182: Entrepreneurial Hacks for the Corporate Life


Welcome to episode #182 of the Own Your Best Life Podcast. When you’ve been in the corporate world or even just a bigger company mode for a while, it’s good to shake things up and bring in some new energy. New ideas and ways of working can create the feeling of freshness, growth and the possibility of reinventing yourself even while you’re in the same place can happen faster than you think. One of the amazing things about starting a business is that you bring a certain level of new thinking to all areas of your life, including your current life. Small shifts like mixing bigger versus smaller company ideas can create huge ripples in the way you think about your time, effort and what’s possible for you in this lifetime. Today’s podcast is on the entrepreneurial hacks that you can take into your corporate life.

I’ve found that starting a business has made me better in my corporate life. My sales and leadership training work in the corporate world and my spiritual achievement coaching work are hugely complementary yet different enough that I have to activate separate parts of my brain. I’ve seen quite a few benefits so I wanted to share with you all who have both corporate and entrepreneurial work – or are contemplating starting a business – what benefits are possible.


When I first started my coaching business, I worried about how to make things work when I had both the coaching and corporate work. I wasn’t as efficient with my time. I hadn’t eliminated the patterns of burnout and stress. I was also a mom of 2 girls under the age of 5. At the same time when I had more intense work during a more intense parenting age of my life, I decided to start a business. I did know that coaching was my calling. Something that I would do because it felt that important. I’ve shared this before but when I went through my coaching certification with Columbia’s executive coaching program I had a moment where I walked across the campus of the in-residence program and looked up at the night sky and made a promise to myself. I promised myself that I would support coaching no matter what. I’d make money doing other things if needed but the work was that important. It was as if I could see the future in that moment of the impact it has on people’s lives and the ripple effect of my coaching work. I don’t think there are very many things outside my family where that sense of purpose and passion is so big – that sense of “I will do what is required to make this work”. 

Sometimes the businesses you start are a labor of love, passion and a commitment to something more than money. Even though it’s required to make money in this world, starting a business often opens up so many more opportunities to rethink how money is even made, what matters and why.

The first hack that I’ve taken into consideration is bringing more passion back into the corporate world. We often get bored or listless doing the same things over and over – yet, what if you could bring back some of that passion? What if you treated your corporate work as if it was more than just something that paid the bills? That it could be a source of personal growth and satisfaction again, even if you feel like you want to be doing something else. One of the things that I teach is how to love your work again, because even if things are changing – there’s no reason to suffer needlessly wishing things were different and just waiting for things to get better. I’ve learned through coaching achievers on their career pivots that passion doesn’t come from a job, it comes from how you think about the job.

There’s a halo of passion when it comes to entrepreneurship and there’s an assumption that if you decide to start something, you must have some passion around it because you get to choose what you are starting. That is true, yet entrepreneurs also have to do more than just one thing in the business. They don’t just start off doing one thing they love, which maybe if it’s building a business – is the passion – but often they may have a passion for the idea but what it takes to execute the idea is more. This means that passion comes from the meaning you give to the work that you do. Go back to the mission of the organization you’re at and instead of seeing it as some corporate speak, see it from the eyes of a person who created this business – what was the inspiration and vision? One person, you – could become the living and breathing embodiment of that inspiration and vision – and it will give you new energy and a new role to play in the organization. We need more culture builders and role models of behaviors that we want replicated in this world so if you have it in you to love big and fiercely, you also have it in you to see how the work you’re doing is benefitting the world around you in some way shape and form. Bring back that passion.

Creating more time

I was at a point of burnout when I started my coaching business so adding more to the plate wasn’t the best idea. Yet, making myself do it when I was the most busy in my life created in me the ability to understand why I burned out and why it was more than just a time management problem. I read all the books, I organized, I planned, I prioritized – but these actions alone didn’t solve it because it was a mindset and spiritual problem.

The same thing goes for adding any kind of work or project to your plate. There comes a point where just doing the same things and more, just faster isn’t the answer. You aren’t an assembly line. I began to adopt a 10x mindset out of necessity, which is that if I had 10x the health, responsibilities and results I desired, I’d have to do things completely differently. I’d protect certain parts of my day and my time. I would choose whose opinions really mattered to me. I would become more decisive about what’s important and why – and I would have to truly practice letting go of perfectionism constantly. I won’t get to 150% across everything anymore and it wasn’t even smart to do so.

You can get better results in less time. I didn’t believe it at first, but it’s true. In the beginning, there is an investment to figuring out the skills required out but once you do it, the results keep staying. These are the skills of mindset work, spiritual practices and ways to combat stress and overthinking that keep us in stress mode for weeks, months, years and sometimes decades on end. 

Often we’re so shortsighted because we have so many demands on our time that we just keep trying to tread water instead of learning how to swim to an island to build a boat. We fill the time we have so if you have less time to fill, you’ll find yourself in a place where you have to figure out where you’ll make more time in your calendar.

I do a lot of work in the evenings, mornings and weekends. It ebbs and flows but I want to share that because one of the things about creating a business is that you may have a new schedule to fit into your life. Adopting new schedules can be messy and that messiness is the real part of figuring out how to make something work. 

Over time things get streamlined but creating time is a practice that can feel messy at first. Humans don’t love change. When we have routines that work, we hate changing them up because it takes more energy, but being open to new ways of working means that we’re trying new things when it comes to creating time. This may mean hiring people to expedite your thinking or to create leverage. Using technology heavily. Leaning on the expertise of others. Understanding your biology so you can use your physiology to your advantage and access your best thinking on demand. 

Creating new rules

Yet, having a business isn’t just about doing more work in less time, it’s about doing things in ways that you think work better. This is why one of the entrepreneurial hacks that I have found most helpful in the corporate world is creating new rules. I’m not talking about going against policies or doing things that could lead to your termination. This is about the ability to say, why do we always do things this way? We all have blind spots. We all could do our work in 100 different ways than we do them today. The question is how ready are you to stop doing what you’re doing the way you’ve been doing it?

I remember being at what felt like my end in the corporate world. Wanting to quit it and yet not doing it was a blessing in disguise. I wasn’t going to stop coaching either, yet I didn’t have examples of people who were successfully doing both corporate work and their own business. This meant I had no rulebooks to follow and one thing I love to do is to follow what’s already worked before for others because it saves so much time and energy – but in this case – I had to create my own rulebook. So I decided on all the big and small things. What I would focus on and what could wait. What time I would wake up and go to bed. What I needed to continue to invest in because growth wasn’t an option.

It wasn’t just because they all do it this way. I woke up out of the corporate haze and for the first time in a while, I started feeling like I was my own person again. Once you feel like an autonomous person again, it’s hard to go back to sleep. You stop being a victim, you see so much more progress, you get smarter every time you fail and you feel like it’s all worth it because you see how much more energy you have now that you know that being your own person, even in the corporate world – works. It’s such a subtle thing, but there is so much comfort in the structure and security of bigger organizations that it’s easy to stop questioning things because you assume that it all works. 

Yet, even in bigger organizations we need people to spearhead change and to keep new ideas flowing. We need people to help build the future and often the people who are best at that role are also being very creative in how they live their life. They are the ones who are developing themselves on their own time and on their own dime. Giving more than needed and taking way less than they could from the organization. If you could see your life through the lens of someone who was just told that they have 10 more years to live and that they would have to keep doing their corporate work, this is the renewed sense of rules that I am talking about.

Personally, I’ve decided that I will reduce distractions and not check email constantly. I’ve created my own planning process. I see myself as a steward of the organization’s values and vision. I don’t take things personally and I don’t try to do everything. I take a lot of time off to do personal development work and to spend time with my family. I hold an energy of gratitude and possibility for change. I remember when covid hit and there was a massive change in the ways that we worked and lived, it opened up to all of us that we don’t have to do things the same way. We focused more on our families and time with people. We humanized the way that we worked and those things can all be the same kinds of things we do even now. For me, it felt like it was catching up to the ways of working I was already embodying. 

It doesn’t have to take a global pandemic for you to think and work differently. You might be the one person on your team that works from home on a certain day or does things the way you do them, but if you understand why you’re doing it – then you can stand behind it. I was more willing to fail living on my own terms and seeing that if I figured this out for myself, now – it would have a longer lasting effect on my life and set an example for others who want to do the same.

So those are the three main hacks, Passion, Creating Time and Creating new Rules. I hope that you can take some of these overarching ideas and sense the possibilities that create for your own life, no matter what you’re doing for work. We spend so much time thinking about, stressing and worrying about our work that it’s so worth it for us to find ways to lighten the load and make it become a source of energy and passion again – as it has for me. You can burn out and come back. You can regain your energy after a big dip. It’s not too late and you haven’t gone too far down the path that you’re on that you can’t try something new. Remember that one small shift in direction today means that you can be in a completely different place a year from now.

If you’re ready to Own Your Best Life, I want to invite you to watch the free training on how to Stand Out and Lead, using spiritual, high-performance strategies. You can access the training at https://may-empson.mykajabi.com/stand-out-and-lead.

You can then apply to join my Spiritual Achiever® program, where you’re going to create your next chapter with spiritual and high-performance strategies to achieve time and financial freedom using my proven method. It’s risk-free. You either start seeing results within your first month or I give you your money back. Schedule your call HERE. We’ll see you inside.

Want to know more about what happens when you join?

  1. When you join Spiritual Achiever® Coaching you’ll be supported for a full year: Career Revelation Academy: A 5-step career change process (if you have a job you want to stay in, I’ll show you how to love it even more) that can launch you into your next career chapter in 30 days.
  2. 2x/month group training and coaching on Spirituality, Achievement, Earth Energy and Harmony. You’ll know how to design your days for breakthroughs, create a personal brand and community, lead yourself and others through change, become more physically and mentally fit, reduce stress and reinvent what’s possible in this next chapter of your life.
  3. Discover your Leadership Strengths and Branding Workshop: Increase your awareness of what makes YOU different from others and how to become even better at your genius zone.
  4. Your Best Year workshop: Create your one year plan and design this next year, no matter what time of the year it is.
  5. Your Next 5 Years one-day virtual retreat: Vision what’s possible 5 years from now and break out of your old routines so you can step into new habits, behaviors and routines.
  6. Tickets to all in-person Spiritual Achiever retreats (accommodations not included): Highly immersive and intimate gatherings where we spend time in nature, experience energy work, eat and move well – all while making big decisions and committing to what’s next for us.
  7. Monthly 1:1 Coaching Sessions: To help you break through obstacles, define your individual path, and to work on both strategy and mindset.

The next step?

Schedule a consultation to get clarity on how coaching can help you on your journey.

Once you’re accepted into the program, you’ll receive a calendar invite for a 2-hour deep dive 1:1 session to map out your personal goals and your own year-long journey.

You’ll have immediate access to the Spiritual Achiever process and philosophy – how to achieve your biggest goals and reinvent your life.

You’ll have immediate access to 5 modules of Career Revelation Academy – to love your career even more and launch that next chapter of your career in 30 days.

You’ll have the calendar invites for the upcoming group calls and retreats.

The next round starts next month.

If this speaks to you, I can’t wait to talk to you live: Schedule a consultation.

Reach out at www.mayempson.com/contact for more information on my Spiritual Achiever coaching program. You’ll figure out what’s next and actually go and do it. 

That’s it for this week. Have an amazing one and I’ll talk to you next time.

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