Leaders are commonly praised for their creativity, Angela opens up about feeling less creative during COVID. Jonathan talks about finding a secret to increasing energy levels. They discuss the common thread of exhaustion, creativity, renovations, and alone time during COVID.
Angela mentions GoCleanCo
, she mentions a Twitter account however Angela actually found her on Instagram. At the end they mention Angela's daughter cut over 10 inches of her hair off and donated it to Wigs for Kids BC
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Produced by Jonathan Bowers and Angela Hapke
] I need help figuring out a topic.
] please. My husband was no help.
] Uh, uh, uh, I don't know what a proce pro Proust provost questionnaire is.
] I don't know he's talking to an uncultured. Um, man, I dunno. Proust
] don't hide behind your gender to say whether you're cultured or not. Come on.
] I don't know who provost is.
] No. Uh, yes, there was, um, a little bit of judgment there. It was fine. My husband was like this up.
Yeah, perhaps there, he also did not know who it was.
] Okay, sweet. So we're, uh, so far the two things we have in common is we don't know who that is, and we're both men.
] Oh no, that is all true.
] you're listening to fixing faxes, a podcast on the journey to building a digital health startup with your hosts. Jonathan Bowers
] uh, yeah, I gave three options.
] yeah. Talk through our meeting today regarding the attention screen and why we push hard on some designs. That sounds good. Staying creative as a leader during COVID. I'm not sure what you mean by that. Um, and doing some kind of questionnaire from a writer or a poet, did you say a poet or a writer?
] I thought post was a poet and a
] You don't even know.
It's like, yeah. You know, Hemingway. Oh yeah. I don't know what he's written. I have no idea. I know he's a person and he used to frequent, uh, Cuba
] Are you being serious? You don't know. Okay.
] judge, all you want
] I'm not judging. Actually. I'm
] Vee who has not watched star Wars.
] update. I am on the last one.
] really like the, um, what is the last one?
] Well, like episode nine, I am on episode. No, um, Oh, Skywalker returns. Uh, the rise of Skywalker. Skywalker is something. And I don't know
] Have you enjoyed them?
] I'm going to be very Frank and honest. The ones that were done in the nineties were very bad. God.
] Chronologically the first three released were, were fun and cool. The next three
] Oh, sorry. The nineties. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. The prequels.
] Nope. And I'm quite enjoying the last three.
] Yeah. I mean, they have very strong female, like lead characters. I'm loving Ray. I'm loving Leah. I'm loving. I'm just loving it.
] Did you watch rogue one?
] Was I supposed to, I thought I was supposed to finish all nine and then watch the what?
] You have made a mistake and now you must watch them again.
] no. I will watch rogue one
] you should watch rogue one though.
You can watch it. It doesn't matter when you watch it, but you do need to watch that you don't need to watch him the solo, the solo. It kind of sucks, but you could watch, you can watch real quick. It's the best. I think it's the best. One of all of them.
] it's not even like the Skywalker saga Uh, so are we going to talk about this? Like w what, what do you want to talk about here?
Staying Creative During COVID
] what do you mean by, um, staying creative? .
] So the two things that I wrote down here were, um, today we had a meeting regarding, well, basically changing the whole look of clinic when the customer opens clinic for the first time. and the whole idea of transparency talking about like how we build clinics and how we make these changes in the app and things like that. I thought this might be a good one. So that's what I was thinking about talking about today because we really kind of.
We threw up a design today that was like, and then we threw it out and I thought that might be an interesting thing
] Uh, yeah, sure. I mean, I love talking about that kind of stuff, I feel like that is related to the second thing that you wrote down here, which is the, the other point that you felt we might talk about, which is staying creative as a leader during COVID,
] I think this is more of like a personal issue that I'm
] Oh, okay. Maybe we should get the wine
] Maybe that is another day when we get the white. Yeah. I'm feeling really, um, I'm having a really hard time and these are like not big problems. Let's be very clear during this time, but I like to think of myself as a pretty creative individual and I am having a lot of issues lately with how to maintain that creativity.
Um, which is so necessary for leadership. Um, and especially during COVID, I'm having a hard time trying to maintain any sense of creativity at all. I feel like, and I feel like it's actually being wasted away a little bit too.
] Oh, there's a limited amount of this creative energy and it's dripping from
] Yeah. I never thought that it was limited. I always thought that you would maintain at least like a foundational creativity reservoir. And now for the first time in probably my whole life, I'm actually seeing it starting to drain and I'm a little,
] that's that? That would frighten me, I think a little
] it does frighten me. It does frighten me and that's. Yeah. So those were the two times
] Well, so that that's the creative drain. I don't know what else to call it.
] that's a creative drain. It like that. Yes.
] It makes me feel a little uncomfortable all of a sudden, because now, now I wonder yeah. If, if that's maybe that's happening to me, but I don't realize that as it is. And I think I'm being just as creative, but I'm actually just pissing everyone off because I'm coming, coming with like terrible ideas.
I'm like, this is a great idea. And it's just, it's just me running on fumes, but I like my, the gas gauge isn't. Like,
] it looks like it's full. I'm like, that's fine. But it's like,
] I'm just letting you tap it. It like a heads down to like a third laugh. And you're like, what happened there?
] Oh, I hope that's not happening, but
] that's not that that's not, I actually, I actually see it. Um, I draw, I draw sometimes or I, I have outlets and I'm actually getting worse. I was very concerned about, I drew something the other day and I'm like, well, why do I suck at this? No.
] Oh, is it? I sometimes, I mean, I don't do, I don't draw, but I have other other little creative outlets that aren't, practical in any way. I mean, cooking, I enjoy cooking, cooking, cooking. I get creative in cooking, but they get slipped and I lose practice with it. And I think it's, it feels like it's, it's, uh, like a muscle that you have to keep working out.
Otherwise it just kind of wastes away and isn't isn't as effective.
] well, apparently, apparently it is. But I think in, um, just general, I probably always was kind of flexing that muscle or, or using that. And all of a sudden now I'm just like, wow. I feel like it's, I feel like it's. W, yeah, I feel like the reservoir is draining a little bit. And how like, and in times like this, these are the times that I would be proactive and take like a class or I would, um, do something maybe with friends and we would get together and do something creative and fun.
Or I wa yeah, something like that, something very social, something where I'm being taught something. And I, I not a big fan of virtual learning. And so, especially during COVID, I'm feeling like. Or even just conversations like in-person conversations like that, sparks creativity and that sparks, you know, that kind of part of your brain where you think differently in different opinions and you hear different ideas.
And, um, we can do that a little bit, but there's just that something missing with not doing it in person. And I'm, I'm feeling the drain
] Are you, are you an extrovert? Actually? I don't know. Like I S I. I want it from, I know you fairly well. I would I'm on the fence. Like I actually don't know.
] that's what I am. I'm on the fence. I'm an introvert. I'm, I'm an extroverted introvert.
Yeah. And I think it all comes down to what raises kind of your energy levels. And it's. By far being alone, like no doubt being alone for me. Yes. Which brings another point actually, which may all kind of come together is I actually said to Brad, the other day, I get what I'm feeling like no time alone.
] Yes, there is none of that.
] With small children and there's just an, Oh yeah. So maybe it's just energy and creativity and all these things are linked and I'm just not getting enough of that, um, lately. And it's, it's a bit frustrating, but it's also a bit concerning too, because I rely on that piece to lead a team. And I rely on that skill to build a product.
And lately I'm, I'm, I'm not feeling that, um, Oh, it's sucks is what it is. I'm trying to read more poetry. That's the difference that I'm doing. I'm trying something different. I've never read poetry before and.
] that? I, I have like, I mean, I, I F F. I'm not trying to judge you at all, but I just, that would not be something I would want to do.
] I didn't think it was for me either. I've never read poetry before because of that. But now I found like this really beautiful, empowering feminist poetry that I am loving. And, um, I mean kind of like, this is something, something to do something additional, but it's still not going and doing like a painting class with a bunch of people and it's okay. It's not okay. But.
] I mean, also there's no time to go do that,
] I would make time. No, that there isn't, there's no such thing as no time. There is what you want to make time for and what you don't want to make time for. I firmly believe that
] my finger out when I said that too, I wish this was like a video.
] Even. So even if everything was the same, right? Like all of, all of COVID was the same and your life was exactly the same and all the constraints that are on you except for there was this. Painting class that you could go to
] That sounds amazing. I would do that too.
If there was the one thing. Yeah, there was the one thing that was open that's like we guarantee
] Yeah. Nevermind. That sounds awesome. I thought, what was the thing I thought I found? I felt like I found a secret somewhere recently. I felt like, Oh, what is this?
This. It's gone obviously now, but well, so actually, um, it's funny. Cause, cause I had my, I did a COVID test on Friday, I think. Um, And so I, I was sleeping in a different part of the house and we kind of prepared for this. We bought this a Murphy bed that we set up downstairs, um, free up some space in the spare rooms that you, we can have an office.
Um, and just, it just makes so much sense, but it it's our, it's our core and teen zone. It's in, it's in my office right here, like it's right there. Um, and
] can work and sleep and be like quarantined. You were prepping for you to
] Yeah, there's a bathroom over there. Well, if, if Julie needed to come down and she could also yeah. Um, but it, uh, yeah.
Anyway, so I was, cause I went, got my test cause Zach was sick, so he was home and um, I went and got this gut, my test. And so corn isolating downstairs, I've got the bed down and I'm just kind of laying there and. I'm like, I don't get this ever, like I am, I feel like I'm in a hotel. Like, I feel like I'm traveling somewhere and I'm just like hanging out by myself and it was, it was awesome.
And it was only, you know, a couple hours until I fell asleep. Um, but I thought, ah, this is, this was, this was great. It's kind of, I feel kind of silly and a little selfish saying it, but,
] was nice. Oh. And I had a bath. I went and had a bath and it was, it was amazing. I just, I just laid I, yeah, I laid in the tub and I just, I just laid down.
I had a bath. It was so great. It was so it wasn't fun, but it was like, it was just super, super relaxing. I wish I had, I had bought, I bought Zach some new, a bubble bath. Cause he ran out and it's, it smells really, really good. And I wish I had that before I had my bath. Cause I would have put that in because it's smells so good.
] In, uh, September, uh, we were scheduled to go for our final camping trip of the year, uh, for two nights out at, um, Harold provincial park. And I remember at the time I was just, I was running low and I was exhausted and I did, I just didn't really want to go. And I said to Brad, I don't think I can do this.
Uh, would you just take the girls and I could have the house to myself for. Two nights. And, uh, he, he wasn't reluctant. He was a bit like, Oh, okay. Okay. Because we're like kind of new to the whole tent trailer, camping thing. And I think he was in his brain kind of going through K how am I going to do this without Angela?
There? And, um, he did, he did it, and they had an amazing time, but it was luxurious to have the house to myself for two nights. I was just, I loved it. And it was funny because so in less than a month, I T I turned 40 and, um, you know, everybody's like, Oh, like ho, or you can do anything for your birthday.
How's this going to work this year? And I'm like, well, it's. Probably nothing's going to happen and of, so if I could just maybe have some alone time for my birthday,
] Oh, other year, that would sound
] Right. Some, some deep seated issues. I know, I know. And actually felt really weird saying it I'm like, is he gonna take that? And he actually totally. Yeah. Yeah. That's that makes a lot of sense. Right? Sounds nice. And maybe that's it. Maybe I am feeling a bit. Energy reserves along with creativity. And, and I have to like, be thankful to like, you know, your team and my team, because we do have such a, such a young, amazing team that brings a lot of vibrancy and energy.
Thank goodness. Because could you imagine if it was like, just a bunch of us that were like, Oh, I'm a little tired.
] I don't know. I mean, I have, I have a, I'm a pretty high energy person. Uh, I'm usually pretty the more animated one in any given meeting. Um,
] But even we're tired. And we usually are like here, you know,
] yeah. This week has been pretty exhausting.
] Yeah. So it is, it is nice to have that young, if nothing else, enthusiasm to kind of like, okay, right. Yeah. Okay. This is why we're doing this. This is, you know, it helps lift me up a little bit in anyway. And they're feeling like this. I don't know. I wonder what as to what, like, what do you think other people are doing? I can't be the only one feeling like this.
] Oh, I don't think you are. I think everyone's, I mean,Energy Hacks
] Are we just sitting in it or are other people finding like, you know, little, I hate the word hack or, you know, but are people finding like, what are people finding, you know, little pleasures and joys and
] Uh, I don't know. I would love a cheat sheet. Yeah. Like you said, like, I would love a hack to say, Hey, just do this thing and it's going to make you feel better. But I don't, I don't, I think for the same reason you don't like the word hack. Cause I don't think they actually work.
] it's because it's like, it feels like this temporary thing. That's just kind of like a band-aid, but
I don't know. Um, well, I'm gonna more baths in my, in my downstairs bath, the bathroom, which is where I actually, where I shower anyways. Like it's, it's,
] It's your private bathroom?
] it's my private bathroom. It's all the way downstairs, but it's got all my workout stuff in there. So that's where I go and shower. And then we've spent some time sort of making it feel nice and then making my desk and my, the downstairs space feel nice.
So it feels like not the basement. Um,
] and that's, well, nobody can see this right now, but that is exactly why I have started to do what I'm doing to my office. So right now Jonathan's looking at me through zoom with a patched up dry wall, a wall behind me.
] first glance, it almost looked like, um, some kind of abstract painting in behind you. And then I see it on the other wall and realize it's spackle.
] It is. Yeah, it is all the places where I took, um, all the shelving down. And I think that was one thing I didn't like, I was feeling this creative drain, this energy drain this week. And, um, I have been known. To get out power tools. When I am feeling like this, or I'm feeling slightly angsty in life, or I'm just need to get some stuff out.
And it felt really good because I took out like the, the drill, because I was not taking out the screws with like a little screwdriver. I was like, no, no, no, no. And, um, and I'm going to repaint it and I'm going to make, you know, this office a little. More because it is the same basement I want to make. I want to have a nice feel to it and things like that.
] I want to show you like I've I I've spent, um, I mean, I don't spend a lot of time doing it, but I've spent, Oh geez. When did I start? Months ago, anyways, tearing apart my space as well. Like I did the same thing, took the shelves off, realized I had a whole bunch of holes in the walls. So I patched that up and then Julie's like, wait, you can't just leave him patch.
Like, that looks terrible. So we repainted and, um, I've spent a bunch of time sort of figuring out my desk. Um, I got some new shelves, uh,
] You've spent like a month figuring out your desk
] Uh, Oh, no, I've spent, I've spent more than a month figuring out my desk and I spent way more time than I should have figuring out this, just monitor arm. Um, the, the hours I spent wasting, like. Deciding between the two different things to two different brands I wanted to get. And the difference was like a hundred bucks.
Um, was, yeah, I just went with the more expensive and why didn't I do that from the beginning, but I got, I got new shelves and amounts at that and I sort of rearranged some stuff and cleaned up a bunch of things. And my next, my next project is, um, The, the piece of the print it's like from winners, it's just garbage this thing on the wall.
Um, I'm gonna take that down and do something with it, but there's, um, it's hiding the electrical panel and the cable box and some other stuff behind. So
] don't want to just take it
] no, I can just take it down, but I, and so that's actually one of the things that I'm. Like trying to stay creative about it. So I'm trying to think of a solution for that.
I don't have the time to learn how to do some carpentry, but I think I figured out what I want to do. And then I'll just hire a Julie's cousin, cousin's husband to come in and do that for us. And then, but now I'm going to, I'm going to make, uh, art print for myself, I think, um, and get that printed. And so, and then I've also been documenting my whole process or the whole.
The whole, the whole thing. Yeah. And I've been, I've, I've been kind of enjoying that. Like, no, one's really interacted with me on it. A couple of people have asked me a couple of people have asked me about the like Mount that I have my camera on. Like, what's that? And I sort of talk about it to them and that's, that's kind of fun.
And so that, that has satisfied this creative urge in me in some ways that other things that I just don't have time to do, um, Would would normally fill that gap. And so, so I've been enjoying that. Uh, but it's not like it's,
] I feel like they're placeholder stuff. I know.
] Yeah. And I, and so there's I follow, I followed this, um, Twitter accounted skull. It's called go clean co and it's this, this woman. Have you heard about this? Okay. So she has a cleaning business at a Calgary. And when COVID hit, she obviously couldn't go into people's homes and clean their homes anymore.
Um, so she took to Instagram and just started showing people how to clean their homes, because she knew that like the whole home cleaning thing was becoming a bit of a thing. People were finding therapy in it. Um, this woman has over a million followers now and has like, she, she took. Off, she now has her own, I mean, what is she doing now? She has, she sells like little, um, down downloadable PDF. Um, like the laundry handbook, the cleaning handbook, the like this different handbooks that you can get, um, that help you to teach you how to clean your own home.
] I think that's great. There's a lot, like we we've picked up some, some tips off the internet and that has made things a lot
] Oh, I've I've I follow her now and I love it all. And like now all of a sudden Brad Knight, like all her shoes are cleaned and all our, you know, like my window sales.
] cleaned your shoes. Not just organized them, but like clean to
] And my daughter she's, if you are a parent and you have kids that have really gross shoes or those fricking thermos, um, lunch kits that look like they've been thrown in a mud puddle,
] this woman, she's got some hacks for you. it literally involves tide, bleach and water. But anyway, I think like it's, it's a Testament to the fact that people are fine. We're trying to find anything that is giving us like little bits of joy these days. And it's like, whether it's cleaning your daughter's running shoes that are disgusting or, you know, patching walls and making new home offices, I just, I don't know how sustainable this all is, but.
I guess finding bits of joy right now was hoping my office renovation will give me a little bit of a creative spark that I'm hoping to get.
] it? Uh, my, my office, I mean, it wasn't really a renovation. It was just like, Oh, a coat of paint and some new furniture and cleaning. Yeah. But it, it, I was surprised at how, um, How much more enjoyable it has made this space for me. Um, cause I've never like, I, it was never a primary workspace for me. It was always just like I occasionally worked from here, but usually it was just to come down and do some stuff on the computer, like not actual work.
Um, and so it wasn't, wasn't great. I had just stuff all over the place. And so now that it's clean I enjoy coming down to the space and I enjoy the ritual of sort of like putting it back together. Uh, like sort of getting it ready for the day and, and, and sort of putting it away for the day.
Um, not so much putting it away for the day, cause I just kind of leave. Um, but, but sort of getting it set up for the day I enjoy. Um, and I just, I love that. Like, because honestly, because we get that Murphy bed over there, it has really lightened up the room cause it's all white.
] and we've got lots of we've actually got, despite being in a basement work, um, Uh, ground level.
So, um, there's a sliding door and a big, I have a big window here, so there's lots of natural light that gets in here. And with that big white, white thing, it's just catching all this light and making it just feel really bright in here. And so I, I like, I like coming down here right now, so it's,
] And that's huge too, right. To like look forward to it. Um, the interesting part I thought about when I was redoing the office that I never would have thought about pre COVID is what's behind me. And so right now it's patched walls, but I have, I have like a really fun idea of what's gonna go back there and it's not ending. Like I say pre COVID, I would have been like, well, I don't give two hoots kind of what I don't see behind me, but Oh my goodness. Run so many zoom calls. We're going to continue to be on so many zoom calls after, um, you know, the second wave hitting that I was like, okay, I'm going to have a really lovely background, like, you know, shelves with books and things like that because I get on all these calls and it's, it's so funny, you know, just.
The impression that you get of somebody with what is behind them.
] And then I have to say the VR, like the virtual backgrounds.
] I don't like them. I'm like, what are you hiding?
] get why people are doing
] Oh, I totally do too. But
] but I think they look, I think they look kind of
] I don't like them. So I'm.
] I try not to be too judgmental because,
] Because we're all in like a really hard situation here with working from home for like the first time ever.
] yeah. But I mean, like I was on a call on earlier in the week and he had a, uh, the gentleman, um, facilitating the call.
He had his virtual background on and, uh, I can't remember. Why, but he turned it off to sh to show like the mess behind, but it was far more interesting. Like he had this big, a star Wars Lego thing in the back, like he was, he was in like a, like a workshop
] It was Andrew wasn't it.
] Yes. Oh yeah. That's right. Yes. Cause he, he listens to the podcast.
] He was so excited to put a face to the voice for you,
] yeah. But it was, it was neat because he had all this like cool stuff in the background. And I w I was much more interested in seeing that then this sort of like, kind of weird fuzzy thing around, around the, the, the, um, the edges of someone
] I know, I know. Yeah, he does have very cool stuff. Lots of,
] Well, uh, uh, Hey Andrew, thanks for facilitating a great call for us this week. That
] absolutely. We both took part in two separate calls. Mine was today. Yep. And they were really good.
he's a listener.
] Here's the listener. Yeah.
] Why don't we appeal to other listeners to send us questions? No, one's sent us any questions.
] We asked you all to send us questions.
] But even Andrew didn't ask a question. We had him on, uh, we had him on a, on a thing he commented about knowing our, knowing what he knew, my voice. I hadn't met him before. He knows you obviously. Um, but, uh, he didn't have a question. Maybe, maybe we've just answered everyone's questions. I can't believe that's true.
] I have some friends that have he texted me, um, about listening to the show. And I was just wondering if there was any questions in there?
] If there are, you should write them down and then we can, uh, we can answer to, okay, well, next
] No, it would be, it would be fantastic. Um, and a couple of episodes ago we talked, we asked people, you know, give us, uh, give us, uh, a DM or a tweet or something like that. And let us know that you're, you know who you are, where you're from, what you like about the show, something like that. And any questions I want questions
] also a shout out to my daughter who cut over 10 inches off of her hair
] and donated it to wigs for kids, British Columbia, her beautiful hair is going to hopefully. Make a beautiful wig for some kid going through a tough time.Outro
Thanks for listening to fixing faxes, building a digital health startup. I'm Angela Hapke. And my co-host is Jonathan Bowers music by Andrew Codeman follow us on Twitter at to fixing faxes.
We would love it. If you give us a review on Apple podcasts or wherever you review podcasts. Thanks for listening.
] and a tweet, even just like a, Hey
] it just kind of feels like talking to avoid. Sometimes
] Uh, like the two of us talking to a void, right? Yeah. Not you talking to a void.
] to avoid, and you're the voice.