Taking Time for Yourself with Eva Medilek
Especially in the midst of what may be the longest tax season in history, CPAs are feeling especially pressured, burnt out and in need of some serious R&R. On Episode 40 of The Unique CPA, Randy talks to Eva Medilek, certified high performance coach, author, and international speaker, about the difficulty of maintaining balance in one’s life, even while striving for high achievement. She touches on the importance of not losing sight of your “why,” whatever it may be, in the midst of the stresses and obligations of your work. Eva also discusses her efforts in creating a space for people who want to use their privilege to be the best allies they can be.
Today, our guest is Eva Medilek. Eva is a certified high performance coach. In addition, she’s an author, and an international speaker. Eva, welcome to The Unique CPA.
Oh, thank you for having me, Randy. I’m excited to be here.
Well, believe me—I’m very excited to be here. I am excited to be here—I usually am! I am excited to have you here. So I appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule, and I know your schedule is busy, because I was doing a little research earlier today, and I saw you live on Facebook. So you’ve been in front of the camera talking for a while today, it looks like.
Yeah, I’m gonna be on pretty much all day today. But it’s, you know, it’s talking about my favorite favorite subject, which is busy professionals. You know, we all are busy, we all are saying things like, “Oh, if I only had the time, how much time is it gonna take? That takes too much time.” And you know what? We get to really exhale, and really get clear on what we should be spending our time on, based on our priorities. So that’s why I’m excited to talk to you and the people that listen to you—because I know what they’re feeling.
Oh, yeah. It’s obviously—in general, it’s that way, probably even a little more so in the last year, we’ve been dealing with some stuff. So let’s talk about that. Then, you know, I mentioned at the beginning, that you are a certified high performance coach. So let’s talk about—maybe briefly tell us what the certification is, and then explain what a performance coach is, and what you’re doing.
Well, I got certified through Brendon Burchard, and the High Performance Institute. Now Brendon is famous, for he’s an author and a coach as well. He wrote the books, High Performance Habits, The Motivation Manifesto, and he is very, very prominent in the coaching scene with helping really top-level people maximize their time and their efforts to get the results that they want without sacrificing health and wellbeing and their relationships in the process.
So when you talk about high performance, it is really succeeding consistently—being consistent over the long term, while maintaining a healthy life, full of positive emotions. I know a lot of clients I work with will get on a health kick, but it’s not consistent; will start a morning routine, and it’s not consistent. And high performance is really creating these habits that bring consistency and results. And it’s just like you’re moving along in that direction, but it’s not a flash in the pan. Like, how do you keep it up so that you maintain your success without sacrificing your health or your relationships in the process?
Oh yeah, well, that’s extremely important. I’m very good at creating those habits that are bad for me—and once I create those habits, and they’re bad, they keep going, and I need to learn how to reverse that habit.
So you’re you work with individuals, mainly, and usually it’s an executive and an entrepreneur, which is always a hard word for me to say, but I got it out.
Yeah, I think it’s harder to spell!
Oh, yeah, I could not do that. It wouldn’t happen. I couldn’t even try. I was trying to spell “anonymous” today, which is another one that’s hard for me to say. And I’m like, “Alright, I know I’m going to spell this wrong.” But it’s a good thing about Word—it corrects things for you.
Yes, it does.As human beings and as busy professionals and entrepreneurs and whatever it is we do in life, we don't set our days up to win. We end up letting our day run us. Click To Tweet
So business owners, influencers, you’re working on them to do this whole—they want to be successful, they’re working on success, they’re hard, they’re high achievers, but I can see for sure, that comes with a, you know, sacrifice, that maybe doesn’t have to be there when it comes to relationships, when it comes to everything, when it comes to making sure you’re having fun. And specifically to our audience, our audience is obviously CPAs—The Unique CPA—a lot of these people that we’re talking to that are listening are extremely—probably stressed out right now. We’ve gone—CPAs have had, you know this will be released probably in April, so CPAs will be in their about 15th month of tax season at that time. It never ended, since it started in January of 2020, and just everything that’s coming through legislation-wise, the government-wise, is running through CPAs. So they are extremely swamped, extremely probably stressed, but motivated. So what do you do? What’s your goal? How do you go out and get them to to stay, you know, successful but have that balance in their life?
It’s funny, I was on a call with a CPA just before getting on this recording with you—my dad’s a CPA, by the way. So here’s the thing, we don’t set ourselves up to win. As human beings and as busy professionals and entrepreneurs and whatever it is we do in life, whether we’re an employee, or an employer, we don’t set our days up to win. We end up letting our day run us, instead of us running our day, and taking control of our day.
So the first thing is, you want to think about a NASCAR race, right? You see cars spinning around that race track. I’m horrible at cars, by the way. But that car that’s in the lead, all of a sudden gets out of the lead and goes for a pitstop. And I remember when I was young, and I used to watch it—not that I watched it all the time—but it was like, “Aren’t they gonna lose the race, people are going to pass them up, like, why are they stopping?” Well, they’re stopping before the tire blows, the engine cracks, they run out of oil, out of gas or whatever.
We don’t do that as human beings. We’re way too—we run on empty. We’re way too hungry and hangry and exhausted before we even think about stopping. We don’t set ourselves up to win the race, and setting ourselves up to win the race means pit stops, you know? Whether it’s as simple as starting the day off with a morning routine, to make sure we’re energized. Maybe it’s taking a break after every 45, 50 minutes to have water, move our bodies—because I know CPAs are at the computer, numbers crunching, eyes hurting, headachy, hunched over, not leaving. But you’ve got to set yourself up so that you have the mental energy and the physical stamina to be on your “A Game,” not only at the beginning of the day, but at the end of the day. Because what often happens at the end of the day, our families get what’s left over of us, and that’s not our best selves.
I remember a time when my daughter was about seven. And she came home from school one day, pissed off at her crossing guard. Now the crossing guards were—I raised my kids in New Jersey—were all like at least 90 years old. And she came in: “I hate that crossing guard. She’s so stupid. She doesn’t know how to do her job, Mom. She told me to hurry up!” I’m like, “Okay, why did she tell you to hurry up? Like what’s going on?” I couldn’t, like, they had a great relationship before this, like what happened? “Well, she told me to hurry up, because I was going slow. The sign said ‘Slow Children,’ Mommy, so I was going slow. She’s really stupid.”We're way too hungry and hangry and exhausted before we even think about stopping. We don't set ourselves up to win the race, and setting ourselves up to win the race means pit stops, you know? Click To Tweet
And so at one point, I was still a bit confused about—okay, we went back to the scene of the crime, like let’s see what happened, Aand sure enough, the yellow sign that says “Slow – Children”—if any of us have raised children and brought their kids to school, it’s telling the car “Slow – Children,” it’s in the crosswalk near your school, “Slow – Children.”
Well, she thought that sign was for her, and the stress of being told to hurry up and move fast, and get it done—if you know my daughter’s background a little bit, she had some health challenges, she had missed a lot of school, so she was in a stressful state anyway. And one more person asked her to do that, to meet a deadline to get there fast, and she completely broke.
Well, that’s kind of how we are in life, you know? Trying to be it all, and do it all, and meet deadlines and the stress and overwhelm can make us feel like our time is being hijacked by other people’s agendas.
It affects every area of our lives. Maybe you’re not—maybe you’re eating at your desk, maybe you’re just ordering in fast food, but if you set yourself up at the beginning of the day, you know—and I don’t want to sound cliché—I have the healthy snacks and the carrots and things like that, but set yourself up to take mental breaks. It really is the mental breaks like “Okay, I’ve been at the computer for 45 minutes, I’m going to set a timer. I’m not going to work longer than that.” And I am going to you know what I do is I chase the dog around the coffee table she loves it, I love it, gets my blood flowing, takes 10 minutes tops, then I’m back at it. The world is not gonna fall apart. If you take a pit stop. You will still win the race.
Yep, I can see that. So I have a helper in that in that my Apple Watch tells me—which a lot of people have—and if I’ve not stood in 50 minutes, to get up and stand. Which, you know the way I am right now—I am extremely busy and people listening to this probably know, I’m dealing with the Employee Retention Credit. So I have Zoom calls every half hour right now, just because so much, people are wanting knowledge on this, that I’m sitting at my desk way more than I ever have. But at least I do listen to my Apple Watch, and do get up, so I still get my 15 hours of standing today. Yeah, so that’s my one thing even though I am stressed, but it’s fun stress, but I gotta watch it because it could get overwhelming.
So that’s part of what you’re—I know you have three different areas that you’re you kind of help people with, let’s say, on being successful and still being a person. I don’t know if that’s how you say it. That’s how I say it.
Well, having professional success without sacrificing personal fulfillment.
Nice! You said it much better than I did. But here, you were just talking about I’m assuming what we discussed there, was the “implementing sustainable habits.”
You have two other areas that I’ve seen when I’ve read about what you’re doing, which is “taking radical responsibility” and “developing relationships and influence.” So you want to expand on those two a little bit?
You know, “radical responsibility” is really, you know—we have a choice in any given moment how we react, or respond. Now, a story I often share with people when I was building my entrepreneurial business, which was a real estate investment company that I started about 10 or 11 years ago, right when I turned 50—and I was coming out of a profession of dental hygiene. And so I was working and building a business, which meant that I was working in the morning, before I went to work, at lunchtime, I wasn’t spending time with the girls at work, and in the evening, I would come home and study some more, or make offers, or really learn my craft and work with mentors and coaches. And I was cooking and shopping and laundry and everything else—I was being Super Woman, and I wasn’t really asking for help with support for various reasons: There’s ego involved, there’s fear of missing out, there’s not trusting people.
What I noticed was, you know, I was snippy in my relationship because I was tired—I was exhausted. Much like my daughter, I didn’t need one more person to ask me to do one more thing. But I always had this idea, like, as soon as we reached a certain amount of real estate holdings, and income, then we can work on our relationship, you know? The conversations and the communication was stressed and strained, because I was always stressed and strained.
And then one day, I came home from, I think we came back from Mexico, and I remember picking up my husband’s phone to look for some photos, and right there were texts from another woman, and I realized that he had fallen in love with someone else and was having an affair. And it was in that moment that I realized that this breakdown was partially my responsibility.
And as hard as it may seem, and as devastating as it was to trust and relationship, and you know, the risk of losing it all, I mean, my family was my “why” and I was about to lose it all because I was so focused on the work and the income, that I forgot the relationship piece. And so long story short, we re-committed to building a new foundation for our relationship, and we turned that breakdown into an amazing breakthrough. And often the work that we did to take responsibility and recognize areas of how we relate and how it was showing up to damage our relationships is a lot of the work that I bring my clients through at the beginning, so that we can recognize where we can take responsibility for how we are showing up in our relationship, and not play that blame game: How do we communicate? How are we showing up as role models? When we talk about the role model and influence. How do we make people feel? How are we inspiring and encouraging people that yes, being successful and wealthy is not something that we have to dread, because we can still be happy.
And so most people that I know—I’ve witnessed a lot of people sacrifice real happiness for success. And just learning how to just, you know, even though we enjoy what we do, the stress that it puts on us actually tamps down the joy and the pleasure of it. So I talk about taking responsibility for the choices that we make, and I’ve made choices at that time, that sacrifice the communication skills that my husband and I were going through. Because I needed to get this deal, I needed to have a certain amount of cash flowing assets, I needed to, you know, we needed to do this so that we can live the life of our dreams, which nearly didn’t happen, ’cause I was so focused on that.
Well, I guess people can definitely take your experience your personal experience that you then are teaching to others, and obviously, you’ve gone through it. So I think that bodes well to the guidance that you give to others. Let me switch subjects here—and thank you for sharing there.
Let me switch subjects here real quick, because at the beginning, I did mention that you were an author, too. And I know your most recent book, and there may be others, is called The Intimacy of Race. Can you explain this book to us, what it is that you wrote, and is there a “why”—I’m assuming there’s a “why” behind it?
Yeah, the “why” happened as a result of watching the video footage of George Floyd’s murder, and right now that the trial of the police officer is being televised right now. But for me, as an African American woman, you know, building a successful business in a predominantly white dominated, male society, and being married to a long-haired, blue eyed European man, it really hit home for me that there were a lot of allies who were white and white presenting who really wanted to support justice and equality, but because of the climate on social media, they were afraid: afraid of saying the wrong thing, doing the wrong thing, making a mistake and being bullied and chastised for it. And so a lot of people were scared into silence to even voice their support. And so I knew I wanted to make a difference, but I didn’t know how.
It came to me one day in my grief over this whole situation that how I could help is really supporting people who really want to be allies, but are not sure what to do, how to help, how they can be effective, and to create a safe space for people to share their experiences, get help having these uncomfortable conversations with maybe family members, or colleagues, or even on social media. So it started with the Facebook group, The Intimacy of Race. And then I actually put on an event, it was a live forum with leading women of color. And it was a listen and learn event called The Allyship Awareness Forum.It really hit home for me that there were a lot of allies who were white and white presenting who really wanted to support justice and equality, but because of the climate on social media, they were afraid. Click To Tweet
And so between the forum and the Facebook group, and really making resources available for people to do their own education, but also to have the conversations like, “How do I say this? Did I say this wrong? And why is this wrong that I said it this way, or how is it hurtful?” We put all of that together in the book, The Intimacy of Race, and it really is how to move from subconscious racism, to active allyship for people of privilege. And so it really was written for white people and white presenting people, but it also has a lot to do—because racism is all across the board in every color, not just white people. However, you can learn really how to take radical responsibility for how you show up.
Okay, I’m gonna have to get a copy of the book, because a lot of what you said are things that I need to, even just when you say “how to help, how to be an ally,” like social media scares me to make any opinions on there, because people will just attack you no matter what your opinion is. And so that is something I definitely—I am going to get a copy of the book, you heard it here live on The Unique CPA—well not live, we’re taped—but I am going to purchase a copy of the book on Amazon.
Alright, so do you use any of that? Does any of that come in to your high performance coaching? Can those relate in any way?
Absolutely! I think if you really want to be a high performer in life, it takes into every aspect and area of your life. Like, most of the people I coach are leaders in their own right, whether they own their own businesses, whether they’re leading their own households, you know. How we show up in the world, how we do one thing, is how we do everything. And so, you know, one of the sessions in high performance is really on influence and persuasion, and really taking that leadership role in conversations. How do we create safe space for others to make mistakes? You know, our society makes mistakes like this cancel culture, like, oh my god, nobody wants to say anything, because if they make a mistake, they’re going to be canceled and there’s no opportunity to just learn. We’re not giving people a safe space to learn to make mistakes.
We wouldn’t do that—like, if you are a parent and you’ve ever taught a child to walk, and they fell down, do you yell at them for falling down? Like come on! You help them up and, “No dear, hold on, don’t try to run.” Like riding a bike, even. We help them, we hold them, until they can fly on their own. Why aren’t we doing that for each other as human beings? It breaks my heart—this cancel culture breaks my heart. And so yeah, if you want to be a high performer it gets to be in every area of your life.
Okay, well, that’s great advice. I think, everything that you’ve talked about today: our audience and everybody can use, I think, to help personally and professionally. Anything, before we wrap up, anything you want to add, or any any closing statements you have?
Well, you know, the one thing I would like to say is, being successful in one area of your life does not mean that you have to sacrifice in other areas. You know, you don’t have to sacrifice everything, but you will have to sacrifice some things, and the problem is, most of us are sacrificing the wrong things, and so we’re feeling like we have to do it all, and be it all, to have it all, and it’s costing us. And if you’re feeling that overwhelm and that pressure, to hurry up and be it all, to not make mistakes, to be perfect, and to not miss out, and to please everybody, and you’re starting to sacrifice some other areas of your life because you’re so focused on, “I’ve got to do this, I’ve got to do this. And I’ve got to do it perfectly. And I’ve got to do it now,” a lot of us is the “do it now,” right?
Then I want people to really get in touch with me. And let’s do a Success without Sacrifice session. And what we’ll do on this session is, we’re really going to go over the six essential pillars of high performance, so that you can ask yourself certain questions at the start of each day or in your life so that you learn on what is the right thing to focus on, and what you need to let go of, so that you can have a “both and,” and not an “either/or.” You can have that success in your professional life without sacrificing your personal fulfillment. And I know a lot of people are just tired of doing it all, so y’all need to get in touch with me, go to TalkWithEva.com, and let’s set up that Success without Sacrifice today.
All right, and how can people get ahold of you? What’s the best way?
You can go to TalkWithEva.com. You can also download—oh, can I give them a free gift?
Go to EvaMedilek.com/6pillars, and I’m going to give you just an outline of the six pillars of high performance that we can delve deeper in when you go to TalkWithEva.com and set up your (stumbles over words) – Success without Sacrifice session.
Nice, nice. See, it’s okay to make a mistake!
Absolutely. Mistakes can be fun!
Exactly. All right. So we’ll put that in the show notes. So you know anybody listening to this, you could check the show notes and there’ll be a link there, you can go to to Eva’s website and get any information you want.
Eva, I really want to thank you for being here today. It was great. I can learn a lot from you and plan to continue to, like I said—I’ve committed I’m getting the book. So we’ll get the book and look at the high performance as well. I really appreciate you being here.
No problem and I want to thank everybody for listening today.
You can find all the links and show notes for today’s episode as well as more about Tri-Merit at TheUniqueCPA.com. Remember to subscribe and join us for our next episode where we will bring you another interesting guest and hear their stories and insights.
The Intimacy of Race by Eva Medilek
About the Guest
Eva Medilek is an international speaker, author, and high performance coach. She is passionate about helping Executives, Entrepreneurs, Business Owners and Influencers create heightened levels of success in business and in personal life by developing relationships and influence, taking radical responsibility, and implementing sustainable habits for success.
Through Eva’s coaching programs, she combines high performance strategies with relationship coaching that empowers her clients.
An entrepreneur, Eva founded Elite Legacy Education, which specialized in real estate investing, transitioning from a decades-long career in dental hygiene. An accomplished orator, she has spoken at conferences around the world, including the Women Economic Forum in London in 2019.
Eva authored The Intimacy of Race in 2021. She is a certified high performance coach with the High Performance Institute. She earned her AS in Dental Hygiene from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1980.
Meet the Host
Randy Crabtree, CPA
Randy Crabtree, co-founder and partner of Tri-Merit Specialty Tax Professionals, is a widely followed author, lecturer and podcast host for the accounting profession.
Since 2019, he has hosted the bi-weekly “The Unique CPA,” podcast, which ranks among the world’s 5% most popular programs (Source: Listen Score). You can find articles from Randy in Accounting Today’s Voices column, the AICPA Tax Adviser (Tax-saving opportunities for the housing and construction industries) and he is a regular presenter at conferences and virtual training events hosted by CPAmerica, Prime Global, Leading Edge Alliance (LEA), Allinial Global and several state CPA societies. Crabtree also provides continuing professional education to top 100 CPA firms across the country.
Schaumberg, Illinois-based Tri-Merit is a niche professional services firm that specializes in helping CPAs and their clients benefit from R&D tax credits, cost segregation, the energy efficient commercial buildings deduction (179D), the energy efficient home credit (45L) and the employee retention credit (ERC).
Prior to joining Tri-Merit, Crabtree was managing partner of a CPA firm in the greater Chicago area. He has more than 30 years of public accounting and tax consulting experience in a wide variety of industries, and has worked closely with top executives to help them optimize their tax planning strategies.