In this episode we look at a more intuitive, healthier way to invest in your business success. Rather than applying maximum effort, when you're already operating at 110%, you can create space around yourself first, for your ideas to thrive.
This is episode five can you believe it! And today, we are going to go quite deep into creating the space to build a new business venture, this year in 2020.
During these episodes, I encourage probably the most busiest people on the planet, to start businesses, to build income leveraged streams etc. Those busiest people are you, mamas!
There’s a saying ‘if you want something done, you ask the busiest person.’ Because we are busy mums, we know how to get things done. We are masters (unfortunately) at multitasking – which isn’t always healthy.
So that’s not the problem. Starting a business, we’ll figure it out okay.
But do you actually have space to create a business that thrives?
By space I mean – mental, physical, emotional, financial etc. – just space in your life.
You’re probably already really conscious of where you choose to place your focus, to spend your time, and spend your money and your energy.
These are all super limited resources. So for me to say ‘hey you should do this new thing and build this new income stream and just do that’ would be just pointless because, you never seem to have enough time anyway right?!
You never have enough time, money, energy, focus. All of that stuff is so limited.
But here’s the problem for us mamas. Here you are, this super resourceful, smart, driven person who really wants to make a big improvement to yours and your family’s future. But, you’re already operating at 110%!
This podcast is about creating healthy wealth in motherhood. So what we want to address here, is how do you actually build this new business venture, this new income stream, or however you choose to improve your family’s wealth in the future – how do you do that in a healthy way when you’re already operating at 110% plus?
This is where I’d like to introduce an analogy. I’m a coach so I love analogies! Don’t worry, it’s not going to be super abstract for the entire podcast, we will go practical on this.
What I want to introduce you to is the concept of your garden. What this garden represents, is where your time and money and energy has been going up to this point.
Don’t worry if you’re a terrible gardener in real life, it’s okay, I’m not so hot either! You’re not doomed by using this exercise.
But, let’s look at this garden of yours, and I was saying you’re at 110% so your garden is full. It’s kind of bursting at the seams if we’re honest.
The seeds that you’ve been planting, all these business ventures and ways to increase wealth to improve your life etc. These seeds they’ve been sprouting right, but there is a fight for space. There isn’t actually a lot of resources to go around.
So these ideas that you’re having, for businesses or income streams or whatever, these ideas are not going to flourish if they don’t get the love that they need. These plants in your garden, these ideas, they might sprout, but they’re not going to flourish, they’re not going to grow to their full potential if they don’t have what they need.
Sunshine, for us it’s our attention. That sunshine – your attention, that goes where-ever it is needed in order to be able to grow and thrive. They’re not going to grow when this attention is really patchy. If you don’t have the attention to give it, that sunshine is not going to shine on those new sprouts, so they’re not going to thrive.
So you’ve got to be regularly watering them, pruning them, fertilising them – all of those gardening analogies that work so perfectly to describe growing ideas.
So what do you do? You’ve got this garden and it’s quite full, and you want to grow something new in it. You want it to be really, really awesome. What do you do?
Of course, you’re going to need to make some space. Great.
But, you can’t just rip it all out and start again. As you probably know by now, I’m not an advocate for going full, 100%, bloody minded just get this done. I’m more of a sustainable action type of person. And that’s what I recommend for you too. So, you’re not going to rip out all of the plants from your garden just to make space for something brand new.
Because, there are probably some really beautiful things in that garden, that you probably want to stay. Like relationships, and families, and people, and careers and all these things are growing in your garden and you’ve tended to them. You don’t just want to rip them out to make way for something new.
So, let’s get a little more practical here. What are you going to do? You’re going to start obviously with the weeds. You’re going to start weeding your garden. All the really obvious things – you know they’re weeds, you can look at them and go ‘yeah, I know that’s a weed’, they’re really obvious and you can just pull them out.
These weeds are time and resource sucks, so they’re taking away attention and space, etc. So they might be things like, checking your phone twenty times a day and that might be a weed that you know has to go.
You start with these weeds, and you start taking them out, and they’re gone and that’s really great. And this does create a little bit of breathing space for the plants, trees and things that remain in your garden, and that’s great.
But now you’ve got some breathing space you don’t necessarily want to fill that up immediately with something else right? Even with those weeds gone, there’s probably still not enough space (unless you’ve got a really super weedy garden).
There’s not enough space to really grow anything of significance.
Because when we’re talking about creating a new business venture or an income stream, we don’t just want to be hammering away at low return on investment things. That is not such a wise investment of time.
We’re looking at creating something substantial and significant. So we need more space to do that. We need to be able to give it more attention, to give it more mental energy, to give it more finances. Physical space even, you might need.
You can’t really grow anything of significance if you haven’t cleared enough space.
So next you might want to look at the value of each thing that is left in your garden.
Let’s say you’ve done the weeding and it looks quite nice. You’ve got a few big trees here and a few small things here, a patch of this here and a patch of that there. You look at each of those things and go ‘right well what am I actually getting from this item in my virtual garden?’
‘Oh, this apple tree, it’s huge! It’s taking up so much space.’ But, if you’re really honest with yourself, those apples are shizz every year. They’re sour, or the birds usually get to them first, and you never get to enjoy them anyway. There’s a fairly low return on investment. All that space you’re giving that apple tree and all the care and attention you’re giving it, and all it’s giving you is shitty fruit. Well, that’s not cool.
You might think of that apple tree like a big relationship, or an obligation that you have, that you have always put time and space into. But, if you’re not getting much out of it, you might want to reconsider its place there.
But again, you’re not just going to rip it up. You and this apple tree, you’ve got history. So you can’t just go along and say ‘see you later, get out of here.’ But maybe, you can just pay a little less attention to it.
Maybe you don’t prune it as much, maybe you don’t go looking for those apples so much, maybe you just let them fall. That’s okay, let the birds have those apples, fine. Maybe you just see what happens to that tree naturally if you stop paying it attention.
You might have some really hard choices to make here. And some you might not be ready to address. These are relationships, and obligations and investments. Investments of time or money, etc. You might just want to look at those and go ‘yeah, we’ve got to address this but I’m not ready.’
That’s okay. You can see it there, just maybe not pay it so much attention.
So maybe you’ve made some decisions at this point about what to prune, what to remove, what to give more time and energy to.
The deciding will take some time and energy, but it’s also the work involved to carry out those decisions.
If you’ve decided to remove one of these virtual plants from your garden, then there’s work involved in doing that. And there’s also work involved if say there’s a relationship that you need to prune back or there’s an obligation that you need to stop. There is work in order to carry that through.
If you’re lucky, you might get to this point and find that you’ve actually created enough space for a business – for that seed you planted – to actually thrive! There’s enough space for you to be able to pay enough attention to it, to give it what it needs to thrive. That is a massive win. You might get to this point and have that unfold in front of you and that is wonderful.
However, you know the nature of weeds. Weeds are a product of your environment. You still need to do regular weeding, and keep on top of it, or all of a sudden you’re over-run again by weeds, because they’ll come back.
Weeds might be like little bad habits that you’ve got, habits are habitual and they’ll come back. You’ve got to stay on top of these things and tend to your garden regularly if you want to keep creating that space or hold that space.
But some of you might get to this very point and have some pretty big questions in your head.
You might be looking at your garden and maybe it doesn’t make much sense to the goals that you have.
You’ve got this garden and maybe you started growing it when you were much younger, when you had different goals. Now your goals have changed and does this garden still serve the purpose you had originally intended it to back then?
Maybe, you have a perfectly tended, high yield vegetable garden, that actually feeds your entire family. That sounds, on the face of it, to be a really good thing (I’d love that).
But it requires a lot of hard work. You’ve got to put a lot of work into a vegetable garden to get the right vegetables growing in the right places and turn the soil over at the right time and pick things at the right time. That is a whole lot of work and attention that needs to go into that.
So what if you get to this point, and you’re questioning things because actually, you’ve always dreamed about having a flower garden.
You’d really love to sit in the evenings in your flower garden, and that would really spark joy for you, sitting in the lovely fragrant flowers.
But you’ve got this vegetable garden and you’re questioning if you really want that.
This is where the new perspective is going to come in. What are you going to do at this point?
You might maybe just consider buying the vegetables instead.
Even though you have put a lifetime’s worth of work into growing that vegetable garden, maybe you just want to buy those vegetables now and plant the flower garden that you’ve always dreamed of, and it’s going to give you what you really want for your future – sitting around that fragrant flower garden in the evening, while you buy your vegetables from the local farmers market etc.
These are the questions you need to pose to yourself: is this garden actually serving me anymore? Is it serving me in the way I need for the future?
That’s okay, these questions will come up and that’s a good thing.
Ok so if you’re struggling with the abstract concept of the garden, then you might want something a little bit more black and white to work with. So now we’re going to talk about how to apply this in your life – the garden analogy in real life.
Like a budget, you really need to get some transparency first. You need to understand firstly, where your resources are going – whether that resource is time, money, energy, focus, emotional investment. You need to understand where it’s going first.
Tracking is always a good thing. If you are looking at the time you’re spending, then you would perhaps track your time for a week and see where it’s going. And if you’re looking at the money you’re spending, track with a budget or ramp it up and use something like Pocketsmith to categorise all your spending.
You need to get that aerial view of where your resources are going and then at that point you can assess – what are your weeds? What things do you value, or not? What is the purpose of this garden? Is it fulfilling the needs that you have now and in the future? Is it meeting those needs?
It might help, and it certainly has helped me, to get in touch with your intuition here. Because when we are operating in a thinking state, when we’re thinking about things and we’re assessing and we’re critiquing and we’re very critical, that is our critical mind, giving us an assessment based on what it can see. What you really want to tap into is your intuition, and that is your subconscious mind.
In order to do that you can do things like a visioning exercise. Sit down in a quiet place and imagine what your life is like in 5 years’ time, or in 10 years’ time, or in 20 year’s time and experience it in your mind. Look at the things that you’re doing on a daily basis and what’s making you happy, what doesn’t.
What your subconscious mind is able to tell you is based on your gut instinct and everything it knows about all of your experiences. Because you can’t possibly recall all of the things you need to know to make a good decision when your brain is fully awake.
Tapping into your intuition is going to really help you make better decisions that are more aligned with what you really want out of your life.
You could do that visioning exercise and then journal it out. Get out a journal and start writing about your thoughts and feelings – about how you feel. Just get it out, that’s your intuition talking to you and that will give you some really good insights into what your weeds are, what you value and what you don’t etc.
Then you can start making some decisions, but this could be overwhelming for some people. Maybe there’s a lot of stuff you think ‘gosh, maybe I need to do something about that.’
You’ve probably heard this advice from me before: start with one thing, just do one thing.
Lift one weed, clear one space, one little thing, and that is going to clear a little bit of space for you.
Let’s say you watch Netflix every night until 10pm and therefore you don’t get up until… 6am. What if you slowly started to watch less Netflix? I’m only using this example because I’ve done it myself. If you started watching less Netflix, and getting up a little bit earlier – what could you make space for then?
I get up at 4.30am in the morning, 4 out of 5 weekdays, most weeks. And I journal, and I write out my podcasts, and I write blog posts and this is the time that my brain is at its most creative, most open and most intuitive. Working at that time in the morning isn’t work to me, I absolutely love it.
But I had to address the weeds that was the late night Netflix watching. I didn’t rip it all out at once. I slowly cut back. But to be honest, I still watch Netflix, I just don’t watch it until late. Usually I am asleep by 8.30pm – 9pm. If you balked at that hey, it’s all good, everyone is different and that’s fine.
So you start with one thing, and what that does – clearing that little space does – gives another plant (another idea), an opportunity to grow into that space.
Or maybe it just gives you a little bit of breathing space. Who doesn’t like that?
I feel like when we do it this way, we’re creating healthy wealth in a good way, which is so super important when you’re a busy mum who has dreams.
Creating wealth in a healthy way, is going to ultimately give you what you are seeking, and that is happiness, and a happy life with your family.
We don’t set out to be rich right, we don’t just go hunting for the money. It is about creating more happiness for ourselves and our families.
I’ve been through mental health issues myself, with anxiety and depression and post-natal depression. I’m a huge advocate for pursuing our dreams in a sustainable way because this is what gives us purpose, in a healthy way.
I ultimately want you all to be fulfilled and happy, and fulfilling your potential, but not at the expense of your health and your happiness.
Create a little bit of space, even if you’re not intending on creating a new income stream, or a business or anything. Maybe you just need a little bit more space in your life, and that can benefit all of us.
There might be some hard questions to ask here, that’s cool. If you want to chat about it with me, I’m more than happy to because I’ve been there myself.
Just start with one thing, one little thing and create a little bit of extra space. And if it’s not your business that’s thriving, it will be you. And that is what is so important to us today.
What are your takeaways from this episode? Do you have any blindingly obvious weeds that you need to go and sort those weeds out right now?
What are the trees that maybe aren’t giving you the best return on investment and what are you going to do about those trees? You know you’re not going to rip them out right? Or maybe you are! What are those trees?
Do you have a vegetable garden when you’d rather have a fragrant flower garden? (I actually have neither, I have cat poo all through my garden, and that has to change! Okay, I’m telling you right now, I’m going to do something about that and I’m going to post it on Instagram to inspire you!)