Ever felt an internal tug-of-war, where your emotions don’t align with your external life? We’ve all been there, and Violetta Znorkowski, the savvy founder of Expand and Impact, joins us for Part 2 of our discussion on overcoming business burnout to shed more light on that topic.
In this episode, Sonja and Violetta discuss the critical topic of self-awareness, exploring how understanding and accepting our emotions, without judgment, can positively impact our performance—in business and life. We also delve into Violetta’s personal journey, addressing the guilt she experienced when her internal and external realities didn’t match.
Later, Violetta takes a deep dive into the struggle that many ambitious women face—achieving equilibrium and finding space for rest. The relentless pursuit of productivity, and societal pressures to do it all, can often lead to burnout and elevated stress levels. But what if mastering a few tasks is more essential than trying to do everything? Violetta pulls back the curtain on this disputed concept of productivity, and how she works with clients to unlearn toxic habits and embrace the power of rest. Take a breather and join us as we explore ways to reclaim our time, energy, and joy.
Be sure to check out Violetta’s From Hustle and Stress to Mindful Success Masterclass, which guides participants in understanding how to use their emotions as a tool to build the capacity to process discomfort and stress so that they can take action from a calm and focused place and rest without guilt.
About Violetta Znorkowski
Violetta Znorkowski is the Founder and Facilitator at Expand and Impact, an Experiential Education Company that works with Female Professionals and Entrepreneurs who want to challenge the status quo and create a new normal in how success and leadership looks and feels.
With over 10 years of experience and an international career working around the world with both youth and adults to develop leadership skills, raise emotional intelligence and build resilience, Violetta is passionate about guiding others to safely explore their connection to self, others and the world around them.
Her work is informed through her training in Holistic Counseling Psychology, Leadership Coaching and Mindfulness and Meditation Training; blending Eastern and Western philosophies and techniques to consider the WHOLE person. Violetta believes that self-work is the gateway to generational change and that personal development and systemic change go hand in hand. When she is not facilitating growth and emotional well-being, Violetta is likely climbing up or snowboarding down a mountain or planning her next adventure.
Follow Violetta on LinkedIn
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Read The Full Transcript From This Episode (click to expand and read the full interview)
- Sonja: 0:12
Hi everyone, welcome to this episode of 10 Minute Marketing. I’m Sonja Crystal Williams, your host. So joining us today is Violetta Znorkowski and Violetta’s back for a part two interview with us. If you missed the first interview, have a listen to that one. First, I’m going to share a little bit about her again. She’s the founder and facilitator of Expand and Impact, which is an experiential education company, and it’s she works with female professionals and entrepreneurs who want to challenge the status quo and create a new normal on how success and leadership looks and feels. A little bit of background on that last interview. Make sure you take a listen. We talked about Violetta’s journey in being in business with Expand and Impact, the type of work she does, who she works with in regards to helping female leaders and executives really find their way, sometimes after experiencing burnout or not exactly feeling like they have that inner peace or they feel authentic when they show up every day. So I asked Violetta to come back today so we can talk a little bit more in detail about some of the shifts that we need as individuals, some of the development as individuals that we need to make as we’re growing in our business, as we’re looking for ways to effectively package ourselves and really just reach our potential and feel good about it, not just in business, but also in your personal life. It’s not just about looking good on paper, it’s also about how you feel inside. So, Violetta, I want to turn it over to you because I just think this is such an interesting conversation and I guess I’ll just kick it off with just one general question, which is starting point for someone who is new in business. Really, just, first of all, how do they begin to recognize or assess where they need shifts, or is that something they really just need to kind of do from the moment you start a business? Like you just probably need to do this too. Like, what are your thoughts on that and how does someone get started?
That is a really great question, because one of the things that I notice the most when interacting with women who are curious about this work is the hesitation. There’s a big fear of what they’re going to find, what’s beneath the surface and how is that going to change my life. Is it actually going to make it worse or is it going to make it better? There’s a part of us that believes the work is necessary, in all of us that believes it’s going to make it better. And then there are other parts of ourselves that have every right to be hesitant, that have every right to be afraid, that have every right to question, because, like any journey, when we’re embarking on something new, it’s uncomfortable and it’s scary and, like you mentioned, it can feel lonely. And that is why we do the work. We grow our capacity to be able to handle that discomfort, to be able to handle the shifts in your business and the personal life behind it, because we are not just our work, we are a whole person, we are a whole human and all parts of our life are important. And when we only focus on one area of our life to be successful, naturally the other areas start to suffer, and it’s not until 10, 15, 20, 30, 40 years later that we have that like epiphany and that awakening the oh shoot moment. I spent so much time and energy and resources into this one area, so why don’t I feel better about it? Why don’t I feel more accomplished? Why don’t I feel more successful? And that’s why it’s so important to broaden our awareness around ourselves how we show up and how we deal with discomfort.
This makes me think a lot about journaling and I don’t journal like I used to, but I definitely have had moments and phases in life personally as well as career where I found that effective as a tool, I guess, to kind of just work through some of those thoughts of self doubt or needing to build up the courage to want to have that exploration that you mentioned. Like I need this. Maybe I need help.
Yeah, it’s a very risky thing, to admit, you know, especially as business owners. It’s like we got that, that bit of fire that’s pushing us forward, like we’ve got the ambition, we’ve got the drive and to admit that I don’t know everything, whew, that is a huge risk, like you could feel that in your body, in your system, just saying that out loud, and that feeling shows that it needs some attention and we need to turn inward and explore that in a safe way, in a slow way, in an intentional way. We don’t need to rip off scabs that aren’t ready to be seen. I am not a believer in digging into your past and all of your childhood trauma in order to find peace now. For some people that’s necessary. But there are different ways that we can gently begin to explore and you did ask in your original question what’s a good way to start and I didn’t answer that Journaling is a great way to begin to self-reflect and build that awareness and I would also add, to start to notice how you are feeling and allowing yourself to feel the way you do, without justifying that you shouldn’t feel this way, because I know in my own journey for so long my feelings didn’t completely make sense Like how my life looked on the outside didn’t reflect how I felt on the inside, and I felt really guilty about that, because I had a very privileged life, I have a very unique journey and I felt really guilty that how I felt on the inside wasn’t matching how my life looked on the outside. And it’s so important to come to a place of acceptance that it’s okay to feel the way you do and it doesn’t mean anything about you. It doesn’t mean you’re ungrateful, it doesn’t mean that you’re gonna blame someone or shame someone or blame your parents and your relationship is gonna be ruined because of that. But how you are experiencing the present moment is such a powerful indicator of the parts of ourselves that maybe need some attention, maybe need some TLC, some tender love and care. And it doesn’t have to be so overwhelming. If this type of work is becoming too overwhelming, you’re not doing it right, because we can do it safely and slowly to build our capacity to hold that discomfort, to slowly build our awareness. We don’t need to rip off band-aids or wounds that aren’t ready to be seen, aren’t ready to be out in the world. We don’t need to do that.
I’m glad you say that, because you do hear that a lot about needing to heal the trauma and the inner child and those things which, to your point, yeah, it can be helpful. But I think hearing that and hearing you say it doesn’t have to always be that, I think can also be a little bit uplifting to know, okay, I can go through this process slowly, I don’t have to dig necessarily at that level, so I think that’s very encouraging. The other piece to this, you know, that I kind of think about also is as you’re working with clients like what are some examples of scenarios that maybe you come across? I know in our previous interview for you, one of the things that even led you to start expanding impact was burnout. So that’s kind of one scenario where people might kind of come into this space like I’m burnt out, I gotta do something about it. What are other things that you commonly see when you’re working with your clients of like reasons why they reached that point of like I need help.
One of the most common reasons and this may sound super like surface level and vague, but is because the women that I work with want to learn how to feel more internally steady. They want to experience deeper levels of connection, deeper levels of joy. They wanna have more time and they wanna have more energy to do something with that time. So a lot of the ladies that I work with are pretty high up in their careers or they have their own businesses that require a lot of their time and attention, and it’s so easy to get sucked into that being your main focus that when you have downtime, we have forgotten how to rest, because slowing down feels unsafe and our rest doesn’t feel productive, and this actually also can lead to burnout. It can lead to increased stress in your life, and the ladies that I work with wanna be able to feel more relaxed. They wanna be able to enjoy the time that they have and to expand their horizons outside of work, and they wanna feel that connection. They wanna feel content, they wanna be happy. And the women that I work with have achieved a lot, you know like on paper, their life looks good. They’re super ambitious, they’ve got a really resilient mindset, and mindset is so important when it comes to business, but also being emotionally resilient is really important and learning how to process your emotions so that they don’t get stuck. So a lot of this separation that comes with this internal pressure to feel productive all of the time and this need to keep doing something, adding more to our to-do list, even if it’s self-care. You know like you could burn out from self-care when you’re forcing yourself to care for yourself or like to book that holiday and do all of the things, see all of the sites, because slowing down and not doing anything feels unproductive and it brings up a lot of guilt and shame. These are things that we can work through together because on the other side of that is more presence, is a deeper sense of grounding, is a deeper sense of inner stability that will give you the capacity to show up in your business, to make different decisions that allow you to reclaim that time freedom, that energy freedom, and it will also give you access to creativity and to creative solutions for your business that are impossible to access when you’re operating from a state of constant and chronic stress and that hustling.
There’s two things and I’m taking notes here a little bit too, because there’s just so many good points. You’re dropping One of them that you just mentioned about the idea of like always needing to feel productive, and I really want those of you listening to hear this that making yourself more busy doesn’t necessarily mean it’s gonna lead to more revenue or more profit. Even the pivotal moment I had in my own business was I always want to pack in value when I’m providing services to my clients, but I had a pivotal moment when I realized if I, for example, have a package that I’m offering, I don’t have to put a million things in that package to have value. I could focus on one or two things and help my clients do those things really, really well, and we don’t need to be doing 10 things so they feel like they’re getting their money’s worth. Like do less. You know, and that was a pivotal moment for me having that recognition of like what I need to focus in, especially when I work with clients. Sometimes it’s on strategies and it’s like we might come up with 10 ideas, but it’s like getting them to actually hone in on. Let’s just focus on this one thing and, yeah, we might just do that for six months or a year, but we’ll come out so much more. You know better in the end than focusing on 10 things at once and not mastering any of them. So like it just makes me think about that, do less, yeah.
I’m so glad. Sorry, go ahead, I just have something. Is it okay if I comment on that? Yeah, please. I’m so glad that you brought that up, because in business and in life, we have this ingrained tendency and it’s the culture that we live in. You know, especially in the Western world, doing more means that you’re succeeding more or that you’re more worthy, and our image of our self and our self worth is so closely linked to our productivity. And, at the same time, simple is always better, yeah, and slowing down actually allows you to speed things up. And really coming back to simplicity and focusing on that one or two things that can move the needle in your professional life and in your personal life is gonna be more effective than piling on 10,000 ideas, even like 10,000 self-care practices or things in your morning routine, 10,000 points in the product or your offer that you’re selling and I often find myself in this trap too is thinking that if I add more to my offer, it’s somehow creating more value, and that’s not necessarily true, and I always need to remind myself simple is better, simple is better, simple is better, and then you can work from there and really see what the people that you’re working with are needing and incorporated as you go. But if you overwhelm yourself, then you’re not gonna be able to show up either. And then we get information overload and learn nothing. And then we like start that loop again because we’re so overwhelmed with the amount of information that we have in any area of our life and it actually throws us off track. And so it’s a really gentle and delicate process that requires a lot of self-compassion to be on, because we are fighting the grain of what’s normal in society. Society says be more productive. You mean more when you’re more productive. You’re worth more when you’re productive and you’re lazy if you rest, if you’re feeling relaxed, that’s laziness. That means you’re not taking life seriously.
Especially American businesses, right I went to. Italy and it’s, you know, costa Rica. Pura Vida, you know.
Yeah, exactly, in Italy they have a saying that’s il bel far niente and that means the it’s like the beauty in doing nothing. Yeah, but we feel so guilty when we do nothing and then we look for ways our rest can be productive. Yeah, and we need to learn, we need to unlearn that, because even when you sit with what I just said like if you can tune into your body and notice how productivity means you’re worth more Means, you’re gonna do more Means, you’re more successful. Versus rest as a pathway to more creativity, rest as a pathway to more connection, to more innovative ideas.
To more influence. Like notice the gentleness in your body. One feels like really rigid and aggressive, Like I gotta go, go go, and one feels a bit empowering at least to me. Like when I sit with that I’m like, yeah, that feels good. I am allowed to feel good in business. I am allowed to decide that, Even if there’s voices and messages around me that say that’s not how you should be doing it Solving, going to solve the same problem with the same old, outdated solutions doesn’t change anything. That’s why we still live in this culture that prioritizes productivity and hustling and working long hours over life.
Yeah, I had this feeling kind of in 2020, 2021-ish, when we were kind of shut down as a world and it actually seemed like some of the projects I was working on, the meetings increased, maybe because people wanted to talk more, maybe because people wanted to socialize. But in that period I felt like my creativity was stifled and I kept asking myself how do I get out of being in all of these meetings, not wanting to get out of the work I do for my clients, because I enjoy that, but I can’t spend all my time in meetings and then creatively produce what I need to produce to do great work for them. So it just it just makes me think about that, yeah.
Yeah, and and it’s, it’s huge and it’s also scientifically proven. So that’s the work that I do. I work very closely with the brain and our nervous system and our physical body and when you are overloaded, like at your capacity, and you’re at the outer edges of you know your stress levels and how much energy you have, how you feel in your body we can’t access creativity because we need flow for that. There’s an equal parts giving and receiving in life. So when we’re always giving, giving, giving our attention. We’re not receiving the space, the internal space, to be creative, and it’s really hard to tap into creativity, and so we make decisions from a reactionary place or from stress and then wonder why Things aren’t moving in the business. Yeah and and it’s and it’s like. It sounds like a big topic, but it doesn’t need to feel so overwhelming, because with the right support and the right tools, we can all learn how to develop the skills to live more intentionally and, as business owners, that’s our privilege to do that. You know, it’s like we’re not a part of that system the nine to five so why not? Why not us? Why can’t we create a different standard of what it should be? Because I created my business to have a good life, to have fun, to feel connected and To help others learn to do that. I.
Love it. I mean just yeah, taking it and shaping it intentionally. And and one more thought as we begin to wrap up here, is that one of the things I heard you say earlier, or at least that I interpreted, when we were talking about why people come to you, how people find you or what are they feeling inside? That kind of gives them that push of like I need help, you know Again, in this type of way, you know that resonates with them. The thing I also heard was it’s almost like there’s an inner voice inside. That’s kind of saying you know, we’re helping guide you. And it’s like if we, in those moments of anxiety on the job, of feeling burnt out, of that creativity being stifled, you know, in those moments Maybe just listening to that inner voice and maybe trying to figure out where do I go next from here. That’s kind of what it made me feel like as I was yeah you explain that yeah, you’re so right.
And there is that Intuitive part of us that knows that is always trying to guide us and when we don’t Learn to access it and listen to it, it’s just gonna get louder and louder Until it forces us to slow down. And that’s what happened to me in the previous conversation we had, is I knew like something in the back of my mind was telling me like you’re not supposed to be working like this, like this is this environment is not for you. Get out of here quick, don’t walk run, it was telling me. But then this like ambitious part of me was like no, because that means I’ll fail. That means I’m a failure. That means I broke my commitment. I committed to being here a year. I was working in Hong Kong at the time and, like in a high leadership role which like completely Feminine look at me feminine, female and a male dominated industry in Hong Kong, like I was not set up for success in that environment. But there was all of this noise around me that made me justify away that inkling that I heard. And when I’m, when I’m honest with myself now on the other side of it and this is usually we gain this insight in hindsight it’s really hard to see it when you’re in it, because you’re you’re identifying with it. It’s just too strong. It’s too powerful to separate yourself and this is why we we do the work to gain the resources to create that separation so that we can be more conscious and aware and make those conscious decisions. But If you don’t listen to that voice, eventually it’s going to Force you to stop. And I got sick, I burnt out. I like had to recover for two years, completely change my life. But had I had support, maybe a few years earlier, to know how to listen to it and to Differentiate it from the negative self-talk and the other pressure I felt I didn’t need to get sick, like I didn’t need to burn out. That could have been avoided. But I’m also someone that learns through pain. You know, yeah, I learned through pain. I had to do, I had to go there.
Yeah, wow, this is such a great topic and conversation. I feel like I could go on for hours, but we’re gonna, we’re gonna stop here for today, but be a little let’s. Let’s recap again how can people find out more about you, the work you do? And again, if what you’re hearing resonates, then what can people do once they get to your website to get more information and just figure out where I go next, where I go from here?
So on the website expandandimpactcom, there’s a little banner that says Free Masterclass from Hustle and Stress to Mindful Success. You can get it. It’s, I think, about an hour 60 minutes, where it’ll actually create space for you to integrate what we’re learning. I think that’s such a missing piece. We overload ourselves with information and then don’t know how to apply any of it and I’m guilty of this too. I’m human, we all do it and this masterclass is going to create some space at the end to actually help you apply what we’re learning and really mapping your emotions and learning what it means and what what it takes to be happy, relaxed and successful All three things in one. And you can find me on Instagram, expand and impact and also on LinkedIn, if that’s your jam. I’m on there too, and just come say hi, send me a message. I love connections and getting to know all of you, so my DMs are always open, awesome.
Well, thank you again for sharing. Thank you for being here everyone. Be sure to check the show notes. I will drop links to all of those resources and how you can find and get in touch with Violetta. Drop her a DM. So be sure to check the show notes for that until next time. Everyone, thanks for watching or listening. Have a good one.
- Sonja: 0:12