15 Jul Guest: Art Burns + His Journey In Corporate America & His Coaching Practice
My guest on today’s episode is Art Burns, a former advertising executive and stressed out parent who now works with parents and others to help reduce stress and eliminate overwhelm and reactivity through mindfulness practices.
Key topics we cover:
✔️ Art’s own “Mad Men” experience as an ad exec.
✔️ The day he realized he could not keep living the Don Draper lifestyle.
✔️ How do we reclaim health and happiness?
✔️ As parents are dealing with added stresses of juggling work, schooling kids at home, balancing family time with job obligations and Zoom meetings each day, how can it all be managed?
✔️ An easy exercise you can do right now to feel better and gain clarity.
You can find Art online at: artburnscoaching.com
And book a time with him here:
His Podcast: https://anchor.fm/art-burns5
And YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSNgJvAAIo7lak_3AQ0jldg
Transcription by Otter.ai:
Hello, hello and welcome to today’s episode of the Causey Consulting Podcast. I’m your host Sara Causey and I’m also the owner of Causey Consulting, which you can find online anytime at CauseyConsultingLLC.com. I’m very happy to welcome Art Burns to the show today. Art is a former advertising executive and stressed out parent who now works with parents and others to help them reduce stress and eliminate overwhelm and reactivity through mindfulness practices aren’t first and foremost, I want to say thank you for taking time out of your day to be my guest. Oh, thank you so much for having me, Sara. It’s really excited to be here with you. Nice. So I’m so curious. I was reading some information about your biography, and I noticed that you had a Man Men style advertising career. And I’d love for you to tell us what that was like. Indeed, indeed, I often say that it was bad men 2000 edition, modern day, bad men. I did work literally on Madison Avenue. For one agency. I’ve worked for several different ad agencies in New York City. Literally the prototype of what you see in the movie except, you know, modernized, you know? And, and yes, it was absolutely the most stressful situation that I could even make up. I don’t think I can even make up something that had more stress involved with, with the just the tremendous grind and you know, it’s so so you know, deadline oriented and so competitive and just so, I mean, just ultra ultra ultra all the time. Just Just push, push, push, push, push, literally working 24 hours a day flying at one point I took a trip, I had to take a trip to Europe. And I actually went to I flew into friends and flew back in the same day I had the same flight attendant crew on the plane in business class. They looked at me like you’re back. That’s how crazy like was back then. Wow. Yeah, yeah, it was it was pretty severe. That’s intense. So I mean, I’m sure that this might be kind of a funny question after what you’ve just shared. I mean, having to make this transcontinental trip, with no room for error. Was there a particular moments or an event that led you to say, you know what, I just cannot live this way anymore. Yeah, yeah. Glad you asked that, because that was, you know, it’s something that you know, with a lot of different industries and a lot of different positions and occupations we can do. You know, we get so accustomed to the stress that we don’t see it and oftentimes it does take an event or something to happen and that’s very much true for me. I, it all kind of goes around the birth of my first child, but when my daughter was born in, in 2008 you know, I was actually I was actually painting her room, you know, I took the day off, it was a Saturday that I had to take off. That’s how it was right? Like so I told everybody, I’m not available. I gotta pay my daughter’s room. It’s Saturday, you know, I you know, you deal with it yourself what’s going on? And literally, even on a Saturday, my phone was ringing all day, and I’ll never forget that moment just getting up and down this ladder. And like just feeling like I was just there was no way to separate myself from the work you know, and and fortunately for me, you know that that alone wouldn’t have done it probably I probably would have still just again just succumb to that as being just part of the job, you know. But But fortunately for me, a couple of months later, the financial crash really took a toll on the industry and and my work with my position was dissolved so that I was out I like found myself outside. So it was a question for me whether to go back into it or to, you know, to figure something else out and, and thankfully, that was the event that kind of made me really take stock in like, you know, what’s really important in my life, you know is is, you know, like again I just had this brand new baby You know, that I’m responsible for now and, you know, do I want to live for the business and just kind of, you know, just not have a life outside of work and really, you know, damaging myself just, you know, physically emotionally and really putting myself in great danger of, of not not being there for her for the rest of her life, you know, that that all of a sudden came into Stark focus for me and unfortunately, like I said, I found myself outside the, you know, so it was a question of whether I push myself back in or I use this freedom to now figure something else out. Thankfully, I did the ladder. That’s such a rich and enter metaphor. I mean, I’m visualizing you being up on a ladder trying to pay and then phone rings. And so you’ve got to get back down again and then go back up and then get back down. And it’s the image is conjures, for me is like a hamster on a wheel just like that. It never ends the pressure and the demands from work, like, at what point do you get to get off the wheel and just be a human? Right, right. That’s a that’s a really good point. Yeah. Yeah. And that’s, that’s exactly what it was. And, you know, that was very, you know, you know, indicative of the way the entire you know, that that was just one day, but it was like, that was a metaphor for the entire career. Right. And, and then when it’s something that’s so, you know, you just try to take a little time for yourself and for your family, and it’s like, you can’t even do that. That’s when it really like I said, it was like a dash of water in the face, you know? A wake up call for sure. Absolutely. So you are in the coaching space now. And I would love to know more about your own entrepreneurial journey. How did you get Started and then how do you feel that your coaching practice has evolved or changed over the years? Yeah, yeah, well, after I left advertising, you know, I actually, entrepreneurship was my, my thing at that point, I was like, I need to do something on my own, so that I can control my time, you know, I can have some level of, you know, time freedom, you know, at the expense of financial freedom, I was taking the time freedom, you know, knowing that it would take some time to build up and so and so I did, I had a I did a project with a restaurant for a couple of years and I did a couple of things leading up to to the idea of coaching but along the along the way of leaving advertising, you know, the first thing I did was I you know, I quit smoking, I started losing weight. I started just getting my health back I I eventually quit drinking and realized that I was I was, you know, just way too reliant on alcohol. Again, madman, you know, yeah. And so, so like, I started to shed all these sort of things. things that were, were preventing me from really finding my true happiness, you know, and and along the way I discovered mindfulness practices and, and once I discovered mindfulness practices, I realized that, that this was so key to, to the ability to, to regain my health and to reclaim my happiness. And, you know, mindfulness is nothing more complicated than just simply paying attention to what’s happening as it’s happening, you know, and it’s really that simple. And once I realized the simplicity, the exquisite simplicity of that, and I started practicing it, I realized that I needed to help people with this because if I hadn’t done this 10 years ago, my career would have taken a completely different trajectory, and I may have been able to handle it in a way that would have been, you know, more healthy, more sustainable, more, you know, more enjoyable and, and so so yeah, so that started the the art burns coaching, you know, that’s where I started and I started just, you know, at first I just worked with people for free, you know, she’s like, let me Help people, you know, just come at me, let me do this. And I helped people who were parents, I help people who are entrepreneurs, I help people who were, you know, just in, you know, in graduate school and trying to break into industry, I helped business owners, I just got to help a really broad spectrum of different people. But the one thing that they all shared was that level of stress that just made, you know, stress becomes like I said, with my career, it becomes something that’s just so you know, just so part of life. It’s almost like you don’t notice it anymore. But at the same time, it becomes like this, this fog that you’re you’re trying to fight through all the time, and it just, and once I was able to help these people, you know, just just kind of relieve that stress and get through it just dissolve that fog so they could see what’s actually happening. I mean, the results that people were seeing were just amazing. I mean, you know, one woman the very first person I found on LinkedIn and I I said okay, I’ll I complete stranger. I said, I’ll coach you for free. If you just Give me a good recommendation, you know, and, and she originally, you know, it’s about like her parents because she was a private, you know, a small business owner and she was spending all her time parent on the business and having a hard time sharing time with her kids. By the time we were done a few months later, she, you know, her business and improved her, her relationship with her spouse, his kids, you know, the whole thing just became like, okay, we thought we’re going to fix this one thing, but all of this other stuff, you know, it just, it was just so gratifying to me So, so that was this, the start of it, and, and so along the years, I’ve, you know, kind of refined it to be, you know, I really do focus on parents at this point. Because, you know, so much of the things that we do, you know, as parents, you know, number one is the impact that we have on our kids, which is, of course, the the future and that’s important to me, you know, like, like there’s certain cycles that happen that we kind of fall into automatically and if we can kind of look at how we’re raising our kids, we have a chance breaking those cycles in in a really important way. But also the fact that all parents, you know, these days in this in Western society, you know, there’s no, there’s no more like, you know, stay at home mom just has to parent you know or stay at home dad just has a pair of the people always trying to balance the work and the home life and and unfortunately, almost 10 times out of 10 the home life is what suffers, right? Like, that’s always the thing that gets put on the side, just like, you know, you said climbing up and down that ladder. Yeah, it’s like, it’s like, you know, you put your kids and you know, you know, in front of the TV because you have to go on a zoom meeting, you know, that kind of stuff, which is of course now more than ever, this is what people are seeing, you know, and so on. So yeah, so that’s why I’ve really, you know, focus in on helping parents specifically parents who are trying to juggle that, that work life balance and, and again, through through very, very simple practices I am able to achieve that with with a lot of people and it’s really, really gratifying. gratifying to me and it’s really wonderful to see the changes in the happiness and the changes that they’re showing. And the way they’re able to connect to their kids and also thrive in their business. And really like you can have it all if you if you really, you know, if you commit to to, you know, to approaching things in the right way. There’s no reason you can’t balance these things. And really, like I say, have it all. Nice. Yeah. This, this dovetails nicely into a question that I want to ask about the sort of stressful and different time that we’re living in. People are stir crazy. And and at the same time, they’re worried Yeah, they’re still they’re still scared about the pandemic. And what’s going to happen next with COVID people are cloister together in the home and maybe people who have never had to homeschool their kids before the kids are there all day and there’s a mom, I’m bored. I don’t know what to do next. I’ve already finished my schoolwork and then you’ve got to go to a zoom meeting. It’s a different kind of time that we’re living in. So what are some tips that you can share for sort of harried and weary parents, the kids are bored, but the boss wants you on a zoom meeting and you’re trying to juggle all these plates in the air and keep everybody happy. What tips can you share to sort of alleviate some of that stress? Yeah. Well, that’s a great question, Sara. Thank you. So first of all, I would say that, you know, the first thing that I recommend to people is that, you know, it’s really important to let go of the kind of, you know, the paradigm that we have, right, like the idea of screen time, and the idea of, you know, like this perfection that we’ll look for, as parents, you know, a lot of that is not attainable right now, you know, it’s just not and so and so the more we can kind of allow ourselves the, the, you know, the license and the forgiveness for some of the things that we simply have to do, you know, like, if your kids are bored, and you have a business meeting that you can’t get out of, it’s a hard choice to make, but sometimes, you know, a little extra screentime is not the end of the world, you know, or just allowing the kids to do A little bit more than you would normally kind of, you know, your parent instincts tell you that, Oh, no, that’s bad, I shouldn’t do that, you know, like, really try to revisit those, those instincts and try to look at them in the context of what we’re going through right now, as opposed to, you know, as though everything was normal, because everything is not normal. You know, that’s just the bottom line of it, you know. And so and so one way that really one specific practice that I often work with people like the first thing that I get them to do, you know, mindfulness practices involve formal meditation. And we don’t have enough time right now for me to teach people how to meditate here. But But one thing that you can do it is a form of meditation, it’s a grounding exercise, right? And so what I tell people to do is to you know, when you start feeling that, that stress and that that panic that you have about, oh my gosh, what am I going to do and like the moment that you just described, you know, what happens in that moment is that you’re feeling stressed like stress, the stress response of your body is, is creating a physical state in which you’re not able to make proper decisions. Anyway, so the first thing you got to do is calm down, you know, get out of that. And so the really great way to do that is this very simple grounding exercise. What I ask people to do is simply sit down like sit down on the edge of your bed on a dining room table or even at your office desk chair, you know, just kind of push yourself back on the desk a little bit. Hands on your lap, eyes closed, sitting up straight and just go through a very, very simple five step process, which is just checking in with your senses. First thing you’re going to do is check in with your keeping your eyes closed, check in with your sense of sight by by noticing the color of the light that comes through your eyelids right very simply just notice is it bread? Is it blues, green, black, what what color do you see there? I just spent five or 10 seconds with that. Now move to your sense of hearing. Just listen. What do you hear in the next room? What do you hear outside? Is there somebody mowing the lawn? Is there a car driving by is it is there water running somewhere in the house? Are your kids screaming in the next week? What what are you hearing? You know, I’m now checking with your sense of smell, you know? What do you smell? Do you smell lilacs outside? Do you smell? You know, tea brewing or coffee brewing? Or do you smell you know, food that’s leftover, we’ll just check in with your nose again, five or 10 seconds on each of these. Now your taste and taste is really a fun one. Because most people most of the time, we don’t check in with our sense of taste and pay attention to it unless we’re eating or drinking something. But that doesn’t mean that your taste buds are not there when you’re not eating, you know, it’s just a question of paying attention to them. And so paying attention to your sense of taste just for a few moments. It’s very subtle, but it really requires your mind to focus and that’s the key, right? Because in that focus, that’s when we’re letting all those you know stress inducing thoughts kind of go away a little bit. And, and then finally, you check in with your sense of touch and you do this in a very specific way by by noticing the feeling at the bottom. Have your feet. Okay? Just spend like 10 seconds just notice? Are you wearing shoes or socks? Or bare feet on the floor? Is it a carpet? Is it tile? Is it wood? What’s the temperature? What’s the, the the, you know, the moisture level, what’s the texture that you’re feeling. And usually, after you’ve done that for maybe what, three minutes or so you do feel a lot more calm, you feel settled, you feel like you can open your eyes and take a couple of deep breaths. And now you’re reset, you know, and you’re in a place now where you can, you can get up and you can have a fresh set of eyes to look at whatever the dilemma was that you’re dealing with. Now, is this a perfect exercise isn’t the only exercise you’re ever going to need? Absolutely not. You know, there’s lots of other things we can get into that are equally as simple. And the more we do them and that’s another thing that I ask people is don’t wait until it’s an emergency. Just do it. Do it throughout the day, like set a timer on your phone to go off every hour and do this you know, as well as that Other simple exercises, and then you get into a habit. And then you get into a place where you’re kind of automatically doing these things and automatically, you know, developing the ability to calm yourself down when you do need it. I think that’s fantastic. Just even listening to you describe the exercise. You know, I’m sitting here, I’ve got my my feet in the floor, and I’m, like, I’m calmer just listening to you talk about doing the exercise. So I think that’s awesome. Yes, so for the listeners that are hearing this today that I want to make sure that we’re able to connect you to the right audience, the right audience of people finds you I definitely believe in Kismet so I’m positive. There are people listening today that are like yes, that I need that. Tell us about your ideal client who who do you look for in the market Who do you help? Right, thank you so much for that. I appreciate it. Well, you know, These statistics are very much like, quote unquote, a my favorite over 77% of American adults live with chronic stress. So I believe that yes. Like, if there’s 10 people listening, I can help over seven of you. But really, you know, and I say that because I don’t, you know, I try not to restrict myself, but, but I do also at the same time, you know, I do focus on parents. And the reason I focus on parents is because, you know, it’s funny, you know, a lot of people come to me and they want to, you know, kind of fix their stress for themselves, right. But what they don’t realize is that, as a parent, your stress is impacting your kids in very, very strong and a little bit scary ways. Yeah. So, so specifically parents who have younger children, you know, because younger children, what happens is when they see their parents, you know, stressed out, they feel like, Oh my gosh, it’s something I’m doing, you know, just an instinct that kids have and, and and Psychology, kids psychology and medicine has shown us that that is the root of things like add in kids, you know, because kids, then they just tune out, right? Because they don’t want to, they get scared. So they kind of tune out and, and the more often they do that, right? Again, chronic stress means every single day, pretty soon they’re developing the habit of tuning out and they forget how to tune back in and that’s where ADD happens. You know, that’s what ADD is. And so, so that’s why I say that, you know, people who are, you know, who are especially like you say, right now, it’s almost everyone is juggling a lot of things at home between work and family and, and, and fears of the future and fears of, of, you know, of where we’re going and you know, the money than the life to help everything. It’s just, it’s everywhere. So, anyway, again, that’s your question, you know, generally speaking people who are, you know, who are working at home and have, you know, children who are in that that age range of like, say, you know, under like 10 years old is really specifically those, those people who can, you know, really make the most impact on their kids because in that first, you know, seven to 10 years of our lives, that’s where we’re, we’re, you know, absorbing all of the behavior that we’re going to ultimately use for the rest of our lives, you know, becomes like the programming for our mind. So now’s the most important time to really make sure that you’re presenting yourself in a way that is that is positive and, you know, healthy for your kids, before it’s too late. That’s extremely well said. Amen. Yes, thank you. I agree. So for people who want to connect with you, they want to know where to go online to get some Art Burns in their life, where should they go? Well, I have a website artburnscoaching.com, that’s probably the easiest place there you’ll find links to all my other you know, social media accounts and my I do a podcast myself every day. I do a video blog every day and so, so there’s lots of places that you can find me but you know, If you go to the website, you can certainly find everything there. Perfect. I appreciate so much that you took time out of your day to be with us on this podcast. I have learned some good techniques that I will be using like after this recording, I’m going to close my eyes and go put my I’m gonna make sure I’m gonna go outside and like physically put my feet on some real Earth and so I’m excited Art. Thank you for this. Great, you bet. Well, thanks. Thanks for being with me today. I appreciate it. I appreciate you. Thank you very much. Take care. Once again, our guest today has been Art Burns. You can find him online at artburnscoaching.com. If you enjoyed this episode, please share it. If you haven’t already, please subscribe to this podcast and leave a review for us on iTunes. Bye for now.