Coolhaus Founder and Host of the Start to Sale podcast Natasha Case and Jenna discuss the power of your imagination, making learning a lifestyle, and a 360-degree approach to health that will improve all aspects of your life.
How To Become A More Active Learner
The first time I met Coolhaus Founder Natasha Case I responded to her question, How are you?, by immediately expressing how nervous I was to write my first article outside of 33voices. Warmly looking back at the anxious 22-year old on her couch, she shared advice I’ve never forgotten: No matter what you write it’s going to be changed. Once you accept that, you can focus on doing your best and let everything else go. I now understand the depth of Natasha’s advice (though it certainly helped me with that article) and rely on it often, always with a sense of gratitude for the kindness she extended towards someone she didn’t yet know.
Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of watching Natasha's intention to uplift others shine through Coolhaus as she leads the ice cream company to new heights. I always learn a lot from our conversations and have been reflecting on these insights since our last chat.
Dream up work fantasies
Work fantasies are one of Natasha’s favorite mental exercises. Whereas visualization often happens within realistic constraints, fantasies are limitless and thus an invitation to imagine magical things. One of Natasha’s recent fantasies centered on someone ordering an ice cream sammie at Coolhaus. Right after they placed their order, shiny Coolhaus packages started exploding out of the register and spreading around the world as if it were "a sci-fi Coolhaus movie."
“Fantasizing takes you out of your productivity mindset and lets your mind run free, allowing you to tap into creativity you can’t connect with at your desk,” she says. “Metaphorical thoughts about how big your vision can be pump you up. You start thinking: Wow! I can make this happen.”
Letting your mind wander shouldn’t be reserved for just the creative aspects of your life; You can fantasize about any project to expand the lens you’re approaching it with as well as uncover new ideas. “Anything you do can be creative,” Natasha adds. “Not everything is black and white, even finances. There are always new ways you can look at things that offer a different analysis. Creativity only helps you.”
Make learning a lifestyle
Natasha’s early education experience- where students learned for the joy of learning - shaped her into a curious lifelong learner. I appreciate her philosophy as a guiding life principle: “Make learning a lifestyle. Bring a sense of curiosity and learning to everything you do.”
Appreciating that every person and experience has something to teach you opens you up to a richer life, rooted in a deeper sense of connection and fulfillment. Like Natasha, you can embody this mindset in everything you do. Here are two micro ways to experiment with it today.
Before your next conversation...“Walk in without any assumptions of what the other person is going to say or how things should be done. Leave room to be surprised.”
Embrace childlike wonder...“Slow down and be aware of things we often take for granted, like eating a bowl of blueberries, and realize how incredible they are. Children’s purity and excitement experiencing new things reminds us that we all came from that; An element of that wonder lives on in all of us.”
Take care of every part of yourself
The month we recorded our conversation, Natasha and her wife Freya, also the co-founder of Coolhaus, were participating in a Lacey Stone Fitness Challenge, which uses a 360-degree program - intense workouts, clean eating, and community - to help you feel your best. I’m grateful Natasha shared this “Take care of every part of yourself” approach as, for me, it revealed how time with people we care about is just as important to our health as exercising and eating well.
It's worth exploring what taking care of every part of yourself looks like to you and regularly checking in to make sure you're filling each of those buckets.
I added the insight as a recurring question in my weekly-check-in and look forward to seeing how focusing on every part of my health, most importantly prioritizing more time with loved ones, impacts my wellbeing.
Bring the best parts of yourself to work
Taking that Natasha consoled me on her couch without knowing me, her sense of generosity won't come as a surprise. In a recent conversation, her executive coach, who is also a family friend, asked her: You’re incredibly generous when you’re entertaining at home. Do you bring that sense of generosity to work? Natasha openly shared that while she strives to be a kind and fair leader it often feels like there are limitations to being generous at work, such as fearing that a team member may leave after you’ve invested time and energy in the relationship. I love how her coach responded: Why allow fear to hold your generosity back? If your goal is for everyone to have the best experience then just be yourself and don’t worry about the what-ifs.
I appreciate this reminder to be authentic in all of our roles. Whether it’s a sense of humor or enthusiasm, ‘don’t be afraid to bring all aspects of yourself, especially the ones that make you special, to work.’