Living A Better Life Through Philosophy with Gwendolyn Dolske

Jun 26, 2023 | Instruments of Choice, Learning from the Best, PodCast, Practice Makes Progress, Season 3

The Back-Story

Gwendolyn Dolske is a Ph.D. and professor of Philosophy at Cal Poly Pomona, an author, and has a super successful podcast, Good is in the Details, which directly ties to her commitment to the art of dialogue and passion for discovering ideas. Gwendolyn’s knowledge of philosophy and her ability to use it to try and improve her life made her a really interesting guest. She was able to straddle the line between the academic and the practical in a way that allowed us to explore a lot of interesting topics.

Show Notes

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In This Episode:
[0:00] Intro
[0:25] The good note: A story of success
[4:35] How to boost confidence to do what you want
[8:28] The bad note: What didn’t go as planned, and how did she recover from it?
[14:03] How does she get better at what she does?
[20:19] What are the tools she uses to succeed in her business?
[28:08] On learning from others
[32:28] Guest solo: What’s exciting in her business?
[37:00] Where to find Gwen
[37:30] Outro


Read Transcript

Gwendolyn Dolske: [00:00:00] Are you a work at home rockstar or do you dream of becoming one? Then you found the right podcast. Your host, Tim Melanson, talks with successful work at home rock stars to learn their secrets and help you in your journey. Are you ready to rock?

Tim Melanson: Here’s Tim. Hello and welcome to today’s episode of the Work at Home Rockstar podcast.

Excited for today’s guest. She’s a professor of philosophy that’s gonna be cool and uh, she’s also a producer, cohost of Good is in the Details. Very excited to be rocking out with Wendalyn Doki, who helps people live a better life through philosophy and making people laugh. When are you ready to rock?

Gwendolyn Dolske: I am.

Thank you for having me.

Tim Melanson: Awesome. Right on. So we always start off here on a good note. So tell me a story of success in your business or your life that we could be inspired by.

Gwendolyn Dolske: A story of success for me with when studying philosophy. I think that I still had the hangup of am I good enough? No matter how much I studied feedback, I was still [00:01:00] always just afraid of, you know, what do I have to say?

Because I enjoyed reading all of the greats, and it is rather intimidating when you’re reading the greatest thinkers of all time to then sit down and think that you have something to say. It feels like it’s all been said, or somebody else says it much better. So to build up my confidence, I would give talks at small academic conferences, but I knew that I had a goal in mind that there was.

The biggest conference, which is the American Philosophical Association, and they were meeting in Vancouver and I gave it a shot where I submitted a paper to see if I could speak at that. And to me that was. That was big. It was accepted. It was a beautiful trip, and I can always say, now that I spoke at the apa, I still have the humility.

I’m kind of in shock about it. I still feel a bit of nervousness about trying to assert my ideas because I’m flooded with. In philosophy, [00:02:00] reading good ideas all the time. But I think that I am still, even in my, you know, I’m 45, I’m still trying to work through building the confidence to be able to say, yes, I think this, but the good news is go ahead and test out your ideas.

You know, the worst that could have happened was that they just said no. Right? And they said yes. And so I think one of the things that that really taught me is it does not hurt to ask. Go for it. And if something is turned down, you just work reassess. Course correct and try again. And that was a very big boost for me in my confidence.

Tim Melanson: Wow. Yeah. That’s a great story. And it super relevant to, to music. I mean, it’s the same type of thing. There’s always somebody better than you. Right? I was thinking like, how can I be on the same stage as these people? Right.

Gwendolyn Dolske: Imposter syndrome. You know, I think that that’s what it is, but imposter syndrome is not such [00:03:00] a bad thing.

I think that we should be wary of somebody who doesn’t have it at all. Because when you do have it, you are recognizing that, uh, you might. You know, the, there is goodness out there that there is a lot to achieve. There is humility there. And I think one of the foundations for wisdom, one of the foundations for success is to have some sort of an honest assessment about your abilities.

And now sometimes we can be too hard on ourselves, but I don’t think that humility is such a bad thing.

Tim Melanson: No. Well, and it’s, uh, I had, uh, some, it’s funny that you talk about, uh, philosophy cuz I, I’m a philosopher or I wanna be anyway. And I think about that because, you know, when people don’t have, uh, taste, I guess, you know, when, when you know in, in music for example, if you’re tone deaf, you tend to be the most excited about getting up and singing.

Like, have you ever gone to karaoke? And it’s like, it’s [00:04:00] really interesting that people that are really scared to go up there and sing actually have more ability in my opinion. To go further because they know that they’re off pitch, right? And they need to practice a little bit more. But if you have no idea, you’re off pitch, well then you’re, you know, you’ll get up there and sing and think that you did a great job.

Uh, but it’s, it’s like, its the opposite. Like if, if you, uh, you know, in business, if, if you know that you’re not there, right? If you know that you’re not there, well then you know what you need to do to get there. Right, and you will get there. But it’s, you’re right, it’s so difficult because you’re kind of like, you know, self-confident or sorry, uh, you’re not confident because you’re think, you’re thinking, oh, but I, I could be so much better.

All that stuff. But you’ve like, what would you do? Like, what would be your suggestion on how to get over that?

Gwendolyn Dolske: Over that the, for the, the confidence [00:05:00] boosting or to try to, you know, when you have the humility and you’re always wondering, well, I think that what you said, like with music, that there are, there are a lot of musicians out there I would say be inspired.

So when we say like, oh, okay, I’m one amongst many. Seek out who’s the best and go ahead and be inspired rather than intimidated by them. That changed the mindset in that way. And you know, it reminds me of my good friend, her husband is a comedian, and I remember going to one of his standups and he had a joke and it didn’t land.

And I remember him getting back in the car and just like, man, they did, you know? And he didn’t give up. What he did was, I actually saw him over a couple of years. Do that joke but tweak it just a little bit. And it took a few times before he got it and it landed. And that is the type of mentality of where you sit back and you figure out how to make it work instead of give up.

But I think also [00:06:00] seek out the best and be inspired by them instead of

Tim Melanson: intimidated. And that’s really important. Like it is, uh, very. It’s difficult to be inspired instead of intimidated. I know that there are times when, uh, uh, when, uh, like if I’m playing a song and I’m, I’m, you know, I’m at a, at a bar or whatever, and I, I just remember this so many times that like one of the, one of the greats in my little town walked into the bar and I’m like, oh God.

Here we go. You know, you feel like just this nervousness and all that stuff. But what I found really interesting is that, you know, when I get off the stage and I go talk to ’em, they never have anything bad to say. They’re, they’re, they’re totally supportive of what you’re doing. They’re like, yeah, yeah, you did a great job at that stuff.

I know that I’m not. As good as he is, he’s got way more experience than I do. But for what I’m doing, I’m doing a great job and [00:07:00] he’s, you know, supportive of that. And I’ve always found that the people that you, um, that are really, really pros at what they do, they’re not out there tearing people down. Right.

You know, it’s the people that are jealous and the people that are not quite there, that are the ones that are tearing people down on social media and all that stuff. It’s not the people that are great. Right,

Gwendolyn Dolske: right, right. Yeah. But I think one of the, I mean, you know, what you’re talking about is also just one of the pillars of success is that, um, Hap.

You know when people are really confident and they’re happy, there is no desire to tear somebody else down. There is that desire to pick up on the goodness of others. So I would say if anybody does have that desire to tear somebody else down or to be critical in a way that is hurtful and not helpful, they have to kind of go back and reassess of like, wait a minute, am I a happy person?

Because the truth is, Happy people just don’t do that. And when we’re talking about happiness, [00:08:00] we’re talking about, um, a fulfillment in part of talents. And when you’re comfortable in that, it’s just this desire to express it. That’s, that’s what is there just the desire to express it, not to injure anybody else.

Yeah, you’re absolutely right. It is the marker of excellent talent and that kind of thing that you wanna be around is when somebody is just kind and in the zone with their talent. Mm.

Tim Melanson: Yep. Yeah, exactly. And that’s, and that’s the part that I kind of gravitate towards when someone is critical. I, I sort of think to myself, okay, well, who’s, where is this coming from?

You know? Mm-hmm. And it, it tends to be someone who’s maybe not where they want to be and Right. You know, that’s fine. Right. So now, okay. On the path to, you know, any type of success, there are sometimes some bad notes that you hit. And I’m wondering, can you share with us something that didn’t go as planned and how you recovered

Gwendolyn Dolske: this is, it’s such a, it’s such a funny [00:09:00] question cuz actually I’m thinking of a couple of things and I’m glad that you’re asking because.

People might be surprised by this, but my, I mean, because I’m so studious. I’m a book nerd and you know, I love philosophy and all this, but something that happened to me, it was my first semester of university, I did very poorly. And it was a mindset that I had, I was actually going through a grieving process in part because I, my father had passed away.

I had thought that I was gonna go to a different university and I went to a different, and I didn’t go to the university of my first choice really because of cost. So I went to another one and I started university with. Uh, sadness and with a chip on my shoulder and I felt like I was above it and I didn’t do anything.

And the real wake up call was when I got my grades. And, um, I say this because like I said, it’s, I don’t really talk about it that much cuz I’m embarrassed by it. I’m embarrassed. [00:10:00] But it has made me a better person in this respect, and now as a professor. On the other side of that, I feel like I am far more communicative with my students to make it very clear that if they are not doing well in a course, It has absolutely nothing to do with their value as a human.

It could be that something else is going on or that they’re not connecting with the material, or they need to figure out a different way to study with it, but it has absolutely nothing to do with their value or their intelligence as a human. And so I’ve taken that failure, if you will, to make sure that I am a better listener.

Now in my role, and it really was kind of a shakeup and also an understanding of what is grieving and the impact that it had on me, that I wasn’t going where I wanted to or that this event happened and I was having a hard time processing it. And so it’s just. Now that, like I said, [00:11:00] that failure has just made me a far more sensitive and open-minded person, but it’s also helped me weather other storms because it’s not like that was the only time when something didn’t go right.

There have been a couple of other times in my life where. Things were not going right. I was in a long-term relationship and I realized this is not working, and I was sad all the time, and I tried to suppress that sadness instead of pay attention to it and be like, you know what? This is not working for me.

This is not how I want to live my life. The person I was with wasn’t a bad person. Not at all. It’s just that we had different ideas of how we wanted to spend our time and what we wanted out of life, and it was time for that relationship to end. A lot of times people talk about relationships ending in terms of failure, and I don’t think that that’s a good word.

Relationships come to an end and that was, there was also a grieving process with that. Um, and recently I was going to invest in a property. And then all of a sudden the mortgage, [00:12:00] the interest rates skyrocketed, and that opportunity was no longer there, and I felt like I. I had worked up for this, I was gonna do this and it’s not gonna happen.

I just realized it’s just not gonna happen now. But I’ve told my students, people who are successful have just failed more than you. It’s really a matter of how do you get up, how do you move forward? How do you course correct so that you can have an enjoyable life? Because when things aren’t working out, There’s no value judgment on you as a person.

It means that you need to pause, reflect, and course correct, and that that is actually the path toward happiness. Wow. I like the way you, it was three, three failures. I asked for one, I’m like, but there were actually three very definitive markers in my life.

Tim Melanson: Well, and and that’s the thing is that when you think, when, when you, when you listen to interviews with people who have had wild success, They, they do point back to those failures as Yeah.

You know, pivoting points or [00:13:00] sometimes even turning points right in their lives. And, you know, it, it’s, it’s one of those things where you can always look back on, even on your own failures and your own things that went wrong or embarrassing moments and all that stuff. And you laugh about them now, right?

Yeah. So, you know, it’s, it’s, you know, I know we all have this. We need to take some time to grieve those moments when they happen. Uh, But on the other hand, you know, we can always kind of try to think, okay, someday I’m gonna laugh about this. So maybe that can be now,

Gwendolyn Dolske: right? Yeah, yeah, yeah. AB absolutely. I mean, there’s.

You know, like I, I was talking about in terms of success, the, the paper that it was just really important to me to be part of this conference. But there’s been a couple of other times where I’ve given a paper and I wasn’t as prepared as I should have been, and it didn’t land. And it, it’s it embarrassing, but it is all because your ego is a bit bruised and you think that you can handle something and it doesn’t go over that well.

Um, [00:14:00] But it is, I don’t know, we just ha, I think sometimes we can just be way too hard on ourselves and it’s important for enjoying one’s life to recognize there’s a lot of circumstances and nobody is perfect, and you can get up and move forward from this. That is fine.

Tim Melanson: Yes, absolutely. So now speaking of preparing, let’s talk a little bit about the practicing that that goes into, you know, what you do, how do you, you know, get better at what you do?

Gwendolyn Dolske: So a lot of my time now is from, from academia where I would, you know, write and then I would also teach in university. And a lot of my time has now shifted into podcasting. So that’s what good is in the details is all about, I would say, with both. That it required a lot of practice and preparation. And the beautiful thing is that at the beginning it’s so difficult, but over time it gets so much easier.

So I would say in the practice of teaching, [00:15:00] um, I. What I would do is I would pay attention to my students’ questions because they’re reading material for the first time with fresh eyes. They’re a different generation. They have a different media outlook on the world, so it can be a text that I’ve read over a dozen times.

But they bring something new to it. So one of the things in terms of preparing is to have this openness for what they are going to be asking. And I would say that same thing happens with podcasting. Um, we, I recently just finished a really great book. By a psychologist who’s gonna be a guest. So is taking that time to read his work and think of what I wanna ask him, but also taking that time to sit back and to listen as to what he wants to share and what he thinks is of value.

So part of the preparation is not just, what am I gonna say, what am I gonna do, but realize that a lot of things are a team sport, and to have that openness. For what somebody else is going to say and to bring to the [00:16:00] conversation. So my big prep is sit down with the material. I’m old fashioned, I use pen and paper and have that, that openness for what the other is going to bring.

Tim Melanson: Um, yeah, because we all have different perspectives when we’re going into things, and especially if you’re gonna be helping other people, you need to sort of see it from their angle.

Gwendolyn Dolske: Right. Yeah. Uh, I mean, I remember when I first started teaching and I was scared. I mean, I thought I was gonna walk into the classroom.

How can I be in charge? I don’t know what I’m gonna do. And I was so focused on what I was gonna say, the, the weight of responsibility on my shoulders of giving knowledge. And it didn’t take that long for me to realize, oh, it’s not about me. This is about them. I am part of their intellectual growth and I am grateful for that.

And I think with all business, with all endeavors, this is the same thing with podcasting. This is the same thing with teaching, uh, having a sense of gratitude. So instead of going in and being [00:17:00] like, I have to prep for a lecture, or I have to grade when I sit down and say, I am grateful for this opportunity to be part of these people’s.

Intellectual growth and that they trust me with that. I am grateful for that. And with podcasting, I’m grateful to have created this space with this exchange of ideas and anyone who comes onto the show, I am grateful that they are giving their time to be on the show so that. Allows for a lot of fulfillment and happiness in the work when you separate from what you have to do, treating things like a chore as to what you are grateful that you have the opportunity to do.


Tim Melanson: it. Love it.

Gwendolyn Dolske: Hi, my name is Nic Maloff. I’m from Mastering Ascension and I’ve been working with Tim Milson and the Creative Crew Agency for a number of years now. Tim is my go-to guy for all things technology, and his team have helped me to really. Create the platform that I need that represents my brand, my message, and [00:18:00] connects me directly to my ideal clients.

What I particularly love about Tim is before he starts to dive into the technology, he always makes sure that he understands what your global view is, what your ultimate goals are, so then that way you’re not wasting a lot of time back and forth. Switching around technology or platforms, he creates something from the get go that is scalable, which is highly, highly, um, beneficial for any business.

What I’ve experienced from Tim and his team is they’re highly responsive. They are a wealth of information, and they’re gonna offer you the tools that you need to really make the mark that you wanna make in the world. So, That’s my recommendation for Tim. He’s awesome. You’re gonna love every minute, you won’t regret it.

Tim Melanson: Yeah, and I mean, I think that that kind of attitude is a lot of, the problem with a lot of communications is that people are not really listening. They’re more waiting to get their piece right and, and trying to [00:19:00] think about what they’re gonna say next rather than actually listening to the person.

Because oftentimes when you listen to what they actually had to say, Changes what you’re gonna say, right? Yes. And, and, and that kinda makes this disconnected conversation, and especially in business and sales. I mean, we’re supposed to be providing solutions to somebody’s problems. So if you don’t actually listen to what their problem is, then how can you provide an effective solution?


Gwendolyn Dolske: That is such a good point. This idea of what somebody might walk into it, kind of like how I did with the teaching of like, what am I gonna say? Everything’s about what I have to say that somebody is selling is like, I gotta sell, I gotta do this pitch, I gotta do this pitch completely missing that you’re there to solve somebody else’s problems to be there for somebody else.

You’re absolutely right. And I was like, Yeah, like with me with teaching for sure. And it’s the same thing with podcasting. It’s like I have to, first of all, I’m obsessed with podcasts. The first podcast I got hooked on was Serial, and it took some time to think like, maybe I can go ahead and do [00:20:00] this. The idea was to bring the topics from the university and not gatekeeper and make it for a broader audience, bringing philosophy for a broader audience and to have fun, and I have.

To in the process, be willing to edit myself out and not have too much of an ego, but to really think of, is this good for the listener? Are they gonna get value out of this? To pay attention, not to just what I wanna say and put out there, but that somebody can have an enjoyable experience while they’re listening.

Put myself in the shoes of the listener.

Tim Melanson: Love it. Love it. Absolutely. Okay, so let’s talk a little bit about the instruments, about the tools that you use to get success in your business. So, you know, what are some of the tools

Gwendolyn Dolske: that you use? This is one method that I don’t remember where I heard it from, but it is genius whenever I feel overwhelmed, so I can be pulled in a lot of different directions.

I think that’s just the state of existence now, right? Like we’re flooded with notifications with emails. I’m also a [00:21:00] parent, you know, I’m also. You know, taking care of students, trying to do my own research, doing podcasting. Um, This is one of the things that I recommend to everybody. Set your timer for like, let’s just say 20 minutes where you turn everything else off and do that intense focused time for 20 minutes.

Then take a break for five. Do like a yoga stretch. Quick walk, maybe wash your face. Do not scroll in that break time and then go back and do another 20 minute set. And it is remarkable the amount of work that you can do when you say you’re gonna close all the tabs and just focus on one thing for 20 minutes.

The other tool, I would say is really taking a moment to step away. Pen and paper and write down what it is that you want to be. So in other words, get rid of the to-do list. And I know that that sounds terribly frightening. My co-host, Rudy cannot [00:22:00] do that. But get rid of the to-do list and focus on what you wanna be.

So if I wanna say like, I want to be a good mom, I want to be a good professor, I wanna be a good writer. Think about the expression of what you want to be, and the doing is implied, but the doing is all anchored in a sense of self as opposed to a to-do list where it feels like it’s outside of yourself.

Think about how you want to be, what you wanted to show up, and I have to sit down and reconnect in that way. So two of the tools, that 20 minute increments of focused work is amazing. And the other thing is taking the time to sit down and think, how do I wanna be? How do I wanna show up? And then what you need to move forward from that, just, it’s incredibly obvious after that.

Tim Melanson: Love it. Yeah. And you know what, it’s. Tho those 20 minute increments of just focusing on one thing are so important. Cuz I think that there’s like a misconception that we can multitask, but I don’t like think that, like physiologically we can’t, we, we can only focus on [00:23:00] one thing at a time. So, you know, I, I I think that, uh, I think that’s a really, really valuable one.

And 20 minutes is a good one. Cuz I’ve heard people talk about like 90 minute increments and, and stuff like that. And I feel like that’s long. 20 minutes is probably reasonable, right? I.

Gwendolyn Dolske: I think, um, anywhere between 20 to 45 minutes is good. After 45 minutes, your body needs to move. So it, that’s also, especially when working from home, it’s important to keep in mind that you need to move.

It’s very easy to sit in front of the computer for too long, but your, your body will go into like a starvation mode, really. Mm-hmm. And to keep your mind fresh. You need to get up and move. That’s why I say like, you know, you can just do a yoga pose or just walk around the block, get up, go get your mail, like physically move.

If you take that break time to scroll, you’re not really activating your mind to hit the [00:24:00] refresh button on your mind, but it is absolutely crucial that when you are working from home that you keep in mind to stand up and do something, and it is the results. You’ll see the results. You will get so much more done if you stand up.

Tim Melanson: Right. And the scroll thing, I mean, like, I keep on thinking, I mean these, these devices that we have, I mean, they’re, they really are artificial intelligence and their whole goal is to catch you, to get your attention. So you know, any amount of scrolling. Yeah. And, and this is really difficult for, I, I struggle with it a lot.

And, and like part of the problem is that I actually do a lot of business. A lot of my marketing actually goes on social media. And I don’t know how many times I’ve gone to just go look at a message. I’m like, okay, I just gotta go find out what this person said. I go there and I don’t even do do it. I end up getting in this black hole of scrolling and then I, I come, I got, I gotta get off this.

And then I’m like, oh, I went to go get that message. [00:25:00] I have to really focus on, I have to go exactly to this area to get this message. Like, do you find that that’s an issue for you? Like, how do you stop? How do you not scroll?

Gwendolyn Dolske: It is, it is hard. I have to, I have to actively think about it to say this. I’m gonna put my phone away to the side.

Um, you can use, as far as tools, you can use, um, the notifications, turn that off so that it forces you. I mean, you might actually have to put your phone in a different room, but you’re right. For business, I mean, you know, like, For for good is in the details. We have an Instagram and so we need to keep in touch with that post regularly.

We’ve got a Facebook page, but what I would do is schedule it. Okay. If you really, really wanna scroll, say, I’m gonna scroll at this time instead of making it, um, your break time. But just go ahead and say, you know what? I’m gonna have this window of scrolling and that’s what I wanna do, and that’s what I’m gonna do.

Schedule it. That’s what I would suggest, because at a timer. Yeah. The other [00:26:00] thing I would say, I mean, and especially again, working from home, it’s, it’s so much easier to fall into that I have told my students, and I have to practice this myself. I tell them, do not look at your phone first thing in the morning because what you were doing is you were either looking at what other people are doing or what other people think of you.

And that is not a way to start your day. You should start your day thinking about what you want to get out of the day, and that will set you want to set up your day, thinking about what you want to accomplish, how you want to be, how you want to show up, maybe your day as a rest day, even then think about what you want to get out of your rest.

So I challenge people. To not be in response mode. Because if you look at your phone, then maybe you’re even seeing emails, you’re automatically in response mode. You’re not in control. You’re not thinking about what you want to do. Now, this can be tough. Maybe it’s a matter of just the first [00:27:00] thing. Maybe it means just reading the paper like at a physical paper or physical book journaling.

Wash your face. If it’s that five minutes in the morning, that is just for you before you look at the phone. So that’s one way I would suggest a concrete step to just break that habit.

Tim Melanson: Yeah, I think that that’s good. You have to replace it with something else cuz if there’s this void, you’re just gonna get sucked right back into what you were doing before, right?


Gwendolyn Dolske: we’re afraid of the void, right? We’re afraid of silence, we’re afraid of our own thoughts. So we’re constantly trying to fill them. I would say don’t be afraid of your own thoughts. Let that stream of consciousness go wild. See? See where it takes you

Tim Melanson: sometimes. Well, it usually takes you someplace nice if you Interesting.

Are not afraid of it. Right.

Gwendolyn Dolske: Yeah. Right. I mean, that’s why like when you’re the most relaxed, like you know the shower thoughts and that’s when an idea pops in your head because you don’t have access to all of the noise at that point. So go ahead and let yourself just have your imagination run wild and you’ll have that new business [00:28:00] idea.

You’ll have maybe something for music, a new creative endeavor. Mm-hmm. Let your mind run wild.

Tim Melanson: Yeah. Yeah. The, the shower. Yeah. The shower’s the only place where you can’t bring your phone. Cause you’re gonna bring your phone. I I And then some at some point. I’m sure somebody’s gonna invent some sort of thing that you can bring your phone in your shower, but that’s gonna ruin it for everybody.

Yeah. But that’s your time when you can actually think. Right? For sure. So, so now, uh, okay. So, so let’s talk a little bit about mentorship and learning and from others and all that stuff. Do you have a mentor? Do you have a coach? Like, what do you have in your life? Um,

Gwendolyn Dolske: So not, um, not a physical present coach, but I would say just from being a book nerd, from being in academia, I always recommend reading biographies or memoirs.

I think that. I try to read one at least, at least once a year, and one of the reasons why is because it will inspire you, because you [00:29:00] see the vulnerability, the failures, and a lot of times these memoirs, these biographies, you know, it’s somebody that we. Put on a pedestal their way up here. And it is rather surprising to see their humble beginnings and the trajectory and the habits for them to get where they are.

And it is always inspiring. So a book like, which I think is a great book, but something like The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Really, really great work. I think. Everybody should take a listen to that or read it at least once, and those are the concrete steps. What memoirs and biographies do for you is that you see it in action, you feel it, you see the trajectory, you see what somebody’s thinking, the humility.

The most recent memoir I read was a John Lewis who’s a US Senator, and he was part of the American Civil Rights and. It was just extraordinary to read about his own hangups, his own vulnerability, and he was brilliant. And then the people that he admired [00:30:00] to get to who he was from, where he started, extraordinary.

And again, that’s not my business. I’m not in politics, but even if you read somebody outside of your business, I think it’s still really helpful to take a look at that. Notice people’s habits. Notice that I think one of, you know, when I say my first semester of university, I did terrible. The second semester I ended up becoming a roommate with one of my friends who was a straight A student.

So, I started to mimic her habits and sure enough, that got me out of the rut. Pay attention to the people who are excelling and mimic their habits and you know, athletes do this, right? Great athletes. They train. They train like the best, and then that’s how you get to where you wanna

Tim Melanson: be. Yeah. My mom used to always say, you are who you hang around with.

Yes. That definitely. That definitely is one of those things that you think about and, and [00:31:00] you’ve got this, everybody’s got this ego, right, of like, oh, no, come on. You know, I’m just, it’s nothing, but, but they do, they either pull you up or they tear you down. Right? It is, it just is what it is, right?

Gwendolyn Dolske: Yeah. I mean, pay attention to how you feel.

And this can be like after you eat, after you watch something or after, you know, if you’re scrolling. The people you’re with, the people you’re hanging out with, are you energized or do you really need a break? And I don’t mean like I’m an introvert, so I definitely need, I need my alone time to recharge.

But the friends I have in my life, after I’m with them, I’m still smiling. And that’s, that’s really energizing. After I read something that’s really inspirational, like let’s say John Lewis’s memoir, um, or you know, something else, or like, I do a podcast episode and we had a really great guest and I can’t wait to work through that.

Pay attention to how you feel. Same thing with food. Do you feel like taking a nap after your [00:32:00] food? Then maybe that’s not the best meal for you. It should be fueled to energize you. So that’s one of the keys to kind of step back and reflect. Stu, I feel energized after this engagement, and then your body is actually alerting you to the right course of action.

Tim Melanson: I agree with that a hundred percent. Yeah. Your body is always giving you feedback and Yeah, we don’t really tend to listen to it very much. Right. I mean, for the most part, the people don’t take the time. Maybe that’s because they went and scrolled immediately.

Gwendolyn Dolske: Yeah,

Tim Melanson: yeah. So sometimes just taking a step back and going like, how do I feel right now?

It’s super useful. It just takes a couple minutes too, or a couple seconds even. Right. Yeah. So now it’s time for your guest solo. So tell me what’s exciting in your

Gwendolyn Dolske: business. So what is exciting? So, I guess the, the big business would be good as in the detailed podcast and we just, were gonna release an episode soon where we got, um, a really [00:33:00] popular podcast called Appalachian Mysteria and the host of that, um, it was her first time jumping into the true crime genre and she was a guest on the pod.

Every time we get. Guests who are willing to talk to us for an hour about their wisdom and their accomplishments. It’s just so exciting. And so for Rudy, my cohost and I, we’ve seen this upward trajectory of the downloads. More people are getting in touch. I will tell you starting out, I don’t know how you feel about when you started out a podcast, but it’s a little bit scary thinking.

Is anybody gonna listen? Am I wasting my time? Am I talking to the void? And one of my good friends, Steven, who is an accomplished writer, and I remember telling him like, what if nobody when I started, what if nobody listened? What if this is dumb? And he just said, and how will I get people on the show? And he said, do good work and people will come to you.

And it took a while, you know, as you know, in [00:34:00] podcasting, it’s a slow burn right? To, to build an audience. And it eventually happened where there was this shift where people were getting in touch with us and saying, Hey, can we be part of this? And the exciting thing is, is that. We have created a space where there is the a possibility to elevate voices and to carve out some goodness in the world.

That’s what I would like to think, is that I’m gonna take my time and my energy to exploring good ideas and showing the art of dialogue because everyone in their scrolling is trapped in an algorithm of their own way of thinking about things. And if I can make the world a bit of a better place for my daughter, I’m going to carve out this space of good ideas.

So that is what is happening for me. That is so awesome. And you can hear the gardener, of course. The gardener comes on right then. My goodness. You know, just going with the flow. Not everything is in our control.

Tim Melanson: Oh, exactly. And well, that’s part of what [00:35:00] working from home and uh, you know, being a mobile business is all about, right?

Gwendolyn Dolske: Absolutely.

Tim Melanson: Yes. Sometimes you have that, Hey, I’ve, I’ve had guests where the, you know, the, the kid barges in and wants something as well. That’s all part of it, right? You

Gwendolyn Dolske: know when, when Rudy and I first started the podcast and we were planning it, all of a sudden I was so tired. I was just, I couldn’t get outta bed.

I was so tired and turns out I was pregnant and I thought, wow. And it’s mind over body. It’s so, I had been told my entire life that pregnancy was really not a possibility. And so I was clearly having all of the symptoms of pregnancy, but I was in denial. It didn’t occur to me that that’s what was going on.

By the time I went to the doctor and he did the ultrasound, he said, I. You’re almost, I have your first trimester. And I started, I was kind of in a panic cuz this was not part of my life plan, right? Um, I was excited and scared and I thought, and I’m starting a podcast. How can I do [00:36:00] this now? Do I have to put it all on hold?

And no, she actually, Sometimes she pops up in some of it cuz she’s crying that some of the noise in the background. And I actually became a lot more like understanding of the flow of when guests had something pop up. I’m like, Hey, it’s all good. We’re having a conversation. This is life. This is how it goes.

And yeah, so having my daughter also was part of me learning this podcasting journey at the same time of how to figure out like, hey, we’re just all human. It’s not perfect.

Tim Melanson: Yeah. Yeah. I like to normalize all that stuff, especially since the whole topic is work from home. So, you know, these are all the normal things that happen.

Right? Yeah.

Gwendolyn Dolske: Yeah. Awesome. Yeah. One time I, I was having a, I was having a meeting with, with my colleagues, and the second I decided to unmute myself to contribute to the meeting is when my daughter came up to me and said, mama, I have poopers. I was like, okay, gonna put myself on mute. [00:37:00] The, it was this, it was, the timing was impeccable.


Tim Melanson: and I bet you it was a very popular episode. Yeah. Thank you so much for rocking out with me today, Glyn. This has been a lot of fun.

Gwendolyn Dolske: Thank you. Thank you. This was lovely. It’s a beautiful way to start the morning. Thank

Tim Melanson: you. Now, before we go though, how can we find out more, more about you?

Gwendolyn Dolske: I have, let’s see, on Instagram, I’m at Prof, dolske, P R O F D O L S K E.

And then of course you can check out Good As in the Details podcast. It’s on all the major platforms. We’d love to hear from people.

Tim Melanson: Awesome. Good. As in the Details podcast. Right on. Thank you so much for rocking note with me again. It’s been a lot of fun. And to the listeners, make sure you subscribe, rate and comment, and we’ll see you next time on the Work at Home Rockstar podcast.

Gwendolyn Dolske: Thanks for listening. To learn how you can become a work at home rockstar or become a better one, head on over to today.

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