Episode 13: Steps to Leverage Your Time with Grace Blacksea

Filed in All Episodes, Business Strategy, Collapsing Time — December 7, 2021

About the Episode:

Grace Blacksea, Business Strategist & Chief Vision Officer of Quench Collective is here today and our conversation is going to make you recalibrate your business and role as leader and entrepreneur. Grace helps her clients lead with intention, stand out in the crowd, and scale to new heights, but the story of how she got here is not only relatable but inspiring. We’re talking about experience with burnout and loss, how she has reimagined boundaries, how she leans into rest and leverages her time, plus so much more. I don’t care where you’re at in your business, there’s something here for you today, sister. Enjoy.

Topics Discussed:

  • The importance of community as a CEO to help keep you filled up and magnetic
  • Why Grace believes entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone, and why that’s okay
  • How Grace’s experience with burnout was the impetus for the start of her business
  • Reimaging boundaries as creating maps rather than putting up walls
  • How the loss of Grace’s brother and her career collided to create her passion for nurturing her VIPs
  • Why shamelessly and unapologetic go hand in hand for Grace and how she embodies this

About Grace:

Grace Blacksea is the Founder + CVO of Quench Collective, a community of like-minded leaders who believe in doing business…differently. Her coaching programs are designed to help entrepreneurs lead with intention, stand out in the crowd and scale to new heights. Blending strategy and support, Grace is on a mission to help modern leaders build magnetic businesses, ones that allows you to have it all without doing it all.

Connect with Grace:

Connect with Ash:

Click here for a raw, unedited transcript of this episode

Ashley McDonald (00:02):

Oh, my goodness. I am so, so excited to have someone who has been not only a friend, but a mentor for me for a while now, grace, laxy on the podcast and we’re going to talk about so many, so many good things, but I’m just, I’m thrilled to have you here thrilled to have your leadership, your innovativeness, just all the guidance that you’ve provided with me. And I’m grateful to share you with the world here. So hello, grace. And thanks for being here.

Grace Blacksea (00:27):

Oh my gosh. If you could see me, I’m a little bit red because I’m so that’s like partial excitement and also just, that’s very kind of you, I cannot believe I’ve been able to work with you for so long now. And so this is a gift because also watching this come to fruition, my friend is been wonderful.

Ashley McDonald (00:44):

Oh, I love it. I love it. So tell everybody who you are, where you are and who are your VIP’s would, you know, but in case anybody listening does not are your very important people. I E the people you do at all for,

Grace Blacksea (00:57):

Oh, this is such a good question. Okay. So to start off, my name, like you said, is Grace Black. See I’m the C VO, the chief vision officer and founder of clench collective, which is a community of like-minded leaders who believe in doing business differently. So I really am of the belief that you may identify as a small business owner or an entrepreneur, but I really see you as a leader. And so I am so grateful because every single day I get to help women step into their leadership in business and really help them do it in a way that stands out in the world. I am located in Southern California actually. After 10 years of living in orange county, I just relocated to San Diego and I’m so happy to be in a new space and place in a new chapter in life.

Grace Blacksea (01:40):

And, oh my VIP’s, I feel like the list is long. It’s so funny. My mom is one of 12. And so I’m like, how does, how could she ever like, bring that down to just, you know, just her, just her small group, but definitely for sure, without my husband has become a north star for me, there is no doubt about it. And absolutely no joke. My a 13 year old Husky Coda bear is like, without a doubt, one of my VIP’s that dog has taught me more life lessons than I ever could have imagined in my life. My mom also acts as another north star for me. She is someone who I hold in such high esteem, single mom for the majority of her life. And I just, I learned so much from her every single day. And I have, you know, maybe I’ll just kind of couple my, my very best friend in the world, of course, and like a group of my girlfriends who they just keep me up when I’m down, they keep, they keep me poured into which I think as a community leader is something that is so important.

Grace Blacksea (02:40):

And they really kind of helped to also, I think keep me magnetic because it’s so easy to, I think again, when we give a lot of our, we bring people in with our magnetism, but then like giving it back is something that can be really difficult. And so they really keep me filled up. Therefore, I feel like I can stay that much more. Magnetised

Ashley McDonald (02:59):

I love that. I love that you went even far past, like who you live with. Sometimes people get a little like, oh, it’s just like the people I think with right. It can really be anybody, right? Like it can be anybody, again, your VIP, the most, the very important people in your life are the people that you do it all for, and that help you to do it all as well. So I love that you honed in on that point as well. So one of my favorite questions to ask when I have people here is who you serve and why. And the reason why I ask this is because I fundamentally believe that every single, beautiful CEO, CVO, whatever you call yourself, comes from a space of building out a dream that came from an experience or a learned lesson or a life of experiences, right? So I’d love to hear who do you serve, but more importantly, why?

Grace Blacksea (03:44):

So I said it earlier, how I serve modern leaders and entrepreneurs, and that is, you know, of course that’s a way of just kind of coupling this very large group of people into and giving it language into who I believe that they are and how they self identify so that they can really see themselves in our community. But at the end of the day it really is women who are wanting to stand out in the crowd. There is no doubt about it. And the reason it’s not only specifically entrepreneurs and, and moderate, you know, the reason why we include modern leaders is because I don’t necessarily believe that entrepreneurship is the answer to everything. Entrepreneurship is just not for everybody. And that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with that. I have had many friends who have gone into entrepreneurship and left it because they felt like, gosh, I tried this and I realize it’s not for me.

Grace Blacksea (04:33):

And what really fills up my soul and where I feel most aligned is in the boardroom or at back at the nonprofit or, you know, in the cube, wherever the place may be. And so I believe that we can pour more into just women who want to become leaders period, right? Like when, however you identify whether you own your own business or not. And the reason I do that is because, you know, with my past experiences. So my, my past is in corporate events and marketing, and I did that for 12 years. And it was something that, I mean, I’ve hung my hat up on, honestly, Ashley, it was my full identity. I thought that that’s what I was going to do for the rest of my life. And through many, many years of doing things on other people’s terms. And of course, like at the pinnacle with burnout, which I’m sure we’ll talk and we’ll get into, I realized that the relationships that I created in those offices and in those spaces in places were so important to me and they’re ones that I wanted to keep in there.

Grace Blacksea (05:34):

Now, ones that I get to nurture, like I get to nurture them in the positions of leadership that they sit in and that’s something that’s so special to me and entrepreneurship gave me a different kind of freedom that I never, you know, really, to be honest, that I could experience before that maybe that I was looking for in a more corporate setting. And you know, I’ve worked from everything from small businesses, corporations, nonprofits, but I never could find that piece of freedom and being any grim seven that’s something that’s extremely important to me. And so that’s what entrepreneurship unlocked for me amongst many other things. And so I serve women, I serve entrepreneurs and leaders so that I can show them the power that they have. I think really, I believe that more women need to be at the table to make more impactful and meaningful decisions that impact generations to come. And if the collective, if the community, if our education can give them those tools, the resources, again, the encouragement or the empowerment to do. So then my work is, my work is done here.

Ashley McDonald (06:38):

Okay. I love that. And you did, you spoke on something that we’re definitely going to speak about today, which is for now, because this podcast is literally here to reduce the shame that so many women, especially ambitious women carry as a result of falling in and out of burnout, which you know, that I preach constantly is not something you ever just don’t have. Like, and yet we have, we’ve adopted this belief system that I have to not experience this ever again. I have to prevent this life has to be different than this, as opposed to giving ourselves some grace. And so I love bringing women on who can really shed light on and pull the curtain back on what this has looked like for you. I know there’s so many amazing women who look up to you who aspire to be like you. And I think if we can, and if you can, if you feel safe enough to be vulnerable enough to share the behind the scenes, we can change the way women see themselves. And so I’d love to hear from you talk to me about burnout. What’s your experience, grace for an out?

Grace Blacksea (07:33):

Well, I love that you’re leading this conversation because I think everyone has a story here, right? Like everyone has a believe it or not a seat at the seat at the burnout table, which is not like something we really want to wear with a badge of honor. However, I think the ones that can come from it are, are hugely important. And again, in light of impacting generations to come, how can we actually just completely flip expectation, worthiness, shame, resilience on its head everything that we know about it, or like, I guess should say now we have a lot of really great data and information on it, but what we knew about it and change, just change the way we, we do everything. And I think that’s why, well, I know that’s why I’m so passionate about doing business differently because I think the way that we were doing it before actually just really poured into increasing shame, increasing our ability to not see our worth living in a state of burnout, that hustle culture.

Grace Blacksea (08:33):

I mean, like I’ll sleep when I’m dead. Oh my gosh, no, that’s the thing that will actually drive you there quicker. Right? So yeah. I mean, my story with Brunel, I think started far, far before I ever realized it did, it’s kind of something that’s ingrained into me. I come from a very on the go, if you will type a family and there’s nothing wrong with that, there is so many wonderful things about that. It showed what was possible. And but, but what it actually brought to me was I remember reading job application or job resumes when I was or on my resume when I was growing up getting my first few jobs. What I would put on there is that I was an expert multi-tasker and it’s so funny. I was like, oh my gosh, I can do like 19 things at once.

Grace Blacksea (09:17):

I am so great at this. I am, I can move from project to project. I can do this. I can do that. Like, you definitely want me on your team just because the energy that I bring to this. Right. And that was very true. I’ve got brought in to teams and opportunities because of that. And it’s also the thing that made me burn out. Maybe I didn’t realize at the time it was burnt out, but burnt out from those positions. So early on, because I became kind of like this cure-all for people like, oh, she’s got so much energy and she, and she can do all these things. And so we’re just gonna throw on this project with her on this project. So I was never really able to manifest and master maybe aspects of those jobs that I wanted to, that I really, you know, I was looking to my leadership to say, I really want to do this.

Grace Blacksea (10:01):

I really want to go all in on managing this team, or I really want to go all in on this project, but oh, we need you over here because you’re really good at the details, but, oh, we need you over here because you’re really great at the macro, you know, like whatever it may be. And so it really all for me personally, and maybe some you and some of your listeners can resonate with this, but it came down to my overwhelmingly unhealthy need to please, like I was a people pleaser and I did not know I was never given the knowledge. I was never taught how to say no. And something that we’ve been talking about recently you asked you and I is we, we, we talk a lot about boundaries and, you know, I remember someone giving me the advice that one of my first jobs, and I felt like I was kind of getting walked all over and someone said, you know, you just need to put up your boundaries.

Grace Blacksea (10:52):

You just need to make that happen. And what that resulted in is me being really kind of crass and maybe sassy to my leadership team and saying no to things out of pure spite, not out of like a very re in a very reactionary way, right. That didn’t show my leadership team, any leadership in me. It showed them every reason for them to kind of maybe pull back from giving me the things that I really wanted, that I was working for us. I was like climbing that corporate ladder. And when I look at it now objectively from all the years of kind of experience of going through this, I realize now that boundaries are so much more maps than there are walls, right? Like we don’t actually need to be throwing up walls here, there, and everywhere to protect ourselves from from burnout.

Grace Blacksea (11:39):

I feel like that’s actually, again, a really reactionary things. How can we go into something being more proactive and something that you do so beautifully when teaching rituals and for them helping really people set themselves up for success for success from the very beginning. And the bottom line is I just didn’t have those tools. Right. I thought that I would show my worth by how busy I could become, which resulted into me wearing busy-ness as a badge of honor, and also, you know, thread through some really like poor leadership in there. I think that also did that. And I thought that me being more busy would actually make me look more important. And that was not the case. I messed up. I mean, I missed a ton of opportunities that came my way because people didn’t see in me, maybe what they saw in other people, because I just looked busy.

Grace Blacksea (12:26):

I didn’t look important at all. And then finally, you know, it really all came to a head for me when it comes to burnout with physical burnout and how that manifests. So I was experiencing the emotional side of it, and then it really came to the physical side of it when I was working in corporate events that was working with fortune 500 companies, planning events, and some of the most sought after places in the world. And it all of a sudden, quite literally hit me like a ton of bricks. Right. I would get in the morning and I couldn’t like move certain parts of my body. I was, I was, you know, really, really undernourished. I was over-caffeinated. I was doing these things to my body that just were unhealthy. But again, I felt like I have to prove myself to other people when really all that was was I didn’t have the courage to love myself.

Grace Blacksea (13:16):

I mean, there’s no doubt about it, right. I didn’t have the courage to say you deserve to have the time off, not just like waiting for my boss to tell me I did, you know, you deserve to be able to lean into these moments of rest because those are the things that actually make you better in the long run. And I think when I was, you know, kind of forced into retirement, if you will, into my career because of burnout it was created in creating this business that I finally was able to see that, I mean, it was, it took me completely and totally breaking down to the lowest I’ve I’ve ever been to see what I could become and truly at like 26, 7 years old finally realized that the answer to it was pouring into me, loving myself and creating maps for, to help people really understand how to work with me better and where my limits really laid so that I can show up best for them and help them do the best work possible.

Ashley McDonald (14:19):

Oh my gosh. That’s so good. I think that’s like a little tangent here. Just like the boundaries is, is part of not necessarily the prevention of burnout, but the awareness of, are you staying in the areas that really bring you joy that keep you aligned? Or are you doing a bunch of little things that might be for the purpose of serving others or serving, you know, some sort of narrative that you’ve built for yourself that is then in turn kind of running you into burnout because you’re doing too many things, right?

Grace Blacksea (14:45):

Yes, exactly. Well, and you know, it’s, we’re so quick to, you know, imagine sitting at coffee with a girlfriend and just saying like, oh gosh, I just, I can hear, I can hear how tired that she is. I can hear how she’s so like drained and you know, like our advice, it’s good intentioned. We just say, you just need to enforce your boundaries, but to someone who doesn’t actually even know what their boundaries are. And before that doesn’t even really realize what their values are, that really actually means nothing. Right. And so it’s really up to us. And like, for example, the important work that you’re doing to really, really give, I think women, the tools in order to see what’s possible when they are able to advocate for themselves and pour into themselves, I mean, the love yourself first movement is the most incredible movement, right.

Grace Blacksea (15:30):

But before we ever can wear it on a t-shirt, we have to deeply deeply understand about what it means inside. And it means something different to every single person. Right? I think it’s so individual, like are even just down to our values are down to how it is that we need to take care of ourselves, how we run our businesses, how we run our households, our lives enter thing here, however you lead, it’s a personal way of leaving of leading. It’s just like productivity. Productivity is very, very, very personal. What’s what feels productive to you. It maybe doesn’t feel productive to someone else and that’s okay. And that’s why, you know, even what you teach in cyclical alignment, it’s like, it’s meant to be personal. And if we can actually sell, celebrate that. So it doesn’t always have to look like someone else’s model of feeling good or showing up you know, w as our fullest or most aligned, I think that we can actually just, you know, make a lot more headway in general. Totally.

Ashley McDonald (16:25):

I think the greatest disservice of our industry right now is the, here’s the box. You need to put yourself inside to be successful, right? This belief system, that the only way to be successful is to follow this modality or this strategy or this way. Right. And a lot of business owners then follow that only to feel like, why, why is this not working? I must be broken. There must be something wrong with me. I must not be deploying these strategies. Good enough. Right. And you’ve even seen the expansion behind the scenes with me of recognizing little intricacies of like how I believe in and how my values impact, how I operate and allowing me the grace to burn certain things down that I have built primarily because I felt that that was the right way at the right time. And that’s to say, I’ll just add this little caveat, like permission to change your mind, always Permission to pivot permission, to, to build something and then say, nevermind. Like, I just, I think there’s so much to be said about looking at your life and your business holistically, but also personally. Yes. And, and how it’s operating.

Grace Blacksea (17:30):

Yeah. Always. I mean, there’s so much power in our patterns and if we can lean into that and really just take a step back and see what they are instead of like, I mean, something I remind you all the time of Ash is like a three is how can you do less and be more, how can you do less and be more right. And I mean, every, I mean, it doesn’t matter what your Enneagram number is to be completely honest. That’s just advice everyone. How can you actually do less to experience more, especially when you’re on the move as an extremely hyperly and ambitious person as a high achiever, as a high performer, we do tend to maybe without even realizing that we feel in action, we feel good when we’re doing. And there really is nothing, nothing wrong with that. And how where’s, where’s your energy yet?

Grace Blacksea (18:13):

How are you feeling? Do you, do Philly really feel filled up and did you feel filled up for two months? And then just, like you said, all of a sudden, I don’t and so permission to burn it down and build it back up and the way that feels most aligned to you. Right. and that’s what we’ve, we talk a lot about this, but like, that’s why human design has been such a huge part of my coaching because we all are so unique and we do have these tiny little inter intricacies inside of us that actually play a huge role in what we do. And if we can celebrate that, you know, a lot of people feel like, oh, well then I look in consistent. Well, no, that’s actually one of your super powers is that you have the ability to burn something down and build it back up. That is unique to you. So I feel like it’s, yeah, it’s re writing the script on what that even means to us and really, really giving ourselves the permission to then play out that script of what it looks like, because I don’t ever, ever want anyone to have any regrets of what could be

Ashley McDonald (19:09):

Totally. I love that. So speaking of pivots, yes. A pivot here, the conversation a little bit, because, so I found you grace. I don’t know how long ago that was. I feel like a couple of years ago. But I found grace on social media. I don’t even remember how, or like what had happened, but essentially I was following you for a little bit. And then I was just very drawn to you. And ultimately I’d reached out and said, let’s connect. And we became friends first, and then I got the opportunity to speak within your community. And then I got the opportunity to invest in you as a mentor, which has been great. And one of the things that really drew me towards you, or like, captivated me, I think right now I’m like redoing website copy. And so I’m really into the hook.

Ashley McDonald (19:48):

And I’m always thinking about like, what hooked me into grace, right? What was the hook into grace? And for me, it was hearing hearing the story about your brother and how that changed your just vision and perspective. And I felt like in essence, you’ve gifted me a perspective shift that altered so much for me. And it made me want to stay tied to you in some way. And so if you’re open to it, I’d love for you to share just whatever feels comfortable and say for you within that space of, of that experience of how it shifted your perspective. Because I feel like we all need this perspective shift.

Grace Blacksea (20:24):

Yes, absolutely. I’d be happy to share it because it’s a story that’s meant to be shared. I’m sure many of your listeners are no, are no stranger to loss, right. Grief in whatever way and capacity that looks like for you. And I mean, my experience with grief started started when I was very young. My dad passed away when I was seven. And that’s just like, that was part of me. And I actually felt like it really much, very much defined me. I was always kind of like the girl in school with the dead dad. Like that’s truly how it, how it went. Right. and it was that and it also, it came with a lot of other things. I also think it really sparked my intuition leaning into my intuition and what that looks like. You know, I looked at friends with light that came from divorced families and I’m honestly, like, I remember thinking to myself, gosh, I mean, I don’t have a choice, right?

Grace Blacksea (21:16):

Like my, my dad was, is just no longer here. He’s no longer or side, but divorce is hard. Divorce is really hard and that is it. And there’s grief in that. And there’s grief. I mean, there’s grief in so many different situations and things. And so even more than loss experienced all sorts of things between, you know, I’m now 34, but when I was seven years old, until then there was, there was, has, has been massive loss. But my brother passed away about three and a half years ago now. And he was 26 and my younger brother and it was horrific. It was tragic. It was so sad. He left behind my beautiful, I’m now six year, six year old nephew, but it’s, it was just one of those moments where you feel completely robbed completely robbed of time, of opportunity of experience.

Grace Blacksea (22:09):

And, you know, something that he always told me was, I mean, he was like the kind of guy where, I mean, I looked at him and it drove me crazy that he never just wanted to drive a brand new car. Like, why do you have to drive the car that is falling apart? And you want, like, I don’t understand. You’re like, it’s, you’re always going to be calling AAA. I just, but it’s cool. Right. And it’s iconic and it’s this and it’s that. And whatever it is, or just the clothes I’m like, how can you put on a shirt that looks that’s totally ripped everywhere and has grease stains and you look cool. I don’t understand. Right. I was always, so again, worried what people thought about me. And he really gave me so much permission to lean into my most, most authentic self. He always used to say me like grace, just be yourself.

Grace Blacksea (22:50):

And and I, I remember many times when he would say that to me in his very young wisdom, like, well, who am I? And, and like, what does that mean when you say that to me? And so I reflected a lot on that, you know, after he passed away, I still do all the time and I can kind of hear his voice, always say that to me when I feel like I’m kind of moving away from what that is, but it was, his loss was an opportunity for me to find what authenticity meant to me. And it also was an opportunity for me to completely and totally envelop myself in my life. Meaning taking back every single moment that I had given away to other people too, meaning in the most negative of ways, right? Like I had given them so much of my time or like real estate in my brain of wondering what if, for who it was.

Grace Blacksea (23:41):

And I went on this journey of making sure that every single moment counted. Right. I felt like when I lost him, I’m very close to where, when I left, when I left the corporate space, I was empty. Like I was one of those like sponges in the sink that hasn’t seen water in, like, you know, months. It was, that’s how I felt I was completely unfulfilled and what I was doing, I felt extremely empty. And then pour some grief on top of that. And it was just not too much in the grief of losing my identity with the work I was doing. I was just, I mean, I was pretty much just bones at that point. And I really went on this mission to find how can I actually, how can I actually fill up every single day? How can I actually quench my life right.

Grace Blacksea (24:38):

In, which is so much, of course, why the name of our business is what it is and how could I quench every single moment? How could I leave every person feeling that way, that every interaction, every conversation, every moment, every teaching, every whatever, it may be felt more filled up by coming my way. And that’s not, you know, that’s not ego talking here. That’s truly, like, I decided that I wanted to take control of the time that I had, because time is not promised. Like I, if, if anyone knows that it’s you it’s me, it’s everyone who’s listening to. We’ve all experienced loss in a different way. And that is when I really set out to to really help leaders. Like how can I help you leverage this incredible tool that we have in front of us every single day, our time, so that you can feel more filled up and you can leave.

Grace Blacksea (25:33):

Others feel completely filled up just by you being in their presence, just by you being in the room. And the caveat to that is that we have to do that ourselves right at all of these moments where I had felt extremely empty. It took, unfortunately the loss of my brother to kind of come to a point where I had a choice, right. He was 26 when he passed away, I had a choice I can use the rest of my time that I have on earth to to just be here or I can be here. Like I can live, right. I can fully, fully, fully step into the life I want to lead. And so I defined what authenticity meant to me. I defined what it meant to feel filled up and to leave other people’s feel filled up. And I just put one foot in front of the other and started doing it every single day. And so, yeah, I mean, it’s pretty incredible that with loss can come so many incredible gifts if we let them. And I mean, every single day, I’m so grateful of that reminder to just truly quench every single moment and lean into the time that we do have versus focusing on all the time that we don’t have.

Ashley McDonald (26:50):

Yeah. Oh my gosh. My note here that I had written down was leveraging my time to feel more filled up and to live more. I’d love for you to share it with these amazing women who are tuning in, what are some small steps that they can take to start leveraging their time, or what are any tips that you have to give right. To leverage time in order to feel filled up and live more right. Or going off of what you said earlier to do less and be more.

Grace Blacksea (27:19):

Yeah. I mean, I think the number one thing is to why are you doing the thing that you don’t want to do? I know, you know, the thing is like, what the thing is that you don’t want to be doing? Why are you doing it? You know why are we, you know, I’ve, I have a client right now who is a new mama. And she is, I mean, really working with about three hours a week that she is, is, is able to work. Right. And in recalibrating some elements of her business, I asked her, why are you trying to run a full-time job and a part-time schedule? Are you doing that to yourself? Like that doesn’t actually that doesn’t compute, right. What if you actually just take the time that you do have, and that’s your full time, why are you trying to run like a 40 hour work week full-time for you is, you know, 12 hours a week, then that’s time to, you know, like, it’s, it’s really only a society that says, oh, you, okay, so part-time, it’s 25 hours then, you know, or whatever, super part-time, or it’s only 12.

Grace Blacksea (28:23):

I mean, that is you can run a flourishing business with the time that you do have. And so, you know, I think that we tend to look at, I actually remember being on a podcast one time and saying like these words that, well, you know, we can all do it. Like Beyonce has 24 hours in a day. That’s not true. Beyonce is like one of the most incredible women in the world. And she also has a ton of help and ton of help. And so it’s like, how can you actually use the time that you do have and set yourself up for success? So if you’ve got a laundry list of things that just realistically, you know, that you can’t get done, but you’re going to try your hardest. That’s good. I want you to try your heart at us, but at the end of the day, if you’re going to bed thinking about all the things that you didn’t get to, instead of celebrating the things that you did, then that tells me that we completely need to recalibrate the way that you look at time.

Grace Blacksea (29:13):

Right. And being realistic around those pockets that you do have. The other thing is instead of really focusing on leveraging your time, how can you leverage your resiliency muscle? You know, focusing of course, I think time. Yes. But before that, I think, I think it’s important to talk about, you know resilience and energy. How can you actually make sure that you are constantly exercising, that resiliency muscle, that at the end of the day, when you do have those things left on your list or the goal wasn’t met or whatever, instead of putting yourself, it’s just like blood sugar. If we have all these like highs and lows, that’s a surefire way to send us into a total tizzy. Right. Whereas if we can try to stay as maybe a little bit more, I hate to use the word balance, but if we can stay a little bit more in alignment with those not experiencing such highs and lows and those teaks and those valleys, and again, come what may, because our emotions are very real and they show they should be felt

Grace Blacksea (30:07):

But if we can learn to not let that one thing throw us so far off that it takes us two weeks to get back to doing it. Maybe it just takes two hours. Maybe it just takes two minutes. And I think that is a better indicator of practicing that resiliency muscle. Like, oh gosh, when that thing didn’t work or I didn’t get to work because, you know, kiddo had to stay home from school or whatever it may be. It’s okay. I’m going to get it done. And that’s actually the beauty of being my own boss. Right. And like leaning into that. And then of course energy, like, is this something that fills me up or is it draining me just flat out before you ever look at the time of it? Is this filling me up or is it draining me? And if it’s draining me, if you can get everything out, I mean, we just, just the other day, Ash, I just learned about, if you saw my reaction to this, there’s an app that you can, like, you can hire someone to come in and do your laundry for you.

Grace Blacksea (30:58):

I was like, wait a minute. And I’m fully aware that that’s extremely, you know, that’s, that is a very privileged comment. And if you are working your heinie off and you can do that by all means, why not do that right? Is it just because like, where, where are you falling? Is it because you’re disappointed in yourself that you can’t do the laundry and cook dinner and run the business and do this and do that and do that? Like, no, I mean, actually I think you’re such a great example of how can we outsource things in our life that really give us back time. Right. And I think that instead of again, going down that shame spiral of it, how it, how in fact, can you build resiliency around it and notice when it’s giving you back energy to then celebrate it. And then therefore it’s going to get a lot easier for you to practice that therefore end result you’ll be able to leverage your time even more.

Ashley McDonald (31:49):

Yeah, a hundred percent. I mean, I’m always going to be the person who preaches, if you can afford to hire the team, invest in the support, outsource the thing, whether it’s something small or something large, and it’s going to bring more presence in your life, don’t doubt it. Don’t definitely because it’s so important, right? I just recently brought on a personal assistant and it’s different. There’s a, there’s a learning curve to it. But the first day she was here, I laid on the couch with my kids. It had nothing to worry about because my house had been picked up and the meals had been prepped and everything was, was done. And any other circumstance, I would have been running around like a chicken without a head trying to both be present for my kids, which we all know wouldn’t have been the case while trying to do all the things.

Ashley McDonald (32:32):

And you’re right. We’re not here to induce shame. That is actually the core value of my business is to never induce shame. But the point being that, whether it’s outsourcing help or asking for help, are you really looking at that view of what is it that’s pulling me from what really matters in my life right now, what moments really matter? I love it. I love it, grace. This was such a good conversation, such a good conversation. I would love. I know where everybody can find you, but I would love for you to share where can we find you? Where can we continue to get hooked into your story and your modalities? And just all the things that you offer this world, where do we find a gray spot

Grace Blacksea (33:08):

Coming out with me on Instagram? I feel like that’s probably the best place to start from there. We can go on many different journeys together, but I’m at quench dot collective on Instagram. And I can’t wait to welcome you into the community and see how we can pour into you and really help you feel clenched. And you know, if, if you are in the world of business, hopefully we can help you do business differently and really stand out in the crowd. Yes.

Ashley McDonald (33:31):

I love it. I love it. Okay. So my final question for every guest that we have on the podcast is grace. What does it mean to you to be shamelessly ambitious?

Grace Blacksea (33:41):

Gosh, I mean, I feel like shamelessly and unapologetic, unapologetically go hand in hand and this in my, in my like world and definition at least I think it means doing, doing things without permission taking big risks and leaning into what feels right. I feel like as the ambitious women that we are, if we can allow ourselves and give ourselves the permission to do those three things, I feel like there’s, we can’t ever fail. Right. Because it’s where our intentions are. There’s not shame attached to it. And we’re actually, I think probably if anything, promoting our ambition versus really, really dyeing it down for everyone in the room, just because we’re nervous of how it will look or how it will be perceived or whatever it may be. So I love this podcast for that reason and I am honored to be considered, you know, I consider myself shameless to be ambitious and I feel like the more that we can self-identify that way, the more, again, we can pass it along and impact everyone to come.

Ashley McDonald (34:57):

Yeah, absolutely. I love it. Thank you for your time, your energy, your love, your heart for being here. Everybody go follow her. She is incredible. And she’s got so many things behind the scenes that I want you to notice as well. And Instagram things that she offers ways that she pours into our community. So thank you, grace. Thank you.


Building a business without restraint because big bold moves equals big bold results

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I am the definition of duality—I swear like a sailor and break rules like it’s my job, but I also hold incredible space for my clients and work my ass off to help them achieve the success they’re after (but faster).

My background in counseling and my experience founding three multi-6-figure businesses gives me a unique perspective on what it means to show up and serve as an ethical and successful CEO. Leaning on my experiences, along with the experiences of the hundreds of women I’ve been honored to work with, I offer founders a psych-backed and human-first approach to scaling their legacies—both in and out of the office. 

I don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach to anything, but especially business. Because at the foundation of any profitable, sustainable, ethically sound business is one thing: humans being humans. And to do anything without first considering the human behind the action (i.e., with intention and vulnerability) is to remove our most powerful predictor of success—ourselves.

Around here, you’ll find a personalized and multidimensional client experience paired with a few tastefully dropped fucks. You’ll also find a new way of being in business that’s sustainable, ethical, and built around your life (not the other way around).

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