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#80: Overwhelm in Business

Introduction

Welcome back to the Coaching Hive Podcast. This week, I have something that is probably near and dear to your heart in a way that you wish it wasn’t. And that is overwhelm in your business. Overwhelm is something that we hear a lot of talk about, and it’s because it’s everywhere, right? We, especially, as entrepreneurs, as business builders can feel that sense of overwhelm.

That there’s more to do, more to learn, and more to see. Then the amount of time we actually have to make that happen. And chances are, you have felt like you get something going and you turn around. And that one task has created five other tasks that now need your attention. And by the time you work through those five tasks, each of those five tasks have created their own set of five tasks.

And it feels like we are exponentially adding to the list of things to do inside your business. And then all of a sudden you go, whoa, I’m overwhelmed this week. We’re going to talk about that overwhelm. We are going to talk about the overwhelm that you feel in building your business. 

If you are ready to get started, grab your notebook, grab your tablet, whatever you’re using to take notes on today, get your water and a snack. And if you’re ready, with our theme of simplicity, clarity, and vision for 2022 in mind, let’s jump in!

Avoiding Overwhelm in Business

So I have to, I have to start off with a story today. I was creating a brand new webinar earlier in 2022, and I was super excited. I love webinars. I love the opportunity to go live in front of a group of people where we can interact and really make some progress together in the span of an hour or an hour and a half. And so I’m creating this webinar, I’m outlining everything that we’re going to talk about, getting those conversation questions outlined that have a good idea of how I want to have that interaction flow and I’m feeling good about it, honestly. 

And then I turned around and I realized, wait a minute. So once people sign up to attend the webinar, ah, man, I’ve got to have email reminders. Okay, I can do that. Great. So I write the email reminders and get them all scheduled and I think it’s fantastic. Okay, well, I’m making an offer during this webinar for my vision course inside the Coaching Hive.

And then I realized that means I have to update my sales page. Okay. I can do that. So, I update that. I have new testimonials that have to be loaded in, I’ve got some updates into the benefits of the vision course. I get all of that updated and realize once again, that I’m going to have to send some follow-up emails from the webinar.

I set about writing those and you can see where this is going with each task. I realized that there are other tasks that now need to be completed that need to be taken care of. And it’s easy to feel that overwhelm creeping in, even for something that you were super excited about. For instance, I was really excited about that webinar. And then I realize that the to-do list is getting longer and longer and longer.

And the overwhelm started to kick in. But if we let that overwhelm kick in and stay in, then our clients aren’t going to be able to get what they need from us. And even more importantly, we aren’t going to be able to get what we need from ourselves to live a fulfilled life. So we have to figure out how to kick overwhelm to the back seat or even out of the car, let them not even come along for the ride. 

And today I’d like to share with you three things that I have found most helpful. And these are things that we work on inside the Coaching Hive, the membership as well, particularly in our Coaching Hive Elite membership, where we meet one to two or sometimes three times a week to work on building a business.

Step 1: Slow down your timeline if you can. I know this isn’t always feasible or possible, but if you can slow down your timeline in your business, it gives you some breathing room. It gives you an opportunity to break down tasks that can be completed in chunks instead of these massive Boulder size things, right? We don’t want to have to complete the massive boulders.

What we want to do is complete each little pebble one step of the way each step of the way. If you slow down your timeline, it’s easier to do that. I will tell you, I am not always the best at doing this. My husband, Nate, will tell you that I rarely pick a reasonable timeline for getting the new things out the door or tested or launched.

I chose a webinar date and I said, I’m going to do this. And it was four weeks away. And we had a lot to do for it. When I launch something new, I don’t always give myself enough time. It’s something that in 2022, I have tried to be a little bit more conscious of so that I slow down the timeline and really give us as a family, not just me as a business owner, but us as a family, time to get things done and not sacrifice our quality of life at the same time. 

Okay. So the first thing that I would encourage you to do is see if you can slow down your timeline. It is fantastic to get out there, try, iterate, try, iterate. That is how we get better at things.

But if you’re trying, adjusting, trying, adjusting, or that iteration process is so compacted that it keeps you from getting enough sleep or it keeps your stress level through the roof, or it doesn’t even give your brain time to digest what has happened so that you can make a really good adjustment on that next iteration. Then it’s too fast, speaking as the queen of wanting to go fast.

I get that. You might be feeling a little bit of pushback inside right now thinking, Nope, I’ve got to get it done. And there are certainly plenty of reasons to do that. If you need that income right now, then you may need to push through. But when you get to a point where that’s not necessarily the case, I would highly encourage you to slow down the timeline.

Step 2: The second thing that is really important to do is to simplify.  Again, I’m a work in progress, and this is something that I have to constantly remind myself to do. I don’t know about you. Maybe you’ll tell me a little bit more about where you try to complicate things, but simplify, just do what’s needed. 

It doesn’t have to be fancy.

It doesn’t have to be the latest and greatest. It does have to be authentic. It does have to feel in alignment with who you are, who your business is, what you’re trying to accomplish. It does not have to be fancy. You do not have to have the latest software, the latest gadget, the latest or most updated software. You don’t have to have any of that.

In fact, some of the most successful business owners I’ve ever seen got started with a laptop on top of a box on top of a table with a cheap webcam to host a live. They had nothing fancy. They didn’t have fancy lighting. They didn’t have fancy software. They didn’t have fancy webinar tools. 

But what they did have was a strong understanding of who they are, what they wanted their business to be and how to simplify it, just to get it going because the key is to get it going. If you over-complicate things they tend to stall. So simplify.  Slow down your timeline.  Simplify. 

If you are, if you know anything about me, you know that there’s probably three things I’m going to suggest because three is kind of easy to remember, not as hard as five, it’s enough to keep you busy, right? 

Step 3: So here’s the third thing I want to chat with you about this week, when you’re feeling overwhelmed in your business. I was on a Facebook group for a membership that I’m a part of today and noticed someone saying I’m feeling really vulnerable right now, but I feel like I need some help.

And this person outlined the challenges that they were going through, what was working, what wasn’t and the fact that they are ready for something different to happen. They’re ready for some change. They were ready for help. That’s what they were doing. They were asking for help. So the third thing for today is to ask for help, reach out, think about what you need most help with.

What’s not working and think about how someone who has a different expertise or a different perspective could help you. Whether it is engaging with a mentor, finding a peer collaborator, or just having someone in your community, sit down with you. So you can get some of your ideas out. Because sometimes when we just speak our ideas out loud to someone else, we find the answer all on our own. And all they have to do is smile and nod. Overwhelm has been in business is common but not necessary. 

We are all going to experience the occasional burst of overwhelm, especially as new, big things are happening. When you launch a webinar, when you launch a new product or service, when you are trying something new out for the very first time, when you’re trying to get active on a social media platform, you’ve never been on before. There’s going to be a little bit of overwhelm. The key is that it’s not your normal state of being. It is a fluctuation that goes back to normal fairly quickly. Okay? So slow down, slow your timeline down, slow yourself down just a little bit.

Slow down to speed up is something that I hear quite often. And it really resonates a lot of times when we take the extra time on the front end, it means that the backend goes a little bit faster, slow down to speed up, simplify things, just do what’s necessary. Don’t worry about all the other fancy stuff. All of the extra things you could be doing.

When I listened to Jasmine Star talk about consistency on social media. She doesn’t say go post seven times a week or twice a day. Every single day. What she says is do what you can actually do and be consistent at if you can post once a week post once a week, if you can post three times, go for it. If you can do a post and a real each week, do that. The key is to do what works for you. And so if you are simplifying, you’re doing just what’s needed. Also keep in mind what works for you and do that. And then finally ask for help.

Action Item

This brings me to our action item for this week. And I bet you can guess what it might be. It is drum roll….

Please reach out for help, have something in mind that you could use help with. So this will take a little bit of sitting and thinking.  Think about what you need help with inside your business, or maybe it’s inside your life. Maybe if someone else could cook the meals this week, then you could get some of these big things off of your to-do list.

The key here is, regardless of whether you’re asking for help inside your business, inside your personal life, or some combination be specific in your request. A lot of times people say, well, let me know how I can help. And you say, oh no, I’m okay. Or, well, I just need more time. Okay. So that’s a great starting place.

I need more time, need more time to do what or what does need more time look like? Does it mean that I need to get everyone in your house, out of the house while you have quiet time to work? Does it mean that you need more time in that it would be helpful if I came over and did your laundry for you while you focus on your work tasks, does it mean that you need just something else entirely? 

The key is to be super specific because if you can be specific in your request is so much easier for someone to say, well, yeah, I can do that. No problem. And now you have the help you need. And the overwhelm starts to decrease. Okay, slow down the timeline, simplify, ask for help. And where I’d love for you to focus this week is asking for help.

Last Thoughts

What happens when you do these three things is that it gives you the fuel to keep going. It allows you to enjoy your business and it helps you to stay focused on what’s important. Recently 

I’ve had this kind of concept in mind at the forefront, just for our family and for my business. And what happened is I took an entire day and created a 90 day plan. And on that 90 day plan, it runs seven days a week because my business building happens at odd times each day, but I do take whole days off and where I’ll just have 15 minute tasks. So don’t worry. I’m still taking time.

But as a homeschool mom, as a college professor, and as an entrepreneur, I have to kind of work where it fits in. So for me, my 90-day plan includes all seven days of the week. And I took an entire day with my post-it note easel and my little post-it notes in various colors and came up with my big goals for the 90 days. And then I broke them down into how I was going to get them done on a day by day basis. What was I going to focus on? And I did this by filling in the stuff that I couldn’t miss. If I have a live call, I made sure that was noted. If I had to attend a live training, I did that so that I would know on those days, my time is more limited and I needed to choose a smaller task to complete in doing this. It helps reduce the overwhelm because I know how things are going to get done. And I know what I need to focus on if it’s not important right now, if it’s not one of my big goals for the 90 days is probably going to be set to the side or put into the bucket of if I have extra time at the end of 90 days, somehow I move through everything faster than I can work on that. What happens is there’s more focus, there’s less overwhelmed, there’s more enthusiasm and enjoyment of the business building process. And it just really fuels you to keep going. 

So this week let’s think about that. Overwhelm, think about how to manage it, how to reduce the overwhelm by reaching out for help, have something in mind that you could use help with, and then be specific in your request for help. I hope that you got some ideas for how to reduce overwhelm in your business, or maybe you’ve noticed someone else who has been experiencing overwhelm in their business, and you can pass along some of these ideas or even this podcast episode to them so that they can in turn, maybe reach out for some help.

That’s all I have for you today. I look forward to seeing you back here next week for another episode of the Coaching Hive Podcast, where a focus on mentoring and community removes the overwhelm of building your successful and profitable business and adds in a dose of momentum.

Until next time, have a healthy, safe, and happy week!

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