Hello, this is Corey. Hey, before we get into today's episode, I want to share something with you. I've been very fortunate and blessed to see an uptick in my coaching business over these last few months, and it's because leaders need help. So if you're one of those leaders that has found yourself, kind of in a rut, the working from home is difficult, your priorities have been changed and even questioning your purpose and kind of what are you going after. You are not alone. I put together a webinar called the power of priorities and purpose. You can find it at my website, Corey M carlson.com. And there, there will be a tab on the left. Is this for you? Click on that, watch the webinar. It's about 20 minutes long. You'll learn the five capitals framework, which will help you with prioritization. You'll also learn a process to put together and think through a vision for your life. And so I wanted you to check that out as a kind of a blessing and a go forward to see if it helps get you moving. And if you want further information, then we can talk about a coaching program, but you will find absolute value in this webinar. So I encourage you to go check it out. Thank you very much and onto today's episode..
Welcome to the win at home first podcast. I'm your host, Corey Carlson. This podcast is where we talk about how successful business leaders win, not only at work, but also at home. On this podcast, we will go behind the scenes with great leaders to hear stories of how they win. Thank you for listening and on to today's episode.
(01:33): Hello, this is Corey today. I'm excited to bring you this episode. Ryan Walker, Ryan has been a client of mine for the last couple of years, but these last six months, I have been inspired and challenged by him in the bold moves he's making in a time of COVID and quarantine. When a lot of people are playing it safe, Ryan is actually taken some bold moves. He's decided to leave a big name company that we all know the name of. He's decided to leave that to step into something new. He has had a strong hold on money in his life, but yet has pivoted these last few months to make a large tithing donation to his church. So just a cool conversation. It's been fun to be a part of his journey these last six months, but to be able to bring it to all of you, to see how it can be helpful and inspiring to you for whatever decision you were making. I'm excited for you to hear this episode. So onto today's episode, thank you very much.
(02:32): Hello this is cory carlson, you're listening to win a home first podcast today. I'm excited to bring to you Ryan Walker. He is a good friend of mine as well as been a client. And so it's fun to just see the things that he has done in his own life from a professional standpoint, as well as a personal standpoint, he has a high profile career from the standpoint. He is a lobbyist in Washington, DC on the Hill, and he has been with a big name company for almost a decade. And now he's looking even transition into some new opportunities, so exciting time in his life. And just want to bring that to all of you listeners as a way to help you think about how to step and do bold action in your own life. So, Ryan, thank you very much for being here today. Thank you. Well, let's get started with a question that I know you as a listener are familiar with, but what do you believe is that key trait for that leader to win both at work and at home?
(03:29): You know, it is as I was thinking about this from your you're listening to some of your previous podcasts as I was thinking through this, you know, it's not often talked about, but it's, it's, self-awareness self-awareness I think had goes a lot in, in both your work and your personal life, because as you balance it, you have to be aware enough to say no to things and how you manage your own time. So if you're not, if you're not being self-aware, if you are, if you're not growing and self-awareness, I think that there's a lot of ability for missteps there as well as if you are self-aware are being self-aware and growing in that, I think there's a lot of opportunity there to, to win at home and to win in your purpose and your professional life. And, you know, that is, I always attend to learn the hard way and, and that's, that's no exception for me.
(04:25): That's awesome. How have you grown in self-awareness like, what are some old Ryan things that, you know, that you used to do to now say the new Ryan, where, because of your self-awareness you show up differently at work and at home,
(04:39): One of the things is, you know, Washington is a, is a town where there's, I mean, in non COVID times, there's, there's always something going on. There's always a, a breakfast though. I mean, you could eat out every meal of the day, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and have, you know, go to a cocktail reception. And I used to think that I always have to, I'd always have to be everywhere or be at everything. And that took its toll on my, my home life. And, you know, I was, wasn't a president husband. I wasn't, you know, when we had children, I wasn't a present I wasn't a present father. So I think that one of the things that helped me grow in self-awareness was also the was one getting into, into the word of God, every, you know, as often as possible. I like to say every day, but in reality it doesn't happen every day, but yeah, we miss a few days. Yeah. And, but, you know, I've been blessed with a truly great network of, of friends of believers who were able to walk with in my life. And you know, some of those are here in Washington. Some of those are in other parts of the country that where we either used to live here and now have moved away. And, but we still stay in, in, you know, pretty close contact.
(06:00): Well, having worked with you for a couple of years, I know your Instagram three like myself. So part of that shadow side is that approval wanting the approval of others. So always saying yes to all of the different meetings. And I know a lot of listeners struggle with it. I need to say yes to this breakfast yes. To this dinner. And then talking with you is you are right. It's, it's all the time in Washington, DC, where you have an offer and an option, every single meal to go somewhere. And I, I can't imagine how I would handle that situation. So when you started to make the change of, Hey, I don't need to go to everything. How did that look like? I mean, did business all of a sudden drop off, or did you realize that was a lie that you were living, that you had to be everywhere in a self-awareness growth? Yeah,
(06:45): It was. I mean, it wasn't anything that we're, we're business drops off. I mean, here in Washington, it's, you know, there's businesses always booming with politics. I mean, largely, and there's always something to deal with. I think that when that change happened in me, it was more of a reliance and on, on God and, and saying that, Hey, you know, you have your children at home who, you know, don't see you, you know, sometimes you are, you leave before they get up and you'd come home and they'd already be in bed. And, and, and I believe me, I am blessed with a wonderful wife who is not only supportive, but who is also keeps me in check. And in terms of helping me balance things, she's, she's very good at that. And sometimes too, not, not gentle at doing that, but she's
(07:45): Should probably start off gentle and you weren't listening. Therefore she had to pick it up a bit.
(07:48): Right. And as from someone who's at admitted workaholic, you know, I can, I can, I can operate with blinders on at times and just see only the, the professional goals or the, you know, the, the get stuff done mentality. And, you know, that becomes your life. And you forget about other things. I mean, throughout this whole process, you know, I've had to learn and grow and I've, I've lost friendships and I've, you know, thankfully I've been able to regain some of those back just because I was so hyper focused on growing in my career and reaching that next rung of the ladder that it's everything else became secondary at that point.
(08:34): I'm similar to you, Ryan, where I want to say yes to everything. I know there's a lot of listeners who are doing the same. And so right now, during COVID, there aren't as many options. So it's kind of easier to not allow the extracurricular activities to get in the way of home life as well. I guess the COVID kind of starts to die down or schedule starting to loosen back up. That's the area that I'm curious about in my own life of all right. I've done very good. These last few months of not saying yes to every coffee and every beer opportunity, what's it going to look like when COVID over? So what are you going to do in your life, or it's kind of the boundaries you're looking to set up so that you don't fall back into your old ways?
(09:14): Yeah, I think I'm still working through some of that, but I think that one of the things is that, you know, in Washington and in anywhere really, I mean, you've been, we've been separated by, by COVID and the sense that, you know, from a person to person standpoint and a relational standpoint, that we almost want to dive back into the pool and, you know, take every coffee in every lunch and every dinner. But also think that the great thing about this endemic, if there, you know, if you can say that is that it's kind of provided this, this hard reset and in a lot of ways and saying, okay, bringing us back closer to home, closer to our families and, you know, in our, in our immediate friends. So I think that people kind of maybe understand a little bit more what, you know, that they were lost in the tunnel of life and now can kind of see a broader picture and hopefully in my own life that I'll be able to, through my wife, my friends, and, you know, my, my faith community really have some accountability. That's the way I think that I will succeed in this is to have accountability outside of, outside of my home.
(10:33): Yep. No, that's good. And you also mentioned community that you've got a strong community that you meet with and which is great. What, what's the, what's the name of the organization that you
(10:42): Well, I mean, the, the, the work has worshiped that is in addition to our, our church here in Burke, Virginia called the Foundry. And is there, there are two communities that I have really come to not only enjoy, but rely upon them.
(10:59): Yeah, no, that's awesome. And community is so important. And I know some people's community has been Rocky since they can't do face to face, but yet I know you've been meeting and having to some community discussions along the way, two things I want to dive in and kind of dive into the deep end here, you know, as I've been on a journey with you, especially these last six months working together, I always love it when I draw inspiration from my clients or when they're doing things that I'm like, wow, that's, that's a wake up call even to myself. And so one is this job transition you're going through. And another is this big mindset shift that you had around money. And so these two different things I want to talk about right now. And, and so first would be right that this job transition and this idea that, you know, you've got a, a lobbyist for a big name company that we all, you know, kind of all would know, but yet you're saying I'm done. I think God's calling me into something different. So I don't want to steal all your thunder, but, you know, if you could just kind of walk us through, like, why are you saying yes to take in an exit package and his severance package, if you will, and saying no to something you don't even know about yet,
(12:16): Boy, that's it was a hard thing to kind of bring my head around initially. I mean, look, I'm from small town in Northwest Ohio and defined from defiance, Ohio, and, you know, Midwest kid. And it's like, it's always work. And you, you, you don't leave one thing until you have another thing. But I really believe that in this instance that, you know, I was looking for an opportunity to, to do something different. And when the company that I worked for decided to essentially just change from, you know, top to bottom, bottom to top. And in addition to then reduce their workforce and offer a severance packages to folks to voluntary, voluntarily leaving the company, you know, this was, to me, God's saying that, look, this is, this is me saying, Oh, it's going to be, it's going to be okay, here's your here's your package.
(13:12): And here's an opportunity to go do something different. And to me that, you know, it's not like God comes and taps me on the shoulder and says, Hey, I want you to do X, Y, and Z. It's more of like, I, I feel led to do something and to be obedient to that. So I think that as I'm going through this, this transition, you know a voluntary transition on my part, I'm excited for, for what's next. And, you know, I had some, I had some really great experiences at my company and the people is what I'll miss the most. And to, to use that now to springboard into, into what comes next I'm looking forward to what's in store,
(13:59): You know, four years ago I got a severance baggage, but it was more of a you're fired. You're terminated. Here you go. Here's a four months severance package. And then I went and just hustled and it's kinda, you know, I always wanted to get that because I want to get into coaching, get into this line of work. So I kind of had this idea of what I was going for. I just needed the kick in the butt to get going to do it. And so for you to actually take it voluntarily, I think is it's just been fun to watch. And it's, I know it's not been an easy process. So for those listeners that are thinking about taking a bold move and haven't, or they have taken the bold move, but they're right in the middle of the, Oh, crud, what did I just do? How are you navigating through? And I know some days are bad. I get it. We've been on the journey together. So I know some days you're at peace God's got, and then there's other days of, Hey God, where are you at? What the heck's happening? So if you could just help shed some light on what this has been like you know, the good end of it.
(15:02): Yeah. It's a, it's truly been a, a roller coaster of emotions. You know, you have your good days and bad days, like you said, and, you know, but what I'm, what I'm finding out is I thought that this process, you know, could be really drawn out and it may, I mean, it's not finished yet, but there are instances that I, that I believe that, that God reveals himself to you and, and his plans for your life in not all at once. It's not like, Hey, here's the full story. Just go ahead and read the book. It says, it's, it's little by little bit by bit. It's like following a trail of breadcrumb breadcrumbs, so to speak. And, you know, as I managed through that, it's, it's, you know, my, my family, obviously, we're all very close at this juncture and on, you know, where we're at with the pandemic and things like that.
(15:53): But it's also talking to friends and, you know, I have been very fortunate to develop a big network in, in the Washington area. And, you know, I really pride myself on that because the LA Washington can be known as a transactional town. And, but I, I really put a lot of effort into, you know, to building genuine relationships with people and getting to know people as a lobbyist, you know, that's oftentimes a a dirty word. You know, people use it for political purposes or whatever, but I love lobbying. And I love talking to people. I love working with people. I love advocating for things that I care about. And you know, that, that wasn't, I, wasn't doing a lot of that at the company that I'm, that I'm leaving. And I hope to go into a situation where I'm actually able to do more of that.
(16:46): And it's just, you know, not that that's bad or good for where I'm leaving. It just kind of is what it is. But I have a whole, you know, my family, my friends, my church, and my workers worship group. I'll tell ya. It's I don't think I've ever taken a, a step like this before this bold of a step in my life, but I, I really felt, I felt strongly about it. And I, and I felt that, you know, look, if there's, if there's ever a time to do it, why not now?
(17:24): And, you know, you mentioned coming from, you know, defines Ohio. And I know you had a conversation even with your dad, and he's like, that's kind of a, maybe not the right move. You don't have a job lined up. And other people said, don't do it. You don't have a job lined up. You've got young kids. You've got, you know, it's not like, you know, you're, it's not like your wife's got a six figure job. I mean, so lot of people were saying, don't do it, but yet you had this piece to go do it. So have there been scriptures or stories from the Bible or things that you've been holding on to a, Hey, I'm going to get through this and you know, what has helped you continue to navigate through this? Cause I know you've been doing it very well.
(18:06): Yeah. You look at the story of, of Abraham and that, you know, he was, he was well on in years is in, so it was his wife and, you know, God came to him and said, I want you to, to go and to move and with no explanation, no real direction. And then he was told to offer up his son as a, as a sacrifice. And he was obedient, obviously that was God testing his, you know, his faith and his commitment. But, you know, in, in today's modern era, you know, doing anything like Abraham, people would think that you're crazy and probably want to put you in a mental institution that you lost your mind. Right. But here I feel that like I'm being called to something else. And you know, if, if, you know, if God can take care of Abraham, God, and God cares not only about Abraham, but he also cares about the smallest thing in this world.
(19:15): And we often in the Bible, it talks about, you know, he, that he cares about the Sparrow. So how much does he, how much does he care about us? So my faith in all of this is that, look, I'm God. And I've had a very good friend of mine, basically remind me, you know, she has said, look, you're being obedient. God will honor that obedience. And that's what that's what I'm doing, being obedient and discerning, you know, it's, it's not like every hint and not every thought that pops into my head is something that I'm going to act upon. It took a lot of time to think through this and pray about this with my wife and talk through this with close friends. So, but I, I, I believe that, you know, God wanted that obedience.
(20:02): Yeah. Well, that's awesome, Ryan. And I got, like I said, being a part of this journey where just watching you many people are cautious right now during COVID during quarantine, not taking risks, but yet you're being bold. You're being aggressive. You're stepping into something that you feel God's calling you into and being along for the journey with you, for whatever. It's been two years. I know these are thoughts you've had before. And so it's not like this wild idea, but you're stepping in the obedience during a crazy time. So well done and excited to see what's next for you on that. Thank you very much for listening to today's episode. I hope you're enjoying it so far before we go back to the, of this episode.
(20:48): I want to share with you my book when at home first, some of you have read it. So thank you very much for others of you. You have not. And I encourage, if you're looking for a resource to help you with these times of your work is now in your home and your home is now in your work. And what this looks like. This book is being helpful to many leaders like you whores magazine said it was one of seven books. Everyone on your team should read in the book is broken up into four different sections to help you versus about you. Understand who you are. The second is marriage in ideas and tips to help with your marriage. Third is parenting and then last is work. So these four different sections to help you recalibrate during this time and to help move forward. So if you are needing additional resource, I encourage you to check out my book went home first. It is available on Amazon, as well as audible and so on to the rest of the episode. Thank you very much
(21:49): Piece. That's been very interesting to watch on this journey is I kind of have shared it when I've shared with other people, is when courting started, you were scared to death from a financial perspective. You and I both, if we're not careful, we can put that financial capital at top of the five capitals. You know, you and I both being the provider for our families. We think that a, you know, well, how important money is when the quarantine happened, locked down happened, you were like, Oh crap, what's going to happen to the point that you were saying no to Chipola to the kids. Not that there's anything wrong with eating out or not eating out at any of those things, but that's how scared if that's the right word of on money that you were. And I, and I could relate to it to fast forward to whatever that was. Five months later, you have gone and made your largest tiding contribution ever in a span of five months. You went from saying no to Chipola to saying yes to a very large check, which is, which is awesome and amazing. And I walked through, how did that happen? Because I too struggle with, you know, the financial capital piece at times,
(23:02): Part of this is, is for me to kind of break, break some chains, so to speak. And, you know, I've always been very, very cognizant of money and, you know, and as I got later in life and had a family and, you know, I was always very concerned about what I was spending or what I was saving. Am I doing enough? But to a point where when the pandemic hit, like you said, I got really worried because the, you know, the, the business and the company that I'm in is very dependent upon, you know, commodity prices and and what that would ultimately mean, you know, for, you know, the number of jobs that the company has. But I was moving through this, this kind of processing, you know, from saying no to AAA and being very like, would wrap my arms around tight, around anything, financial to you know you know, we're being, I mean, my friends call me T right, like I was and I, I, they would make fun of me for that, but all in good fun.
(24:15): But, and then I really felt this, this, this calling this, you know, telling me to, Hey, you need to give X amount to your church. And, you know, we're a church plant, we're small, we're growing. And you know, this was, and this was an investment. And me being who I am, I'm like, no, no, no, no, no, like, okay. How about, about half of that? You know? And I, and I felt like this was, you know, something from God that I was hearing. And, you know, when you, when God tells you something and you say no, and try to negotiate with him, that doesn't really work out well on your behalf. So I walked through this, this process of discernment and ultimately my, you know, talk to my wife about it, prayed about it. We prayed about it and decided to give a large donation to the church and, you know, large for us. But you know, as I, as I walked through this, it was, it was another thing about, you know, we had talked earlier in the year about what's our word for the year, you know, and mine was, mine was freedom. And I felt like I felt a freedom in this and from being, from, going from idolizing money to being free from that, from that idolatry. And you know, it's, it was just very helpful to me.
(25:46): Yeah, I would. I've just, I've been so excited for this conversation because you have taken two enormous, bold moves during quarantine saying no to a company you've been with for a while and going out on your own, even know where it's going to go yet, still tidying a big amount. And during this time, so it's just been, it's been fun to watch and even hearing your, your wisdom along the way, not all certainty, hasn't been a hundred percent certain each time. I know there's been some down days, but it's just been cool to watch this so well done, Ryan, and just your different, you know, obedience that you've had. And it's, it's an encouragement slash challenge to me of, Hey, what bold actions can I be taking during this time? And hopefully the same for the listeners are hearing this as say, I need to stop playing safe. B O B into a God is calling me into the season and go for it.
(26:44): Well, there'll be people that also think, but he's crazy.
(26:47): He's crazy. Yeah. And they will, I mean, some will, but something we've talked about before is they, how can you connect to people like Christ did, but also be distinct Christ-like. And some of that distinction is a little bit of craziness, you know, where you're not doing what the majority of doing all the time, which is it's all about consumption. It's all about how much stuff you have. It's all about the job title instead. It's about other things. And you know, I liked the idea of, Hey, you know, why should we not store everything on earth? Well, it's God, it's not ours. It's God's and we can't take it with us anyways. And so I love how you're living that out, and you're doing it in communication with your kids and your wife, so that the whole house has been on a journey these last six months, haven't they,
(27:39): They have, they have, and, you know, it's been, I think they actually provided me a great opportunity to engage my kids on a, on a different level and really explained to them, this is how this is how life works, you know, in a culture of, you know, everything has to be fair, you know, not everything is, and there's also sometimes uncertainty and it's how you deal with that. And, you know, and I think it's, it's been a good, good learning opportunity, I think for them as well.
(28:12): Yeah. That's great. And, and not doing it in isolation where you have been sharing parts of the story, what you've been going through with them, which has been fun. And, you know, you've done, you did a father daughter trip as well. I just got back from mine, which was incredible going to Pawleys Island, South Carolina for a work meeting, and then tied in some, some father daughter stuff along the way from college visits. And I know you did your deal with going to Asheville, North Carolina and Biltmore, and you guys had a blast. So I, I love the intention that you had with your daughter, so well done.
(28:45): Yeah. That was a, that was a fun trip. That was you know, my, my, my son, we did one, my son and I did one year or so ago and met up with a buddy out in Texas and did this road trip through the Rockies. And this was my opportunity to take my, my 11 year old daughter out. And, you know, these pre-teen years and really kind of make sure that she knew that I was, I was there for, and I value her. And, you know, she wanted to ride horses at the Biltmore, which was, I'm not that fond of riding horses, to be honest with you, but, you know, it was fun. It was fun. And we did it. And when we toured the house, you know, a lot of us see a lot of history and I'm like, Oh, you know, 11 year old will think this is boring, but she actually liked it and really got into it. And it was, you know, the, the time that the driving distance, whatever about eight hours or whatever it was was was probably the coolest part, just talking and mostly in the radio and different things like that. You know, I saw from your social media posts, you and your daughter were singing in the car. And so that was, you know, we did a lot of that as well. So it was fun. It was a little bit good. Yeah.
(29:57): I agree that drive was, we had great times. We walked on the beach, we've visited some college campuses. We ate at some fun places and we had some fantastic time. Likewise, but man, it was the road trip. It was the singing in the car. It was, and there's something safe, I think for the father or mother, as well as the child, when you're looking straight ahead. And you know, that windshield time I've heard people talk about, cause it's like a safe place. Like you can kind of ask any question, they can kind of say anything you're kind of safe because you're not looking into other's eyes, which I, you know, kids could get intimidated by. So, so true. That's exactly the same with ours was that road trip time was pretty special. Well, that's cool. Well, Ryan, you have shared some very bold things already and maybe there's nothing outside of this, but this idea I heard from God of Hannah over my store for a greater story. And for you, has that been this whole journey or is there another part, as I say, hand over your story for even a greater story that comes to mind,
(30:59): It's part of it. But I think that there's a greater story out there. Not necessarily for me is, but, but for organizations that I'm involved in for wherever I go next, you know, I want to be part of the, of a team too, that really embraces, you know, the, the work that they do and in lobbying and as well as, you know, like I said, we're in, we go to the Foundry church in Burke and it's a small church plant. And I think that, that it's a, it's a growing community. And I think, you know, there's great things in store for it. And you know, our, our, our pastor and the leadership team there, I think are doing great things and have great things planned. And I'm really excited to see what, what happens there. And frankly, I mean, you know, when we were thinking about this, we had thought about leaving Washington DC and doing something different. But I think that this faith community is really has kept us here and is going to be really important, not only in our lives, but in the lives of a lot of people in this area,
(32:04): Man. That's awesome. Well, I don't care what political party, you know, you were on or listeners are on. We can use more individuals like you in DC to, with leading with faith levy, leading with family, leading with just serving them and loving others that you've talked a lot about today. So selfishly from a citizen standpoint, I'm glad you're staying in DC because we w we need more like you there. So
(32:31): I appreciate that. And, you know, the thing is, you know, in the, in Washington, I mean, and in this country, we see it play out through the election season, you know, that we're in, and it's often, you know, one side against the other or Republicans versus Democrats in Washington. You always, you where you know, it's often joked about you where the T specific teams, Jersey, right. You wear blue, or you wear red. And, but it's, it's, it's much more than that. It's, you know, there's, I'll always wear a particular team's Jersey, but it's what, and, but if you have the other team's Jersey on that doesn't mean they can't be your friend or I can't work with you, you know? And I think that that's, that's, what's important in this town and, and for our country and for the duration of our Republic. Yeah.
(33:17): Yep. Absolutely. How can listeners get ahold of you if there's anything you said that resonate with them, that they think that you know, they, they want some more insight or whatever.
(33:28): Yeah, absolutely. I mean, you can always get ahold of me on my cell phone (700) 358-2024 nine over email at Ryan Walker firstname.lastname@example.org.
(33:41): Awesome. Thank you. Well, thank you so much for, for the friendship, for just working together as last couple years, as well as just your, your wisdom you shared today, and then just this journey here, these last six months, I've, it's been an eye-opener in my own life and hope it's been a app for listeners as well. So thank you very much, Ryan.
(34:00): Thank you, Corey. And, you know, thank you for walking through this, this journey with me. I know we met initially on LinkedIn and you know, it's just been a it's it's. I think that also was, was God bringing, you know, two lives, you know, to an intersection there and your health and your wisdom have been, I've been a great help to me. So I appreciate you.
(34:27): I want to thank you for listening to my podcast. When at home first, I am so grateful to hear from listeners like you, that this content has been helpful. So now I would love for you to pay it forward. I want to get this message in the hands of more listeners. We need leaders to be winning both at home and at work, especially during this time. So please take a minute to share this episode with somebody you think would find value in it, as well as rate and subscribe as a thank you, please visit my website at corymcarlson.com to download a free resource that people are finding value in. Thank you very much.
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