me too. Wait a minute. I mean, but the other thing to about startups and I know this is just a constant … Your product is a hypothesis. Like whatever you’re doing … right, like whether you’re building a product, an app, a technology service, a coaching [inaudible 00:17:38, all of it, right is a hypothesis, until it’s not.
Rikke Hansen: I love that you’re saying that. It’s one of the things I always say to people. It’s like don’t build a business for an imaginary audience and I think that’s why perfectionists rarely are successful as entrepreneurs because they’re like doing everything behind the scenes, waiting for everything to be perfect and then they get customer feedback and by that stage, it’s too late because somebody has done a better product already because they got customer feedback already.
You know, it’s one of those things and it’s really funny because none of his grow up, or very few of us have grown up in entrepreneurial families and it’s one of those things … I know some people think you are born an entrepreneurial but I actually think it’s one of those things and you might but you might have had societal conditioning so that you’ve forgotten what it’s like to be entrepreneurial because most kids aren’t entrepreneurial but then we go to school, we’re taught to do things a certain way and, you know, we become especially perfectionists, they don’t like to ask for help. We like to be self sufficient and this is the case for women, don’t we just love being self sufficient but when it comes to running a business, you can’t afford to just be self sufficient because if you have a product or a service, you need clients and the early one you can get their feedback, the better and funny enough, the more perfect your product line should be.
Melinda Wittstock: I think that’s so true. Well, you know what, I mean think of your customers as people who are going to help you, help you. Like that feedback … You know, it’s interesting, I was talking to someone the other day who said that, you know, we were talking about the concept of failure as feedback and then instead of feedback, she changed it to ‘feed-forward’.
Rikke Hansen: Oh, yeah, but that’s a really good one because what I find failure … I speak five languages and one of the best thing that’s given to me is that I think about things in different languages and different definitions, right? So, one of things that really help me get over the fear of failure is that I said to myself, well why don’t I just redefine what it means and I look at the definitions in different languages. Right?
Melinda Wittstock: That’s interesting.
Rikke Hansen: Yeah, so I’m going to speak different languages now, but one of the things that really helped me was well, why don’t I just redefine what failure actually means, right? So, and also not just that but I … And you can choose your level of failure. You know, I think the biggest issue is that most people especially our generation, we are wired to think that failure is final. You know, it’s like failure [crosstalk 00:20:05
Melinda Wittstock: Oh yeah. I know, right?
I always say to people the real failure is staying stuck doing what you hate or staying stuck not knowing what do to go forward. #WingsPodcast #WomeninBusinessClick to tweet
Rikke Hansen: And also if you’ve ever held a job in your life, if you think about that, especially people who come from the corporate world like law, finance and all of that, if you make a mistake, you’re out, right? So a lot of people take that mindset into the entrepreneurial world and it’s the worst thing that can happen because you need to fail fast and get loads of feedback so it’s one of those thing that … I always say to people the real failure is staying stuck doing what you hate or staying stuck not knowing what do to go forward. The answer … So to be honest, you need to redefine what failure means to you. So whether it’s feedback or feed-forward, and it’s like that with everything in your life that is a stumbling block for you. You look at it and think well why do I define failure as final? Why don’t I redefine it to mean something else because here’s the deal, nobody knows the pure truth of anything anyway. That’s why we’re here, right?
So you might as well redefine what’s going to work for you as a definition. I often question people on everything when they come to me. You know, they’re like oh, but I am this or I am that or my experience in this and that and I’m like okay, but what if you could have it the way you want? One of my favorite quotes is, you know, live as if the entire universe is rigged in your favor. You know, it’s almost like reversed paranoid, right?
So if you actually believe that things are going to work out, they’re going to work for you and you can redefine failure, perfectionism to actually work for you, then, you know, often it ends up working in your favor, you know, whereas if you think from the beginning oh my god, failure is final and you know I’m a lost cause, it’s not perfectionistic enough, then it’s not going to be a very fun ride, because you feel like everybody is against you.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, no, that’s true. On the entrepreneurial rollercoaster, I mean, you can fail, every hour of every day, right? Like, I mean, really it’s true though, you know and you have to take in stride because it’s really, you know, in a way … I have arrived at this conclusion or this definition rather or entrepreneurship that it is being an artist and being a scientist, both of those things and just expressing it in business.
Rikke Hansen: Oh, beautiful, beautiful.
Melinda Wittstock: Right? And so the minute you put that kind of artistry and science in it, you’re automatically an experimenter and the minute you’re an experimenter, it’s okay to experiment and really that’s what entrepreneurship is. I think that it’s such a different focus in a way but to have that freedom to experiment.
Now, we all have different levels of risk tolerance, I guess, right in terms of how deep or how wide or how long or how far does that safety net have to stretch before we take that leap or when we’re in the leap and so when you work with all of your clients about that kind of like, you know, that sense of like risk tolerance, safety, those sorts of attitudes, like getting out and away from our fear, I guess in that sense, what’s your best advice around that because I think that’s the thing that holds so many people back?
Rikke Hansen: I think there are different ways that people sabotage themselves like if we are talking about the mental game. Because that’s really what we are talking about to a larger extent. I think it’s important to know how you might sabotage yourself mentally so some people … It’s not necessarily that they’re not comfortable with risk or comfortable with experimentation but they’re biggest issue is that they tend to overwhelm themselves with too many things. So often a classic entrepreneurial type will be an overwhelmed-type and what I mean by that is they literally have a popcorn brain. So you know, it’s Monday and they want to start a wine touring company. It’s Tuesday, they want to do a bubble tea café in Portland, you know? It’s Wednesday, they want to do a yoga retreat in Bali and by Thursday, they’re exhausted because it’s like they have 10 more ideas, right? So often, when it comes to that, it’s really a matter of them to sit down and look at well, what is actually the right thread in all of this?
Because of the things I often do with clients when they have way too many ideas, is to look at well what’s the commonality here? Because generally even people who have a lot of ideas, there is always some kind of commonalities so be really careful what your problem actually is because often when people feel uncomfortable, it’s not necessarily to do risk of fear or this and that, it’s just because they are overwhelming themselves. I’m sure you’ve seen that a lot with a lot of entrepreneurial types and sometimes the overwhelmed comes from anxiety and other times the overwhelmed comes from the outside.
Melinda Wittstock: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Rikke Hansen: Does that make sense?
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. No, absolutely. So I mean so much of this comes down to what’s in your head. You know, we talk about this concept of mindset, mojo, money. That they’re all intra related so if you don’t get this aligned or kind of right in your own head, you can’t get the mojo, you know, to get the money, and if you have the money without the mindset, then, you know, you can have a lot of zeros around kind of a heart that’s unfulfilled. You can be unhappy, even with lots of wealth. So getting those things all aligned is really important.
So Rikke, what made you or inspired you rather to work with women at this age and to build the business that you’ve built?
Rikke Hansen: I’ve always been a problem-solver and I also think, and this is a general view that I have when it comes to work, I think I knew straightaway after University, that I was never going to have a normal career path if that makes sense because even then I kind of questioned the fact that people have a job, or they start their own business and then that say for the rest of the time, so I’ve always been curious about what drives someone to create work in the world and what I find, for me, I was very clear straightaway that I wanted to do was A) Advice and B) That it had to be around real work. Because I found that’s where most people, they actually had issues, right? For most people, they really struggle figuring out what they really want to do for a living and also not just now, but in the future. You know, back then it was a little bit more normal that people did one thing, now that’s not normal because the way their future works, it’s going to happen. We’re all going to go through transitions like every couple of years.
But really it was for me, I was very much driven by an intellectual curiosity and then at the same time also I love … I mean you and I have met, so you’ve seen me in action. I love connecting with people. I am highly social. I really, just love the connection. I could never be an academic. I’m a highly… I do need a lot of intellectual stimuli, but I need to be out in the real world with real people, and I also think that often I find that entrepreneurs, they focus way too much on the business or the product and then they forget themselves in the process and then the same thing with people in the corporate world, so one of the gaps in the market I really wanted to fill was that on one hand, you had another life coach. It was all about purpose and you know deep stuff but then couldn’t connect it to the commercial side and then you have people who are all the way over on the commercial side and it was all about making money and scaling fast and you really need something where you decide how the business is going to work for you because I think that’s where a lot of people struggle. They might actually have the right business but they’re not playing the right role in it or they have the wrong business and they can’t extract and see that as being a problem.
So I’ve been doing that for the last 12 years and it’s one of those things because it’s such a subject, that is limitless in terms of the amount of things you can learn, it’s become more and more relevant, I just decided this is it, this is my business, this is the thing that I do and the reason why especially over the last couple of years, I’ve focused very much on a clientele that is 30, 40 plus, is because I’m in my early 40’s so it’s the kind of clientele I can relate to, that generation. They’ve lived. They’re really super interesting people. You know, once you pass 35, you’ve got so many stories to tell. You’ve lived. You have a lot of boring ingredients that I have help your work through. You’re just a lot more interesting person and also if you think about it, we are very much the generation that is caught in between the digital natives and, you know, the cradle to grave jobbers.
So we are the ones that actually need the most help because we are sort of caught with a foot in between worlds. That makes it a really, really interesting clientele.
Melinda Wittstock: Mm-hmm (affirmative), absolutely. So what’s next for you, Rikke? Where do you take your business?> Where do you see yourself in five years? 10 years? Do you have a clear vision or are you experimenting your way there?
Rikke Hansen: The way I look at that question is what I call the red threat. So I believe that there are different kinds of entrepreneurship, different kind of careers. For some people, it’s very much about the product of the service. For other people, it’s more about going deep on a subject and I’m very much the person who goes deep on a subject so the most important thing for me is I’m still in love with my subject, right? It’s like I could not imagine … I think that’s a lifelong love, but at the same time, I want to know everything there is to know about careers, about business, about how to design the right one for you, how to stay happy, so for me, it’s very much from an intellectual purpose to a very large extent.
With regards to how I have my consultancy, the way that’s very much going is I do have an online course, where I have more and more people coming in. I still also do one-on-one work, so for me, it’s more a matter of whether than having a five to 10 year vision, it’s very much about works right now, as well as being aware of that red thread that I know is that lifelong love of my subject, if that makes sense?
So for me, it’s more … Also, because I think the way the future work is going, either longterm planning doesn’t actually make a lot of sense because it actually makes you blind to a lot of opportunities, so for me, it’s more a matter of being absolutely clear about values, about trends and about what I want because I think, you know, the more research and I know you are into this as well, you do about the future and the future work, the more there is conflict about what people think, it’s confusing, it’s overwhelming, so the most important thing you can do to yourself is to be clear about what you know fore sure what works for you and what you want and then match that with incredible opportunities that are coming your way.
Melinda Wittstock: Mm-hmm (affirmative), absolutely.
Rikke Hansen: Does that make sense?
Melinda Wittstock: Yes. No, it absolutely does. That’s wonderful.
Well, this is so inspiring. I love talking with you. It’s like, you know, it’s nice along these podcasts, it feels sometimes that it is just girlfriends talking about business, about life, about just mindset, just like really cool stuff.
So tell me a little bit as we start to wrap up, what are some of your personal routines, I guess, that keep you in the zone? You know, keep you kind of creative, keep you in the right mindset, all that kind of good stuff?
Rikke Hansen: Oh, that’s one of my favorite subjects.
Melinda Wittstock: Yay, okay! Well, mine to, so …
Rikke Hansen: Now, if we had the camera on now, what you would see if I am literally surrounded by bookcases of bookcases of books and one of the things that I love more than anything is to read broadly. Anyone listening in who is in entrepreneurial circles, we can actually be quite narrow minded. You know, we read the books of our friends and the masterminds we’re in, and this sort of entrepreneurs. I read broadly from economists, policy makers, you know, psychologists, you know, people in very, very different sectors. I think number one is I have reading routines every day, where I read about not just a subject that interests me, but also the things that are [inaudible 00:31:38 so I think that it’s really important to take care of your intellectual health and read broadly especially from people you might not agree with or people that have different point of view who’s from a different part of society, or the world than you are so that’s number one. It’s incredibly important for me to be brought in widely.
Secondly, when I get up in the morning, the first thing that I do is something that makes me feel safe. So, if you think about it … Like until two months ago, I lived in Central London. Right? Center of the universe for some people. Super busy, super stressful environment and also we have a lot of threats on every level in London at the moment, so at some point, when you get up in the morning, do something that makes you feel safe. And it doesn’t have to be weird stuff at all. All I do is I make my favorite green tea and I have a little ritual. It’s an incredibly high grade Sencha, if there are any tea geeks listening. And just that ritual of I’m totally in charge of making that cup of tea and I involve all of my senses. I love food. I love all that kind of stuff, so really smelling it, drinking it, and then I go into a 25 minute visualization meditation so by the stage that I’ve done that, I’m in as much of control as is possible to be while still being open but I feel safe and I feel like I am here. I’ve got a right to be here. I’m really fired up. I’m really focused. I’m very highly aware of my energy goals.
I’m an extrovert. I’m an extreme extrovert, according to my [inaudible 00:33:05 and I’m sure my husband would agree as well. He thinks I [inaudible 00:33:09. I think one of the things when you are an extreme extrovert, and also when you work with people like I do, one of the most important things in terms of rituals for me is being aware of where my energy goes. Because if you’re not careful as an extrovert, even though you do kind of absorb energy from other people, you also give an awful a lot of energy away. Whether that’s to other people, whether it’s by spending time of social media, whether it’s by worrying about things that I am hyper aware of. Where is my attention? Where is my energy right now? Because what I find is often when people are overwhelmed, or scared or frustrated, it’s because they’re totally out of their own body. They’re totally out of their own head. It’s like get right back to sensor. That’s the most power you will ever have in this world. What are you saying to yourself right now? Where are you right now and is your energy somewhere that’s really not worth it?
The amount of people who spend the majority of the day worrying about people who don’t are about them or a situation they can do nothing about, it’s like forget about that. I really train myself to be 100% present. Obviously, I’m not perfect, but I’m getting … You know, it’s just the intentions. So like, okay where’s my energy right now? Let’s bring it back and I think especially for women, we spend so much time worrying about what we look like or what people think of us, or the future and it’s like if you think about it, especially as women, if we took that power back, we would have so few of the issues we’ve got right now.
So I’ve actually been very protective. It’s almost like rubbing [inaudible 00:34:30 of other people and it’s almost like whenever I sort of feel like my energy is going somewhere it shouldn’t or I’m doing something I shouldn’t, I’m always like ‘Rikke, you’ve got to be a role model for the people.’ And if you can take this in energy, give it to your clients, give it to the courses that really matter, this is the only way the world can change.
You know, people can be so aggressive about changing loads of things, but at the end of the day, if you can’t control your own energy, if you can’t be present, and if you can’t really focus, then you can’t change anything and I think that’s why so many change projects are so fractured because people are just not focused. They’re totally not there, right?
Melinda Wittstock: Right. Yes. No, it’s so true. It’s lie, we talk about living kind of in the present moment, not in the past, not in the future, but in the present where there’s power but being centered in your own body and aware of how you’re spending your energy. Whether you are like an extrovert like you or an introvert like me … I’m one of these … A lot of people think I’m an extrovert because I’m really gregarious and I’m social but I’m definitely an introvert in the sense that I need to conserve, I need to recover. I need like lots of quiet time.
Rikke Hansen: But that’s the thing though. I mean I think I’ve done a lot of psychology … [inaudible 00:35:36 a lot of psychology and I think people often get the wrong end of the stick with the introvert/extrovert. At the end of the day, you are what works for you. The most important thing is you know what your recovery is, right?
Melinda Wittstock: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Rikke Hansen: So you probably know when you come back from big masterminds, big events, you probably give your horizontal about three days and [crosstalk 00:35:51
Melinda Wittstock: I need to recover from those things and that’s the thing, I love to travel and I love to be around all the people and I come back with like a zillion ideas and I’m all like jazzed but I’m also like tired. Like, I need to … [crosstalk 00:36:06 I need to sit still or like [crosstalk 00:36:10 ground myself. Like walk around in the grass in bare feet, you know, like that.
Rikke Hansen: But that’s good. You’re aware of to. Whereas like I’m an extrovert, I’d be scaling the walls. I’d be like let’s go down [inaudible 00:36:20 and it’s really funny my husband is an introvert so we’ll come back from a big event and he’ll be like “Honey, I just want to go sleep” and I’m like “No, no. Let’s go clubbing.” You know, that’s when you [inaudible 00:36:29 By the end of the day, I think, you know, what matters is that you’re just really aware of what works for you and I think that’s so important as well when it comes to creating a business, when it comes to creating, you know, a career. It’s just being really okay with wanting what you want.
Because what I find is that even though a lot of entrepreneurs like to think like ‘Oh they’re doing their things’; There is actually a lot of pressure and there is a lot of ‘Oh, look at that person, and look at that person and who are you compared to them?’ And I think we really want to change a lot of that in terms of let’s have a lot more different business models, different businesses, different career paths, and that’s especially [inaudible 00:37:06 our age group of women. We have a really incredible unique opportunity to do. Because like we were talking about before, a lot of the role models out there are for businesses, but career is they’re male. What we really need, and that’s the reason why we need to be a lot more visible, why I love that you are doing this podcast is that we need a lot more visibility in terms of what is a female business look like? What is a female career? We are only just getting started. That’s why I love my subject so much. In terms of designing careers and businesses, because we’re only just getting started.
You know, the sky is the limit in terms of what we can call work nowadays and how we can actually make a living and help other people.
Melinda Wittstock: Mm-hmm (affirmative). I think that’s so, so true.
Rikke, it’s so wonderful to talk with you. I’ve enjoyed the conversation so much.
So quick question, how can people find you and work with you?
Rikke Hansen: The best place to go is my home on the internet and that’s Rikke.me. I was born in Denmark so it’s a very Danish name. Anybody that was born in the [inaudible 00:38:06 Denmark, is pretty much always called Rikke.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh wow. Well, it was wonderful to talk and thank you so much for putting on your wings and flying.
Rikke Hansen: Thank you so much.