CPAacademy.org Check-In | Episode 3: Marcey Rader
In this issue of CPAacademy.org Check-In, Marcey Rader, CSP talks about how to improve your productivity and have better tech-life balance. In honor of Women's History Month, Marcey also shares steps women specifically can take to avoid burnout and maintain healthy habits.
Improve Your Productivity
Marcey I'm so excited to be able to interview you today. Thank you so much for being on this episode of the Check-In.
Marcey Rader, CSP
Well, I love speaking for CPAacademy. I have such great engagement with everybody that does the webinars there. So I'm happy to do this for you.
I've been fortunate enough to moderate several of your webinars. And before we get started for anyone that doesn't know who you are. Let me just go ahead and give an introduction. Marcey Rader is the founder of RaderCo and she believes that health powers productivity. As the founder of RaderCo she helps executives and their teams banish burnout through practical tools and sustainable habits. Marcey is a multi-certified health and productivity expert, a digital wellness practitioner, three time author. has spoken on five continents, and is one of 800 speakers worldwide with the distinguished certified professional speaker designation. Off camera, Marcey is married to Kevin, a professional drummer and teacher. You can find her in Raleigh North Carolina spending device free time in her infrared sauna.
I feel like there's so many questions that could go off the beaten path that I want to ask you. But let's start with your background and what inspired you to start RaderCo.
Marcey Rader, CSP
My own corporate burnout, really. I worked in the clinical research industry for about 14 years and I traveled up to 48 weeks a year in my late 20s through my 30s. I also competed in over 100 ultra and endurance races and it was not a healthy lifestyle. You know, when you hear Iron Man triathlete and things like that you think oh, they must be so healthy and it really wasn't because the extreme of anything. You know, a little bit of ice cream is good. A gallon of ice cream is not. And so that coupled with two years in a role that was very under resourced and I was just extremely burned out.
I was a corporate as a training manager at the end of my tenure and I decided to create a business doing what I was helping people do on the side which is, you know, I was at inbox zero every night. I was able to be competing all these races and travel. Plus have a date with my husband every week and people were like how in the world are you doing all this? And I thought maybe I could make a business out of it. And I am celebrating 10 years of RaderCo this year in 2023.
We have a team of 11 people and you know, the phrase "living my best life" is so cliché, but I really do feel that way. I absolutely love what I do and I just fell into working with accountants. I got one client that was an accountant and that led to another and then that led to speaking for AICPA and NCCPA and CPAacademy and all these different CPA firms and organizations. And I must say I really really love working with the accounting industry.
All right. So let's talk about that for a minute. I love that you get to live from this personal experience and really support people from that place that you've been in yourself. You help people focus on their productivity and tech-life balance. And so, what are the most common challenge's that you see accountants especially facing in those areas?
Marcey Rader, CSP
Well, the last few years have been a real struggle for accountants for a few reasons. One is because during COVID accounting was not a remote industry and so they had to quickly transition to remote work and they were not prepared and that created a lot of stress with the PPP loans and everything else going on, you know different tax updates and things that was a lot on accountants.
And also we have a shortage of them. You know, there aren't as many young people going to college for accounting and so they are often under resourced. I understand. You know, I I can't tell you how many firms I've talked to they're like, we're not even taking new clients, you know, we have to turn people away because there aren't enough of them. And so, you know from that perspective. I feel like there are things that are out of your control and they're.
From a tech-life balance perspective, and I prefer that term over work-life balance, because I think a lot of what we come up against is tech-life balance that makes us feel that we have to be on old time. When accountants went remote we have, remote workers in that industry because it was so quick there weren't guidelines in place, there weren't company processes, and people just worked at all hours. And it is the type of job for the most part that you can do when you want to. You know, you can do it the evening, you can do it at different hours and became very flexible.
But that flexibility can sometimes cause people to not know when to shut it off. And not put up those guardrails around our time and our energy and our technology. If you know, I like the term guardrails better than barriers or boundaries because guardrails keep us safe. When you are driving around a mountain range, you want guardrails there. It feels better. You know, you're not gonna careen over the side of the cliff. And a lot of times people feel like, you know, if they turn off their notifications or they have deep work time for three hours in a day and they're unavailable than that's a barrier to their client and it's not. It's a guardrail for your focus and your attention. So you make less mistakes. It is a guardrail on your evenings or your weekends when you want to spend time with your family and it's a guardrail for your own energy.
Mm-hmm. We need those guardrails, especially with tech-life and we could go in so many directions because there's so much technology. But you have a popular webinar on CPAacademy called "Email Extinguishers" specifically. So let's talk about email. What does it mean to extinguish our email? Why is it so important to get control over our inboxes especially?
Marcey Rader, CSP
Yeah that course "Email Extinguisher: Simple Steps to Shrink the Inbox" is on CPAacademy. I think consistently get 700 to 900 people every time I present it and that is only one topic I speak on about eight different topics. That is the only topic that I've never changed the name in 10 years because I still hear people say my inbox is like a fire hose. My inbox is like a firehouse and that's where I initially came up with email extinguisher to you know, to put the fire out.
To feel like we are in control of our inbox and not our inbox controlling us because your inbox is another person's agenda. Right? It's another person's agenda and being able to manage what's in there. But also your behavior of it can be the difference between, you know, shutting down at the end of the day feeling good about yourself or shutting down and thinking I worked all day and I don't know what I did.
And with email, you know, I used to think that everybody should be at inbox zero and I do not feel that way anymore because if you are somebody who gets 200 emails a day, if you're the CEO or CFO of a company you're just inundated. I don't want you to get to inbox zero because you may be wasting time in there rather than you know, working on the project, or the return, or the audit that you need to be focusing on.
And so, it's really about managing your behavior seeing the flowers not the weeds and and you know only seeing what's current and relevant and not all the old stuff the red and dead and you know, the junk that's coming in. Yeah such a great webinar.
Yes, and if anyone listening hasn't attended definitely go. I learn something every time I'm moderate that webinar for you. Switching gears before we wrap things up. This month is Women's History Month. And so with that in mind, I know that research has shown that women especially are more likely to experience burnout in the workplace than men. So do you have any practical steps for women specifically that they can take to avoid burnout and maintain this productivity in tech-life balance?
Marcey Rader, CSP
Yes, I do have to say I think every month of the year is Women's History Month, but with women we do experience more burnout because we we still manage most of the off work responsibilities. I'm not being biased it is just research. It is just a fact so please don't shut off if you're if you're a man, but in the majority of households, we still bear the burden of house management and the emotional labor of taking care of the family.
And one thing that kind of drives me bananas is that the focus is always on self-care. You know go for a walk, meditate, eat healthy meals, all the things that I also say. However It seems like more of a burden. That like we need to go and find this because the self-care industry is heavily marketed to women. We will spend a bazillion dollars on anything called self-care. When really it's very much putting a band-aid on the problem.
And when I'm working with companies or firms, yes, we want all those things. Give your give your team members the Calm app, offer meditation classes, or gym memberships, have healthy food catered in or whatever. But why do they need that in the first place?
Are you over working them? Are they under resourced? You know, what is something that actually will make a difference in their burnout? Maybe it's that they take care of an elderly parent and having a Doordash gift certificate for a hundred dollars every month to relieve them of two meals that they have to cook is better for them then that spa gift bag that you give once a year or something. It's about thinking upstream and as a woman or man when you feel like oh my gosh, you know, I need to take care of myself. But I don't have time and I'm not doing it and now I feel bad because I'm not taking care of myself. What is the cause of the burnout first and is there something there that I can do to help it trickle down?
And like you have been saying we can go many different directions. I can be in a soapbox about that all day. But that's one thing that I would say, I agree and I think sometimes it starts more with that practicality of what is what is underneath the burnout rather than just leaning into oh self-care will fix it and make a bad day all better. They're all important things, it just sometimes it just makes it better for an hour, which is great. But then if you can only do that massage once a month, then you know, the the long-term effects aren't going to be as great as like what's the root here.
And there are some things that we just need to handle like, you know, if we take care of an elderly parent. We just can't give it up, you know, so we need to look at other areas of our life that we might need to say no to and I would say that. That's also tends to be more more of a female tendency is to say yes to everything because we are expected to. I'm an older generation than you are. I'm close to 50 years old and you know growing up, you're you be nice and you say yes and you help all the time. So when when women are asked to you know participate in every organization and group and take on extra work and projects and oh and also, order the the lunch or the catering because you know how to do that. Right? You're a woman and that is exactly what happened one of my clients last week and that's exactly what they said. But you know, it's those little micro stressors that are expectations that can add up to that burnout.
And for the men that are listening, you know, I am not male bashing at all. It's just actually rethinking. I'm sure there will be a man on here that will say or will think like, "Oh my gosh, I do always ask Beryl to order the lunch" or "I do always expect that Marcey's going to make sure that we have coffee". And and it's not your fault. It's just that is the way society has shaped us. But when we know better, we do better.
I appreciate you sharing your insights there and your webinars on CPAacademy are inclusive of everyone, but with it being Women's History Month this month, I thought your insights would be well received by our audience. Anything else that you'd like to share as we wrap up? I just want to thank you again for being here today and is there anywhere anyone can go to learn more information about you?
Marcey Rader, CSP
Yes, you can visit helloraderco.com just like it sounds. And one thing that we launched late last year is our Powered Path Playbook, and it's a combination digital and analog tool that that includes reflection and planning prompts. So it's a combination of planner and reflection tool and it is excellent for one-to-one's and reviews. And it's marketed so individuals can use it of course, but it's really targeted to teams so that they have more effective dialogue between managers and their direct reports. And we have entire accounting firms using them as well as many accountants and bookkeepers, and I am just super excited about it. So I had to share.
Great! It sounds really interesting. We'll make sure that everyone listening has both links to your website and your upcoming courses on CPAacademy. Thank you again. And at this point, I'm going to turn things back over to Christine to wrap up this week's episode.
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