Hello and welcome to the career successful podcast. I’m Jason Connolly. If you are a regular listener it’s great to have you back, but if you new, welcome to the show in this series. Every we speak to the biggest names in business all across the globe, we talk about their career stories, the lessons learned, how they overcome challenges, and what success habits they practice. Practical advice to help you in your career if you have a passion for business then this is the podcast for you.

In this episode I’m joined by Christina Eanes. Based just outside of Washington DC in the US, Christina is a former FBI violent crime analyst and senior manager. Now offer speaker podcast, YouTube channel host and self improvement guru. Christina specialises in super achieving Anna’s on a mission to help others achieve more in life, mainly by getting out of their own way and currently does this through her books, podcast series, professional development courses. An keynote speech is Christina’s newest book, Life is an escape room. Applying lessons, learn from successful escape leads to achieve more in life demonstrates how the skills you gain playing escape rooms with the intention will make you more successful in all aspects of your life. Escape rooms are a fun way to learn about perception, communication, leadership, how to have better relationships and so much more. Christina, thanks for joining me. Thank you happy to be here, so there’s so much I wanna talk about throughout this episode, but start off by telling us about you and your career. ’cause it just sounds so interesting. It has been extremely fascinating for myself as well, but I I did start out in the field of law enforcement as an analyst. So I started out with the local Police Department in California in the US and I had so much fun doing that as it was a general crime analyst that I decided, well, first of all, I wanted to impact change on a greater level. So I decided, OK, let’s go join the FBI and I joined as a violent crime analyst. Wow and on gun Toter in all of my positions so not an agent or a detective or a police officer, but I did start out as a violent crime analyst and I really enjoyed that. ’cause I was able to help local, state and federal law enforcement agencies with their violent crimes, so I’d do comparisons. See what cases popped up where that seems similar and then I would get those agencies talking and helpfully, well, a few times at least that I know of. Put a couple of. A few serial killers and serial rapists behind bars or help them. I should say it was part of that effort, but I knew I couldn’t do that my entire career ’cause I was continually looking for bodies on this side of the road. There’s just part of being in that life, right? Well, I was a police officer. I can relate. Yeah, so you know. But I think the people that haven’t worked in law enforcement I know I don’t know if it’s the same with you with what you’ve done, there’s a certain how do I put this kind of culture of it’s not the most positive place to be, and I think I think people can probably understand why that might be, and I think you become very cynical as a human being, and I think when you start, you know, going to these absolutely terrible things and you know you’re dealing with that on a day to day basis. I kind of felt dehumanised me a bit. Yeah? Well and you get a really bad sense of humour you do is horrible, it’s coping mechanism. It is a coping mechanism that laughter is a good one. But you know, I think I think that anyone that doesn’t work in law enforcement, I think it’s one of those things you have to be there. Award the T shirts in exactly. We’re talking about big, please, yes, or so. So anyway, I decided I wanted to stop looking for bodies on the side of the road, and I wanted a promotion. So I went and helped the FBI develop their leadership development program. So we trained anywhere from line level up. To executive level leaders on anywhere from coaching feedback, you know, talking to people as humans. All of that kind of stuff. And I fell so much in love with that that once my kids left the nest, I decided, hey, I’m going to open up my own business and do this and that was about seven years ago an I have been loving life since then. Doing anything I can in relation to helping others improve themselves. And I’m guessing that your career in the FBI. It’s obviously equipped you with the skills that have made you very successful in business. Yeah, it has. Actually, you know it’s funny. Is the violent crime position I think is the one that has equipped me the most in owning my own business, whereas the senior manager in the leadership development program helped me with the content of my business. Sounds a little weird, but let me explain. So being a representative of the FBI an going into those local, state and federal. Agencies that weren’t FBI. There was a certain level of trust you had to build very quickly with a cynical group of folks as suspicious group of folks for the most part, right? ’cause I mean in law enforcement, we do get a little cynical as you said and we get a little suspicious of people. So being a representative, the FBI, I’m not sure if you’ve seen in some of the media is familiar with FBI coming in and taking over local cases, etc. Right so? There was a little bit of overcoming that, so building those trusting relationships to get officers and detectives to trust me to submit their cases to me in order to assist them. So all of that relationship building really helped me develop the main part of my business, which is bringing in more business, right? Yeah, so that really did it, so it’s almost like different pieces of my life brought in what I needed to be successful. To all of this part of my life, if that makes sense really make sense to me because even in my business life I didn’t have a particularly great time in the place. And I’ve spoken about it or many podcasts before, so I’m not going to rehash out this story for people who have listened to this story many times in previous episodes, but I think the skills of I got really equipped me because I think it builds a lot of strength from within, as especially when you’re going to, you know, the worst day in someone’s life and a lot of people might think. How does this connect business? It’s the people aspect, yeah, relationship building, it isn’t. And I think what you’re saying about going in. And obviously the criminal justice system is very different in America. And you know, I understand that you know when the FBI come in, it’s probably had quite a lot of resistance from these local law enforcement not wanting to give you the OR maybe they did. I don’t know. Maybe they were like, yes, you’ve arrived. Please depends. Yeah, depends on the agency’s experiences in the past, but it was a lot of relationship building involved in that. And then I love what you also brought in. I mean to own your own business and be an entrepreneur. You need resilience. You need a can do attitude. You need a whatever the obstacle is. I can overcome it and a lot of that was built through those experiences for sure. And so you’ve been kind of devising so kind of talk about what it is that you now do and what you’ve led on to do. But you, you develop programs. Tell us more about kind of the programs in the work that you do at the moment, and it’s really interesting to hear how you know the FBI and your law enforcement experience kind of led on to this. ’cause you know, a lot of people. This would sort of seemed like a natural progression, and I imagine when you left the FBI, please tell me if I’m wrong, but you know when I left the police, people were like why you leaving. This is a job for life, so please tell us about your experience of actually taking the initiative to even go through that kind of transition of even leaving the agency. Of course, yeah, so interesting. I started out as entrepreneur when I was a kid. You name it, I would find some way to make money from it. Whether the two. Yes, yeah, yeah. And so I’d be buying all these cool toys as a kid and boom boxes aging myself here. And all of that stuff so it was almost like a return to that. And I don’t think people were surprised when I did say I was leaving because they knew the Chris has not sure. Kind of mind-set. She’s got a personality to be an entrepreneur so it just was a fit. In you know some people are like, well, this is what I need to do for my entire life. Others like OK, it fits. Go do it. I’ll say I know you. I knew you when or whatever. But yeah, so that was the that part of the leaving. But what an it has been. A progression. I go through different phases. So what I try to do not phases, stages, things I like. Yes, chapters I like that. Yeah so I try. I built my business for that so that I could grow so I have one part of my business. The most stable part. This stays the same I mean. Is I have a catalog of courses that I offer to companies, usually larger companies and I have several coaches and instructors and we go in and do trainings such as coaching, feedback, accountability, leadership, emotional intelligence, those kind of things. So we have already made courses ready to go. People just generally different companies will sign up for a few workshops a month and we go in and do them. So that’s the main basis. And then there’s that that creative side that I get to do like with you I get to do. I have my podcast to quit Bleeping around podcast and that came out of that first book. I wrote tips for helping people just be more successful in life. Whatever they decide to define that is, and then that second one I wrote a couple of years later ’cause I was trying to think OK, what comes easy to me that it doesn’t. It seems like some people struggle with and at first I started out with time management and then I realised that I actually manage my energy, not my time. So that’s where secret to super productivity came out. Yeah, and of course the interesting concept and we just gotta stop on that concept of course. Because I actually agree with that sentiment, but I’ve never necessarily looked at it like that, but I think, yeah, that’s what I do without realising I do it. So I’ll give you an example. I go into the office and it’s about your energy level. You know you could work for 12 hours a day, but you know if your energy level is depleted, it’s better to do less. How did you come up with that kind of philosophy? Yeah, it’s interesting. I’ve always done it. I just didn’t realize I did it much like you, right? And until I started ’cause when I was trying to think of OK what I want, I’m ready to write another book. What should I write on? And I’m really good at being productive like it’s it comes easy. And then I was trying to and then I went through the analysis and the and the research and stuff and I did realize it’s because I naturally harness my energy an A lot of people think they’re held hostage essentially to their energy levels, but I like to look at it as a budget that we can. We have our natural energy levels that we start out with every day. But that we can also make more deposits than we do with drawls by knowing, and I call them energy consumers, which are those withdrawals from your bank account, your budget account, your energy budget account, and then energy creators, which are those deposits and then being able to be so much aware of what those are for you, that you can essentially manipulate your energy levels for whatever you need to accomplish that day that week that month, that kind of thing. So they put a system around it essentially really interesting, and especially what you say about the polls. Sing and withdrawing. I use that same analogy from a relationship perspective, so you know people that always want to withdraw from a relationship, and then you get those kind people in life are depositors, and that’s when you tend to find better relationship breaks down is when you know the depositing and withdrawing or imbalance exactly. Yeah, so yeah, really good analogy, so that kind of as you were saying that kind of lead you want to think this is the next book. This is the idea, and it sounds to me like that was a natural talent like you were racking your brains on what you could write about. But yeah, the answers were lying or laying kind of right in front of you. Yeah, each book is kind of revealed itself and then that third one came a couple of years later. And of course you know like you each book I have, you know, the entrepreneur mind-set. I have turned into some way to use that. Repurpose it if you will like. So a speech of course. Turn that into YouTube videos etc so that one. Yet I’m actually working on a course for that one, ’cause I wanted to dive deeper into it and revisit an online course. I have a in person work or instructor LED Workshop that I have for that one, but then my daughter had her 21st birthday a few years ago and she told us about this thing called an escape room, which at first I thought was really stupid, but I thought, OK, it’s your birthday will go do it. So we did and let’s see, we actually hit our 500th escape room this past weekend as well. Recording this. No, we hit the mother 500 milestone this past weekend. Wow, yeah, that sounds like a tour in the US. Well, we’ve done them in at the point of this recording. We’ve done them in 20 countries in 22 states. That is fascinating, I know. So for breaking out of an escape room oh, like the top location what what’s your top tip for being able to successfully? That’s that that’s pending that you’re good at getting out there, but I imagine that you are if you.

So we have a 97% Oh wow, yeah, so we have not made it out of 14 rooms out of it. Is that because the escape room wasn’t very good or because your skills are? Yeah, we’ll go with that, not kidding. A whole bunch of different reasons. 14 different reasons that matter fact, but let’s see. Top tip would be go with the intention of having fun, not escaping. Because when you go in with that, I’m going to escape and I’m going to beat the leader board, which is the little board they have for whoever gets out the fastest then that puts so much one pressure. It makes the experience not as fun an others. A bunch of emotions get involved. Yeah, and it just ends up not being fun. If you if you don’t set the intention of making it fun. But so I’ve done with your daughter, I do. They roll out the red carpet when you come. Crazy you arrived yet. So glad to see you.

Recognised a few times. It’s been kind of fun. So this leads so nicely onto the book. Yeah, life is an escape room. Apply lessons learned from successful escaped pleats and then to achieve more in life. And I love what I was saying and I think this paves the way into the conversation. Find out how a booby trapped Egyptian too. And a Sherlock Holmes mystery with an obstacle course, a hedge maze and a playground can make your life better. Tell us more about this. It sounds awesome. Yeah, so, of course I had to turn that next hobby etc into some sort of part of my business, right? So of course, but so as we were going through in doing these escape rooms, and this is where we were probably on. I don’t know. We were over I think when we started writing the book we realized and my I say we ’cause my husband Co wrote it with me on this one and he’s the one that I mainly do all the rooms with just us. But we realized that there was so much learning to be had in a matter of fact we after every room that we do, even if there’s only like 10 minutes between rooms like we did 6 on Sunday. So even if there’s like time, we take a moment to write down our learning and we realize each and every room is like just filled with things that you can learn about yourself and the main ones being that I cover in my speech, our perception, emotional intelligence, and communicating with each other, ’cause escape rooms have mainly been used as team building exercises in the corporate environment. When you think about learning, but we realised you could use it for yourself in learning, and in one of the things like what we were just talking about when you put this pressure on yourself that I’m going to get out. I have to get out. I have to beat the whatever the. The Clock yes I have toward the Clock or the you know I have to be the fastest person to get out. Whenever you put that in there that involves emotions, right? So one of the main things that we really focus on is emotions. An managing our emotions when we’re in those kind of environments. ’cause if someone’s tired they can get cranky. You know or whatever if they start getting competitive, they get cranky. So one of the main things that I love that it teaches is emotional intelligence. How to one be aware of your emotions so you can regulate them? So that you can better interact with others and again law enforcement actually informs that learning as well. Talking about bringing all this full circle, right? Yeah, I totally agree in emotional intelligence is actually I think my biggest. I, I’m not academic in any way, but I am is extremely emotionally intelligent and this is what I teach people about every day. And I think the I’m digressing slightly. But even with let’s take the pandemic, for instance. Businesses that have done were or a lot of people. This is sparked emotion and you need to, you know, make business decisions. Yes, emotion has a place, I think indecision yeah yes it does you. There is definitely a place for it but you need to think logically and it’s about you know the primitive brain and the logical part of the brain haven’t been able to separate that. It is definitely something law enforcement teachers you ’cause when you come up to a you know a serious incident you’re thinking with your emotions you’re gonna make bad judgment. And these are kind of things that all these talents that your eyesight, little. That’s not the right. All these amazing talents, yeah, I’ll use a better rejected there we go, these talents that you’ve got or things that you’ve picked up through the years. But I think it’s absolutely fascinating how you’ve kind of taken these talents that you’ve got. You’ve processed them, you’ve delved into them deeper. You’ve kind of analysed him. You’ve been through this for process. You’ve applied it in every kind of way, and that’s you know, really what’s pave the way to this place that you’re at in your life which. Just sounds like a fascinating place to be. Oh yeah, I’m loving life. At what lovely thing to do with your daughter as well to go to all these things? You know what a lovely life lesson to be teaching her? Oh yeah, except for she’s and she’s not angry. She’s a little perturbed that we’ve only brought her to 100 of them. Instead of, you know, like all 500.

I’m going to ask over what time period this is like, you know, I could only imagine so the actual book you mentioned that a big part of it is kind of stripping out emotions, but tell us more. I appreciate we’re never going to kind of fully unpacked this book, or even come close to it in this episode. But tell us more about it because it it just sounds like such a fascinating concept to maybe, you know, people who might be listening to this episode, who perhaps haven’t come across some of these concepts. Me and you, you know we’ve come from a similar world. This yeah to other people who are listening on the outside. These sounds like interesting concepts, but to tell us more Oh yeah, well and the emotions are not necessarily stripping out emotions, just using them to your advantage. So there’s that one perception, so there’s so many types in escape rooms are really well designed once they play with your perception on things, so they really mess with those cognitive biases that we end up having an. I love it because it helps us practice our perception. So it’s funny we were in a room not too long ago. Well, actually, we just went into another room, but our 500th room actually had a zombie in it, but prior to that we were in a room with a zombie that. When we, the game master, before you go into a room, the person who’s going to guide you through that process gives you a briefing on what you to expect, right? And this game Master had said there will be a zombie in the room. They will not be chained, ’cause normally when you run into that third chained, but they won’t actually come after you and they can’t tag you, which means you have to freeze for the rest of the game. They can’t tag you until you find nerve gun. Well, my husband didn’t hear that he wasn’t listening very well to the briefing. League of Escape into what I’ve been to and I’ve been there. Unusual to have a live actor in it, right? She’s just typical America, isn’t it? We have a discussion with America.

There would be live zombies of access, and I feel like I’ve there’s a different world out there, but it’s it or should we, say undead zombies that are alive? Actors, not kidding. But anyway this said so yes, unusual actually. Some of the best ones we’ve been in have been Europe, but this one in particular was in the US. And so my husband didn’t hear that. And so here’s an example of perception. Is reality, right? So what he heard is there’s a zombie in there, and if it tags you, you can’t move. Right, so that’s what he heard. So he was so nervous the entire time he was in this room he was looking over his shoulder. He was having trouble concentrating and I have permission to tell these stories so. I wasn’t. I heard it so I’m like, hey, I’m gonna mess with the zombie ’cause it’s like a slow moving zombie. It wasn’t a World War Z zombie. It was like I don’t know talking dead zombie. So I finally got him to actually look. He can’t mess with us until we find our nerve guns so he can’t touch us. And besides he’s slow moving. We can just continue to walk around and avoid him. Acted by the zombie exactly. So he finally came around and wasn’t distracted. But it’s funny ’cause our room that we did had another. Had an actor in it a zombie, and he purposely went in thinking OK, this is going to be fun no matter what we’re going to get out. ’cause we do most the time and so he had a totally different experience in this past room ’cause he went in with the intention of, you know this is going to be fun, but it’s just. It’s just funny. You’re our perception creates our reality. And then of course they do things to mess with our cognitive biases. An are the typical ways that our brain gets us messed up and it really helps you train yourself to overcome that. I think you make some really great points to people and not just your own individual perception, but understanding other people’s perception and not just perception. Their perspective. Yeah, you know it allows you to. Really, this is where I think so many companies go wrong and they lose people. And I see this every single day in recruitment. They don’t look at other people’s perceptions or perspectives and they make decisions based on solely their perspective and then they. They lose. People aren’t unique, and I spoke to someone actually really interesting yesterday who said to me and he was a really big chief executive and he said to me the ability to see other people’s perspective in life is the ability to lead successfully and when he just said that, I just thought that isn’t even. I know that. Yeah, just said, you know, it really hit a chord with me. And you know this is the reason why I absolutely loved it in podcasts. Because you. You know, sometimes you have these things that you do, but you don’t realize that you’re consciously doing. Because I, I don’t know about you casino, but I find that in life I’m running, running, running, running, running next thing next thing. Next thing you know, move, move, move mil and it’s very bare. But I stop reflect, but it sounds to me to you that is kind of a quite a natural thing that you stopped to do because that sounds like it’s the process of how these books come about anyway, exactly. Yeah, well and I’ve had to train myself to do that to stop and reflect ’cause that’s really part of the self improvement process, right? And I thought, yeah, if I’m teaching other people do this, I better be able to do it, but you know, we’ll have a moment where you’ll have 6 minutes on the Clock getting out of an escape room and you need to take that 30 seconds to 60 seconds to stop. Relax, calm down and think about things so that you can do that last five minutes in an amazing way instead of just freaking out for that. I love that you brought up reflecting ’cause you can even do that in the last five minutes of an escape room. You know, spend 30 seconds to do it and it makes that last five minutes so much more powerful. Much in life, right? If we spend a little bit of time reflecting everything that we, all the energy that we’re putting forward is more intentional and more strategic versus just kind of all over the place. I found everything you’re saying so fascinating, and I think what you’ve done with these escape rooms is you’re using them in so many different ways and what you know. Breaking down the kind of psychological process and that of the emotions and. That of you know everything in regards to it, I can see why while looking at the world through your lens for a moment, I can see why that they’re so enjoyable and I can see why it’s become such a great hobby. Would you ever open up your own escape room using no work? Too much work. And I want to switch out the rooms like every few months ’cause I get bored of him. Yeah I could. Well yes I could imagine it would be a very big banks or system that you have there. So I very much appreciate those that do that for us. Kind of advice, would you know I appreciate this is going to be somewhat generic, but you know is it? It’s a challenging time at the moment. It’s challenging the matter what you do. What advice would you give to people who you know I may be kind of business owners or people out there at the moment? You know through all your years of wisdom and experience, what would you say to people that you know might be struggling or finding business challenging? Yeah, it’s funny again. Escape room analogy here or metaphor or simile? Whatever it is, we once did a room in complete darkness and it wasn’t where you’re just feeling around a room for things on the wall. We were actually going through tunnels, falling into foam pits, having to crawl up walls in complete darkness, and I thought this was perfect. Allergy for that because I. I’m just a match it again. Please hurry home. Yeah so but you’re in the darkness right? You don’t know what’s ahead of you kind of remember what’s behind you, but you’re so much in the moment it’s hard to figure out. So when you’re there and you’re stressed and you don’t know what’s coming, you just have to keep going. You just feel a little, you know, feel a little forward, trust, go forward, know that no matter what you’ll be able to come out of. This process may be successful. Maybe you just learned more, right? But just keep going and eventually there will be light at the end of that tunnel. Like there wasn’t that escape room, we just had to keep trusting the process and moving forward, and I think that’s an absolutely beautiful anecdotes are kind of leave the show on. I could talk to you for a very long time, but I would be in trouble for massively over running if people want to find out more about you, Christina, or indeed they want to find out and even buy the book. And I must say on Kindle it’s only £3.00 per teen in the UK. What bargain? OK or one Audible book credit. And there you go. Is it you speaking? Audiobook? It is. Yeah fantastic, we love that. Tell us where people can go to connect with you where they can go to find out more or indeed by the book. Awesome. So my main website ischristinaeanes.com the one for the book is Life is an escape-room.com fabulous Christina. Thank you so much for joining us. I’ve loved the conversation. Oh, thank you me too. That was Christina Eanes just outside of Washington DC in the US. I’m Jason Connolly. This is the career success podcast until next time goodbye.

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