Death, taxes + “fuck this shit” moments. All of these are inevitable, if you’re working for yourself in any capacity.
Personally, I like to end “those” days by slamming the laptop shut. Ahhhh, slamming feels good, doesn’t it? (I miss flip phones for this. I will always love you, Razr!)
Fight Club was right :: you are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. We all share these same feelings. All of us go through this. If you’re challenging yourself, if you’re showing up better every day, if you have the cajones to put yourself out there every day… OVERWHELM IS GOING TO HAPPEN!!
The key to saving your sanity is 1) to UNDERSTAND WHY the overwhelm is happening; and 2) KNOW WHAT to do about the various forms in which it shows up.
This post is meant to act as a cheat sheet for your WTF feelings + provide immediate insight to the reason why your “fuck this shit” is showing. Because feelings may be hard, but my jam is to make your biz shiz feel easier. Even if it requires the occasional tissue!
THE FEELING OF WANTING TO THROW YOUR LAPTOP OUT OF A WINDOW
Here’s a spoiler alert about every magic trick you’ve ever seen performed :: an elaborate set-up is in place to make the magic happen. It was a well-thought-out process with a lot of moving parts behind the scenes for that “wow factor” to happen so seamlessly.
So when everyone else is talking about this specific piece of software like it’s magic?… it has a lot less to do with the software + a lot more about how you make that software work for you.
Technically, your gut feeling to throw your computer out the window is right. You actually shouldn’t even have the laptop turned on when you start planning out a magical process. Why? Because there isn’t a single free trial out there that can replace your brain or strategy. Software is designed to replace your actions. YOU, my dear boss, still have to be the one who establishes that concrete game plan for what is going to happen.
So what would such a plan entail? I’m glad you asked! Because anything you plan to automate or outsource will require for you to have an OUTLINE for each step that goes into the process you’re planning to delegate.
For instance ::
- Wanna make SERVICE SALES MAGIC with a CRM like Dubsado or Honeybook?
A concrete plan for this would mean you are clear about how you want your clients to be managed. It means you have ::1) MAPPED OUT EACH STEP OF YOUR CLIENT EXPERIENCE, including the onboarding + off-boarding process (aka :: a workflow);2) prepared + WRITTEN ALL THE COPY FOR YOUR EMAILS, FORMS + QUESTIONNAIRES ahead of time; and then you can finally3) Identify + REGISTER FOR THE TECH OR SOFTWARE that will make that happen.
- Wanna make EMAIL MARKETING MAGIC using a service like ConvertKit/Sava or ActiveCampaign?
Start by 1) ESTABLISHING YOUR EMAIL MARKETING GOALS; to then2) write out + identify which TAGS you will be using to track your leads; and finally3) draw out (yes, literally, draw it!) your EMAIL AUTOMATIONS/FUNNELS so you can have the visuals to wrap your brain around how you will be directing your subscribers like you’re air traffic control.
Not sure where to start when it comes to establishing marketing goals? Start with what you already know about how your peeps behave. I have 4 free Google Analytics Dashboards to help you see this sort of thing in a snap.
Multi-tasking is a lot like communism :: it seems like a good idea until you put it in practice. Your brain can’t think strategically about your client’s journey while also high-tailing it in tech learning mode. Apply your brain power to one area at a time + it always – always! – starts with the strategy + the “why” that drives it.
Software + tech does not make your life easier; THE STRATEGY BEHIND THE WAY YOUR SOFTWARE IS SET-UP IS WHAT MAKES YOUR BIZ LIFE EASIER! You don’t just buy a rabbit + a hat with the hope that the two will connect. You have to map out – literally! by taking the strategy out of your brain + putting it on paper – as to how the two are going to connect if you expect to pull off any kind of magic tricks.
THE FEELING THAT YOU WEREN’T CUT OUT FOR THIS
You created courses that aren’t selling + you have packages nobody buys. Meanwhile, it feels like everyone else is bragging about all the clients, all the money, all the record-breaking sales. This sucks.
The first thing you need to realize is that the Facebook ads promising you 6 figures in 6 days from their Eiffel Tower photo shoot?… dude. If it were that easy, we’d all have crêpe on our face.
This thing takes time :: time to develop REAL RELATIONSHIPS + ONLINE AUTHORITY, time to develop CLEAR MESSAGING that your ideal clients connect with, time to BUILD YOUR REPUTATION as someone who CONSISTENTLY SHOWS UP.
P.S. It also takes the accompanying action for all of the above to happen! You have to PUT IN THE WORK to develop those relationships, the work to GET CRYSTAL CLEAR about what you offer + how your people talk about the problem you’re aiming to fix, the work of SHOWING UP EVERY DAY saying the same thing over + over again (and doing it all over again tomorrow like it’s mother-trucking Groundhog Day – because hey! I told you it ain’t as glamorous as that newsfeed suggest).
It takes a long ass time + years of really good, focused work to become an overnight success. Believe me when I tell you that you ARE cut out for this… it is just a matter of whether you’re able +/or willing to continue putting in the time + effort it takes for the pay-off to happen.
One thing you can do to minimize the feeling of not being good enough is to surround yourself with people who know you are. No, I’m not talking about joining (yet another!) Facebook Group; instead, join a mastermind or perhaps a group course with a community angle to it. Find like-minded bosses who are at the same sort of level (or just a little ahead) as you because if you ask anyone you look up to what the biggest game-changer was to their growth? Expect an overwhelming response to be about how their growth was a direct result of the people they’ve surrounded themselves with!
THE FEELING OF WANTING TO QUIT/GOING BACK TO THE 9-TO-5
Oh, hello pressure + expectation. You old friend, fancy seeing you here!
In Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic, she warns against putting too much pressure on your creativity. She talks about how it doesn’t want or thrive under the responsibility of making money for you, and how it doesn’t owe you that. In fact, she worked a regular day job until Eat, Pray, Love was the Oprah-supported smash hit that allowed her the financial freedom that no longer required the day job to sustain herself… but that she continues to work in a way where it isn’t her creativity’s job to financially sustain her. That isn’t part of the contract she has with her writing.
The feeling of wanting to quit everything or go back to a “regular” job is 100% rooted in escapism. Whether you are a creative boss or you’re a very practical service-based boss, this feeling exists as a means of telling you that there is too much responsibility being put into one area + you need to address this, you need to spread out the obligations you’ve been taking on.
Whether that means you have to start delegating some of your workload…
Or maybe you need to get a part-time gig to release some of the financial pressure + onus that’s on your shoulders to create + produce “sale-able” work…
Heck, maybe it’s time for well-deserved vacation or time out!
Generally, this isn’t actually a feeling about quitting but it is a clear indication that you need to unburden some of the weight of what you’ve been taking on.
THE FEELING OF “HO! LEE! GENIUS!” THAT DRIVES YOU TO CHANGE THE ENTIRE COURSE OF WHAT YOU’VE BEEN DOING
I mean, you even have the perfect name for this stroke of genius… and the mother-trucking domain is available!
Aight. I get it. I’ve been there. We all have! Because creative geniuses like us generate allllllll the best ideas. (And we have a stack of unused purchased domains to show for it!)
Unfortunately, though, for any of this genius to pay off, you will have to choose one or two of those brilliant ideas + make the commitment to stick with them. Follow-through is the name of the game + sticking to the plan you made is how you actually make anything worthwhile in this space. The further you stray from your commitment to the original idea, the more you postpone your growth.
Does this mean you have to let these ideas pass you by? Hell nah! You can totally act on them… but maybe not right now.
HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH BEING BRILLIANT? Create a brain dump list where all your genius ideas can go to live. You can do this with an Asana or Trello board, or you can keep it simple with a notepad (digital or analog!). Whatever your preference, your ideas will be safe on your brain dump list + you’ll be able to focus on seeing through the plans you made for your original idea to gain some traction with it. Once your quarter is through, you can go back to your list of brilliant ideas where you can choose to plot + plan your next 90 days.
If you find yourself changing your course mid-stream a whole lot, though, you may want to #realtalk with yourself. This is a classic upper limit, cock-blocking move all creative bosses pull on themselves. When it becomes a trend, it’s a good idea to put your finger on the pulse as to why you’re self-sabotaging yourself by, ooh! squirrel!
Again, this feeling – and its growth-blocking consequences! – become a strategy issue. You need a strategy, you need a plan + you need to remind yourself every. damned. day. as to what that is + why it’s important.
Feelings are always – always! – a symptom that something isn’t right, that you’re off-track. They’re like an ominous itch warning you that there’s something you need to take care of before the problem spreads + worsens. But if you listen closely enough, your feelings can act as the superpower that keeps you aligned to your path of success.