PP 586: Busy and Happy with Christine Laperriere

“What I want to encourage every person to think about is what is ‘busy and happy’ looks like for you… growing the awareness of what those two things look like for you so that you can gravitate towards busy and happy more often.”

Can we really find time to be happy in this ever-so-busy world? Absolutely! Founder of Leader in Motion, Christine Laperriere, shares how in her book Too Busy to Be Happy: Using Emotional Real Estate To Grow Your Work-Life Wisdom.

Passionate in everything she does, Christine found herself drinking shots of workahol. She was working too much that the taste of her job became intoxicating to her emotional real estate. Tune in to hear how she transformed from being a workaholic to a busy yet happy woman, entrepreneur, and individual.

Take a break from all the stresses of your business. Kim lets us in on an amazing opportunity to join the Positive Productivity Pod. Learn some tips on how to be busy and happy. After all, there is no meaning in any endeavour if you’re not enjoying life at all.


02:20 A Shot of Workahol
06:41 A Bad Day to Start a Business
11:35 Budgeting Your Emotional Real Estate
19:09 Time Blocking
21:15 Take A Break with The Kim Sutton Pod
22:12 Detox From Social Media
30:43 The Unending Struggle Ends
35:24 The Inception of Too Busy to Be Happy

Take a break! @thekimsutton and @leaderinmotion shares valuable tips on how to grow your work-life wisdom #busy&happy #workahol #socialmediadetox #timeblock #emotionalrealestateClick To Tweet



Too Busy to Be Happy: Using Emotional Real Estate To Grow Your Work-Life Wisdom by Christine Laperriere

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level by Gay Hendricks

Inspirational Quotes:

“I like to be constantly doing, going, dreaming big, all of that’s great. But… it can tip over and backfire on you.” –Christine Laperriere

“We have a culture of get out there and do it and make big things happen and dream big. …But unfortunately for me, I bought into that so much that I lost sight of just having a high quality moment right now.” –Christine Laperriere

“Be so rigorous with that emotional real estate. Treat it just like you treat your time; treat it just like you treat your money.” –Christine Laperriere

“If your brain is the house, and your emotional real estate is your friend yard.” –Christine Laperriere

“Getting caught up in what happened yesterday is not going to help us reach the goals of tomorrow.” ­–Kim Sutton

“What I want to encourage every person to think about is what is busy and happy look like for you… growing the awareness of what those two things look like for you so that you can gravitate towards busy and happy more often.” –Christine Laperriere


If you know, you know, you know what the feeling of Too Busy To Be Happy looks like. You can feel it, you’ve seen it. You’ve been in the moment where that’s exactly the truth, like you are Too Busy To Be Happy in the moment. As much as it would be nice for all of us to go sit on a mountain and not be busy and not have the commitments of work and family and all the things that we’re dealing with. What I want to encourage every person to think about is what is busy and happy look like for you. So just kind of noticing how those two ideas kind of go back and forth. Oh, here I am I’m too busy to be happy again. Oh, here I am I’m busy and happy. You know, growing the awareness of what those two things look like for you so that you can gravitate towards busy and happy more often. That would be my parting words of wisdom.

KIM: Welcome back to another episode of Positive Productivity! This is your host, Kim Sutton, and I am so happy to have you here today. I know you are going to be as excited about this episode as I am because today we have Christine Laperriere who is the founder of Leader in Motion, the Executive Director of Women of Influence in Toronto, and also the author of Too Busy To Be Happy. You know, if you’ve been listening for a while, you know that I am a mom of five, I have this podcast, I’m trying to write a book and I have a business with a team on the backend. When I heard the title Too Busy To Be Happy, it hit me in the heart because I’m like ‘I don’t want to be like that.’ Listeners, you know I’m very transparent and sometimes I really am too busy. So Christine, welcome…I was about to say welcome so much, but that is not proper English. Welcome to Positive Productivity, where we have lawnmowers from our neighbors in the backyard. I am so happy to have you and I can’t wait to jump right in!

CHRISTINE LAPERRIERE: Thank you so much Kim. I’m so thrilled to be here.

KIM: Oh, you are so welcome. I would love if you would share a little bit of your journey with the listeners and share how you got to where you are today.

CHRISTINE LAPERRIERE: Sure! I’ll just start by saying that in the book, talking about Too Busy To Be Happy, it’s kind of my favorite topic at the moment. Real quick, here’s kind of how the journey happened. I am definitely a recovering, maybe always struggling, workaholic. My husband likes to joke “go do a few more shots of workahol” because that seems to be what you want right now.I am definitely a recovering workaholic and I found that the title of the book was really important for me because if I look at my history, too busy to be happy is definitely, it’s like my never-ending struggle is to move away from that set point. I’ve had a background as an engineer, started designing cars, always extremely ambitious. I finished a Master’s degree in Engineering in the first couple of years of my designing cars. Had to take a leap, move to Toronto, wanted to get into manufacturing work, 60 to 70 hour weeks launching vehicles, which is a very stressful, very intense work environment. You know, I’m 25 year old female in a room with hundreds of 55 to 60 year old manufacturing men who were very aggressive and I kind of had to fit into that culture, working really hard and then made the leap into management consulting. And again, working around the clock, I was promoted very quickly. I think for me, I talk about it in the book, but there was a moment where I had a real serious burnout and it was not until that moment that I realized that I had just become a very addicted, distressed, very addicted to working and I had completely lost sight of how to have a high quality life.

KIM: Oh my gosh. Okay, I have to go back, “take another shot of workahol,” I’m going to have to borrow that.


KIM: That is like every day here.


KIM: But it’s not because I feel forced to work all the time, but maybe you can understand this I love what I do.


KIM: And I find it really hard, really difficult to watch TV and to relax because I’m –


KIM: -thinking about, oh, I want to do this. Oh, I want to do that. I mean, my laptop is a permanent fixture around me. Some people are addicted to their smartphones. I’m addicted to my laptop, my laptop and my work and building.


KIM: So –


KIM: You have it too?

CHRISTINE LAPERRIERE: Yes, I have that too. I like to be constantly doing, going, you know, dreaming big and you know, all of that’s great. But that real strong what I would call, like the part of my personality that I really love and I’m really happy, I was born with whatever that is. Meanwhile, it can tip over and backfire on you. And that’s exactly what the point of the book is, is you know, recognizing that just because you’re ambitious and you’re, you know, really reaching for big things in life. I think, you know, we, we have a culture of like get out there and do it and make big things happen and dream big and we have all of this like motivational [inaudible}. But unfortunately for me, I bought into that so much that I lost sight of just having a high quality moment right now.

KIM: Me too, absolutely. And I want to share another thing, I actually went into interior architecture, so I totally get being surrounded by older men, you know, and it’s quite a different environment. And I was working a lot, I started in Manhattan and then went to Chicago no other way around and then wound up here in Ohio, but I ended up losing my job in 2008 and actually ended up working for Honda. So I, I’m just finding all the, you know, the synchronicities, is that the right word?


KIM: Very amusing, but I was in the parts manufacturer but after I started my business, it was all about hustle, hustle, hustle.


KIM: I can’t stand that word anymore. Do I hustle? Yes, but I don’t call it hustle anymore because I don’t think we should be sacrificing sleep. And then in 2016 I had a complete meltdown because I was sleep deprived and hustling too much.


KIM: I love what you are doing. How did you transition though out of a job and into your own business? What did that journey look like to you?

CHRISTINE LAPERRIERE: Oh, it’s actually quite an incredible one. So in right around the same time as you, uh, 2007, I was working in management consulting. I’d taken a leadership role in the business development side and was, you know, again, working really hard and I took a neurolinguistic programming course and this is kind of a funny story and mighty, might resonate with some of your listeners. So I took this NLP course and the instructor kept getting us to do visualizations and I kept saying, I want to be in business for myself in five years. And she kept saying, the problem is, is the subconscious mind doesn’t understand what five years means. It doesn’t, you know, it’s either picture and elephant or don’t picture an elephant, but there is no such thing as picturing an elephant in five years. And so I kept saying, well, yeah, yeah, I get that, but I want to start a business in five years when I’m ready, quote unquote. Well, I had done all this visualization work in my NLP classes. I was learning the skills to practice on NLP and that was, that program ended in June and I hadn’t been particularly in love with my job, you know, that I, that kind of new role that I was in. And I remember very distinctly early July sitting down and you know, working on something with my boss and it just got to a point, it was just difficult and I was kind of at a head and I looked at him and said, you know, I’m gonna put in my three months notice. And he’s like, what is, I’m gonna finish this role in three months if I’m gonna move on to start my own business. And he’s like, are you sure? And so anyway, we kind of, you know, the company I worked with, we did some negotiation around could we change roles, could I modify my job, could I do something different? And at the end of the day I came down to just saying, oh, I really want to start my own business. So the irony was, is that my first day in business for myself, president, a leader in motion was October 1st, 2008 so for those of you that might remember this, Lehman Brothers went out and filed for bankruptcy September 22nd so my timing couldn’t have been worse. I walked away from a very fantastic salary to start my own business with no plan, no backup, no cash, no like did not have any of it figured out and off, off I went. And so I can’t say that I would suggest everybody try it that say that way. But it was pretty incredible that, you know, at the time everyone kept telling me, if you can start a business in this environment, you’ll always be able to run a business. And so for me it was a lot of digging deep around the psychology. First of all, I paid a lot of attention to, you know, the good news, the bad news and how much bad news I was watching every day I paid attention to with my cheerleaders and really trying to block out the noise of the people who are the naysayers. There’s always people, and in 2008 you know, everyone was scared about what the future of their careers look like and what the future of businesses looked like. And so, you know, the naysayers weren’t even wrong. Like there were legitimate reasons why they were right it was a scary time to start a business. And so that was kind of how I got my start and somehow, like I said, somehow I’m still here 11 years later.

KIM: That is amazing because what is this statistic, like 50% of businesses or 80% of businesses fail within the first five years.


KIM: And you started at, I mean in the last decade, or let’s just call it two decades, you started really at the most difficult time. Some would argue that 2001 may have been difficult too, but I, I would have to go with 2008, –


KIM: -2009.


KIM: I remember after I lost my job, I was designing schools. I went to a local networking group and because we have a whole lot of GM parts manufacturers down here in Dayton, there were a lot of people who had lost their jobs and received nice severance packages and were starting businesses and thinking about it now, and this is something I haven’t thought about in years, but the ideas that they had, like it makes me curious about where those people are now because some of them just had no idea what they were doing, but I didn’t have any idea what I was doing. I was trying to start an interior design company of my own and I was –


KIM: -same as you. I wasn’t passionate like I quickly discovered after I graduated college. It just wasn’t what I imagined it to be.


KIM: I think I imagined the lifestyle, but not actually the work. Does that make any sense?

CHRISTINE LAPERRIERE: Absolutely. Absolutely.

KIM: Yeah. I mean, I grew up watching ghost, Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, and I was thinking, okay, I’m gonna move to Manhattan and live in this incredible loft and make lots of money and yeah, that’s not quite how it was.

CHRISTINE LAPERRIERE: Right, right, exactly.

KIM: Yeah, yeah. I don’t think I’ve ever said it on the podcast before, I did not live in Manhattan. The renters agents or the rental agents lash me right out of the city like spinny. The only way that your salary is going to afford an apartment in Manhattan is if you live in a closet of like a five bedroom apartment. Like, okay.


KIM: I’m living somewhere else. Yeah, yeah. So, wow! What are some of the keys, do you think, that actually helps you thrive? Maybe thrive is too strong of a word, but survive through that rough economy?

CHRISTINE LAPERRIERE: You know, one of the things that I think of is a lot of what I’m talking about in the book is this concept emotional real estate. So basically what I explained is that if your brain is the house and your emotional real estate is your front yard and it’s this fixed amount of real estate that you have to process, decision making, worry, emotion, concern, you know, fear of the future, fear of the past, whatever that happens to be, you have a fixed amount of emotional real estate for it. And so what I think in retrospect, even though I couldn’t articulate this at the time, I still think the reason that I was able to work through that year, you know, the 2008, 2009, 2010 part of my business was because somehow over a lot of training and a lot of experience, I had started to develop these tools about managing my emotional real estate. So, for example, you know, when I started my business and I would sit and watch CNN first thing in the morning that would have all the stories about people going bankrupt and all of the, you know, the crisis that was happening and people walking away from their homes and losing everything that would use up so much emotional real estate for me that I would be completely frozen in action. And so I started to become really conscious of this. That’s such, that is using up so much energy for me that I can’t do that anymore. So I actually, one of the things I did is I switched to Hay House radio, which had a lot of positive speakers before podcasts were really a big thing, yet they had so many podcasts with people who were focused on very positive things and empowering things that I spent my days listening to that and kind of deciding that that was actually giving me back emotional real estate. It was energizing me and it would free up my energy in order to take action. So I knew for a fact that I could move forward. Another thing that I, you know, became really aware of is that anytime I was in front of a customer, I was refilling my energy. And so I found that being in front of customers was really the reason why I was going into business in the first place that was giving me back emotional real estate. So I made the focus of my day about how to get in front of more customers. You know, I really stayed away from hiding behind my desk and trying to build the perfect website so that when people came, they were gonna magically buy from me. I think a lot of entrepreneurs make that mistake that somehow –

KIM: –Yeah they do.

CHRISTINE LAPERRIERE: If their website is just good enough or it’s the wording is right or you know, the pictures are right, that people are going to magically think that they’re worth buying from. And I really threw that out. And when, when I’m talking to people and I’m working with people and I’m adding value to people, that’s when I love being in business for myself and I made that the primary focus. And then there was another thing I paid really close attention to at the time I had a fantastic mentor and he used to challenge me over and over again. Every time I would start to lose my confidence and people kept offering me jobs. Like that was kind of happening where people would say, Hey, well, you know, why don’t you come work for me? Or why don’t you come do this? And he’d say, stay focused, just stay focused. And so I’d call him and I’d be like, you know, there’s one company wants to hire me to do this. And I’m thinking maybe that’s a better idea than starting my own business. And he’d be like, stay focused. Just he goes, you didn’t even give it a shot. Like you haven’t actually even pursued this well enough to know whether or not this is what you want. So just stay focused long enough that you can find out for yourself if this is what you really want. And so there was that powerful piece of messaging and it goes back to that emotional real estate. Like I was so quick to give emotional real estate out to people who wanted to partner people who wanted to like, you know, Oh, maybe you could sell my stuff and then I’d have to use a bunch of emotional real estate to try to figure out how would that work. One thing I try to you know tell other entrepreneurs is like, be so rigorous with that emotional real estate treated just like you treat your time, treat it just like you treat your money. If somebody comes to me and they want to quote unquote partner, I get really cautious about how much emotional real estate it’s going to take up and whether or not it’s going to do a nice return on investment because it’s not that maybe that partnership won’t cost me any money, but I’m gonna have to use my energy to figure out how to go down this path together. And I want to be really conscious of the fact that I need my emotional real estate to also serve my customers, sell new business, innovate, build the strategy for the future. So I have only a fixed amount and I’m really conscious of how I budgeted.

KIM: I absolutely love that. How about pick your brain sessions. Hey Christine, can we hop on a quick call? How can you handle that? Cause it’s still on me like, Hey Kim, can I pick your brain for a moment?


KIM: And I’m learning how to say no.


KIM: But it’s taken me too long. I’m just gonna put it that way too long to say no.

CHRISTINE LAPERRIERE: Well and it’s funny because that’s exactly the kind of thing. So my assistant knows I’ve got a small window in my calendar set aside for short half hour conversations each week. And those are kind of my people who want to have a coffee or wanna touch base or kind of wanna chat. I only have a few slots, very, very limited. And if it’s not revenue generating or it’s not delivering value to a customer, those slots are very limited. And for me, it’s even right now somebody was asked to get a coffee recently and it was like, okay, you know the date is July 29th right now. That’s fine, like I don’t feel bad about that because at the end of the day I only have so much emotional real estate and I only have so much time and I have to use that budget really stringently in order for me to have success in my business.

KIM: You actually just made me feel so much better, and I know you are my guest here on the podcast, but as the host of the podcast, I can’t tell you how many people, I mean we get dozens of submissions a week dozens, I mean there’s some days that we get a dozen submissions to be a guest and then people see how far out we’re booking, I mean you had to wait six months. It’s more, it’s way more than six months right now and there’s people who get a little bit testy about it being –


KIM: -six months and want us to open up another day in my schedule so that they can get on sooner. And I’ve had a just in the past month really be more adamant about no, –


KIM: -because I am finally kicking the butt of time blocking.


KIM: It took so long to get to this point. I mean, I used to think that time blocking would be good if I even just designated a morning to content and then the afternoon was clients. I’m at the point now where Mondays and Fridays are all me.


KIM: And it’s not. So I can go to the pool right now it’s not. So I can go to the pool of my family right now. It’s actually so I can focus on content. Maybe it will turn into so I can spend more time with the family, I would love that. But no, I’m not going to take a Monday because you want to get on my podcast sooner because –


KIM: -is how we do it. And I, I feel sort of, I’m just going to say the word that comes to mind, but I feel a little bit bitchy when my team –


KIM: -and I are talking about it once in a while. I’m like, they have to understand that this is my show, –


KIM: -our show. It’s not meant to cater to their calendar.

CHRISTINE LAPERRIERE: And I think it’s a classic example. First of all, you know, you’re on point about time blocking. Another giant way that we can make better use of emotional real estate. So every time you stop and start an activity, it uses emotional real estate. And so I find, it’s kind of like that decision fatigue or that activity fatigue where to your exact point, if I take coaching sessions on Monday, which Monday is my admin day, it’s my day to do all the things behind the scenes that I need to do to run my business. If I take coaching sessions that day, it’s like I’m hitting the gas and then the break and then the gas and then the break and I never get through anything. And it takes a lot of emotional real estate for me. Take, for instance, start doing taxes and expense reports because those things use up a lot of energy for me. I don’t enjoy them, but they have to get done and they’re part of running my business. And so, I’m very conscious of how I schedule my week so that those things that take up a lot of emotional real estate for me, I get those done, but I have to, you know, I can’t sacrifice that just because somebody else came along and decided that they think they know better for what my time is. I find it amazing how we kind of, in our current society with all the technology we have, we’re like setting expectations on other people to give us their time and their energy and their attention. When I feel like we need to become much more fruitful about how we give that away.

KIM: Absolutely. There’s people who are shocked that I took Facebook messenger off my phone.

CHRISTINE LAPERRIERE: I love removing social media channels. To be honest, I detox sometimes I’ll delete –

KIM: –Hmm Mm.

CHRISTINE LAPERRIERE: -everything off my phone for a weekend because I can sense that I’m losing my ability to be present –

KIM: –Hmm Mm.

CHRISTINE LAPERRIERE: -and it’s very common for me to take all my social media off my phone and then I’ll add it back when I feel like I’m ready to reconnect. But I find the same thing. Somebody said that to me Oh, you’re never on social media, I never see you on social media. And I’m like, you know what? That’s completely okay, I’m fully present with my children and I will be on social when it’s appropriate and it feels right for me.

KIM: Absolutely. I forget what the system is called. The might be the Eisenhower method or Pareto principle or something like that. One of them is, well I’m thinking of makes actually now of the 80 20 rule and also, –


KIM: -staying in the box of what’s important and urgent or what’s important and non-urgent.


KIM: And I, –


KIM: -I’ve been really focusing this year I’m staying in the important non-urgent because if it gets to the urgent, something went wrong, right?


KIM: And, and also the 80 20 rule like I, oh my gosh. I give myself probably more guilt than I should. The nights where I find myself, okay, I’ll hop into Facebook just to see what’s going on with one person and then two hours later it’s like I’m still in there. It’s like this is –


KIM: -what are you doing? You have other stuff to do.


KIM: That’s why I had to remove it. Like, I have Instagram on my phone because you like, that’s how you do Instagram. But I’m not in there as definitely not the first thing that I check in the morning. But I’m very purposeful with any –


KIM: -social media and I probably am not as social, well not even probably, I know I’m not as social as I should be, but I have the podcast, I have blog, I have email, you know, I have other ways of being social.


KIM: You’d go in and just get caught up in, I love how you’re talking about emotional real estate because there’s just always so much drama.


KIM: We’re getting offended when I started un-following or unfriending, it’s like, look, I don’t have time. Like I’m not coming on social media to see whatever drawn and that, that doesn’t mean I’m a fair weather friend. It just means I’m un-following you and I’ll connect, okay. I’m not unfriending you, but I’m un-following you. Cause that’s not what I want to see when I come on here.

CHRISTINE LAPERRIERE: Well, and what I would even say is when you say, I don’t have time, the truth is is you don’t have the emotional real estate because it doesn’t take that much time to read somebody who’s, let’s say, political rand on Facebook. But the truth is is that if that political rand is affecting your mood and using up emotional real estate for you, it’s a drain. And so I have the same thing where I protect my energy I’m really conscious about that. You know, we use the term, I don’t have time a lot. And I always say like, it’s interesting to notice is that the time or the energy and to be just as like, I don’t have the energy, like I don’t have the available emotional real estate to read. Whatever nonsense –

KIM: –Hmm.

CHRISTINE LAPERRIERE: -you’re gonna put out and it’s not giving me back anything. There’s no ROI. So what I am conscious of is I have, thankfully I would say a great big number of friends that I genuinely want to see pictures of their kids. I genuinely want to hear about the great things that are happening at work. I genuinely want to see pictures on father’s Day of them, three or four generations in all, you know, lined up and having a picnic in their backyard. I love that that makes me happy to see that my friends and you know, even friends from high school or I have gone on to have these really happy lives, I’m all for that. That gives me back emotional real estate. But certain people in certain posts and certain noise, like I don’t need it. So that’s where I get really conscious of getting that out in my psyche.

KIM: I’m gonna have to use that though. It’s really isn’t that I don’t have time and there really is, I don’t have the energy –


KIM: -and I don’t want to have the energy.

CHRISTINE LAPERRIERE: I’m not going to give you my part of my fixed amount, so I only get to budget this much. And by the way, when you’re busy with children, which you and I, you know, both have that experience of it takes a lot of emotional real estate for me to help make sure that, you know, my toddler still knows how to, you know, use the bathroom in the right amount of time. Then I guess still I have to use a lot of emotional real estate to make sure we’ve got all the right food in the house and they’ve got you know, the clothes that they need. And then, you know, school, God forbid, like the 32 different things that you need to remember to do for that. And like immunizations and doctor’s appointments and dentist appointments, –

KIM: –Yes.

CHRISTINE LAPERRIERE: -it never ends. So I’m using up plenty of my available bandwidth with that. I’m using up a lot of bandwidth for my, you know, my work and then my friends, my family. But that’s why I say like to be so selective because my experience of burnout was when I decided that I had unlimited emotional real estate and I didn’t say no to anything. So if you, you know, I would hold on to garbage from the past. If you offended me on this conversation, I’d still be thinking about it for four days. And if you came along and you wanted to partner, I would never say no because the optimist in me would be like, okay, well let’s talk about it. And so I’d spend, you know, hours going down rabbit holes, you know, wasting lots of time and wasting lots of emotional real estate trying to do that and then juggle having an effective business. So I think when I look at it now, there’s just the laser focus of what I’m gonna use that budget for instead of trying to do all things.

KIM: What did the worst of the burnout journey look like for you? And I know this isn’t positive productivity, but I –


KIM: -really want, if you wouldn’t mind sharing a note would help people because I know there’s listeners who are experiencing it.

CHRISTINE LAPERRIERE: For me, it’s such a good question actually and I’m really glad you asked because what it looked like. So I was in a really busy stage and then all of a sudden I was traveling every week for work. So I was on a plane Monday morning on a plane, Thursday night managing two teams, one in Toronto, one in New Jersey. And all that being said, I stopped. I started to slowly over time, say “no” to things that I enjoyed. So you know, didn’t have time for friends with dinner, didn’t have time to go home and see my family in Michigan, didn’t have time to go do things. My relationship ended up falling apart, which was a good thing at the end of the day. But you know, I was kind of holding onto some baggage around that. And what I kept doing is working harder and harder as a way to kind of fill space. What I also found is that I started to create this breathing problem. So I was sighing all the time and I couldn’t catch my breath. And when I went to the doctor, it started into a whole battery, long, long battery of tests. Why can’t I breathe? So it was allergy test, chest x rays, everything. After this long period of like I said, must have been about eight different types of testing. The doctor came back and said, I have to say like, I can’t find anything wrong with you. I think you have a stress related illness and I’m going to prescribe you Ativan. And I said, well, when do I come off of Ativan? And he said, when you learn how to manage your stress, there really is no time that you’re going to come off this Ativan. And I remember thinking like, I’m starting to take a drug just to survive my day to day life. And he’s like, learn how to manage your stress. What does that mean? Like how is it that learn how to manage your stress? We say it like it’s simple but it’s not. But anyway, that was going on as one kind of layer of the story. And meanwhile I’m in this really busy job where I’m traveling back and forth and I remember laying-in bed one day and thinking, oh my God, I just can’t get out of bed. Like just the idea of another day, I just can’t get out of bed. And I got out of bed and I showered and I’m getting ready and I’m trying to put my mascara on the mirror and my eyes are filling up with tears and I can’t get my mascara on. So it started to become a thing where in the morning when I would get ready for work, my eyes would fill up with tears and I would slip my mascara into my pocket and I put it on just as I arrived at the client. So just before I get out of the car, I’d have to put my mascara on because I’d be so emotional in the morning trying to get out of bed. I felt like I just can’t stand doing another day of this and the real pinnacle, like the real kind of the point where all of a sudden I had to change was required. I woke up one day and I was laying-in bed and having that feeling of dread about my day and all of a sudden I thought to myself, I need a break, but it can’t just be a vacation. It can’t just be a long weekend, that’s not enough I need a real break. You know what I need to do is I need to get sick, like really sick, –

KIM: –Wow.

CHRISTINE LAPERRIERE: -like cancer. And I actually thought to myself, if I could just get sick, I could get a break and people would give me permission. People wouldn’t judge me because I got sick and they would think that it was, instead of judging me for needing to take a break, they would feel sorry for me and they would give me permission to take a break. And it was, thank God I was raised, my mom was always a big fan of positive psychology and you know, big fan of recognizing like the connection of the brain. And so her and I both have been a fan of Louise Hay and a lot of these really great thought leaders around what you think is kind of what you create. And I’m just so thankful that I had that in my back pocket because when I heard myself actually think about attracting cancer, I just had a wake-up call. I’m like, this is insane I need a break. Actually went to my boss and I asked for a leave of absence. And I remember his response being, what if I don’t want to give you a leave of absence? I asked for, I think –

KIM: –What?

CHRISTINE LAPERRIERE: -he said, what if I don’t want to because it was during an important client project and you know all the reasons why, because there’s never a good time to take a break. There is never been a day when you know the world doesn’t need you and you can take a break. Uh, but he is you know, what if I don’t want to, and I said if, if not I’m gonna quit. And he said, okay, well I guess I’m giving you a leave of absence then. And so I took two months leave of absence and I went to Italy. Like every, you, every a red blooded American girl does. And um, it was fantastic and it really took me, I remember so specifically, like the first week I was just in a haze cause I didn’t even know how to break free of that alcohol. Like if we were talking about the workaholism, like it was kind of a big adjustment for me to go from having worked so intensely to just stopping. But by like week two or week three, I mean I remember I started to laugh a lot more. My sense of humor came back I remember like walking down the streets with one of my best friends came with me for a little bit of the trip and we were laughing and laughing and all the muscles in my cheeks actually felt sore because that’s how long it had been since I had really laughed and really smiled. And I remember thinking to myself, wow, it was like my brain actually rewired I could feel it. It was like my literally felt like a new person after about four or five weeks of really being away from all of it and just focusing on nurturing my spirit.

KIM: You have my, my brain going in so many different directions right now. I love, I mean I’m, well the first thing I was actually just thinking about with eat, pray love.

CHRISTINE LAPERRIERE: Yes. And that was part of the inspiration, I will admit.

KIM: Really? Okay.


KIM: Because I know I’ve never shared this part on the podcast before. I’ve shared that I was in the mental hospital in 2008 that was because of severe burnout.


KIM: I wasn’t taking care of myself and I started hallucinating it was that bad. And I read Eat, Pray, Love when I was at the hospital and I was just like, wow! But I remember that feeling of, Oh, I need a break, but I have to tell you when I was in a mental hospital, they put me on Prozac Welbutrin and Ativan.


KIM: Yup. And it numbed me like I was no longer me.


KIM: Listeners, I just want you to know I’m not angry. I have learned to forgive and keep on going because getting caught up in what happens yesterday is not going to help us reach the goals of tomorrow right or even of today. But I got fired by my psychiatrist because I took myself off the drugs. But the reason I took myself off the drugs was because I will tell you that specifically Ativan I actually started abusing it.


KIM: The point that this is what I’ve never shared on the podcast before and this is a lot of TMI. On two separate occasions, I wound up in a tattoo piercing parlor and I got various things pierced that are no longer pierced so I’ll just put it that way. This is not me I mean, –


KIM: -this is not me. I –


KIM: -and have the appropriate piercings that I can share on the podcast. I mean, my nose was pierced, my tongue was pierced, I was still working my full time job and I was expected to keep up some respectable appearance. And I’m not saying that a tongue piercing in a nose piercing or not, but when I can’t even have client meetings cause I’m moving [inaudible], you know, I can’t even talk –


KIM: -because my tongue is swollen three times large. That’s a problem.


KIM: Yeah.


KIM: But I have been there, I want to focus on your book, but I do want to ask, have you read The Big Leap?

CHRISTINE LAPERRIERE: Oh yes, yes. Yeah I’m a big fan.

KIM: Okay, so Gay Hendricks, The Big Leap. I read it in 2018. Coincidentally, in 2018 I was admitted to the ER four times and I was admitted to the hospital once, I do feel like I did it to myself because I just needed that break. I know in The Big Leap he talks about when something big is gonna happen that often you do self-sabotage in a way.


KIM: And Oh my gosh, I made a commitment to myself in 2019 that I will not wind up in the ER for my own illness, sickness or stress-induced causes. And so far I’ve taken care of myself to such a level that I haven’t, I haven’t even had to go to the doctor yet and we’re almost seven months in. For me, that is a record, –


KIM: – a life-long record. So I want to ask you one last question. How did your book come to be?

CHRISTINE LAPERRIERE: In 2012, I got invited to teach a course called Mastering Me and I remember rolling my eyes at the gentleman who gave me the mandate that it was the title of the course, it had to be Mastering Me. And I remember thinking what a weird title for a course. I was really trying to think about what I had mastered that was useful. I was teaching a room full of female executives at the time and it needed to be something important, like a tool kit, something helpful for this room full of female executives that were part of this program. And long story short, as I kept going, what have I mastered? Like what’s helpful that I really think would come together? I had already been coaching and using this concept of emotional real estate and a couple of other tools and so I started to pull it together. Is it kind of a toolkit of how to really access work-life wisdom? So when I’ve kind of nicknamed my work-life wisdom. And long story short, as I taught this tool kit and I actually told the story, my own story of burnout, somebody walked up to me at the end of the day and I remember this, I was so scared to tell that story about burnout and the story about wanting cancer. I’ve felt so embarrassed, probably the most vulnerable story for me and this woman walked up to me and she said, that’s my story. I actually have laid in bed and thought about getting sick. You know, the fact that you told that, it’s so eye opening to me that I’m not alone. And in addition, you know the tools that I had given in the course? She said “I want to know where to read more. Where did you get this?” And I said, well, I kind of stole a little bit from NLP and a little bit from transformative coaching and a little bit from psychotherapy. I’ve trained on pretty much everything, but I kind of took a little taste of this and a taste of that and I kind of created this toolkit and she’s like, “oh, I wish there was a book.” Over time, I’ve been teaching a lot of courses to really high powered female execs. And long story short is like each time they always come up to me and they say first of all like wow, that story, I’ve been there, I get that. And then they always ask where can I read more about this toolkit? And so I finally felt like I had a calling. I always wanted to write a book but I always wondered what I had to say. And you know when people come up to you and they keep saying, wow, thank you for sharing that. I feel like that’s the sign that that makes then somebody needs that book. And so that’s where the book came from.

KIM: That is so beautiful. Now for listeners who are wondering, you can go to the show notes which are at thekimsutton.com/pp586 where there will be a link for Too Busy To Be Happy because I want to make sure that, especially if you are in need of it, that you can go get it right away. But Christine, where else can listeners find you online and get to know more about the work you do?

CHRISTINE LAPERRIERE: Absolutely. So there’s a website for the book which is myworklifewisdom.com, Instagram is also myworklifewisdom.com, and then obviously the business that I run today, which is focused on growing high potential talent that’s Leader in Motion. You can also find me at leaderinmotion.com or at leadermotion.com. If you go into LinkedIn you can definitely find my personal page, you’re more than welcome to reach out and connect. I’m always open to meet new people. So you can find me in lots of lots of places, but those are the two spots.

KIM: Awesome!  So if you are too busy to write those down or are driving or trying not to burn dinner, those again will all be on the show notes at thekimsutton.com/pp586. Christine, thank you so much for joining us today. You have inspired me! I love that I’m no longer going to be saying I don’t have time. It’s not about time. It is about energy, so I want to thank you so much for that, but I would love to know if you have a parting piece of advice or a golden nugget for our listeners.

CHRISTINE LAPERRIERE: I think the parting piece of advice is if you know, you know, you know what the feeling of Too Busy To Be Happy looks like. You can feel it. You’ve seen it. You’ve been in the moment where that’s exactly the truth. Like you are Too Busy To Be Happy in the moment. As much as it would be nice for all of us to go sit on a mountain and not be busy and not have the commitments of work and family and all the things that we’re dealing with. What I want to encourage every person to think about is what is busy and happy look like for you. So just kind of noticing how those two ideas kind of go back and forth. Oh, here I am. I’m Too Busy To Be Happy again. Oh, here I am. I’m busy and happy. You know, growing the awareness of what those two things look like for you so that you can gravitate towards busy and happy more often. That would be my parting words of wisdom.

KIM: Thank you for tuning in to this episode of the Positive Productivity Podcast. When I’m not podcasting, I’m supporting six to seven figure business coaches with their marketing automation and entrepreneurs like you through my coaching and mastermind programs, I want to invite you to visit thekimsutton.com to learn how I can help you take your business to the next level. Subscribe today!