“But I thought it was divine!” wailed Julia*, my private business coaching client.
(*Nope, that’s not Julia’s real name.)
We had just spelunked through the motivations behind her decision to attend yet another training that she thought would help her expand her business.
While she had many splendid reasons that made the training seem like a perfect opportunity, she realized that her choice had actually been motivated by deep-seated subconscious feelings of loneliness, unworthiness and craving external recognition with a side dose of fear and desperation.
Julia had been challenging herself to THINK BIGGER – and that often translated to WORK HARDER. Yet working harder is rarely the answer to any problem when you have the perfectionist, overachiever tendencies (as me & my peeps tend to have). So when she looked at the bigger picture that included ALL her commitments, the training didn’t serve her – or her business.
Like many of my clients, Julia has a crazy amount of responsibility on her plate (don’t we all these days?!?) as a six-figure heart-based entrepreneur, coach and single mama who is actively growing her business and offering transformational destination retreats.
For everyone I talk to – life and business, feels mighty intense these days!
Many of us are struggling with cash flow issues, technology challenges,and having way more ideas than time or trying to overcome the fear to take a leap into a bigger vision for ourselves and our businesses – while remembering our health and happiness. New problems seem to pop up every day and it feels like there’s never enough time to deal with them.
Quite frankly, we feel like our pants are on fire!
With all the stressors of life and biz, it can be challenging to figure out what to say “yes” or “no” to, how to prioritize what most needs to happen in your business – AND still stay sane and take care of yourself.
So before you add ONE MORE item to your “to do” list, how do you know if it’s perfectly “divine” or not a wise decision?
Here’s my 3 step decision-making solution.
Pick a decision you need to make – whether it’s around another project, training, social engagement or business opportunity. Could be… Should I say “yes” to presenting at this conference? Should I work on building my website? Is doing a webinar the way to market my retreat?
Got your question in mind? Good.
Now, as my firefighting hubby teaches our kiddos in case of a fire,
I want you to STOP. DROP. AND ROLL.
Before you add ANYTHING to your plate, I want you to first STOP. Get still (just for a moment. Please!).
First check in with how you FEEL as you ask yourself these questions:
♥ Does the thought of adding one more item to your “to do” list make you want to cry or scream? (Be honest!)
♥ Are you snippy with your partner, family, co-workers, clients or friends even when they are trying to help? (Uh-oh!)
♥ Do you sit down to work and feel unfocused, overwhelmed or not sure where to start?
♥ Do you have a low-level sense of anxiety, like you just can’t catch a breath?
♥ Are you “out of the flow” – money is tight, technology snafus keep cropping up, communication is garbled or situations are just not panning out for you?
♥ Can you remember the last time you took an entire day off or even a few hours – just for yourself? (No, time with your family doesn’t count!)
You are doing too much if you said, “Yep, that’s me” to one or more of these questions. I want you to proceed with caution – like my hubby does when entering a burning building – before adding one more iota to your life or business. Then…
After you read these instructions, I want you to drop down into your heart, take a few deep breaths and ask yourself: “How do I want to feel day-to-day in my life and in my business?”
Got your answer? (STOP. AND DROP. If you don’t!)
For me, I want to feel a combination of stimulated and calm. What’s your most desired feeling?
Now check in with your question:
Does your project, training, social engagement
or business opportunity support this feeling?
Again, drop down into the FEELING of it – not all the reasons that your mind justifies why it is or isn’t not what you “should do.” Some of the best decisions I ever made, made absolutely no “sense” but they felt right and turned out to be golden.
(Bonus: For those of you who are visual, I often picture myself having a conversation with my inner wise woman and see what she has to say about my decision.)
Got a yes?
Great. There’s still one more piece. Before jumping in and going for it, take a look at ALL the projects and commitments you have.
Now ask yourself:
Given EVERYTHING that’s going on in your life, does your project, training,
social engagement or business opportunity still support your desired feeling?
Still got a yes? Awesome. Move on to Step 3: ROLL.
Got a “not sure” or “I don’t know?”
Try DROPPING in and seeing if you take other projects or commitments OFF your plate if that would change your response. (See next step on how to do that!)
Got a no or a “not now?”
Great. Give yourself permission to say so. No is a powerful and often wise answer.
3. AND ROLL.
This last step is the key!
Please please please do NOT keep adding projects onto
your plate without ROLLING something else off.
What do I mean by that? Well, you can either ROLL another “to do” entirely off your plate (as in over the edge of the cliff, never to be seen again). Delete it. Forget about it. Wipe it off!
Or you can ROLL the project on down the road to a few days, weeks, months or years later.
Because here’s the deal. Most of us are already overloaded to the max. When we say “yes” to a new opportunity, then we have to also make some hard decisions and say “no” to other plans.
So look at your calendar. I hope you have both a daily calendar – and a month-by-month project calendar for the year. (If not, picture all the projects and work you have to do for this month.) Before you say YES to anything else, you need to take something else off your plate and delete or reschedule it.
Ok, so if you are contemplating saying “yes,” it’s time to get real.
If you are adding in a new project…
How much time will this new project or commitment take? Make sure you are thinking through ALL the steps of this project and not forgetting pieces or details.
What specific days and times can you schedule into your calendar?
Is this project one of your HIGHEST priorities right now? If so, what other projects need to be ROLLED off your “to do” list permanently? Which ones can be moved out 3 or 6 months?
How much can you realistically get done this [day, week, month] AND STILL have time for self-care, family and everyday life?
What about surprise problems that come up (and they always do) … Factoring in surprise issues, do you still have time for this new project?
So if you ran your project through this gauntlet of questions and still are getting a YES – you have enough bandwidth to take it on, it supports the feeling you want to nurture within yourself AND you have enough time in your schedule for it, then HOORAY! Let’s call this a “divine” decision.
If not, then PLEASE START SAYING NO!
(My 2 year-old is offering a free training on this.)
While it may take a few minutes longer to make a wise decision, in the end your life, your business and most importantly your happiness will thank you.
Because I believe in my bones that our heart-based businesses are a marriage between the spiritual (your soul, intuition, creativity, feeling) and the practical (business strategy + systems, websites, technology – the works!).
Your personal happiness and your business’ success depends you paying close attention to BOTH.
So please – choose wisely – then map out your next few days, weeks or months with KINDNESS.
To your wanderlust life,
Meghan Gilroy Co-Director @ Wanderlust Entrepreneur & Retreat Strategist & The Retreat Blueprint Program
Meghan launches heart-based entrepreneurs into profitable online businesses so you can travel the world, change lives and make a fabulous income – while staying sane and practicing self-care. If you need support in prioritizing your to do list to finally create a successful retreat-based business or stunning destination retreat, you can find her at email@example.com.