PODCAST 02: Two Questions from the Audience of Attract Your Ideal Paying Clients

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Transcript and show notes:

Hi everyone, welcome to From Hustle to Hell Yes. I’m your host, Emily Carter of Change Agent Studio, and I believe that entrepreneurship is a tool for freedom and improving your life in a LOT of ways, but especially with: How we spend our Time, Energy, and Money. In this podcast, I focus on how to create more ease, enjoyment, and effectiveness in your business using Mindset, Systems and Ops, Community, and Core values - because being busy isn’t why you started your business. You started your business to play by your own rules, doing work that you love that has an impact on the people you serve.

Today I’m sharing with you part of a Q&A session I did in my last summit: Attract Your Ideal Paying Clients: How to captivate and convert customers with ease, enjoyment, and effectiveness. 

BUT FIRST Do you have questions about how to get stuff done? Have you tried every trick in the book, applied every hack, and it’s just not working for you? I hear you. I see you. And right now I’m taking your Qs - but ONLY if nothing else has worked for you. You can hit me up with your questions about 

  • Balancing your work and your life

  • Building a sustainable business that supports you financially

  • Where to focus your time and energy for the most impact in your business

Message me at emily@changeagent.studio with your Q!

So let’s dig into these questions, staring with Karyn’s question about managing her energy as it changes throughout the month.

How do I manage my energy as it fluctuates throughout the month?

I LOVE this question, thank you so much for asking this question Karyn! Ok so first - CONGRATS on noticing this pattern! Our energy changes throughout the day, the week, the month, and the year, and knowing what those fluctuations are is SO FREAKING POWERFUL when we use that info in our own business. 

    • It’s powerful for everyone, but ESPECIALLY when we’re running a business, and here’s why:

      • When we do things in our business that align with our energy and how we feel in our body it’s easier to get into FLOW - and when we’re in flow, the work we produce is of higher quality, it happens faster, and it feels damn good to do it. What more reason do you need?

    • It’s honestly like a super power to be able to harness this pattern, BUT it takes awareness first. So you’re already way ahead of the game here in noticing this is a thing! You want to get to know your patterns of energy over the course of a day and over the course of the month because Knowing when our energy fluctuates and what kinds of tasks we gravitate to during those fluctuations through out the day and throughout the month can help us use that kind of energy to do work that aligns with it when possible, and when we do that, we can experience more flow - more focused attention in the areas our energy is already primed to be working. I could literally teach an entire course on just this - tracking your energy and using that data, but in the interest of helping you with this in the time we have I’ll share some tricks you can use even if you haven’t identified your energy patterns yet.

There a few things that I really came to understand and leveraged in my last corporate role, that I still rely on today when it comes to managing tasks and the energy I have for doing them:

  1. Things can end up taking more energy/time than we thought - sometimes a LOT more. Knowing that, creating some buffer space between meetings, in committing to deadlines can be really helpful.

  2. It’s easy to overestimate what we can do in a day and underestimate what we can do in a month. Making a weekly to-do list helps with this immensely. This is one way to give yourself flexibility based on your daily energy levels too. About one week a month, I know I’m going to be more tired, and I actually plan for that in advance as much as possible and try to make it a lighter week.

  3. There’s this thing called the Eisenhower Matrix. One axis is urgency and the other is Importance. YOu’ve maybe seen this before but I’ll draw it real quick so you have a visual. I love how this can help us reframe how we look at our time and at our relationship with work because when we’re more tired, we can focus on just the urgent AND important stuff, and when we’re feeling more energetic, we can dig into those other things.

    • NOW there’s something that we need to talk about in this matrix, and that’s HOW do we know what is important? How do we know what’s urgent? Well. We have to have an intention there, so I’ll illustrate this with an example. Let’s say you’re a solopreneur and you want to grow your business to the level that you can hire an assistant. The priority then is to make money so you can hire that VA. Yes, service is way up there, and that is crucial, because money follows impact! BUT, in order to continue to serve through our business and in order to grow, we have to make money, right? That’s the system we operate in, it’s the reality of every business owner. So in this example, of a solopreneur in their second year of business wanting to grow business to the level that they can hire an assistant to take over some administrative tasks and free up their time here’s what that matrix might look like:

      • Urgent/Important: revenue generation - serving current customers and turning leads into customers

      • Less Urgent / Important: lead generation - finding potential clients

      • Urgent / Less Important: doing quarterly reviews in a timely fashion in order make data-backed decisions

      • Less Urgent / Less important: posting 3 times a day to a social media channel that has never brought in a client, or brings so few conversions that it doesn’t pay for the time spent doing it.

Eisenhower Matrix Ep 1.5.png

So here’s what we can do to help us plan and use our energy without any worries about what our energy will be like on any given day AND it is also a GREAT tool for incorporating more balance in our lives - so anyone out there who’s struggling with work-life balance, this tool can help you identify what you need to focus on most, and where you can maybe prune a bit.

  • Use a weekly to do list. And list your items in order of importance as much as you can.

  • Schedule in your non-negotiable time-senstive stuff on the calendar. AND ps - this is also a great time to schedule in your self-care and personal life stuff: block out time for moving your body during the day, for taking a satisfying lunch, make note of important family / friend commitments and create space between your scheduled tasks, like meetings and deadlines. The self-care stuff is NOT the icing on the cake, it is SUPER important to your health, well-being, AND your productivity!

  • Use the Eisenhower Matrix to help you figure out what your top 3 tasks are this week. These are the things that MUST be accomplished this week in order for you to stay on-track with your projects and the needs of your business. Everything after that is “extra”, (even though it doesn’t FEEL THAT WAY and it’s awesome to accomplish those because it creates more space for us in the next week.) THIS becomes especially important during high-stress /high-productivity requirement times like, launching a course or a program, when you’re time is limited because of factors outside of your control (like I ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, a pandemic shutting down schools for a year, or some other life-altering, unexpected, and consuming thing OR if your business is not your full time gig yet).

Karyn - I hope that answers your question about balancing your work with your energy! I could literally talk about this for days, but I covered some of the most immediately impactful stuff here - there are so many ways that we can work with the energy that we have to experience more ease, enjoyment, and EFFECTIVENESS in our businesses - whether we feel ready to conquer the world, or more like taking a nap, or somewhere in-between.

How do I balance work and life?

I get this question all. the. time. Usually paired with something about burnout. 

So the work-life balance question requires a LOT of personal detail to work through, so thank you so much for clarifying the many roles that you’re giving yourself to. We’ve already discussed a few tactics that can help you get a grasp on organizing your time and getting the most out of it. So definitely be using those tactics to help you organize and get focused.

I want to speak specifically about something we did not already talk about and that’s this phrase, WORK LIFE BALANCE. I’ve heard people talk about this like it’s some kind of panacea. I’ve heard people say that it’s a complete myth - that it doesn’t exist. And everything in between. I hear talk about this like,  if only I had work life balance then everything would fall perfectly into place! I’m not saying that’s you, Caren! Just to be clear. I’m just saying that the way we talk about this has created some confusion about what it really is. 

Work Life Balance is just getting the most of what you want from work and life and spending the time that facilitates that happening. That’s all it is. And the cornerstone of this is what you want. Often when we’re asked what we want, we answer with things we’ve been encouraged to want. Does that make sense? We want to be successful - and there are clear cultural symbols of success right - that’s what I’m referring to. It’s why you’ll hear people say “define what success is to you” but we never really hear how to do that. It’s like, just accepted that we’ll know how to answer that question for ourselves without taking into account the pressure we feel to align with our culture. 

So when we’re asked what we want, sometimes we don’t know! If this is an overwhelming question to answer, or you don’t have the words right away - or just simply can’t answer - there is a really good reason for that, and I don’t want you to get hung up on that. So if that’s where you are at, start with what you DON’T want. We are really good at knowing what we don’t want. We’ve experienced enough of those things that we know we don’t want them. So starting there and writing it down. What you don’t want in your work. What you don’t want in your life. And then it’s easier to experiment with what we DO want. 

There’s also another way to frame this, that makes it way easier to define success for ourselves: How do you want to feel? How do you want to feel in your work, and how do you want to feel in your life?  

When I talk about work life balance this way, inevitably someone asks me why am I talking about feelings? What does that have to do with this? Well. Work life balance is actually a FEELING not a STATE OF BEING. It’s not like there is some magic number of hours we spend in these different areas of work and life and suddenly we have work life balance. It really isn’t like that. Work life balance is an experience that we feel. It’s a mind-body experience. 

So here’s how to have more work-life balance,  and I’m not talking about organizing our time, I talking about FEELING BALANCED and how we get to that place:

  • know what you want your work to create for you, and how you want to feel about your work, what overarching feelings do you want to experience while you’re doing your work

  • Know what you want your life to create for you, and how you want to feel about your life, what what overarching feelings do you want to experience while you’re doing your life. And, so much of our life has to do with relationships, so being clear about how you want to show up for those relationships and how you want to feel about it can help you get clear on how to prioritize those things. Caren, you mentioned you’re many roles - each of those has relationships attached as well. Personal and professional. Knowing how those relationships and how you’re showing up for them makes you feel, knowing what feelings they are creating and what feelings you want to experience in them is a key piece of feeling balanced. Because when we are fulfilled in what we desire to FEEL, we feel balanced.

  • Once we know the answers to these question, we can make space for having what brings us those feelings. We can feel more fulfilled. Because work-life balance is a feeling, and we can create that feeling intentionally when we know what it is we want to feel.

    • One last thing - I’m not saying you should feel the way you want to feel 100% of the time. Studies have shown that anything between 20% - 40% of the time - especially in our work - is the sweet spot. So if you’re feeling EXACTLY what you want to feel 20-40% of the time, you’re probably feeling pretty balanced!

Talking about work life balance almost always leads to talking about BURNOUT, but burnout is not just the result of our balance being out of whack - it’s not about how much time we’re spending at work vs home, it’s not about overworking. Honestly it isn’t - those are just SYMPTOMS. It’s a very small piece of it. Burnout is not about you and your balance, it’s about your workplace and personal life circumstances. It’s not the person - it’s not you or whoever is experiencing the burnout, it’s situational. On the work side, if work is creating burnout - It’s often the result of a CULTURE, specifically one that has all the earmarks of what I call toxic capitalism - but it’s also referred to as hustle culture as well. 

Caren, I hope that you can use the tactics discussed in this interview to organize your time in a way that feels more spacious, and I hope that looking at work-life balance through the lens of how you want to feel helps you identify where you can intentionally create that feeling of balance.

Everyone out there, thank you so much for attending Attract your ideal paying clients. It’s been such an honor to connect with you and with the experts on this panel. Thank you so much! And I can’t wait to hear what action you’re taking because of this series - I’ve heard from some of you already and I’m so so thrilled to have been part of your entrepreneurial journey. 

Thank you so much for listening. There are hundreds of thousands of podcasts out there, and I’m stoked that you’ve chosen to listen to this one.

You can find a link to the show notes on my website - there will be links to everything that was mentioned in this episode, and every episode. 

 Go to www.changeagent.studio and click the podcast link.

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