How can any business owner refocus on overcoming burnout to perform better in business and life?
Whether you’re a busy professional or run a business, the impacts of hustle culture and striving on our mental and emotional well-being and relationships can be overwhelming, often leading to unwelcome stress or burnout. If this feeling sounds familiar to you, today’s episode features a stimulating conversation with Violetta Znorkowski, Founder of Expand and Impact.
Violetta shares her journey of navigating through the male-dominated field of experiential and outdoor education, and how her experiences paved the way for her to launch her own enterprise. Violetta reveals how she honed skills to conquer the challenges in her path and now works with business owners who have experienced burnout and want to get back on a desirable path and make their way back to peace.
When it comes to marketing a 2-year-old business, Sonja and Violetta delve into the world of online and offline networking, as Violetta unfolds the significance of having a strong presence in both arenas. She talks about her experiences with networking on a global stage and how she uses various social media channels. Today, Violetta helps female professionals and entrepreneurs challenge the status quo and redefine success and leadership. As a treat, Violetta also shares some literature that has influenced her and her clients. So, tune in and prepare to redefine your path to success!
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 Crystal Williams: 0:00
Hi everyone, I’m Sonja Crystal Williams and welcome to today’s episode of 10 Minute Marketing. Joining me today is Violetta Znorkowski, and she is the founder and facilitator of Expand and Impact. It’s an experiential education company focused on working with female professionals and entrepreneurs who want to challenge a status quo and create a normal in how success and leadership looks and feels. I loved talking to Violetta when we met about a month ago because she has an amazing background. She’s traveled the world and led an international career with both youth and adults to help them develop leadership skills, raise emotional intelligence and build resilience. She’s trained in holistic counseling, psychology, leadership coaching, mindfulness and meditation, and the list goes on and on. Welcome and thank you so much for being here, Violetta.
Violetta Znorkowski: 0:53
Wow, what an intro. Thank you so much for that introduction. So happy to be here with you, thank you.
Sonja Crystal Williams: 1:00
So let’s just kind of talk a little bit about your work with Expand and Impact as a business owner. But I kind of want to let’s actually go back ahead of that, because that background you had in working with youth and adults and leadership training was that the start for you that led you to Expand and Impact? Tell me a little bit about your backstory.
Violetta Znorkowski: 1:21
Yeah, it was, but I didn’t know it. I didn’t know it at the time and I think many of us have this journey where we have a little inkling of what we want to do and then in time it unfolds and we see the bigger picture. But I come from the experiential and outdoor education industry, so what that is for most people who don’t know what that is, have never heard of it is I would lead international expeditions in different parts of the world with youth and adults and we would really test the boundaries of like mental, physical and our emotional limits and learn to really challenge our comfort zone and to make our way back to peace, to not let it destabilize us, but to use stress as a way to grow, to grow our resilience, to grow our leadership skills and to really learn to show up in the world in an authentic and empowered way. And I’ve led trips from Peru to Myanmar, all over Southeast Asia, and one of the things that made me start Expanded Impact was actually the gender inequality that I experienced firsthand and that I noticed in the developing world countries that I worked in. So I was working in countries where women had very few rights and as a white woman, I was still was experiencing the challenges within my own industry because it was a male-dominated field, and I realized that I didn’t have as much control over my emotions as I thought. And when I was experiencing different microaggressions and things like that, I was allowing them to get stuck in me and to get a rise out of me, and I didn’t have the skills to genuinely move past them, allow it to flow through my body so that I can come out on the other side clear-headed with clear direction. How do I want to communicate back? How am I going to proceed with the next steps? And I noticed this skill was missing in my students in my home. I was never taught it. I was never taught it in the school system and especially in these industries. There was no support for me to go to and it was normalized. So I was internalizing the stress, I was internalizing the differences amongst gender that were in my industry, in this male-dominated field, and it led me to a complete burnout. Complete burnout where I became physically sick, like violently physically sick, and it actually took me about two years to heal from that. And when I came out on the other side, I realized that something needs to be done about it because we have an internal system that we’re working with that impacts how we respond to our external systems that we’re living with, and both of these things need to go hand in hand and, especially if you care about influencing people’s lives, you care about influencing the systems that we work with. We need to know how to. We need the skills and the internal resilience and resources to be able to handle that. And I didn’t know how to handle it and I got physically sick from it and I lost myself and by the time I came out of this industry I worked in this field for nearly 10 years I couldn’t recognize myself in the mirror anymore because it changed me so much. I changed my fit in and I felt like I was always pushing through that resistance, without the support or the skills to be myself and to create a life that actually felt good, to succeed in a sustainable way. So not only a life that looked good on paper because my life did, but one that actually felt good, that got me excited to wake up in the morning and that left me a deep sense of inner peace, despite the stress and chaos that sometimes happens in our life, because we can’t get rid of stress completely, but we can absolutely learn to release it and restore equilibrium within ourselves. So that’s how I came to starting Expand and Impact, and I work with women in leadership and aspiring leaders to really develop these skills that we’re not taught but that matters so much.
Sonja Crystal Williams: 5:41
You hit on so many amazing points, one of them being some of these skills. Like we’re not taught these skills in school. We don’t necessarily kind of come to the table when we’re on the job with this tool set. So you’re working with, you said, female entrepreneurs, growing leaders, executives In what ways have you been able to package your service so that they can even recognize? I need this.
Violetta Znorkowski: 6:15
That is a work in progress and I feel like my messaging is getting stronger by the day and the way I invite others is getting stronger by the day. But the way I frame it at the moment is the impacts that hustle culture and striving have on us and on our mental and emotional well-being. And once we start talking about the lists of what hustle culture does and striving to our mindset, to our emotional health, to our physical health, to how it impacts our relationships, I think many people, not only women, start to identify and see themselves within it. So I have two main offers I work one-on-one and a high, high level mentorship with individuals, individual women and also a small group training. That is also longer term. It starts off as a five month experience with maximum six women in it. Because of the sensitivity of the work we do and we live in such a fast paced culture, we want more. We love to be busy. As ambitious women, I love to be busy. I love to have a full schedule in places to show up, and we also need those spaces to slow down, to really become comfortable with a different pace of life and a different intentionality so that we can sustainably create the lasting changes that we want to see within ourselves and our life, in our world.
Sonja Crystal Williams: 7:45
Wow, it makes me think about so many things, one of them being that concept of what you just said hustle culture and you know, for me kind of being in this digital marketing world, how quickly when you see people on social media and email and the way we use our phones, how quickly we go and we scroll and we’re looking at things. Let me ask you, as a part of that experience, as part of it, like helping people understand how to are they, do they need to ignore those things? Do they need to shut their mind off? Do they distance from it? Like, what are some of the pieces or tools that people really begin to gain as they go through your workshops and your offerings?
Violetta Znorkowski: 8:28
They begin to gain the internal resources, which is different than being resourceful. So, as ambitious and high achievers, we are resourceful. We know how to figure it out, we know how to get the ball rolling, we know how to reach out. But having the internal resources is a completely different skill set and it’s an integration between our mind and our thoughts and our physical body, and learning how to notice when we are reaching the edge of what we can handle, and having the skills to make our way back to peace and make our way back to ourselves, because when we operate and make decisions from a place of deep connection to self, the quality of our thoughts, the quality of our decision making and our ideas is completely different. It’s in alignment with who we are and what we really want, as opposed to being influenced by what we think we want and who we think we have to be in order to be successful.
Sonja Crystal Williams: 9:28
Yeah, all the images that we constantly see around us, the Instagram live, you know all those things, but you said it earlier, kind of that internal system versus the external system and really learning how to work through that.
Violetta Znorkowski: 9:43
Yeah, and to integrate both of them, because we do live in a 3D world and there are systems that aren’t quite fair and that’s the reality that we live in. So what do we do about it? Yeah, you know, we can’t ignore that, but there’s so much that we can do in like inside of ourselves, to be able to show up with more authenticity and from a wholehearted place, so that we don’t get hardened by life, we don’t get rigid, because we all deserve to be happy, relaxed and successful in a way that is true to us. It’s our birthright.
Sonja Crystal Williams: 10:19
Yeah, and doing what we love to do or finding those ways that we can help people.
Violetta Znorkowski: 10:23
Yeah, and being able to show them which is my work business yeah it feels good.
Sonja Crystal Williams: 10:28
So for you, how long expanded impact? Is this a new business for you or more recent? How long have you been in business now?
Violetta Znorkowski: 10:37
Yeah, it’s fairly new. I’ve been in business officially for two years, maybe two and a half and it has been an interesting journey transitioning into it and really inviting team members to help me with the skills that I don’t quite have around business and also training myself up for this work to reach the right people who are ready for it and who want it.
Sonja Crystal Williams: 11:03
And as you kind of now embarked on this for two years, I mean new business and I’m sure a lot of you listening maybe in that space, or you’re approaching that space, maybe you yourself have that same kind of feeling of burnout and it’s like how do I shift more into this thing that I love or enjoy or want to be doing as you get started down that path and, of course, part of our conversation just as around, like the marketing piece and how do we attract people to our businesses and want to do business with us? So, Violetta, in your case, like as you’re growing and I know this is still a work in progress for you but what are some of the ways that you’ve found? Hey, this is a way that I’ve been able to capture people’s attention. What channels do you feel like you’re reaching people on?
Violetta Znorkowski: 11:54
I mostly engage on Instagram and I’m dabbling with LinkedIn, but for different aspects of my business which I can begin to unpack and also in-person networking. So I think it’s important to note that my main mission with my marketing is to really set a solid and safe foundation to build a community so that this work can trickle out and have the impact that it’s intended to have. So with Instagram, it’s an amazing way to have people connect with me as a person and the message because it’s important to feel connected to someone that you’re investing in when you’re investing in yourself, and I am a part of a local business network that I have found to be really amazing in building connections and also noticing the language of the ladies around me to be able to use in my marketing. So it goes two ways I’m building those connections and really gaining that trust in person and I think after COVID, there’s a really craving of in-person events and in-person workshops. We kind of wanna get off online space and that’s been really working for me for building that community, but also to notice how I can use what I notice in my marketing with what I do, and I’m building out also a speaking section of the brand to speak on stages and things like that, and LinkedIn has been amazing to build that network virtually and expand my reach in different countries. So I’m an American based in Australia at the moment but a lot of my audience is in North America. So LinkedIn has been really great to expand my professional network and really build those connections and trust and to even practice sharing the message. I think a big part of marketing as well is to practice articulating who you’re speaking to and what you’re doing and who you are, and just having these different avenues and learning to adapt and utilize them to my advantage has been extremely helpful and it’s been so amazing the women that walk through my door to be able to have those connections and to really have these important conversations and transformations together.
Sonja Crystal Williams: 14:18
I love that you bring up the in-person networking piece. I think this is something consistent. I’ve heard in a lot of interviews lately that you don’t abandon just because you have an online presence and we all can and we can build up audiences through social media. You don’t abandon the opportunities that you have to build physical connections in the real world. Not that the social media isn’t the real world I’m definitely a believer in that too but I feel like your digital presence and your offline presence need to be married and there’s such great opportunity. Um, and you bring up another good point about you’re building a community. So Instagram for you isn’t just I’m growing my follower account. I’m growing my follower account and for those of you listening like don’t get caught up in that web of thinking you need 10,000 followers on Instagram to get your message across. If you are intentionally and purposefully building a community, then that community is going to hear you, they’re going to share with other people and you’re going to get much better quality in those interactions over time. Right? Would you say that’s the case so far.
Violetta Znorkowski: 15:29
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I find that to be true and I think it’s important to think of the big picture instead of the immediate gratification, and my big picture is to have this mission surpass me. So our greater mission at expanded impact is to close the gender gap from the inside out. That’s our motto and this can absolutely surpass me. Which means community is important and um follower count does not convert, Does not mean it’s converting to revenue if they’re not engaged and if you’re not clear on who you serve and what you do.
Sonja Crystal Williams: 16:05
Yeah, so so huge. Thank you for sharing that. Um so let’s shift a little bit into our lightning round and I’m going to ask you a few questions. You can give short answers, still elaborate, they can be shorter. Um so, one question would be what’s fulfilling to you about what you do? What feels really fulfilling?
Violetta Znorkowski: 16:32
Seeing the look on my client’s face when they have their aha moments and just visually seeing how their face and their body changes when they begin to release some of these things they’ve been holding on to for so long.
Sonja Crystal Williams: 16:51
Yeah, oh, that’s a good one. Wow, very deep, I love it. Um fun question. Living an American living in Australia, what have been some of your favorite places to visit on that side of the world?
Violetta Znorkowski: 17:04
Ooh, I love where I live, so I live really close to Byron Bay and if you’re ever in Australia, it is so iconic. I think it has some of the most beautiful beaches I’ve seen ever in the world and I’ve been to a lot of places. It’s absolutely spectacular here and Sydney is an amazing city as well, with just the beautiful coastline and you get that really metropolis and city feel. Recommend.
Sonja Crystal Williams: 17:28
All right, um book list. I love, I love books. Um, hopefully you do too. Um, I love books. Oh, good, good, good and you can share away. What are some books that either have impacted you personally or as you are working with your clients. These are books that you kind of guide them toward or encourage them to read.
Violetta Znorkowski: 17:55
One that comes to mind is the Untethered Soul by Michael A Singer. Michael J Singer, I think it’s A A really powerful book that I pick up every few years to see what message lands differently in the stage of growth where I am in my life. So I’ve read it two or three times already within like a 15 year period and it hits differently every time. And, untamed by Glenon Doyle, I really appreciate her perspective. It’s a, it’s like, based on her life, but it’s a fun story and it’s not too serious. But it has some really important themes to kind of reflect on how we shape, shift to fit in and how we can be more connected to ourselves and not so scared to be that.
Sonja Crystal Williams: 18:46
That’s a good one too. Wow, I’m gonna have to look that one up. What’s one piece of maybe just simple or practical advice that you would give business owners who are kind of in a similar stage? Maybe they’re they’ve been in business a couple of years. They’re still kind of maybe figuring things out, but might be making some traction. What are some things that you’ve learned along the way that you would want to share?
Violetta Znorkowski: 19:12
You’re not meant to do this work alone. Higher support, get yourself in a room with people who are experiencing something similar, that you are or are above you in business, so that you can get inspired and learn from them and practice getting comfortable being seen. This is something that I’m still working on. I don’t think it ever fully ends, and it’s interesting how confident you could come off and how that confidence can also be a mask to hide who you are behind it, and authenticity is what people want, and that starts with ourselves and allowing ourselves to be seen. Even if you have a product-based business, it’s you who your customer is connecting with, which means you have to get comfortable being seen and seeing yourself for the brilliant person that you are.
Sonja Crystal Williams: 20:03
Well said, All right. So let’s talk about how people can find you. I know your website is expandandimpactcom, but tell us more about where people can find you online and, if they, if there are people those of you listening where what you’ve heard Violetta talk about today, if it resonates with you, how can they get more information once they get to your website?
Violetta Znorkowski: 20:27
Thank you for that invitation. You can mainly find me on Instagram that’s where I’m the most like chilled out version of myself, and if you want the more professional version of myself, you can find me on LinkedIn under my name Violetta Znorkowski. Expandand Impact is there, too, as a business profile, and if you want to learn more about how your mind and body are connected and how they shape, how you show up, how you deal with stress, how you deal with your triggers, then there’s a free masterclass that I have released, called From Hustle and Stress to Mindful Success. That will set you up with the knowledge and skills to notice when you are reaching your edge of what you can handle and how you can start to make your way back to peace, so that you can become that example of a relaxed, happy and successful woman or business owner that many of us never knew growing up.
Sonja Crystal Williams: 21:31
Wow, thank you so much for sharing and thank you so much for being here. Thanks everyone again for listening today. Until next time and have a good one, thank you.
- Sonja Crystal Williams: 0:00