Hello Sausages, If you are an overthinking, procrastinating, people-pleasing worrywart – how do you ever get shit done and move your business forward instead of stagnating and staying stuck?
I’m going to give you my 7 Core Principles that help me overcome some of my habits and traits to make business and life simpler, happier and easier.
Number 1. Done is better than perfect.
Oof. This podcast is a perfect example of this. I first planned this in 2019 at Janet Murray’s 2020 sorted conference.
I got guests lined up. I had plans in place. But I dithered. As it had to be perfect. Video or podcast or both. Live interviews or recorded. This platform or that. Weekly or monthly.
I’m a perfectionist. Yet I also don’t believe that perfection is attainable in the day-to-day world of business. There has to be a point where I say ‘this is good enough. This is done.’ Or I could go on making tweaks and tinkering and improving ‘just one more thing’ and never finish the job.
So I started with done is better than perfect. A point at which I can let go.
With the podcast, I’m not happy with the name. The sound quality. The platform. But meh!!!
I can come back and improve at a later date. Or change things. But I’m not sitting on this for another 3 years waiting for the whole concept and plan to be ‘perfect’.
Number 2. What’s the worst that can happen.
This principle actually came about from some CBT I undertook many years ago because I was being bullied in the workplace. I was looking into grievances and whistleblowing but was terrified of the consequences. In the first session, the therapist asked me ‘what’s the worst that could happen’ if I took a certain course of action. And it was just a mind-blowing question that made me realise that I was keeping myself stuck.
That not taking any action or making a decision – is in fact a decision to stay the same. So the only way for things to change – was for me to move in a direction of my choosing.
I now use this when I’m stumped with what to do. I use it in life and business. For everything from should I paint the ceiling a bright orange to deciding on a business idea – like this podcast. What’s the worst that can happen if I do the podcast and it fails? Say I actually manage to record episodes. Even promote it. And no one listens. Well… I tried it! All I’ve lost is some time. I’m using Anchor to do it in – a free service owned by Spotify. I’m using my phone. The worst that can happen is a bruised ego and a few lost hours.
This is why I’ve also reframed ‘failures’. Failures and fuckups are just opportunities for me to grow. To assess, adapt and improve. #winningfailure
Number 3. Have a Plan B.
And maybe the workings of a Plan C… This has been a cornerstone principle for possibly most of my life. Having a plan B in case things aren’t going to plan. This is something I can talk about for hours! The system I use for planning stuff is actually called the Shit Hits Fan Plan. I use it with all my clients and in my life.
But why is it important to have a plan B? So you’re prepared you Silly Sausage!
If something goes wrong, you have a backup plan. You can also identify what could go wrong in advance and take steps to lessen the chances of it occurring. Also, if shit hit the fan, you have a plan and steps ready to go.
I use it in my personal life whether it’s for walks with the chap -for instance, I like to have a map something in case it rains, snacks and water, a fully charged phone, alternative route ideas in case we encounter issues etc. You get the picture, I prepare for every eventuality my mummy bag is a standing joke amongst friends. I have cables and tech gear in a small makeup bag. I have pills and potions and a mini sewing kit and a glasses repair kit in another little bag. I have hankies just in case, a mini umbrella, always have a book to read a notepad and pen and a spare one. Just in case I break down in the car… or maybe I decide on the spur of the moment to work from a cafe for a day. I have all my gadgets with me.
But in all seriousness, I like to have a plan B for most things in business. If my clients are mid-launch and say ConvertKit goes down, we regularly backup and download the list. So I just need to make a quick trial account elsewhere. Maybe in Mailerlite, import the list. Our email copy is stored in Google Docs. So I quickly add the next emails in the automation and so on. So there might be an hour’s timeout, but we can be up and running on another platform pronto.
I recommend regular Google workspace backups. These include G Drive, Gmail, and all manner of Google products. It’s called a Google Takeout. Look it up.
I backup my Mac to separate cloud storage just in case. So if Google goes down as it has done in the last 12 months, I can at least access docs in the backup. I have my Gmail email, go through Apple Mail as well in the background – so I always have a copy to refer back to if Gmail is inaccessible. I can at least see some of my emails. I also have my contacts backed up so worst case scenario, I can inform them from a separate email account of the issues if it’s an ongoing issue or deadlines are looming.
Number 4. Rebel against expectations
Logos, freebies, business model, sales funnels, marketing, income levels, Instagram reels…
Don’t follow the herd.
Step away and think about what’s right for you. Your business, stage, model, size and budget. Your business goals. You. Does the advice go against your core beliefs on how to act in business?
I started out in 2004 with a logo I made based on a plant sticker I’d seen and colours I liked. It had a chameleon in it and a play on the words Karma. It filled me with joy as all I heard when I looked at it was the Boy George song…
My current logo was designed by my then 16 year old son in Indesign. It cost me a takeaway.
Has anyone told me to my face that’s why they won’t work with me? Nope. Yet I see it a lot in some groups – if your logos are done in Canva or not by the branding designer elite… you aren’t a serious business etc etc. Not that you just aren’t at a point where it’s necessary/affordable etc.
I was told in one paid mastermind that I needed a Freebie if I wanted my business to grow. I needed an email list. A sales funnel. Weekly newsletter. Yada yada yada. Never mind I couldn’t see how that would all work for my new business and business model. I held myself back for years because of some of this advice. Thinking I wasn’t good enough. Thinking that everyone else had their shit together and until I could tick all these boxes – stay quiet. Stay safe. Stay small. Don’t attract attention because you aren’t doing the prescribed actions according to the gurus.
Meh. 8 years later. I still don’t have an email list to speak off. The poor souls on there (mainly my folks and early adopters of a freebie I felt forced into and dropped) – well they haven’t been getting regular emails. Cough. 4 in as many years. Lead magnets/freebie/funnels etc. I’m only just working on them now with my lovely VA Molly that I’ve started working with this year – as now is the right time for me and my business.
Don’t even get me started on the ‘how to get a 6/7/8 figure business’ courses I see, that make me feel like I’m not enough for just wanting the business to afford me the lifestyle I want (and it’s not an über glamorous one either!). I just want to be happy, healthy and comfortable. I know some of that is my insecurities talking but it’s ok to not want the big shiny things. Yet. Now. Whichever. It’s ok to do things your way. It’s ok to stay small. To grow steadily. To be an introvert. An extrovert. To be neurodivergent. To run a business just on Facebook or using no social media.
Make your business work your way. Never mind the expectations placed on you by society, peers and folks closer to home. Don’t let the expectations and ‘rules’ of others make life or business boring, bland and a chore to do.
Number 5. Trust in the unfolding.
This is as woo as I get. Maybe… I used to describe myself as really not Woo. And I realised I can’t say that when I have beliefs like trust in the unfolding. So let’s describe myself as Woo Curious.
A quote I’ve seen that sums this up nicely is “The greatest war undertaken is within yourself. Since you create mental anguish when life does not go according to plan. Consider they may be a greater plan for you beyond what you believe is conceivable” this was an article by Tony Fahkry.
To me – trust in the unfolding is a mishmash of spirituality and a positive mental attitude – the idea that there is something more to life than just the here and now. I suppose this comes out more when life throws a clanger in the works and things derail. I’ve suffered from depression to varying degrees on and off since being a teenage mom. And maybe this is my way of putting a positive spin on things.
Didn’t get the job I really wanted. That was okay. It means something even better there for me. It’s like the universe is sending me a little test. You tried hard. This didn’t work out but just wait, just wait. There’s something better coming, Rebecca.
Our relationship ends. It’s okay. It was meant to. It served its purpose in my life’s journey and better things are on the horizon.
Customer left or didn’t pay. That’s okay. I needed a wake-up call to strengthen my boundaries, contracts, and services… and it’s made room for new and better clients.
Do you see where I’m going with this? Just put a spin on it, decide that this all happened for a reason, you’re learning something from it, and better things are on the horizon.
Number 6. Adulting – is essential.
And when I say adulting, I mean, the Real Adulting. Not just getting up, earning money, paying bills, buying food, eating food, going to sleep, getting up doing work, maybe socialising, etc, etc.
I mean, making the plans that will put things in place for the future, for after you’ve gone for if there’s an accident, to cover yourself legally and financially now. And in the future.
For instance, I’m 48. And I didn’t have a pension. Well – I do now, but I have had one for just over one year! And apart from a few little pensions, perhaps I’ve paid into a year or two here and there over my working life – I have no real nest egg put away for when I retire. So I am adulting a lot right now and it’s been a wake-up call. I’ve sorted out a pension that I am paying into heavily now because of my age and the age I want to retire.
Legally, what if something happens to me? How will my children manage? Wrapping up my business? What will people have to do? Will they know what we’re trying to paperwork? Have I got a will? I made a will when my children were young, my children are now 22 and 28. So that will is long gone? I don’t even know where to find the will. What do I want for a funeral? What do I want to happen? What happens if I’m injured, and someone needs to make serious medical decisions on my behalf, who’s going to do that my adult children, my partner that I don’t live with my parents, my elderly parents, I’m going to ask them to decide.
So that’s adulting – the scary decisions that make you feel a bit like vomiting in your mouth, that you’ve put off, or have decided aren’t for you or to ignore. Make a list of them. And bit by bit work through them. It’s not as bad once you’re sorted with them. And the relief I feel from knowing that there are plans in place that if something happens to me, I’ve got a special thing put in place now. So my pension which would disappear into the ether is now set up to be paid to my partner. That is a special thing you have to request for these things (in the UK). Belting is just we get so trapped working week to week in our businesses and making enough money to pay the bills that we aren’t looking to the future. We aren’t really protected. We’re just working year on year, living the same year, maybe making a bigger profit some years. But what’s our end goal? Are we going to sell the business, keep the business fold the business. We need to decide these things now. And we need to put things in place. So we are protected and ready. Should these things happen? Adulting – I’ll be covering this more in further episodes!
Number 7. Love yourself.
It says what it does on the tin. Be kind in how you talk to yourself and about yourself. You matter just the way you are. And there’s nothing wrong with who you are as a person. I’m not everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s okay. I can be sarcastic, quirky, got dark humour. I am a very individual sausage and not everyone’s palate. And I don’t care anymore. It used to cripple me with anxiety trying to conform to what I thought people wanted of me. But nowadays, I just love myself for who I am. And that’s good enough for me.
There are a few things that didn’t quite make the list, and I reserve the right to change my mind at any second of the day. These are things I do love and abide by as much as I can. One of my favourite ones is something my mom taught me ‘not my circus, not my monkeys’. I am one of those people that gets over-invested and over-involved in situations outside my control or remit. Which is definitely why I struggled in a 9-5 in the past, I kind of want to move outside of my little job box and interfere in other boxes and fix them. So, ya know, self-employment is amazing for me, I can play with all the boxes as often as I want. But I do have to remind myself sometimes that certain situations are just, they’re not my circus, not my monkeys, it’s not for me to interfere, intervene, or worry about, I have to let those things go and just leave people to whatever they’re doing.
One of the other things I’m passionate about is there is no such thing as one size fits all. I’m 6 foot. And I found that there is no one such thing as one size fits all in clothing anymore. And there’s the same for business. I see a lot of people selling courses that are going to teach you how to make 6 figures, 7 figures – follow exactly what this person’s done… and you will have the exact same level of success. Run your business this way, be a coach this way. Do it like this, use a system just like this. But it doesn’t take into account your uniqueness. So no, there is no such one size fits all in life or business. Not that I found anyway.
And that’s it. I’m Rebecca. I’m really grateful if you got this far. And I’ll see you next time.