MarketingProfs B2B Forum 2023

Designing a Life You Love To Live By Rethinking Everything with Carlos Hidalgo

I spoke at a conference last year, and a very smart woman who spoke before me said…

“This is our time to create as much wealth as we can for ourselves and our families, and we’re gonna have to work our asses off to do it. And we know when it’s all said and done, our families will be there in the end.”

I used to think that way. But I sat there and was just so sad because I thought, you have no guarantee of that. 

And I remember with my kids, they would say, “Dad, we don’t care about what you do. We don’t care about your title. We don’t care about the growth of your agency. We want you home.” And my oldest son finally said to me one day, “You know, dad, even when you’re home, you’re not home.” He said, “You’re so far gone, you’re not even present. You’re not even available.” And he’s like, “You might as well just keep traveling.” 

And those were hard things to hear, but I was pursuing stuff which I thought would make me successful, and in the end, they made me miserable. And in a room this big with this many people, I’ve gotta believe some of you are going. Yep. 

And so what does impact our lives? And what does impact success? 

I could have thrown a whole lot more on here, but all of these things…


How many of you as marketers deal with unrealistic deadlines? I mean, how hard is it? It’s just marketing, right? 

And, the list goes on—trying to balance. Stop trying to balance. We have 168 hours given to us each week. Work is one of the many things we have to fit into our lives. Stop trying to define work/life balance. 

Oh, and here’s the one that took LinkedIn by storm. Are you ready? 

Life/work balance. 

You see what I did there? I just switched it. It’s the only part of our lives that we try to separate. Do we talk about marriage/life balance, exercise/life balance, finance/life balance, kids/life balance, hobbies/life balance, friends/life balance? No. But somehow we think “work” and “balance.” 

And so when we try to achieve this balance, we only make life so much more difficult. So think about it in terms of boundaries and what your priorities are and then set boundaries around that, including your work.

Imposter syndrome is the really sophisticated name—it’s basically lipstick on the shame pig. But in professional circles we go, “Yeah, we all deal with imposter syndrome,” because it sounds a lot better than “shame.” And what that is, is the little voice in the back of your head that all of us have that tells us we’re not worthy, we suck—and that we are the sum of our failures.

And the reality is, that failure is an event, not a person. 

This for me was startling. We’re feeling stuck. I remember being there—feeling like my wheels were spinning and the more I stepped on the gas, the more the wheels just spun and spun and spun—going nowhere fast. We had a friend of ours on our podcast, and he said, “It’s like you’re running in a circle and trying to win.”

And 75% of us feel this way.

So here’s the real question:

What are you willing to do to change?


And here’s the thing, until the pain and the consequence of how you’re living—and I’m not suggesting you guys are out there living lives of, of just pure debauchery, but until the pain and consequence of how you’re living today outweighs your fear of change, you will never do anything. You’ll be quite content. Even though you know you can do better, that you can live a better life, that you can go get the life you want. Until that scale tips the other way, you’ll never do anything. 

So I hope this starts to stoke some thought where you can say, “You know what? I think there’s more to life than what I’m doing.” And whatever that looks like.

So first of all… this is a really loaded question.

Who are you? 

And if you wanna know the purest form of who, if you wanna understand the purest form of who you are, at the risk of being too Freudian, think about what you were like as a little kid because that little kid hasn’t gone anywhere. Now we’ve layered it on with adult sophistication and complexity, But we are still at the end of the day, that’s the purest form of ourselves.

And then somewhere along the line, someone makes fun of us.

Somewhere along the line, someone told us that we’re not worthy.

Somewhere along the line, someone said, “You are your failure.”

Somewhere along the line we got rejected.

Somewhere along the line, something in our lives happened that was traumatic.

And what shame—or imposter syndrome—starts to tell us is all these lies that we start to believe about ourselves. And from there, we start to form a false identity of who we truly are.

Once we have articulated our identity and our who, this is when we can start to really reflect and identify our purpose.

So we go, Who? And then Why? And then we say, and this is the exciting part, “What unique gifts and talents do I have that can fulfill help me fulfill my purpose?”

So if you start to apply and get back to who God created you to be, match that with your purpose and then say, “I’m gonna use these talents that I have, these gifts and talents, whatever they may be…” 


…then you start to discover opportunities that you might have otherwise been blind to.

And so when I think about Life Design, when I think about rethinking everything, I think about these six core areas, our mental, emotional, spiritual, physical, relational, and financial aspects of life.



Now I know there are people who have 11. I know there are people who have three. The one thing you don’t see in here, is “work.” Why? Because work can impact our mental health. It can impact our emotional health. It impacts our financial wellbeing. Sometimes, it can make relationships stronger. Sometimes it can fracture relationships. And so again, because we’re just human beings to say, “Well, I’ve got my work life and then my life, life”... No, you don’t. You have life. And so we have to think about what kind of life we want—what does success look like for us along these key six areas? And then start with—what I always start with—in addition to getting back to who God created you to be, your identity—I always think about, What are those things that I value the absolute most? Like these are the mountains I’m willing to die on. And then put boundaries around those. And so I don’t believe in balance; I believe in boundaries.

Only you can determine what your life looks like. But for some of you, it’s gonna require a change. 

I love this quote by Carol Burnett. 

Nobody can change your life for you. If you know you need to change some things, don’t let anybody’s influence, or impact or expectation—especially the expectation—alter your course.

And it doesn’t have to be all at once. You can make incremental changes. It can be slow and sometimes it’ll be uncomfortable. But again, until the pain and consequence of how you’re living outweighs the  fear of change, nothing will happen—Carlos Hidalgo


You can watch the video of Carlos’ presentation here:

Published 3/13/23

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