We had the good fortune of connecting with Cady North and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cady, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
I used to believe that the only way to get ahead was through hard work and becoming more efficient. Ironically, all my effects to succeed in this way ended up leading to burnout. Sometimes the traits that make us resilient, like an “I can do it myself” attitude, over-functioning, or over-responsibility, can lead straight to burnout, anxiety, and depression. So, in 2015, I left my corporate job and went on a 6-month sabbatical free from work, achievements, and to-do lists. It was transformational. It allowed me to reset my expectations for work and inspired me to create my own business helping women one-on-one with their personal finances. It also imprinted a new goal forever in my mind: do and measure what nourishes you. Time off is really important to me. So, I measure days off as one of my key performance indicators. I stopped using to-do lists and instead rely on time-boxing in my calendar — a gentler way to plan projects and activities. I also actively reclaim empty time slots on my calendar. Many would simply fill these with more work and to-do list items. I actively choose to reserve these open time slots for more nourishing activities such as naps, reading for fun, walks, an acupuncture appointment, etc. I fully embrace the fact that I’m productive in an episodic way. I tend to complete creative tasks when the mood strikes as opposed to needing to make a little progress daily. Taking breaks, and the fact that I don’t ever try to cram too much in a day allows more opportunity for that mood to spontaneously strike.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I’m the founder and CEO of North Financial Advisors, a boutique financial planning firm that works to help women unlock and achieve their biggest dreams. Even though I love my work and believe everyone deserves a lot more financial literacy in their lives, when I got the opportunity to write a book, I deliberately chose not to write about personal finance. Instead I wrote a book about how to develop excitement and energy around your purpose, called The Resiliency Effect. When I speak to clients and prospects I realized we all have big dreams we can name, but very few of us are living them. I experienced this too, because it took me more than 8 years to start my business after first writing down a goal that I wanted to do this kind of personal finance work. I first had to overcome and process a lot of early adversity I experienced after losing my parents in my early 20s to alcoholism. As the oldest of three, I was suddenly in charge of not only managing their estates but also taking care of my two younger siblings. At the age of twenty-two, I became the guardian of my sixteen-year-old sister, which was an unbelievable amount of responsibility to be handed to a young adult. This experience bled over into my work as I used my job and achievement to cope with a lot of what I experienced. I share a lot in my book about how I spent time unlearning that overachievement and busyness are the key to getting what you want and feeling fulfilled. What I learned through my own story and by researching or interviewing more than 50 people for my book is that it’s not about another rung on the career ladder or finding life hacks to get more done in a day. The people who are actually living their true dreams went on an inner journey that helped them not only find their purpose but find the courage to live it too. There are a lot of infrequently shared success catalysts like being vulnerable, unlearning coping mechanisms and figuring out what nourishes you that truly make a difference. We can do more than just survive things we experience in life — we can thrive — and that’s what resiliency is all about.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Check the low tide schedule and head to La Jolla Shores or one of the nooks at Sunset Cliffs for tide pooling and cave exploration when there’s a negative tide. Take a walk at the Botanic Garden in Encinitas Hike the Domelands (winter) or the Oak Canyon Trail in Mission Trails (any time) Take a beach day at Kellogg or Blacks (summer) Get some Birria tacos at Yesenia’s Grab a La Mamalona pizza and sangria at De Nada Kitchen Get a veggie sampler at Red Sea Ethiopian Grab burritos at Mujer Divinas Eat a Dirty Flat Top at The Friendly
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There’s so many people to thank: Elizabeth for being a sounding board, cheerleader and mentor to me. You always have the right words. Steve for teaching me many years ago that when you leave a job you always try to negotiate at least a 20% pay raise at the next place. Janet for getting me to think more about “unlearning” as a skill and a tool for improving my outlook and my mindset. To the team at New Degree Press and all my beta readers and supporters who helped me launch my book, The Resiliency Effect. Michael, Maddy, the entire staff at XY Planning Network and its hundreds of members around the country who helped me get my business off the ground and thriving. The Kinder Institute for teaching me financial planning done right. Georgetown University for giving me the skills and confidence so that I could be a successful entrepreneur. My husband Brian for his love, support and marketing mind. My Friends and Framily for being my champions, advocates and shoulders to cry on.