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Slow Down To Do More: “Why An Accountability Partner Should Be An Intricate Part Of Your Life” with Ashley Graber and Stephynie Malik

Accountability Partner: Make this person an intricate part of your life. Share with them your goals and have them hold your fully accountable. I have done this with my 9 year old and technology at the dinner table. He helps remind me…sometimes too much! I had the pleasure to interview Stephynie Malik. In Stephynie’s 25+ year […]


Accountability Partner: Make this person an intricate part of your life. Share with them your goals and have them hold your fully accountable. I have done this with my 9 year old and technology at the dinner table. He helps remind me…sometimes too much!

I had the pleasure to interview Stephynie Malik. In Stephynie’s 25+ year career, she has gone from one of the youngest Directors in the Silicon Valley, to an award-winning CEO of her own software consulting firm, to Executive and Transformational Coach. In her years of experience she has developed proven methodologies and success strategies, been involved in 11 startups worldwide and spearhead multi-million dollar acquisitions. Her results-driven approach has helped executives and entrepreneurs alike achieve new levels of growth and connection in not only their business, but also their lives. Stephynie is also a member of the Forbes Coaches Council and focuses on sharing her expertise with others looking to gain insight into the world of business.


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to this specific career path?

My ability to connect with others is precisely what brought me to this specific career path. I am overly intuitive and not only that, but I am accurate in my depiction of what is going on for them not only in their business but their lives as well. My innate ability to read people and understand solutioning for their most difficult problems is what has made me successful in my career.

According to a 2006 Pew Research Report report, 26% of women and 21% of men feel that they are “always rushed”. Has it always been this way? Can you give a few reasons regarding what you think causes this prevalent feeling of being rushed?

I believe a few things can play a huge role in causing the feeling of being ‘rushed’ — lack of preparation and prioritization, inability to connect with their true goals, and lack of roles. At times when things felt less rushed, there weren’t 19 soccer practices, 12 SAT classes, 6 extracurricular projects that we as parents needed to be fully involved in. There was a more established balance and understanding in what ‘life’ was and what mattered to families and employees.

Based on your experience or research can you explain why being rushed can harm our productivity, health, and happiness?

There is that feeling of things never being done or better yet, being done well. We all lack measure of being complete and therefore, we are not complementary because our lists go on forever. We never achieve that feeling of being productive or ‘done’ because our world is so fast paced and our lists are a massive continuum of never done. This is harmful to our health as we have an inability to truly rest and rejuvenate without missing something huge.

On the flip side, can you give examples of how we can do more, and how our lives would improve if we could slow down?

If we slow down long enough to prioritize, we remove the unnecessary “busy work” and chaos from our life. How can we do this? Preparation is absolutely key. I always ask why. Why is this a priority? What massive problem is being solved? How will this impact my life and the lives of others?

We all live in a world with many deadlines and incessant demands for our time and attention. That inevitably makes us feel rushed. Can you share with our readers 6 strategies that you use to “slow down to do more”? Can you please give a story or example for each?

Prepare: Ensure you are totally prepared for your next day’s work the night before. Before you leave the office, set your priorities for the next day and don’t deviate.

Set Your Intention: Every day I wake up and I decide what my intention is for that day. I set my soft skill whether it be calm, patience, or gratitude. No matter what it is, I set it and I keep to it.

Meditation / Prayer: Understanding your higher force. What does it mean to and for you? Figure out how to thank God / Universe for your blessings.

Lists: I can’t say this one enough. Lists are such a key force behind keeping myself on track. Keep them, understand them, and honor them. My oldest daughter gives me a lot of flack about this, but how overjoyed I am when I walk into her bathroom and see four different color post-it notes on her mirror.

Accountability Partner: Make this person an intricate part of your life. Share with them your goals and have them hold your fully accountable. I have done this with my 9 year old and technology at the dinner table. He helps remind me…sometimes too much!

Technology Time-Out: Absolutely KEY! Take time to connect and I mean uncomfortably connect. Look into your kid’s/partner’s eyes and talk. I love Pinterest for connection questions. My kids, husband and I always end up laughing so hard… like, who came up with these?!

How do you define “mindfulness”? Can you give an example or story?

Intention is everything! If you understand your WHY every single day you open your eyes you will be an incredible leader. Understand why you are doing what you are doing. Be 100% mindful of your impact and who you want to affect. What is your measure of success?

Can you give examples of how people can integrate mindfulness into their everyday lives?

Meditation, morning routine, prayer, gratitude journal, choosing to be around giants that will not only support you but also push you to your most insane goals.

Do you have any mindfulness tools that you find most helpful at work?

I love ‘headspace’ and ‘calm’. Their new packets really align with anything you need to re-center on. Anxiety, connection, stress, sleep — whatever it happens to be, there is a mindful meditation to help you work through it. I know a lot of people don’t believe in it (I used to be one of them!) but I am telling you, once I actually started using the process it was simply life changing!

What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources that inspire you to use mindfulness tools or practices

There are so many but here are ten of my favorites:

Thinking, Fast and Slow by David Kahneman

The Leader Who Has No Title by Robin Sharma

Zero to 1 by Peter Theil

What To Do When It’s Your Turn by Seth Godwin

The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris

The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

Crushing It by Gary Vaynerchuk

Influence by Robert Cialdini

The Princessa: Machiavelli for Women by Harriet Rubin

Unf*ck Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life by Gary John Bishop

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.” — Roy T. Bennett

I carry this same idea throughout everything I do. Do you choose to find happiness in what you have or feel miserable thinking over the things you don’t? Do you choose to give to others to impact them positively or choose to ignore them entirely? Do you choose to live your life with a positive and empowering attitude or to live life in negativity?

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Kindness and gratitude, hands down. I would encourage others to stop everything they’re doing to do or say something kind to another who may or may not deserve it. One of the hardest things to do is to love someone who is acting completely unlovable. I believe that challenging yourself every day to do something kind and be grateful no matter whether someone deserves it or not is the most important thing we can do. People tend to get so hung up on giving money to homeless people or possibly volunteering to do something that they may or may not even be needed for instead of jumping in with the best intention to DO GOOD and IMPACT OTHERS whether they ‘need’ or ‘deserve’ it. Change yourself first. Then you can change the world.

Thank you so much for these insights! This was so inspiring!

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