Emma Spence on Show #178 : Exploring New Opportunities 

Emma Spence and her husband John set up their African Safari business from the UK in the late 1990s.

Then in 2009, they moved their family to the US to set up an arm of their adventure travel company focused on the American market. Emma’s role in the people development side of the company led to becoming part of the Global Learning and Development team after their US business was acquired by the Scott Dunn luxury travel brand.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Emma’s role at Scott Dunn, unfortunately, became redundant, but she is currently enjoying the training to become a certified CTI Co-Active Coach, exploring her passion for coaching and development and pondering her next steps.

Emma joins me today to dive into why she is seeking new opportunities professionally and how her extensive experience in people development led her to embrace the chance to create meaningful impact as a coach.

She shares her methods for maintaining productivity and staying on track with daily and weekly tasks and outlines why she prefers audio to reading when updating her professional knowledge and skills.

Emma also discusses the importance of flexibility and resilience in the face of unexpected challenges and shares her methods of keeping mentally and physically fit to make key decisions about where her next steps will take her. 

“The best thing you can do sometimes is rest your brain, and let it all settle before you pursue new opportunities.”

Emma Spence

This Week on The Power to Live More Podcast:

  • Emma’s role in the finance and development side of the family travel business
  • Why she and her husband decided to expand into the US
  • How they separate out their professional and personal life
  • The three phases of their business development as a couple
  • Emma’s transition into coaching and how she is developing her skills
  • Why she is taking plenty of time to consider her next move
  • How Emma identified her niche as a coach
  • Why Emma loves lists and the problems she has with her email inbox
  • What she does to carve out time for herself in a busy world
  • How Emma deals with days when everything goes wrong
  • What Emma’s perfect day looks like and why it sometimes surprises her American friends

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Emma Spence:

Join the POWER to Live More CALM Membership

Attention home-based coaches and consultants!

Are you tired of feeling alone, isolated, and frustrated with running your home-based coaching or consulting business? Are you sick of feeling like your life would be better, and you’d be happier if you felt more organised and productive? Do you feel like there’s simply not enough time in a day to get all the things done that you need to do to build a successful business while making time to live more?

It’s time to stop the isolation and start getting more organised, productive, and focused on the tasks that will move the needle forward.

It’s time to join the POWER to Live More CALM membership!

If you’re ready to:

  • Stop recreating the wheel and focus on the things that truly matter in your life and business
  • Learn what you need to know to be successful and ‘live more’
  • Get accountability help from a group of like-minded home-based business owners

Then you need to join the POWER to Live More CALM membership programme!

To learn more about the POWER to Live More CALM membership programme and apply, visit PowerToLiveMore.com/GetCalm

Connect, Share, Inspire

Thank you for joining me for this week’s episode of the POWER to Live More Podcast! If you enjoyed this episode and would like to help support the show, please head over to Apple Podcasts or Stitcher, subscribe to the show and leave your honest review! You can also help me reach even more amazing business owners and leaders by sharing your favorite episodes on your social media channels.

Don’t forget to check out my website join my Facebook Group, follow me on Twitter and connect with me on LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram to interact with me and my amazing audience!

Show notes provided (brilliantly, my words not theirs!) by Lidwell Writing Services, LLC

Read Full Transcript

#178 Emma Spence Interview


Today, I'm interviewing Emma Spence, which is quite exciting because she was actually an avid listener to the podcast. And that's how the interview came about. So, welcome. Great to have you with me. Thank you very much Nice to be here. So we connected through mark, who was on one of the previous shows, and you just sent me a lovely message on I think LinkedIn to say that you enjoyed the show. And so I gave you a little shout out to my How did that go?


That was so lovely. Because I listened to you every day was and I'm walking my dog on the beach, just the perfect length of time I listened to one of your podcasts. And I've been switched on to through Marc Williams and giraffe pad. So I was listening to that. And then you know how to let you know that you're here on the west coast of America. You were you were just being spread. It was really good to hear your voice, everyone. Yeah, that's lovely. Thank you. So tell us a bit about who you are, what you do. And as you've started the same way you do it. So yes, I'm based in San Diego, and been here for 11 years. Currently, although I'm in transition working for a luxury travel business, which is a global business based in the UK. And my husband and I have been running it for the last four years. For the press got done.


And yeah, we've that's why we're based on the west coast, eight hours time difference.

#178 Emma Spence Interview

Page 1 of 26

Transcribed by https://otter.ai 01:22

And I've been really do the money and people my husband's the sales marketing. He's the president of the business. And I've for the last 20 years been basically for for the travel business, the money, the money and people.


Lovely. And so you're in San Diego. in sunny San Diego. Yeah. Right on the west coast. 30 miles from Mexico, as far away from the UK as you can get. Yes, yeah. I would suddenly go a few years ago to an event you have got conferences there, don't you? Yes. When the conference center Yeah, I remember being at the on the sort of see forums and seeing the Coast Guard which in in little sunny Hyde, where I live is like a little pop.


And yours is like a big naval destroyer. Yeah, I think it I think it's the biggest naval base on the west coast. So yeah, we've we've got a few of those in the harbor.


Lovely. So tell us a bit more about how you ended up doing what you do. Right. I talk often as you're known to guests and ask them, you know, did you want to do this when you were at school? And obviously mostly the answer was I didn't even know this thing existed. But I guess similar sort of thing did you always want to, you know, live abroad was travel what you thought you'd be doing?




And like most people fell into it. You know, I was, I met my husband 28 years ago. And he is a creative entrepreneur who was always going to push the boundaries do the impossible thing kept the wildest dreams. And I'm a very conservative and safe I like to have everything double checked, and health and safety. Don't take any risks.

#178 Emma Spence Interview

Page 2 of 26

Transcribed by https://otter.ai 03:08

So, you know, the combination of the two of us actually has worked out fine. But then I fell into working with him and setting up a business in the UK 21 years ago now. Because I had the financial background. And I'd worked in corporates, I've worked in travel businesses, I've worked in recruitment, I done a little bit of everything. And I realized that my my talent was in the business and finance side, because I love to have columns that add up and straight lines in spreadsheets, that makes me happy.


And so when he set up his African safari business with a friend of his they've both been whitewater rafters on the zombies in Africa. And it was the sort of natural place for me to carry on. I already had a bookkeeping business to carry on doing all the the financial side of things to make sure that we didn't overspend the money in the budgets were adhere to, and all the stuff that needed to be taxes, and all of that stuff was looked after. So I fell into it at that stage as the financial side of the business. So you know, 10 years of that, we had two children, we renovated a house at the time, so sort of dipped in and out for a bit over those 10 years. But it was it was really at that stage that john decided he wanted to open an office in the US. That's where all the opportunity was for expanding the business. UK was already quite a saturated market. So he said to me, I have three or four times I think we should move to America. I think we should set up a business then I was like, nope, nope, nope, nope, no. And my mom was like, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope. Is your two grandchildren she didn't want to lose to the United States. And in the end, he brought me to San Diego, show me around show me we looked at


opportunity, and I couldn't see any good reason to say no.


So at that point, which was probably the fourth or fifth asking, we we packed up and we moved in. He said, Yep, we'll go for three years, we'll find somebody to take over the business. And then we'll come back. Okay, I can look at that. Yeah, that was 11 years ago.


So we said, we set up a whole new business in the US from scratch, which was literally like

#178 Emma Spence Interview

Page 3 of 26

Transcribed by https://otter.ai setting up from scratch, even though we had a UK business running alongside it. We had to find banks, we had to get credit, we had to get the kids in school. And it was, it was quite daunting, to be honest. And now I look back on it's like, how mad was that?


Especially given your sort of, as you said, Miss health and safety, but the ease and have all the columns adding up? And you must have had to push those boundaries quite a lot during that time. Yes. And I think, you know, anybody who set up a business or done something like that, know that in Bremen, gentlemen, for quite a long time, and that's, I've learned that what I do.


And that gets me through, probably that that first three years was all done on adrenaline first, definitely the first year.


So you don't really think you just do you just you just get on with it, make it work? My husband's a great one for just saying, Well, if we don't know the answer, we'll just go out and find the answer. We'll just keep asking people until we find the right answer.


So he's, he's very extroverted he will you know, so I've got all the support of that.


I'm a high functioning introvert. So I find it, I find it harder.


But yeah, it's being health and safety, I needed to have certain things locked down, I had to be very sure that we were doing the right thing when we set up as a business that that we were ticking all the boxes. So as long as I have a certain amount of that I'm good with it.

#178 Emma Spence Interview

Page 4 of 26

Transcribed by https://otter.ai 07:05

But yeah, I do I do have a little, I'm a little averse to taking, taking too much risk. Yeah. And it's interesting.


I've had people on here who worked with that partner, before a couple of times, it's not sort of that common in terms of my guests. But it strikes me that, you know, it appears to have worked. Yes. And you said, you know, the fact that you're quite different was helpful, but also just on the face of what you've told me already, it sounds like been quite different, actually was also could be quite difficult. because presumably, from what you've said, Your husband is quite likely to be sort of leading from the front saying, Oh, this will, you know, we'll work it out. Let's go and you're saying, hang on, we've got to add that column up, that sort of thing.


You know, not not everyone would be able to deal with because it's that makes it much more challenging. When people don't think like you it has its advantages, but also disadvantages, and then you've got the whole thing about when does the work finish? And when does personal life sort of start? How has that been? I mean, you've had many years experience of it now, it's seems to have gone? Well, yeah, I think we, I mean, we still struggle with it. And it's, sometimes I look back and and think, well, that's just what our life has been. So I've tried to change it, maybe that's just fine. It's not always healthy. I think we could have done a better job of it. I think when you're first starting out, you just everything merges into one. So it's all about you know, it's as much about kids and what school they're going to and whether they're happy is whether the business is doing okay, and you've got some of the employees and whether they turned up for work today, you know, it's, it all merges into one. And I think it's had three sort of distinct phases. And I think it works for couples. And funnily enough, we've got a lot of friends who, America couples who are in business together, which I didn't really sort of realize until quite recently, I think when you're first starting out, there's a lot of strength, there's a lot of power in in both of you because you do push on through you do do the crazy stuff that you know, you get back on your computer at midnight to sort something out. And as you're doing it together, and that's fine. If you've got somebody else who's maybe not as invested or whatever, then that's very hard. So there's a there's real power in it when when you're first starting up. I think it's it's hard in the middle stage when you're when you're running a business and you've got like 20 people, that it's hard for other people, then to

#178 Emma Spence Interview

Page 5 of 26

Transcribed by https://otter.ai work for America. And that's what I'm very aware of that you think it's you you can put up barriers for them to because then they can't push on through. They know they can't get past you if you're if you're set


In one side of the business and your your other house, the other then they've got, they've got nowhere to go. They can never be more senior, they can never be the vice president or whatever it is. Yeah. So I think I think, and I and I have recognized that


a lot recently that we've got to the size before the pandemic, we got to the size where I was a blocker for other people. So I don't think it's particularly healthy. And also, you know, then they were always working for a couple, they can't come to one without the other. And there's a lot of trust that goes with it and stuff, which I've worked really hard on. Yeah. But I think once you've been getting to a bigger organization, if you're a couple working together, then it's fine. Because there's enough people to spread it out this, you can actually ignore each other. And I worked with somebody a few years ago who said that, you know, he, he and his wife worked in the same organization, but and then somebody people would start whispering, saying, I think that might be an affair going on. They had lunch with each other every day, but they didn't realize they were married.


So I think you can lose yourself in a big organization. So I think we were in that middle bit wasn't very healthy. And actually, you know, what, what's happened over the pandemic? And in the transition I'm in now? I think ultimately, it's a good thing. Yeah, yeah. But you know, there's a long time. So it's going to take some getting used to not working together me not getting involved or asking the questions or interfering. Yes, yeah. So just the beginning this, we talked about there being three things that you've learned, and I'm not sure if we've done the three, or if something else you wanted to add before I change subject.


from working together? Yeah, I think you said they were sort of three main benefits or something towards the beginning of what we started saying. And finding is that the, you

#178 Emma Spence Interview

Page 6 of 26

Transcribed by https://otter.ai know, the, really the pushing through when you're working together, as a to start something. Yeah. And then then then the transition time? Yeah, yeah, I think the other thing that can sometimes happen is you it gets a bit


clicky. So it's not even that people feel that they can't go to one because they might tell the other or whatever, because you sort of know each other so well, you can often exclude people unintentionally, we, yes, mentioning, I work with engaged success, the national movement in the UK around employee engagement, and former exec director, became my best friend. I met her through the movement, and you're aware of that she was Kathy, always Kathy Brown, who was on show one and show you 150. And now 200, of whichever show No, we haven't done 200 yet was 350.


And I remember one of our colleagues at one stage and bearing in mind, we work remotely, so we're not together very often at all, and we're all working for different parts of the country and all that sort of thing. I remember somebody making some comment about the fact that we were gluten free together.


I mean, it was like it was a really weird conversation, because we need to eat gluten. And so it was all sort of a topic, sometimes within team meetings or whatever, and cut things off. Or if we bought cakes, we, you know, people made sure they were gluten free or whatever. And then there was some Like, comment about it being you know, clicky about, you know, gluten.


utilitarian, exactly. But it did make me realize that that was naturally happening without us realizing sort of thing, you know, because we knew each other well, and we had lots in common and, and we have sort of in jokes, and we'd work together for a long time and everything else, without intending to we were excluding people, more thinking that we were, you know, including them sort of thing. I think that is something that could just inadvertently happen, you know, because of the circumstance as well. Yeah. And I think that's I think definitely there was that there were some issues with, particularly globally,

#178 Emma Spence Interview

Page 7 of 26

Transcribed by https://otter.ai when you've got teams on the other side of the world here trying to communicate with you there. It was a problem that the two of us were married, and they didn't know who to go to it was confusing messages or whatever it was.


Yeah, it's something to really look out for him in the business. So you touched on your current transition. So there's been a few changes as a result of the the pandemic. So sort of tell us a bit more about what you're doing now? What's happening, what your plans are? Yeah, so last November, and we recently had a change of


emphasis for my role, as well as


with john sort of taking on, you know, the full president role because we have some movement around with our international director. And the CEO offered me the position of a leadership development role with the global business rather than just doing in money and people in the US and we're going to take on an HR manager


To take over all the HR side of things, our finance manager has come coming through and doing a great job taking on a lot of more financial stuff for me. So I was, you know, taking a little bit of a sidestep into the learning and development. And I've always wanted to do my coaching qualifications. So I was, I started my coaching qualifications was with moving into a transition of six months into learning development global role.


So it was, it was a big change for me. And actually, to be honest, it was,


I found it quite hard. It's not when I look back on it. Now, I think, well, what was my

#178 Emma Spence Interview

Page 8 of 26

Transcribed by https://otter.ai problem? But it was because it was changed. It was something new, I, you know, all my saboteurs walked into the room, and were like, you can't do this, why? What do they think they're doing? And so


that was a, I was getting my head around it. And that was taking a bit of time, because I had a lot of insecurities about it. And so in February, I was in London, at the head office. And you know, it's like, Okay, well, maybe I can do this. And this is all going to be good. And I really got myself on track. And then obviously, the COVID hit luxury travel market. In the no sales, everybody wants a refund. There's no business for for the future coming in. We have the horrible, horrible task of laying off 21 or 36. Staff. And in that process, no, there was there wasn't a role for me any longer in the wider business, because it wasn't a crucial role. So I I'm on a six month notice, so I was lucky enough to be able to work out my notice. But


yeah, it it sort of changed everything. I carried on doing what I didn't carry on doing my coaching because they canceled everything because it was all in person coaching courses. Yeah. And they haven't quite got themselves online yet. But you know, now we're back on the mind for the coaching. I'm still doing that. And I've got actually a workshop this weekend. I had one a couple of weeks ago. So I'm feeling really excited about that. So I will go through into my my coaching qualification. But yes, I'm I'm moving out of the business from being an in house coach and doing the land development and getting involved in that too. out there on my own. So I'm in the, in the position where I'm looking for either a job within a company to do to pick up on the coaching, but maybe some of the business consulting because my financial background, or setting up a consultancy on my own, which right now feels like a big scary one. But


you know, I'm just trying to work work that through a moment. Yes. And so you might not remember this all the time. But on the positive side, you have been through a whole setup of a business where you demonstrated your abilities and resilience. And I guess, yes, you're having to check out those memory banks at the moment. Yes. Yeah. So interesting. So what sort of things that you have you done? Are you thinking about doing in terms of sort of moving that forward? Have you are you still having a lot of as are still in sort of limbo with a pandemic? And not quite sort of name? What next steps are Have you gotten into

#178 Emma Spence Interview

Page 9 of 26

Transcribed by https://otter.ai the next phase? Or are you still sort of in that sort of self care bits of it? Trying to sort of work out that route? Yeah, I would say I'm, I'm yeah, I'm still still trying to figure that out.


I think, honestly, I when I did the book, I did a very deep black hole to begin with.


Then I came out into this sort of self care we can we can do this and that this was a bit of a lot of help and support from other people, colleagues, etc. Yeah. And now and I, and I'd say because you've caught a really good time. I've seen a lot on a lot of articles about you know, looking after yourself, taking a break. All of those things. JOHN, and I took a two week break, we did a road trip to the national parks of Utah and Nevada. And I have to say that's the best thing that you can do is actually rest your brain. Yes, stare out the window, do nothing. Think about nothing. Let it all just settle. Yeah, I haven't allowed that to happen. Yeah, till now. It was still it was always like, I still got so much to do. I've got a lot to do, but to pack up everything and make sure everything's filed in the right place, and everybody's got what they need, and really let everything settle in. So that's made a huge difference. It's made me feel like you know, okay, stuff is possible. There are options.


She's out there, I, you know, listen to people that you interview about things that they do that say, Okay, well, that's a really good idea, I could, I could do that. And I've got, I've got experience working with private equity, which is not easy. You know, I've set up a business, I've, you know, run a business on the other side of the world that's got a global headquarters in the UK. Yes, I can work with businesses and people who struggle with that every day.


And hopefully have some sort of X ray of how people are feeling about that, whether it be the management or, you know, struggling because their senior management and leadership team, I've got some broiled in the private equity, you've got to produce numbers, numbers, numbers all the time that their teams don't know what to do, or what's expected of them, or how to interact with each other communicate. I feel like I've got a niche fair, because of my experience, I am definitely coming out understanding what I've

#178 Emma Spence Interview

Page 10 of 26

Transcribed by https://otter.ai got to offer. And now I've just got to figure out how I do that.


Yeah, that's the coaching call going through the coaching course. And the different modules has really helped me because you're doing it yourself at the same time. Yes. And so that's been hugely helpful. Yeah. Well, thank you for sharing. It's this interview will be live in October. So we're interviewing currently in the middle of August. So just to give people some perspective on sort of timings, in terms of, of the pandemic, and it is really interesting. You know, I've said many times, at the beginning, it was a bit black and white, you know, we had to lock down and like you said, you, you know, awfully had to make people redundant, that sort of stuff there, there was quite a clear path at the beginning. And then it became sort of


a bit about, you know, what's going on, and how can we best get through it anything else. And then it felt like as things were starting to open up again, it was, it was like, 10 times more complicated than it was at the beginning. There's so much variability and


flexibility needed and opportunities and the opposite of that, and all that sort of thing. And, and it's so it's interesting, you talk about having that sort of time I am. I took on some coaching at the beginning of the time, at sort of March time. And it's meant that my diary is quite full every week, which was really good for me in terms of, you know, my income and stuff when it could have been much worse. But,


and also, I felt a bit upset on the podcast, before I felt a bit shortchanged that I didn't get a chance to, you know, learn all these new languages, or do embroidery, or whatever it is, that sourdough starter going.


But, but it's interesting that I sort of feel because I've got these things in my diary that I don't normally have, I've sort of felt a bit like I've got a job at the moment. And,

#178 Emma Spence Interview

Page 11 of 26

Transcribed by https://otter.ai 22:53

and I've actually, for the first time in years, plans next week, to actually take a week off. And I've I've put off all my


coaching calls and, you know, podcasts that I would have been interviewing


and saying, literally to just have a week, I'm going to the caravan, just literally half an out the road. So we're not really venturing out very far. But I was called a caravan my happy place.


Perfect. It's interesting that normally I work when I'm away anyway. But it's just stuff that I like to do, like I would do on a weekend sort of thing when no one's clamoring for anything. But I am really thinking about, you know, reading a book, or just as you said, just sitting and not actually doing that work next week, and actually even putting my out of office on lots of stuff. I never do that. And I don't have a problem with that. Because I sort of, again, you'll know from listening to the podcast, I sort of schedule stuff to suit me. And if I want to do something, I'll go and do it. And I'll work at odd times and lots of stuff. So I never feel like I need to do something like that if you like but I have a real need for that. At the moment. I feel like, you know, I need a week off. And I never say that, as I say so it's really weird. But I think it's the same sort of thing that we need some processing time. And I have had mine yet, because I ended up doing more during this time rather than less. And I think that's, that's what it sort of culminated in so it's not easy to do straight away. It's not a you can't just decide, okay, I'm just gonna take the week off and do it because your brain doesn't come back quickly. No, we, when we first got to we were staying with them, not your friends up in proximity that we've just I was pacing around the room. I couldn't settle. I couldn't sit. I couldn't just, you know be and that was even with a couple of days driving. So you have to you have to force your brain to not do anything not to look at your phone not to think about that.


It that's a real discipline. I tell you, it paid off. Yeah.

#178 Emma Spence Interview

Page 12 of 26

Transcribed by https://otter.ai 24:57

Yeah, that's great to hear. So


Let's talk a bit about just sort of generally,


you know, sort of life changing things. On one side, what how do you normally operate in terms of getting stuff done? And, you know, knowing what you want to do and making sure those things happen and so on? Do you have certain sort of strategies and ways that you do that? And, you know, how do you use technology? Or are you one of my regular pen and paper guests.


I'm afraid I


love a pen and paper. Yeah, I'm, you know, running either


a house in a business, and I've got one child on the other side of the world, and a college university in England, and my daughter here, and I'm, I'm a writer list. And I have a a four bound, hardcover book, it has to be that I don't know why that's just what works for me. And I only have specific types of pens. Yeah. Now, I said, they're really weird. But there's, you know, there's a certain pattern and


colors, lots of colors. And it's a bit like, a bit like a shopping list. If you've written a shopping list, you don't actually need to take it with you to shopping to the shop. And

#178 Emma Spence Interview

Page 13 of 26

Transcribed by https://otter.ai because once you've written it down, it sticks. I write loads and loads of scribbles and drawings, whatever, I highlight things in my book, and I can visualize where I wrote things. So if I need to go back to a meeting, so but you know, a month ago, I kind of notice on the left hand side of the page, where I've written something, I can visualize that it's not a photographic memory, but it's that


I do little boxes that I have to go back and tick if it's an action point.


And if I need to, then I translate it, but I translate it onto a Excel spreadsheet, because that's what I knew you're good.


Yeah. So it's my friend. That was a chick, actually, that


our CEO, a previous CEO taught me, so it's so so it's a list, but then it's got a column that prioritizes it. So you have the red, orange green prioritization. So you can just type in red, and it goes red. Yeah, programming to do that. So then you can sort it by the red. And so your urgent list, you can sort, then you've got all the different columns that you can sort it by. So having that huge list in front of you is always so daunting. So then just filter it into things I need to do this week, next week, next month, just takes it down to it. So you can actually see it on this one spreadsheet. Now, you said to me, that I think upgrading can only handle five things at a time. So if I can get it to five things to that priority, I will. Yeah.


So yeah, that's how I organize myself. I am hideous on my email inbox, everybody. I mean, I've got some people around, open up 10 things in my inbox, I'm not how do you do that?


#178 Emma Spence Interview

Page 14 of 26

Transcribed by https://otter.ai I've read, I've read that you know how to have a clean inbox and so much stuff. I can't just, I might want to come back to it. And I want to read it. I want


to know, before we started, I asked you which the latest podcast was that you've been listening to? And you said it was the lovely Penny pullin. And I started by saying, Oh, she's so organized. And she's just like, so calm. And I don't know if you want to interview me.


A bit. We didn't mention on that podcast, I don't know why we didn't get around to it is she has thousands and thousands of emails in her inbox.


And when I say thousands, I mean, like thousands, like into five figures. And she she uses it. Like you've just said, she uses it, like sort of a filing cabinet. She uses her search and she just knows that it's all there. And she just does that she doesn't need it to be clear. So don't worry. Be more Penny, you are more Penny already. That's such a relief. Thank you.


It's my guilty secret. Yeah. And it's like, oh, I feel Oh, people you know, they're looking at my shoulder. They're like, how many people you inbox


with this productivity stuff, there's so many, like, guilt trip things that are laid on us. So you know that that whole Miracle Morning thing, you've got to get up at five o'clock or three o'clock and have it done by five o'clock. And, you know, I know a long time ago realized that mornings are just not my thing. So that's never going to happen. And, and exactly that, you know, mailbox.


Inbox Zero, you know, people want about that and then you start to feel inadequate. If

#178 Emma Spence Interview

Page 15 of 26

Transcribed by https://otter.ai you if you've got three in there, nevermind thousands. And actually, it's all individual. You know, it's about being really clear about what works for you. And doing that. And, you know, I think the only time you need to pay attention to what everyone else has


Doing is if it's not working, and you want to find different routes sort of thing.


I'll show somebody my inbox the other day and on my inbox my to do list my to do list app. And I was trying to sort of say to do is really simple and really straightforward. And it's really easy to use. But you can also make it as sophisticated as you like. And I've used it for years now. So I have got it really set up in you know, lots of detail work. And a bit like you were just saying, you know that you can get different views. So you only have like five tasks. That's how I feel, I slice and dice my to do list by tagging it and all sorts of different ways. So I can create all sorts of different filters so that when I look at my list, there's hardly anything on it, and I can tick it off. And that's how I get through my list. Of course, the people who were looking at it, were like Keeling over.


And one of them said, you know, you have lots of your what you do is very transactional, very sort of human not very strategic, because it's all very sort of lots of little tasks. And it's like, yeah, there are things I do every day as routines. So you know, I can take that


as criticism, not as criticism, I can, you know, acknowledge that. But actually, it only looks like that, because I break things down into these daily routine tasks in order for them to get done on a on a sort of low number figure


to do list, rather than it being a project, which would just completely don't make because it would be too many moving parts on the same page. Yeah, that resonates with me, because it's tough space, a lot of my job has been talkspace. So that, you know, that's that's how it works. And nothing better than taking something off on your to do list is

#178 Emma Spence Interview

Page 16 of 26

Transcribed by https://otter.ai done. I mean, you've got to have things on there that you can take off. You've just been there once you've done them to tick them off sometimes. Absolutely.


Especially when you're doing a pen and paper so much. But yeah, when I write my to do list, I definitely used to add things on and tick them off. Because it's


salutely I had to look at to do is when you were to because I'd heard you talking about it a few times. And then and I signed up I signed up for the newsletters, but I haven't really had the chance to really get stuck into it. But


something that's one step forward, I should make. I do like the color coding on the on the Outlook inbox anyway. Yeah. So you can have different colors. So you can just filter that. So yeah, I'm hugely relieved to know that I'm not the only one with a


record should be pleased that she's inspired.


I, there's another one. It's a spreadsheet tool that it's sort of like Excel, but it's like Excel on steroids. That might be one worth looking at. And I'm trying to think, who mentioned it, it's been on a podcast somewhere along the line. And but yeah, it's if you just sort of do a bit of googling, it's it's something pages or something. But it's like Excel, but it's it's more, it's more like it's sort of database type scenario. So for people who like that linear, sort of way that excels work worked out, it works quite well. So that might be worth


putting in my mind about two hours later. So I didn't send you an email.

#178 Emma Spence Interview

Page 17 of 26

Transcribed by https://otter.ai 33:15

So let's talk a bit more you talked about sort of having that time to stop you did your sort of trip away and you know, calm yourself and so on. What sort of things do you do to keep you energized to get on with life? Generally, you talk about walking your dog every morning and listening to my podcast. So that's that's


Yeah, I mean, I've never been good at


carving out time for myself, or any of that.


It's just life always seems too busy. You know, kids and business and whatever. So you know, I think I got myself into a bit of a rut of office is very close to the home. But I find myself getting my car and driving to the office. It's like it's a two minute walk. What am I doing? Oh, I need to you know, I need to go go to the supermarket afterwards. So I'll take the car in it just crazy stuff like that. Very American, though, isn't it very, very American. Because we don't have a pavement to walk on. So you have to walk on the road. I mean, so anyway, things have changed. And my lovely 17 year old daughter who is always in tune with my mental health and this is the most sensible person in our family


at the beginning of lockdown, and she's been pushing me to


have a new dog. We have had, we've always had dogs. I lost my


my daughter had long hair daxon that died very young. She was only two and a half and he died

#178 Emma Spence Interview

Page 18 of 26

Transcribed by https://otter.ai 34:47

about three years ago. And I've just been like No, we haven't got space for puppy now we were just not you know, too busy too much for Thai traveling too much blah, blah, blah. When she saw she saw her opportunity when locked out.


Started and started showing me pictures of cute puppies that have been rescued and we could just Foster and so she signed up for all the foster places in my name without me knowing forged my signature and everything.


And then just kept showing me pictures of dogs written, you know, ridiculous in our stations that you know, it'll be fine. It's only gonna be with us for a month. So, one Sunday morning, the classic marketing line. Look at this puppy, Mommy, we've got an hour to decide.


She gave you a deadline to give me a deadline. And I don't need to talk to you father. Classic line. So they decided that this was a good idea and that they were going to go down to the Mexican border to pick him up late on a Sunday night. It's like you just organized at all as long as he's got some food, that's fine. But I was I was really separating myself from So long story short of nine o'clock at night. Some people turn up with this puppy in the back of a car with many other dogs and kind of handed him to us in a crate with half a can of food and you know, screeched away. So we're like, Okay, so we've got a dog


couldn't get near him for the first 24 hours because he was so nervous getting picked up on the streets in Tijuana. Just across the border in Mexico. Yeah. And so he was a foster supposedly Foster. Yeah. And within about, you know, three days, we realized that he was going to be us forever.

#178 Emma Spence Interview

Page 19 of 26

Transcribed by https://otter.ai 36:32

You know, I was he's a young, you know, strong fit dog. So he needs plenty of exercise. So I was up at six o'clock every morning and out on the beach. And, you know, that's when I started listening to your podcast. And so now I've got routine, it's, you know, I'm taking some exercise, I feel so much better. You know, I'm trying to walk at least trying to get to the 10,000 steps a day, but on average, doing about eight weekends, maybe 15. Yeah, which is gone from about 300 steps a day. And Previous to that. Done, I had a lot of good


getting out there and it's just, you know, my daughter knew that's what I needed and that I was sitting at my desk


12 hours a day, worrying about stuff getting, you know, just really into a dark place. So yeah, big change in routine. Yeah, well, well thank her for me, because that gave me a new kind of new guest


and I love podcasts and podcasts are I don't, I don't read a huge amount and because I thought because I am very slow reader and, and so I find it frustrating. I can't get through things quick enough. And also I read and I fall asleep because I do it at 10 o'clock at night and fall asleep immediately. So I'm much better audio and I love listening to podcasts I listen to all sorts of stuff a lot of BBC based stuff because it's you know my connection with England. I listen to


I don't know if you've listened to walking the dog.


Which is hilarious.

#178 Emma Spence Interview

Page 20 of 26

Transcribed by https://otter.ai 38:10

And then things like


Saturday morning live a bit of comedy fortunately with them with Phoebe Glover and Jane that that's hilarious.


And then it just Simon Sinek is also in because I've when I first heard him in the US I was like Oh, he sounds like he's got a little English accent in there or something. He is actually been in America a long time.


And then you're obviously your podcast I'm working my way through the


hundred and 870 whatever it is now.


77 so you got a few weeks ago yeah.


So yeah, I know there's some really great stuff out there. And I switched between the sort of you know, Brenda brown and the and the the motivational and the work stuff and then you throw in a bit of comedy in the desert island desk. So yeah, my phone is mainly photographs and podcasts.


I've listened to far fewer since we've been on lockdown because I generally do it when

#178 Emma Spence Interview

Page 21 of 26

Transcribed by https://otter.ai about walking and when I've been walking home on the treadmill I've been watching something instead because looking at the wall in my porch didn't really appeal so I actually I was surprised my podcast listening stats have sort of picked up a bit and a fairly static I was expecting them to go up and then my periods go down.


But a lot of people did go walking so hopefully and I think the thing is having your earbuds or headphones on constantly.


I was I started sleeping with my headphones in and I've got into all those sort of bad habits that I need to go back to sleep listening to poker so I need to go back to sleep to you know, it's a really bad habits but actually needed


To sleep.


Yeah, I think I think it isn't addiction. I think it was it started with, you know, there's some, there's some great podcasts, but they are quite


good to go to sleep to. And not including any of those above that I talked about that but some things that just talk about how things work, or how does neuroscience work and you just switch it on, and it's fantastic for jetlag, and it's not my sister put me on to your jetlag, you just wake up in the night, you just put podcasts on for 20 minutes, and then go back to sleep without putting the lights on and reading them. But it's a that then became the normal. Yes, yeah. You've learned about chefs on Graham Norton of all things. I think it's the app. It headspace one of the meditation apps, they've had famous people record stories like

#178 Emma Spence Interview

Page 22 of 26

Transcribed by https://otter.ai 40:50

that you can listen to to send you to sleep. And one of them is Matthew McConaughey.


voice at the best of time. So um, him and I think, Stephen Fry my daughter, one of them as well, I think but yeah, I don't know if it is headspace. But it's one of the meditation or the sleep apps. There's a whole series of basically bedtime stories.


She's just said, you know, do to help you to not off so. Yeah. Okay. So let's go to the questions. First one, what about those days where it all goes horribly wrong? How do you deal with those days.




I have to isolate myself, I just need to be on my own. I just removed myself from and I, I actually need time on my own anyway. But guess when it all goes wrong, just remove myself sit on my own in my room, or go for a long walk or whatever. But now it's just getting the car drive away. Actually, sometimes.


It's just beyond beyond my own. And we set Good night sleeping sort of in the next day?


And what about those days where you get to live more, and that's about doing more things that you want to do and less of the stuff that you don't want to do? What do those days look like for you?

#178 Emma Spence Interview

Page 23 of 26

Transcribed by https://otter.ai 42:07

It generally involve good friends thing outside, definitely food.


I've got some, you know, I've got some lovely lovely friends in, in San Diego, that, you know, I spend time with we discuss all sorts of things, a long walk on the beach with a couple of friends and a flask of tea and cake at the end of it, which is very unAmerican, they think they're mad, and they get a tea towel out and have tea. But the lovely Australian and Danish friend that I do that with a lot of us so restoring.


And just and also just here, jumping in the sea, getting your head in the water


is the Pacific isn't always that warm. So it's a perfect time of year now. But yeah, for me, it's just being outside. And also I love it. I love having people around me I love entertaining. I don't like being the center of attention. So I'm just a love feeling people. People are having a good time people are making connections, introducing people to together and then just kind of standing back and watching it if that makes sense. Yeah, that's what that's what makes my heart sing. Sounds like some great traits for a future coaching business.


I hope so I mean that I love coaching. That is like a really good party. If I if I've got a team and we've had some lovely coaching sessions or, or just sessions, team building sessions with our team in the US, unfortunately, before a lot of them left us.


But if I do half a day in a room doing some team building, and the time goes so fast, and I come away feeling so happy. And like, Well, that was easy.

#178 Emma Spence Interview

Page 24 of 26

Transcribed by https://otter.ai 43:51

And it wasn't easy, but it's just it's because it makes my heart sing. So it's what I want to follow that feeling to come out of the room feeling like, Oh, that was good. It really invigorated by that. And the time went really quickly. And I don't feel exhausted by it. No, no. So how can people find out more about you and connect with you? Well, I'm not I'm not really out there, which is something I'm working on. I have recently introduced LinkedIn profile. So that's easy to find.


But you know, before that, I sort of missed that boat completely. Because for 20 years, I haven't been looking for a job. I mean, my last CV was written in MS DOS. So


it was not something that I had out there on the outside world. So and then I felt what if I put it up there, people are going to notice and think, oh, why should you just done that? So anyway, I've done it. And I'm working on how to make that work for me for looking for work? Yeah. So that's sort of my project for the next few weeks. And then I'm on Facebook and Instagram was really, really boring.


It's just pictures of Katie


And then you know, LinkedIn I guess is the is the main place.


The time it goes out it might be an all singing and dancing profile. Exactly.


Thank you so much. It's been great interviewing you and get to know a bit more about you after just knowing that you walked your dog on the beach.

#178 Emma Spence Interview

Page 25 of 26

Transcribed by https://otter.ai 45:21

Thank you really, really appreciate it.

#178 Emma Spence Interview

Page 26 of 26

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

You may also like...

POWER to Live More Podcasts

Csaba Toth on Show #181 : Why You Need Uncommon Sense

Csaba Toth is a British/Hungarian entrepreneur, researcher, and speaker and the founder of ICQ Global, an international people development organisation. [...]

POWER to Live More Podcasts

Dr Russell Thackeray on Show #180 : Empower Your Resilience

Dr. Russell Thackeray works with organisations to achieve enhanced performance and results by aligning culture, leadership, and people and he [...]

POWER to Live More Podcasts

Karen Tui Boyes on Show #179 : Smart Study Strategies

Karen Tui Boyes is a champion of Lifelong Learning and an expert in effective teaching, learning, study skills, motivation, and [...]

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Subscribe to my newsletter now!

Stop the Overwhelm, Get Organised and Get to Live More