• Sarah E. Brown

Working Harder is NOT the Answer with Terry McDougall


High-achieving people usually look successful on paper, but that success could be coming at a very high price. It could be that they're feeling a lot of stress, anxiety, maybe a sense that they don't belong and they're not sure why.


Do you feel like you’re exhausting yourself way too much for work that you have no time to do things you enjoy doing anymore? Is it affecting your health and your relationship with your loved ones?


Terry Boyle McDougall is an Executive & Career Coach and CEO of Terry B. McDougall Coaching. She helps high-achieving professionals remove obstacles that keep them stuck so they can enjoy more success and satisfaction in their lives and careers.


Before becoming a coach, Terry was a long-time corporate marketing executive where she led teams, developed strategies, and advised senior leaders to drive business results. She is the author of Winning the Game of Work: Career Happiness and Success on Your Own Terms. She is also the host of the Marketing Mambo podcast.


In this episode, Terry stresses that working harder isn’t actually the answer to achieving both professional success and personal happiness in life. Here, she shares wisdom as she discusses ways we can be more impactful at work while keeping our life happy and balanced.


What you will learn from this episode:

  • Discover how important the overlap of professional success and personal happiness is.

  • Understand the importance of being more strategic with how you spend your time; and

  • Find out how you can have more impact at work without letting go of your life’s balance.



When we can feel satisfied with how we're spending our time and how we're investing our gifts, we're going to have more energy not only for work but also to enjoy our lives.
- Terry McDougall


Valuable Free Resource:




Topics Covered:


01:47 – Challenge is expanding that overlap between professional success and personal happiness while battling with a lot of stress and anxiety.


02:56 – Continuing to do the past actions and expecting different results: the common mistake business women leaders make before working with Terry.


03:44 – Valuable free resource to help you have more impact at work without exhausting yourself: Free chapter of Terry’s book available at http://terrybmcdougall.com/book/



04:21 – One free and actionable tip you can do to have more impact with less energy required: Be more strategic about how you invest time. Sometimes, this is actually going to get you better results and leave you with more energy left over to invest in things that you enjoy doing.


05:54 – Q: Is being happy at work important? A: Absolutely! Happiness has everything to do with being effective at work. Working harder isn’t the answer.



Key Takeaways:


“When I talk about having more impact with less energy, it really is taking a look at ‘okay, what are things that I'm working on that I shouldn't be working on? Am I working on my highest value work?’” – Terry McDougall


“Sometimes, just being thoughtful and strategic about how you invest your time is going to get you better results and leave you with more energy left over to invest in things that you enjoy doing.” – Terry McDougall


“Is being happy at work important? Absolutely! Being happy at work is important. Now, what does happiness has to do with being effective at work? It has everything to do with it.” – Terry McDougall



Ways to Connect with Terry McDougall



Ways to Connect with Sarah E. Brown



Full Episode Transcript:


Terry McDougall 0:00

Feel satisfied with how we're spending our time and how we're investing our gifts. We're going to have more energy not only for work but also to enjoy our lives.


Sarah E. Brown 0:19

Hello everyone. Welcome to The KTS Success Factor Podcast for Women where we talk about challenges senior female leaders face in being happy and successful at work. I'm your host, Dr. Sarah E. Brown.


My guest today is Terry McDougall. She's an Executive & Career Coach and CEO of Terry B. McDougall Coaching. She helps high-achieving professionals remove obstacles that keep them stuck so that they can enjoy more success and satisfaction in their lives and careers.


Before becoming a coach, Terry was a long-time corporate marketing executive where she led teams, developed strategies, and advised senior leaders to drive business results. She is the author of Winning the Game of Work: Career Happiness and Success on Your Own Terms. She is also the host of the Marketing Mambo podcast.

Welcome, Terry. Thank you for being here.


Terry McDougall 1:28

Sarah! Thanks for having me. I'm excited for our discussion today.


Sarah E. Brown 1:31

And did I pronounce the name of your podcast correctly?


Terry McDougall 1:35

Marketing Mambo. Yes, you did.


Sarah E. Brown 1:36

There we go.

So tell me, Terry, what is the biggest challenge you help female leaders face in business today and what might be the symptoms of that challenge?


Terry McDougall 1:47

You know, what I help people do is expand that overlap between their professional success and their personal happiness, because so often, what I see with high-achieving people is that, you know, if you look at them on paper, they're successful. You know, they're doing the job, they're achieving the results, but a lot of times, they're doing it at a very high price. And it could be that they're feeling a lot of stress, anxiety, maybe a sense that they don't belong and they're not sure why. So it's really helping them find that place that's much more authentic, where they're much more in the flow with what they're doing, and they have more balance in their lives.


Sarah E. Brown 2:27

Got it. So the symptoms of this would be the feeling of not belonging and a sense of anxiety and the like?


Terry McDougall 2:33

Yeah. You know, sometimes there are issues that, you know, maybe there's some health issues. They're not sleeping well or they're, you know, things are even sort of bleeding over into their relationships or not. They don't have enough time to spend with their families or, you know, they're irritable. Just it.


Sarah E. Brown 2:51

Got it. And what is the biggest mistakes your clients make before working with you?


Terry McDougall 2:56

I think that some of the biggest mistakes that they make are, you know, continuing to do the things that they've done in the past and expecting different results.


You know, one of the things I see with a lot of high-achieving people is that when they're not getting the results that they want, they double down. They’ll work harder, they'll try to do more, and that actually just exacerbates the problem.


And what I work with people to do is really to step back and take a look at the bigger picture and look for those leverage points where they can, you know, be more selective about how they invest their energy in the situation and actually have more impact without exhausting themselves.


Sarah E. Brown 3:38

And what is the number one free and actionable tip you can give them to address this challenge now?


Terry McDougall 3:44

Well, I offer a free chapter to my book that talks about those leverage points and that is available at my website, and we can talk about that later. I can give that to you to put in the show notes if you'd like.


Sarah E. Brown 3:58

I've got your website to put in the show notes. That's a great one. And can you get there just from the homepage?


Terry McDougall 4:04

Backslash leverage.


Sarah E. Brown 4:06

Okay. Backslash leverage. Okay, got it.

And what's the valuable free resource – well, that is your free resource. Is there a tip that you can share with the readers that might help them to begin to take action on this now?


Terry McDougall 4:21

Yeah. I mean, when I talk about getting, you know, having more impact with less energy, it really is taking a look at “okay, what are things that I'm working on that I shouldn't be working on?” You know, “am I working on my highest-value work?”


You know, what I find a lot of times with women who are feeling really stressed is that they got a long to do list and they feel like they have to do all of the things on their to do list instead of stepping back and saying, “If I'm at a certain level, what are the things that require only me?” “I'm the only person that can do these” and then sort of, you know, triage. What's on that list of things that need to be done, and start thinking about like how, “what can I delegate? What actually doesn't need to be done at all? Or can I put a process or system in place to take care of those?”


You know, just being more strategic about how they invest their time and recognize that not everything, you know, requires that, you know, brute strength they’re grinding it out. Sometimes, just being thoughtful and strategic about how you invest your time is going to get you better results and leave you with more energy leftover to invest in things that you enjoy doing.


Sarah E. Brown 5:37

I am one who suffers from that. I got to get everything off the to do list and that's not always the right answer.


Terry McDougall 5:43

Yeah, it's common with women.


Sarah E. Brown 5:45

Terry, what is one question that I should have asked you that will help my audience take action to address this challenge, and then would you please answer the question?


Terry McDougall 5:54

What's one question you should have asked me?

You know, I think that, the question that I think you should have asked me is, you know, is being happy at work important? And I would say, absolutely. Being happy at work is important, and I think that it's something that many of us will tell ourselves like, you know, work is work.


Now, what does happiness has to do with being effective at work? And what I would say is it has everything to do with it. You know, when we can, you know, feel satisfied with how we're spending our time and how we're investing our gifts, we're going to have more energy not only for work but also to enjoy our lives. And you know, I think it really begs the question: what are we here for, anyway?


Sarah E. Brown 6:42

Terry, I'm going to take away that the answer is not working harder.


Terry McDougall 6:47

Yeah, absolutely. Thank you for translating.


Sarah E. Brown 6:52

Thank you so much for being with me today.


Terry McDougall 6:55

It was great to be here, Sarah. Thanks for having me.


Sarah E. Brown 6:57

Thanks for listening to The KTS Success Factor Podcast for Women. If you like what you're hearing, please go to iTunes to subscribe, rate us, and leave a review.


And if you would like more information on how we can help women in your organization to thrive, then go to https://www.sarahebrown.com/. You can sign up for our newsletter, read show notes and learn more about our podcast guests, read my blog, browse through the books, or contact us for a chat.


Goodbye for now.

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